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Windows 7: I feel like I have been had. Please tell me i am not.

21 Jul 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
I feel like I have been had. Please tell me i am not.

I would like everyone’s/ anyone’s help with my situation. I have two dual core Intel computers one is a Dell Vostro 200 and the other is a Gateway GT5549e and I did all of the research and downloaded the Win 7 advisor, ran it on both of the computers one Had Win XP pro 32 bit and the other had Vista Business 32 bit.
My intended goal was to install Win 7 64-Bit home Premium on both computers so that I could utilize 8 gig of Ram on each of the computers. I researched both mother boards and both reported that they would except 2 gig of DDR2 Ram in each of the four slots. I purchased a great deal (the Family pack for 3 installs). Inorder to install the 64 bit Win 7 you have to do a custom install and I think you may know how time consuming that is.
After all of that; Windows 7 64 bit shows in the system control panel that I have 8 gig of ram but all that it can use is 3.25 gig ….. the same amount of ram that I could use way back before all of this cost and effort.
From the form I learned that in the BIOS the memory needs to be remapped…… only thing is that the BIOS will let me into advanced memory config section but I seem to be locked out of changing anything other than the frequency and the latencies……. So in conclusion the very reason that anyone would want to go through all of this cost and headache for a 64 bit system……… to utilize more Ram memory and the supported and available DIMM slots is handicapped by the manufacture with their BIOS.
But is that not what Windows 7 advisor is all about? The question on hand for Win 7 Advisor to answer was can I run a 64 bit operating system on my computer-setup…..and if not for the reason of utilizing more memory then I ask them for what reason? The website further validates this one and only reason by posing the question do you need a 64 bit system and states if you need to utilize more system RAM when running multiple applications at the same time then you could benefit from a 64 Bit Windows 7 operating system.
I feel so very cheated. I like building systems and have built four super nasty workstations including one Intel i7 960 and a Intel i7 980X 6 core system but for all of the cost and effort I could of purchased two factory built towers for less than $400 each and all I would have had to do was set them up and plug them in.
After all of my ramblings can you tell me if I am wrong or if there is anything more that I can do to make this 64 bit system utilize the 8 gig of memory? Since I like doing these kinds of things the time spent was not an issue but to have the outcome right back where I started is depressing. The two systems were working very stable as they were but I wanted to move forward since Win XP will no longer be supported in the near future

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Jul 2011   #2

W7x64 Ult.
 
 

Sorry for the silly suggestion but did you uncheck the max ram option in system configuration? I had a problem that I think was like yours (?) and that fixed it for me.....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2011   #3

Win7 Home Premium 64x
 
 

Have you looked for a BIOS update? both machines might be older out of date and as such didnt have the options in the BIOS at the time
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Jul 2011   #4
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Yes this is a hardware issue. Do the support site of Dell and Gateway offer any solutions? Nothing should have to be changed, normally, but the makers may have thrown in a hassle to overcome.
Try Outlander's suggestion too. In Start, Search type msconfig and enter. In the window that opens go to the Boot tab and click Advanced options...
Then uncheck Maximum Memory, OK, OK, and reboot. See the snip.
I feel like I have been had. Please tell me i am not.-msconfig.png

Where are you seeing you have 3.25 GB of RAM and where did you get the info on your motherboards?
Check this page out too. It looks like Dell has their own Win 7 Upgrade tool.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2011   #5

Win7 Home Premium 64x
 
 

Dell Vostro 200 BIOS: (latest 2008)
Drivers and Downloads


And not suprisingly nothing on the Gateway comp

You can do this: Gateway Support - Identifying Your Motherboard

If that doesnt find anything, you might have to look in the case at the mobo and find a board make and model
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jul 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

That Vostro only takes up to 4 GB according to Dell,

Refurbished Vostro 200 Mini Tower | Dell

despite the chipset in it (Intel G33) supporting up to 8 GB,

Intel® G33 Express Chipset - Overview

You would have to take it up with Dell as to why they limited it to only 5 GB, and whether they ever released a bios update for it to increase it to 8 GB.

As far as the gateway goes I'll assume that model number is a typo and should actually be GT5449e, as GT5549e brings up absolutely nothing in a Google search other than this thread,

GT5549e - Google Search

If it is a GT5449e then it does in fact only support up to 4 GB,

Gateway Support - Specifications

due to its Intel 945G chipset, which falls under what is described here,

The system memory that is reported in the System Information dialog box in Windows Vista is less than you expect if 4 GB of RAM is installed
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jul 2011   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
There are a number of good ideas here

I thank Outlander, Thorsen, Stormy13 and Britton30 for responding First Stormy 13 you are correct it is a Gateway GT5449e.
Thorsen there is a BIOS up date that was released 7/29/2010 the version is CP94510J I downloaded it and extracted all the files as directed but a pop up window said that a program was blocking it so I rebooted the computer and with only the file itself open I tried again and it gave me the same message. Even though I have built a number of systems I have never had to flash or update the BIOS so maybe I am doing something wrong but I don’t know. Even with the ASUS P6X58De and The P6X58D Premium boards that are reported to have super easy BIOS flash capabilities tell you not to change the BIOS if you don’t need to but additionally they tell you the issues that the new version of the latest BIOS update is supposed to address and explain that if you are not having any of the reported issues you should not change the BIOS so I never had any problems so I thought leave well enough alone…….Having said that it looks like I need to at least try to update the BIOS on this one but how is the next question. The link to the support page for the gateway is http://support.gateway.com/us/en/product/default.aspx?tab=1&modelId=2934from this link you can see the stock configuration but I have added a 550 W PS a BFG Nvidia 9600GT Graphics card and 8 Gig of memory even when it was running on the Win Vista 32 bit it reported all of the 8 gig of Ram but just as it shows now it stated it could only utilize 3.25 gig of ram one other thing or note, the onboard Graphics was disabled and the latest Nvidia drivers for the 9600GT card for Win 7 64 BIT are installed.
Thank you Outlander and Britton30 for you suggestion, I can’t be sure but I do believe that it was Outlander that posted that suggestion on another thread and I gave it a go the first look at the advanced window had the max memory checked and had the correct 8192 listed as the max memory but I unchecked the box and selected okay and okay rebooted and then went to the control panel/system window and it still reported 8 gig of ram and only able to utilize 3.25 of ram……… I still thank you for your time and effort but for me this may need to be done after maybe a BIOS update but for now it did not work for me.
Thorsen I did find a Bios update labeled critical with a date of release 4/27/2010 and I also found instructions on how to install from the desktop so I will try that but I did not have much luck with that approach on the Gateway computer but one never knows until they try it, wish me luck that we do not have a power outage if it will launch I have been told this is the biggest risk when Flashing or updating a BIOS thank you for the link.
Stormy13 I do believe that your information about the Intel 945G chipset, which falls under what is described here, may be what makes any further attempts useless for I do believe that I also read on Intel’s website that 955 chipsets and above were the ones that supported more than 4 gig
I will try the helpful advise and thank you again.

But I still feel like I was done in by Windows 7 Adviser they must know that these issues are numerous on many many older computers that people may want to upgrade and not a warning or mention or clue about checking with anyone or a notice about the possible uselessness of installing Win 7 64-bit operating system on older computers. Even if we report to you that you’re okay to run a 64 bit operating system.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jul 2011   #8

W7x64 Ult.
 
 

If you are going to do the BIOS update be sure your MB will allow you to do a flashback. I have an older Asus P5 something or other that will not let me do a rollback. It works but has a couple of hiccups at startup that were not there before I messed around. Also if the computer is a must be ready machine you may want to see if you can get a spare BIOS chip just in case. I fried one some years ago and was down for a week waiting on the mail. Actually I wonder if it isn't easier to just get a preflashed chip and bang it in there? I was wondering if your task manager performance tab shows the same memory info as the control panel/system window?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jul 2011   #9
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Here is a little utility that will give some basic info about either PC. GRC*|*SecurAble: Determine Processor Security Features*|**
The Upgrade Advisor can't tale the infinite number of configurations into account and give 100% accurate info. In my case it told me 1 program was definitely not compatible with Win 7 32 or 64 bit. It said my aging printer were, but to check the manufacturer's website for info, and provided a link to it. Did the Avisor give you the A-OK on everything in each PC?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jul 2011   #10
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote:
Having said that it looks like I need to at least try to update the BIOS on this one but how is the next question.
If you haven't yet download and unzip the update, there is a readme included that has detailed instructions on how to flash it.

Quote:
Performing the update

1. After you have downloaded and double-clicked the BIOS update file (9537564.exe), the needed files self-extract and
copy into the C:\Cabs\9537564 folder on the hard drive.

2. From the Start menu, click Run.

3. In the Run dialog box, type: C:\Cabs\9537564\CF94510J[1].15A.0038.EB.EXE. Click OK.

4. In the Intel(r) Express BIOS Update Setup Welcome dialog box, click Next.

5. In the Software License Agreement dialog box, click Yes.

6. In the Finish and Reboot dialog box, perform the following steps.

a. Read the information, and then ensure that there is a check mark for the option Yes I want to complete the BIOS update.
b. Note the WARNING message: FOR THE NEXT 3 MINUTES DO NOT POWER OFF YOUR SYSTEM. Your system will perform an automatic shutdown and reboot process. Powering down before completion of this reboot process may cause your system to require service by the system manufacturer.
c. Click Finish.

7. Wait for the process to complete the reboot sequence.

Note: The computer may appear to take a longer period of time to restart and it may beep 10 times during the restart process. This is considered normal and is part of the BIOS update process.

8. The Intel(r) Express BIOS Update dialog box states that the Express BIOS update has completed successfully. Click OK.

9. On the first boot after the BIOS update has completed, it is possible to receive a Checksum error message. This is caused by some BIOS parameters not being set at the default values. Enter the BIOS Setup Utility, reset BIOS options to default values (press the F9 key), and then save and exit (press F10) the BIOS Setup Utility.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 I feel like I have been had. Please tell me i am not.




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