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Windows 7: Win 7 Pro 64 bit & 4GB RAM problems


19 Jul 2010   #1

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 
Win 7 Pro 64 bit & 4GB RAM problems

Hi

Sorry in advance for the longish description… here goes…

I have a Dell Latitude D631 laptop. I installed Windows 7 last year onto my laptop (previously running XP) with 4GB RAM (2 * 2GB arrays). At that time, when I tried to install 64bit Windows 7 Pro, the install failed – I got weird display problems and black screens. I abandoned and installed Win 7 32 bit first time successfully. However..I decided that I wanted 64 bit so dropped down to 3GB RAM (1 * 2GB, 1 * 1GB array) and Win 7 64 bit then installed happily and successfully first time. So I left it at that. For the past 9 months I have run Win 7 Pro 64bit on 3GB and it’s run perfectly.

But today, some months later, I decided I want to try and get my full 4GB mem working. I replaced the 1GB array with a 2GB array. I now have 4GB. Booted laptop. BIOS recognises 4GB. Ran memory test – all OK no errors. Booted into Windows… first problem… ‘Starting Windows’ appears, then the display breaks up into a white background with hundreds of horizontal lines. I know at this point I need to type in my Windows login password even though I can’t see the screen, so I do. And my normal desktop appears OK. Next problem… no WLAN capability at all. The wireless icon in the system tray has a red X through it, no WLANs are detected. In Device Manager, the WLAN card (Dell 1505 draft-n) shows as working normally. Disabling & re-enabling does not fix it, neither does the Windows troubleshooter.

Shut down. Swap the 2 * 2GB arrays over. Exactly the same problems. Display weird & WLAN dead.

Revert to 3GB (1 * (of either) 2GB array, 1 * 1GB array) and all is OK again. And that’s where I am now. So I have a laptop that only runs with 3GB. Any combination of 2GB arrays to get me to 4GB results in display problems & no WLAN, even though the 2GB arrays are working fine when partnered with the 1GB array…

Any suggestions as to the cause of these problems? Thanks!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

19 Jul 2010   #2

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by piattj View Post
Hi

Sorry in advance for the longish description… here goes…

I have a Dell Latitude D631 laptop. I installed Windows 7 last year onto my laptop (previously running XP) with 4GB RAM (2 * 2GB arrays). At that time, when I tried to install 64bit Windows 7 Pro, the install failed – I got weird display problems and black screens. I abandoned and installed Win 7 32 bit first time successfully. However..I decided that I wanted 64 bit so dropped down to 3GB RAM (1 * 2GB, 1 * 1GB array) and Win 7 64 bit then installed happily and successfully first time. So I left it at that. For the past 9 months I have run Win 7 Pro 64bit on 3GB and it’s run perfectly.

But today, some months later, I decided I want to try and get my full 4GB mem working. I replaced the 1GB array with a 2GB array. I now have 4GB. Booted laptop. BIOS recognises 4GB. Ran memory test – all OK no errors. Booted into Windows… first problem… ‘Starting Windows’ appears, then the display breaks up into a white background with hundreds of horizontal lines. I know at this point I need to type in my Windows login password even though I can’t see the screen, so I do. And my normal desktop appears OK. Next problem… no WLAN capability at all. The wireless icon in the system tray has a red X through it, no WLANs are detected. In Device Manager, the WLAN card (Dell 1505 draft-n) shows as working normally. Disabling & re-enabling does not fix it, neither does the Windows troubleshooter.

Shut down. Swap the 2 * 2GB arrays over. Exactly the same problems. Display weird & WLAN dead.

Revert to 3GB (1 * (of either) 2GB array, 1 * 1GB array) and all is OK again. And that’s where I am now. So I have a laptop that only runs with 3GB. Any combination of 2GB arrays to get me to 4GB results in display problems & no WLAN, even though the 2GB arrays are working fine when partnered with the 1GB array…

Any suggestions as to the cause of these problems? Thanks!

What did you use for the memory test? (what app?) and for how long did you run it?

Our current recommendations are

Download a copy of Memtest86 and burn the ISO to a CD using Iso Recorder or another ISO burning program. Boot from the CD, and leave it running for at least 5 or 6 passes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2010   #3

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit
 
 

Dell just recently came put with a new version of the bios for your computer. Have you installed already? I'll provide a link to it in case you haven't.

Drivers and Downloads
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


19 Jul 2010   #4

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

I used the mem test (2 passes) that I get when hitting F1 during boot. The problem is so solid, I would expect it to show if RAM was faulty.

Re BIOS... I see that Dell have a new BIOS to fix AMD Power issues. Would the forum recommend flashing the BIOS or is it to be avoided unless absolutely necessary...? Having heard horror stories about bricking the system with new BIOSes...


Any other broad ideas? Is it likely a hardware issue / config issue / BIOS / ??? uh ???

Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2010   #5

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit
 
 

Seeing as, according to Dell, you mobo can handle up to eight gigs of RAM I would say do it. It looks like you have a hard ware issue, but before we start declaring things done for, might as well try all options available. It is also recommended to flash the bios pretty often on here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2010   #6

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Thanks for the advice... I am edging towards flashing the BIOS. I am on BIOS A00...

Before I do this, I have 2 questions...

1. If I flash to the latest (A10) BIOS version, does that encompass all the earlier BIOS version changes (A01, A02 ... etc, like application updates / patches) or do I need to flash every BIOS update to get all the benefits?

2. Going back to the symptoms of my problem, I feel there's a clue in my being unable to install 64bit Windows 7, but successfully install 32bit Windows 7, into 4GB of RAM. What does that say about the likely problem location?

Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate (64)
 
 

I'd flash the bios. It appears that when you install more than 3 gig it's getting mapped to an address that conflicts with video memory. Update the bios or get a Dell tech on the phone. Luck with it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2010   #8

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit
 
 

No clue about your second question, other than sometimes having too much RAM installed sometimes messes up the installation. I was trying to help a guy yesterday who solved his problem by removing 1 stick.

Yes, the update will encompass all previous fixes. The fact that there is a A10 implies they have had to solve ten different problems since your computer came out, so it is highly recommended you do it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2010   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate (64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Petey7 View Post
The fact that there is a A10 implies they have had to solve ten different problems since your computer came out, so it is highly recommended you do it.
No offense but this is incorrect information! Not all Dell orig. bios begin with A1. Additionally it's not uncommon for a bios upgrade to apply to multiple issues. The numeric value of the bios upgrade is "undefined" at least to the public according to Dell Tech Support.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2010   #10

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit
 
 

Dell bios usually starts with A00 and increase by one number at a time (i.e. A01, then A02, and so forth). In other words A10 is the tenth bios update. I suppose it could not be, but thats how it usually is with Dell in the past few years. I know a bios update can have multiple fixes. I suppose I should have phrased that differently earlier. For example my bios is on A07, and a simple search on google allows me to find downloads for 8 different bios versions, including A00.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Win 7 Pro 64 bit & 4GB RAM problems




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