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Windows 7: 64-bit Win7 can't handle 4 GB RAM without BSOD/reboots?

04 Oct 2009   #1

Win 7 64-bit Enterprise Trial
 
 
64-bit Win7 can't handle 4 GB RAM without BSOD/reboots?

Hardware: See system specs.

I've put together a new clone system with the intent of running 64-bit Win 7 Pro on it. Until it becomes available, I have 32-bit XP Pro installed on it. Nothing is overclocked, in fact, the memory is "underclocked" for stability. I'd rather have it stable than gain some trivial performance improvement.

Previously, when I first built it up, I installed 64-bit Ubuntu "Jaunty" on it with 8 GB of RAM installed in it (4 X 2GB). The Linux distro installed and was perfectly stable.

To get a "heads up" on Win 7 issues, I downloaded and installed the trial Enterprise edition. Since I couldn't find any MD5 for the ISO, I downloaded the file twice and did a binary compare on the two downloads to ensure they were the same. Also, I see that the Java applet that downloads the ISO file also has some kind of "verify process" built-in that runs at the end of the download (a checksum?). I burned a DVD in XP Pro using Nero 8 with data verification on (after burning, it reads the burned disk and compares the disk's contents with the ISO file).

Since 32-bit XP Pro can't even fully use 4 GB, I uninstalled 4 of the 8 GB (two modules) when I installed XP on the box. When the entire 8 GB was in the MoBo, I ran MemTest86+ for long periods without errors. To do so, however, I had to "underclock" the memory to DDR2-800 speeds. It couldn't successfully run at DDR2-1066 speeds. A problem that, by checking various support BBS's, was found to be common with my MoBo and the RAM modules in question. After pulling the two modules, I left the memory timing at the conservative settings. I also let MemTest86+ run overnight and got no errors with the two modules installed. My plan is (or, was) to put the entire 8 GB of RAM back after I got 64-bit Windows 7 running on it.

When I installed XP, I left about 350 GB of the hard drive unpartitioned. I fired up the Windows 7 installer with the intent of installing it in some of the vacant space on the RAID array and dual-booting.

The installer ran until it finished loading files from the DVD and choked with the (apparently, usual) BSOD about the MoBo's ACPI implementation not being "fully compliant." I'm running the latest BIOS, and Gigabyte lists my MoBo as Windows 7 compatible.

I Googled the error and found that apparenly this nonsense has been going on since the early days of Vista and the answer was to get the installed RAM below about 3 GB. Sure enough, I pulled out one more module to drop the system to 2GB and the installer ran without a hitch. Apparently, removing RAM makes the MoBo's ACPI more compliant.

Also, in Googling around, I found suggestions that you install all the latest and greatest drivers for the various bit and pieces and then you can put your RAM back. Note also that I've left external devices (printers, scanner, etc.) off and/or disconnected to keep things at a minimum for now. So, I install Windows 7 drivers for the video card, sound, RAID controller and chipset. That's all I can find as the Gigabyte site and nVidia. Well, of course, the RAID controller driver actually got installed during the initial installation of Windows 7.

I configured the network connection, which up to now couldn't work since my LAN uses static IP's and doesn't run a DHCP server. Then, Windows update wants to install patches (not many) so I let it.

Well, that's all the updates and drivers I can install, so it's time to put the RAM back. I put back one module to bring the total to 4 GB and reboot. The system runs until there's just a hint of the four animated color deals that float around and become the Windows logo on a black screen. Just two tiny dots. Bam! The system reboots. Start it again and same result. Pull the 2nd module and drop back to 2 GB... the system boots just fine. I install a module and get the RAM back to 4 GB: it reboots at the same point. On the next attempt to boot it offers a "repair" boot as well as "normal." I pick "repair" just to see. I get the BSOD griping about my ACPI not being "compliant." I forgot that more RAM makes my MoBo's ACPI implementation less compliant.

Just to see, I knock the memory timing down to DDR2-667 speed. Won't boot. I put the timings back to DDR2-800 and bump up the North Bridge voltage a bit. Won't boot.

I don't have another video card to try. The old system I'm replacing used an AGP card and there's no AGP slot in the new MoBo. I've got some old ISA video cards, too, but I can't find a hammer to get them into any of the available slots.

I tried a "boot with logging," and let it rip until the reboot. Then, I pulled the 2nd module so that I could actually get it to boot and see the log. There isn't one. I searched the entire partition for "ntbtlog.txt" and there's nothing. I also tried searching for "ntbtl*.* and got nothing. So, apparently "boot with logging," didn't or at least died before it had the chance to save it.

There are no BIOS settings for ACPI except for the usual S1/S3 choice. This, of course, assumes the dubious concept that the root cause of this is actually the ACPI implementation of my MoBo, which I doubt.

So, anyone have any ideas? At this point, having seen how this has apparently been an issue for people since the RC versions of Vista with Microsoft and hardware manufacturers pointing fingers at each other, I suspect there is no answer. But I thought I'd see if anyone has any ideas before I decide that Windows 7 RTM really isn't ready for prime time. Even if I find some way around this, what's Microsoft going to do? Tell "grandma" to open the box and pull memory modules just to install Windows 7? Yeah, right.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Oct 2009   #2

XP, Seven, 2008R2
 
 

I've come across 3 or more posts now where people said they fixed this problem by doing a motherboard BIOS update. Well... since you've already got the latest BIOS maybe you can try an older one?

Interesting that Linux and Windows XP works fine though. I guess that says something about the stability of those operating systems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Oct 2009   #3

Windows 8 64bit Professional
 
 

Alrighty..

I kind of skimmed through what you said, I have 64bit Windows 7 Professional installed, and theres the screenshot to prove it.

Here are my specs for my system.

CPU: Intel Quad Core Q9400 2.66Ghz
RAM: 4GB Ram, G.Skill DDR3
HDD: Dual 320GB WD Raptor 10kRPM
GFX: NVidia GeForce 9800 GTX+
MOBO: ASUS Extreme Rampage

I fixed my problem with it, by burning the dvd at a slower burn rate. I believe I burned it at 5,500kbps. I'll edit my post when I read your entire post. I have to eat dinner now, but I'll post back.

**EDIT**

I read your entire post, and I might have a few ideas.

Have you successfully installed 64bit XP Professional? If Yes, have you installed 64bit Vista install without a hitch?

If you have those 2 successfully installed, run Vista/XP either, do a compatibility test for Windows 7. My system wasn't compatible because my IDE Hard drive wasn't fast enough for Windows 7.

When you're installing Windows 7, is it a fresh install or an upgrade? I've found that I had the most trouble with RAIDs with Windows 7. Mine always errored when I was at school.

My buddy at Microsoft said that RAID on Windows 7 was touchy, as with being burned its picky.

Also, try installing Windows XP professional 64bit, then upgrading to Windows 7. Also what exact version is this? Is it the Windows 7 Professional RTM or is it still the RC1 discs? I have the final release version, if you'd like I'll toss my ISO over to you.

Now that I think of something, have you tried installing it without the RAID?

Last question, have you installed the 32bit Windows 7? I'm not a very good tech person, my experience is more of the programming and modding Windows rather than installing and updating.

But you picked the right place to find information out.


Attached Thumbnails
64-bit Win7 can't handle 4 GB RAM without BSOD/reboots?-64bitwin7.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Oct 2009   #4

Win 7 64-bit Enterprise Trial
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sup3rsprt View Post
I've come across 3 or more posts now where people said they fixed this problem by doing a motherboard BIOS update. Well... since you've already got the latest BIOS maybe you can try an older one?

Interesting that Linux and Windows XP works fine though. I guess that says something about the stability of those operating systems.
Older BIOS. Hmmm, that's a thought.

There's a couple of older BIOS versions at the Gigabyte Web site. Maybe I'll grab them and give that a try? While one never knows exactly what they might have done with each version, at the site they seem to describe that each version simply expanded the processor ID recognition except for the oldest available version, which is described as fixing some issue with a version before it that isn't available at the site at all. That doesn't mean they didn't slip in a few other changes along the way, of course.

My board originally had an older version, but I updated to the latest version (dated back in August) when I still had Linux installed.

Thanks for the idea. I'll post the results.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2009   #5

Win 7 64-bit Enterprise Trial
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dreadstar View Post
Alrighty..

I kind of skimmed through what you said, I have 64bit Windows 7 Professional installed, and theres the screenshot to prove it.

Here are my specs for my system.

CPU: Intel Quad Core Q9400 2.66Ghz
RAM: 4GB Ram, G.Skill DDR3
HDD: Dual 320GB WD Raptor 10kRPM
GFX: NVidia GeForce 9800 GTX+
MOBO: ASUS Extreme Rampage

I fixed my problem with it, by burning the dvd at a slower burn rate. I believe I burned it at 5,500kbps. I'll edit my post when I read your entire post. I have to eat dinner now, but I'll post back.

**EDIT**

I read your entire post, and I might have a few ideas.

Have you successfully installed 64bit XP Professional? If Yes, have you installed 64bit Vista install without a hitch?

If you have those 2 successfully installed, run Vista/XP either, do a compatibility test for Windows 7. My system wasn't compatible because my IDE Hard drive wasn't fast enough for Windows 7.

When you're installing Windows 7, is it a fresh install or an upgrade? I've found that I had the most trouble with RAIDs with Windows 7. Mine always errored when I was at school.

My buddy at Microsoft said that RAID on Windows 7 was touchy, as with being burned its picky.

Also, try installing Windows XP professional 64bit, then upgrading to Windows 7. Also what exact version is this? Is it the Windows 7 Professional RTM or is it still the RC1 discs? I have the final release version, if you'd like I'll toss my ISO over to you.

Now that I think of something, have you tried installing it without the RAID?

Last question, have you installed the 32bit Windows 7? I'm not a very good tech person, my experience is more of the programming and modding Windows rather than installing and updating.

But you picked the right place to find information out.
I haven't installed anything on it except what I originally described, 64-bit Ubuntu and 32-bit XP. After playing around with Ubuntu, I wiped it out and installed 32-bit XP to use until 7 becomes available. I don't have 64-bit XP or any version of Vista. Since 32-bit XP is on the system now, I've downloaded the Seven Compatibility Tester. I'll install that and see what it reports.

The version of Seven I'm installing is the 90-day trial Enterprise Edition, essentially Ultimate RTM with a built-in time bomb. My understanding is that there won't be any way to give it a key, etc. and keep it working. When 7 is released and the 90-day trial ends, all you can do is blow it away and reinstall fresh. That's fine with me. I just installed it to see if I could expect issues with the "real thing" and don't plan to invest a lot of time getting this install, "just right." It's already done what I wanted: warned me I'm going to have problems getting 7 working correctly. When I really move to 7, I'll dump the dual-boot with XP and just do a clean install of 7 Pro.

I doubt the burn could be the issue. Nero burned it, then read back the data from the disk and compared it to the ISO to confirm that what's on the disk matches the ISO.

To try an install without the RAID, I'd have to break the mirrored array. That would cost me the entire contents of the RAID array including the XP partitions. I work from home and I use this system (with XP) every day for work. I can't bust it (especially during the week).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2009   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

The fact that you had to underclock the memory to run memtest tells you there is something wonky between the board and memory, even if it is a known issue. You could quickly download a x64 version of Ubuntu and give that a shot as well.

Check your BIOS for a memory mapping feature, or some other option that needs to be enabled for all 4 GB to be recognized. If that's not the solution, or not an option, I'd be thinking of replacing the board or memory, if I was my system.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2009   #7

XP Pro Dual booting with Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

I installed both, the 32bit AND 64bit Windows 7 Enterprise with 5gig memory installed.
I had NO problems at all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Oct 2009   #8

Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit / XP Home sp3
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
The fact that you had to underclock the memory to run memtest tells you there is something wonky between the board and memory, even if it is a known issue. You could quickly download a x64 version of Ubuntu and give that a shot as well.

Check your BIOS for a memory mapping feature, or some other option that needs to be enabled for all 4 GB to be recognized. If that's not the solution, or not an option, I'd be thinking of replacing the board or memory, if I was my system.
I would have to agree with this . If your having trouble installing with more than 2 gb and you have to underclock your memory the issue is a memory problem. but I would also like to say even though you got a positive read back on nero burn test, it has been well documanted on this site that the slowest burn speed 4x has provided the best iso image for installing windows 7. Does it matter which 2 gb stick you use? Have you memtested all the moduels 1 stick at a time? If the memory won't run at even the 800 speed I would question the compatibility of it with your board. Does Gigabyte have a memory compabilty chart for your board?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Oct 2009   #9

Win 7 64-bit Enterprise Trial
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
The fact that you had to underclock the memory to run memtest tells you there is something wonky between the board and memory, even if it is a known issue. You could quickly download a x64 version of Ubuntu and give that a shot as well.

Check your BIOS for a memory mapping feature, or some other option that needs to be enabled for all 4 GB to be recognized. If that's not the solution, or not an option, I'd be thinking of replacing the board or memory, if I was my system.
I only had to underclock it to get 8 GB working without errors. It would run at "full speed" with two modules installed (4GB). The "known issue" is that Gigabyte warns that "because of limitations in the chip set" no more than two modules will run at DDR2-1066. People who contacted tech support were told to drop the speed to 800 if they wanted to run four modules. Thus, I expected that plugging in the 2nd pair would mandate a slowdown. The Web was replete with people crying about being unable to get 4 modules to run at 1066 in their boards, with a handful of lucky ones describing how they had it working and probably somewhat less actually having it working. Some people kept hammering at trying to get their boards to run at 1066, chasing a trivial real-world performance improvement. I just cranked the speed down a notch and enjoyed the stability (with 64-bit Linux and 32-bit XP). It ran MemTest86+ for hours and numerous iterations without any errors. Actually, it could run Memtest86+ at 1066 speeds with all four modules without errors for most of the tests. A couple of the most rigorous caused it to produce some errors.

There are no BIOS settings related to memory mapping. But note that 64-bit Ubuntu Jaunty installed, saw all 8 GB and ran without a problem for several weeks in daily use with the current memory settings. 32-bit XP installs and runs with 4 GB installed; it just, of course, can't use it all because of the 4GB limit. It reports having about 3.2 GB available.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Oct 2009   #10

Win 7 64-bit Enterprise Trial
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by thefabe View Post
I would have to agree with this . If your having trouble installing with more than 2 gb and you have to underclock your memory the issue is a memory problem. but I would also like to say even though you got a positive read back on nero burn test, it has been well documanted on this site that the slowest burn speed 4x has provided the best iso image for installing windows 7. Does it matter which 2 gb stick you use? Have you memtested all the modules 1 stick at a time? If the memory won't run at even the 800 speed I would question the compatibility of it with your board. Does Gigabyte have a memory compabilty chart for your board?
A lot of the memory related answers are above in my response to DeaconFrost.

I'll do another burn at a slow speed just to rule that out. Although, I really can't see how, if the current burn was verified to produce an exact bit-for-bit copy of the contents of the ISO, a slow burn will produce an improvement. The same drive is reading the same disk when the installer is running as when it was verified.

The memory, 2 GB, 4GB or all 8GB, runs fine with MemTest at DDR2-800 speeds. It runs fine at 1066 if I limit it to two modules as Gigabyte specifies. All I was saying originally was that, even as I dropped the number of modules back to 2 or 1, I just left the memory timing set to 800, which should certainly be stable since with that number of modules I could bump it back up to 1066 if I wanted.

Gigabyte does have a memory compatibility list for the board. Mine is on it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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