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Windows 7: Win7(64bit) shows 3gb RAM usable but Vista (32bit) shows full 4gb Ram

22 Mar 2017   #1
fjansma

Windows 7 Pro 64 Bit
 
 
Win7(64bit) shows 3gb RAM usable but Vista (32bit) shows full 4gb Ram

I own an old Packard Bell Easynote MX37 laptop which was running Windows Vista Basic (32bit !!). I only use it now and then and decided to get a few more years life out of it and do some upgrades. It has an Intel T2390 Pentium 1.86ghz CPU (itís a dual core).

It used to have 3gb RAM (1x 1gb and 1x 2gb). I replaced the 1gb stick with a 2gb stick identical to the other 2gb stick. In my American Megatrends BIOS it shows 4gb RAM and in Windows Vista Basic (32 bit) it shows 4gb RAM as well (I know, unexpected).

I did a compatibility test for Windows 7 64 bit and it turned out positive so I then swapped the old hard drive for a Western Digital SSD drive and did a clean Windows 7 Pro 64 bit installation. Windows 7 still shows 4gb RAM.

The basic VGA driver showed horizontal lines on my laptop screen so I installed the latest available driver for my onboard SIS Mirage 3 graphics (I know this is a crappy card but Iím stuck with it). After reboot the lines dissapeared and I experience an overall increase on the video performance. However after the installation of this driver Windows now shows 4gb RAM (3GB usable). To verify it was caused by the graphics driver I uninstalled the driver and was then back to 4gb RAM but horrible graphics performance again.

What I tried; the AMI BIOS is the latest available version so there is no upgrade available for this system. Also it is a very limited BIOS, there are no onboard graphics settings or any memory remapping functions. Just basic boot order, date and time settings. But I figured this cannot be the problem as it shows full available memory and Windows Vista as well.

I opened MSCONFIG -> boot -> advanced options -> and see Ďmaximum memoryí is ticked and set to 0. According to various internet sources this box needs to be unticked. So when I untick it I need to do a reboot but after the first Windows logo my screen goes black. I then have to do a hard reset and boot into safe mode to undo this setting.

Noteworthy might be that in safe mode there is 4gb RAM available (probably because the graphics drivers are disabled in safe mode?).

Iíve tried several other older versions of the driver as well as the version I had installed in Windows Vista but they wonít solve the RAM issue.

Iíve tried Porteus (bootable linux) and this showed 4GB of RAM as well.

I guess my question is: how can my 4gb of RAM show up in Windows Vista Basic (32bit) but in Windows 7 Pro (64bit) I can only have 3gb RAM usable? And is there any solution to this or am I just stuck with this situation?
(Iíve seen lots of other forum post stating similar issues but none really seem to describe my situation).


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
22 Mar 2017   #2
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

One thing is the amount of physical memory = 4G that is shown on BIOS.
Win 32 bits can only manage 3.2G but with Win 64 bits the sky is the limit.
Even with 4G of physical memory some memory is reserved to the graphics card. That is why you have experience an overall increase on the video performance and you have only 3G usable memory.

With 4G of memory I would have installed a 32 bits Win 7. You will still have 1G for the graphics card and 3G usable memory, but Win 7 32 will run better with 3G usable memory than Win 7 64.

As your Laptop is running for years, your heat sink must be full of dust. Install a temperature monitor.
I use Open hardware monitor. Open Hardware Monitor - Core temp, fan speed and voltages in a free software gadget
To install just unpack the zip archive on C:\Program Files (x86) and run OpenHardwareMonitor.exe with Administrator rights. Without Administrator rights most hardware sensors are not accessible.
Under options, set Start Minimized, Minimize to Tray, Minimize on close, run on Windows Startup.
Select a core temperature, right click and set to show in tray.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Mar 2017   #3
johnhoh

Win7 pro x64
 
 

can you post a screenshot of the resmon memory tab for your win7 system? Here''s what mine looks like as an example. If convenient, go ahead and post the same for vista...


Attached Images
Win7(64bit) shows 3gb RAM usable but Vista (32bit) shows full 4gb Ram-1.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

22 Mar 2017   #4
fjansma

Windows 7 Pro 64 Bit
 
 

Thanks for the replies. I've attached both the resource monitor screenshots in this post (although the one with Vista is less clear about the situation). I've also attached screenshots of the system properties (I thought that would maybe better indicate my problem).


Attached Thumbnails
Win7(64bit) shows 3gb RAM usable but Vista (32bit) shows full 4gb Ram-resmon_w7_64bit.jpg   Win7(64bit) shows 3gb RAM usable but Vista (32bit) shows full 4gb Ram-resmon_vista_32bit.jpg  
Attached Images
Win7(64bit) shows 3gb RAM usable but Vista (32bit) shows full 4gb Ram-win7_specram.jpg Win7(64bit) shows 3gb RAM usable but Vista (32bit) shows full 4gb Ram-vista_specram.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Mar 2017   #5
johnhoh

Win7 pro x64
 
 

Its possible that the driver is determining how much memory to reserve for graphics and since 32-bit systems are memory-constrained they designed the 32-but driver to use a small amount of memory and they designed the 64-bit driver to use 1gb.

Try running start > run > desk.cpl > advanced and post a screenshot in vista and 7. You can also do start > run > dxdiag > display
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2017   #6
fjansma

Windows 7 Pro 64 Bit
 
 

Please find the screenshots of DXDIAG attached.


Attached Images
Win7(64bit) shows 3gb RAM usable but Vista (32bit) shows full 4gb Ram-dxdiag_vista_display.jpg Win7(64bit) shows 3gb RAM usable but Vista (32bit) shows full 4gb Ram-dxdiag_vista_system.jpg Win7(64bit) shows 3gb RAM usable but Vista (32bit) shows full 4gb Ram-dxdiag_win7_display.jpg Win7(64bit) shows 3gb RAM usable but Vista (32bit) shows full 4gb Ram-dxdiag_win7_system.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2017   #7
johnhoh

Win7 pro x64
 
 

okay there goes that theory - both systems are using the same amount of graphics memory. Time for a little more digging. Here's an idea - what if you downloaded sysinternals rammap on each system, ran it, sorted it by Total, and post a screen shot of each. Maybe that would tell us something. Do not need the entire screen though - Make sure to tell us which is vista and which is win7 since the program may not say so. The goal here is to figure out why you have 1GB of hardware reserved on win7. Here's what mine looks like as an example...

RAMMap

Having said all that, a large hardware reserve usually points to a memory incompatibility. Before Dual Channel came out memory compatibility was rarely an issue. But for a motherboard's memory controller to successfully run dual channel it has to perfectly join together the bits as they stream from two different dimms, which is a difficult timing task, and is why motherboards always have a QVL list of memory that is approved, and require that you not mix and match dimms. The fact that you reported vista as addressing 4GB made me think you did not have this problem, however on your dxdiag vista screenshot it only says 3GB, so maybe the reason for your win7 issue is indeed memory compatibility. I would try the following: start > run > msconfig > boot > advanced options and clear the maximum memory box. Shut down. Physically switch the slots the dimms are in, then do a cmos reset of your bios, then reboot.


Attached Images
Win7(64bit) shows 3gb RAM usable but Vista (32bit) shows full 4gb Ram-1.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2017   #8
fjansma

Windows 7 Pro 64 Bit
 
 

Sorry for the late reply. I had to switch out the hard drives to boot from Vista. Please find the Ram map screenshots attached to this post.

I'm not sure it's a compatibility issue..? There used to be two different make RAM modules (1x1gb and 1x2gb) in this machine. That's the way the manufacturer sold it. I bought an identical 2gb RAM module from eBay and replaced the 1gb module with that one. So now there's matched modules in there (2x2gb Samsung). I did run memtest to make sure there aren't any errors. I'm pretty sure it doesn't run in dual channel though since I've used Speccy on both Vista and Win7 and it's stating it's running single channel (I'm not sure this is a problem?). So maybe it's a possibility we have to accept that the motherboard/chipset won't accept anything over 3GB?

I will try your suggestion to switch the modules and clear cmos later today. But I'm affraid the machine would go black again because that's what happens if I untick the maximum memory box.


Attached Thumbnails
Win7(64bit) shows 3gb RAM usable but Vista (32bit) shows full 4gb Ram-rammap_vista.jpg   Win7(64bit) shows 3gb RAM usable but Vista (32bit) shows full 4gb Ram-rammap-win7.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2017   #9
fjansma

Windows 7 Pro 64 Bit
 
 

I've tried unticking max memory and switching the modules. As expected the screen goes black after the first Windows logo on boot. So I had to tick the box again. I now says max memory 0. It won't save to 4096.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Mar 2017   #10
johnhoh

Win7 pro x64
 
 

note that both vista and win7 are showing 3.1GB of total memory, so I'm still leaning toward a memory incompatibility. Bios is handing over the same 3.1GB useable memory to each operating system. Also note your motherboard is supposed to automatically run dual channel with two identical sticks.

can you post screenshots of the RAM portion of speccy with each subsection expanded ? It will probably take two screenshots to include all the detail including slot details with timing tables..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Win7(64bit) shows 3gb RAM usable but Vista (32bit) shows full 4gb Ram




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