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512mb Ram suddenly only 480mb????

by wetcrankymonkey / June 18, 2005 1:10 AM PDT

I noticed recently that my computer is only showing 480 megs or ram when it should show 512mb.

Sony Viao, 1.5gh Athlon, XP.

After doing some research...

Going into the BIOS on startup shows the correct Memory. When I check the BOOT.INI file, the MEMMAX box is unchecked, but when I check it to see whats there it only goes up to 480. I've tried both setups with the maxmem checked or unchecked and it doesn't change the showing of 480mb or ram in the 'system' under control panel in XP.

This is the ram the came with the computer, and it reported 512mb fine, I just noticed the drop recently when checking specs for upgrading the RAM. Upgrades in the last several months are USB2 card, DVD burner, second internal hard drive, new floppy drive.

I would like to max out to 1G of memory, but want to figure out/fix this problem before I procede.

Any ideas as to why the differance and why MAXMEM is only going to 480 when checked???

Thanks in advance!

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(NT) (NT) 32MB is used for the video display.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 18, 2005 1:11 AM PDT
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Yeap...
by Willy / June 18, 2005 9:08 AM PDT

Robert is probably right. Check the bios again for the "video ram" allocation amount, its no doubt 32mb. This is true for most build-in video on the mtrbd.. You can still add more ram, but that 32mb is going still to the video allocation, just keep that in mind and you +/- that amount. If not a build-in video but a card, then disregard.

tada -----Willy

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hmmm...graphics card has own memory.
by wetcrankymonkey / June 18, 2005 12:34 PM PDT

thanks for the replies.

i noticed i didn't put the new graphics card in my initial post. Radeon 9250 with its own 128mb of memory. Should system memory still be allocated? I believe I have the board video card disabled in the device manager, unless there is somewhere else to turn it off.

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Sony Viao- which model ?
by Papa Echo / June 18, 2005 2:14 PM PDT

What is at Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools>System Information ---> System Summary.

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system summary
by wetcrankymonkey / June 18, 2005 3:08 PM PDT

OS Name Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Version 5.1.2600 Service Pack 2 Build 2600
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Name VALUED-A069BA8D
System Manufacturer Sony Corporation
System Model PCV-RX741(UC)
System Type X86-based PC
Processor x86 Family 6 Model 6 Stepping 2 AuthenticAMD ~1526 Mhz
BIOS Version/Date Award Software, Inc. ACPI BIOS Revision 1003VX, 5/16/2002
SMBIOS Version 2.3
Windows Directory C:\WINDOWS
System Directory C:\WINDOWS\system32
Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume1
Locale United States
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "5.1.2600.2180 (xpsp_sp2_rtm.040803-2158)"
User Name VALUED-A069BA8D\SHANE
Time Zone Eastern Daylight Time
Total Physical Memory 512.00 MB
Available Physical Memory 180.69 MB
Total Virtual Memory 2.00 GB
Available Virtual Memory 1.96 GB
Page File Space 1.10 GB
Page File C:\pagefile.sys


what should I be looking for here?

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Total Physical Memory 512.00 MB
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 18, 2005 10:26 PM PDT
In reply to: system summary

That's 512MB. I'm unsure where you got the other number.

In closing, in XP there is a feature in a menu somewhere that is labeled "Limit memory to" and you may have set it for some reason and forgot. But your last post shows you do indeed have 512MB.

Bob

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To sum up, then...
by Papa Echo / June 18, 2005 10:40 PM PDT
In reply to: system summary

...you have 480 MB at System Properties (at Control Panel) but showed up as 512MB(what has been actually installed) at System Information--->system summary, and you want to know why ?

Try changing memory modules to different slots and see whether 512 MB is indicated at both ''Properties'' and ''Summary''.

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Sorry, I must write "don't do that."
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 18, 2005 10:49 PM PDT
In reply to: To sum up, then...

The 512MB did show. Please look at the "Limit memory" setting. Do not change memory modules.

Bob

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The BOOT.INI MAXMEM entry...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 18, 2005 11:05 PM PDT
In reply to: To sum up, then...

"/MAXMEM=
Limits Windows to ignore (not use) physical memory beyond the amount indicated. The number is interpreted in megabytes. Example: /MAXMEM=32 would limit the system to using the first 32 MB of physical memory even if more were present."
- boot.ini documentation.

The MSCONFIG method.
1. Click Start, click Run, and then type Msconfig.
2. Click OK.
3. Click BOOT.INI
3. Click Advanced Options.
4. Click to select the MAXMEM Limit check box, and then increase the amount of Random Access Memory (RAM) to 64 MB or higher.

Or you can disable MAXMEM there.

Bob

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Model # is PCV-RX741 (UC) and if you enter it
by VAPCMD / March 14, 2008 11:44 PM PDT
In reply to: system summary
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Check bios again
by Willy / June 18, 2005 9:17 PM PDT

Ahhhh! Most OEMs have a build-n video port. Once ram allocated it stays so until, unallocated even if disabled. Why because this is a 2 separate processes of the bios, thus enter bios and reduce some ram allocated and see what action is taken. Also, understand a "base amount" is *deciated* to video and that deciated amount has risen over the years, last I knew of it was 16mb, but 8mb was common before, maybe 32mb is it now, but that's an open answer but by deafault some amount has to be there in order to get video output. Check it...

tada -----Willy

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bios mem
by wetcrankymonkey / June 19, 2005 3:05 AM PDT
In reply to: Check bios again

went back in and found the vga allocation. was set to 32 (so far so good) changed to 16, and continued into windows, sure enough system allocation now 496. Happy

so the question is...the only options for the vga settings are 16,32,64. My video card has 128 onboard. do i need to allocate more than 16? lowest option. I don't mind so much now that i know what the issue was, and since I want to max out to 1 gig, will the extra 24 megs (512x2=1024)that my computer wont recognize be allocated to this or is that just unusable excess memory?

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(NT) (NT) Can you elect to disable the allocation???
by Ray Harinec / June 19, 2005 3:11 AM PDT
In reply to: bios mem
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apparently not..
by wetcrankymonkey / June 19, 2005 1:26 PM PDT

i can set the allocation to 16,32, or 64. no option for off unless its hiding somewhere else.

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Just to make sure, please..
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 19, 2005 9:04 PM PDT
In reply to: apparently not..

Post the contents of the BOOT.INI file for all to see that it's not that.

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i'm at work but....to summarize everything I've seen/done.
by wetcrankymonkey / June 19, 2005 11:59 PM PDT

chips- 2 x 256mb

motherboard bios: 512mb listed, VGA allocation now set to 16 (from the initial 32 mb noticed missing)
graphics card-radeon 9250 with 128mb onboard

boot.ini- maxmem limit now goes to 496 (512-16 for vga), changed from the 480 noticed originally. box is UNCHECKED.

which part of the boot file would you like posted, the text box, or the window with the Maxmem showing? I'll post it later this evening when I get home.

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Why ask more than once?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 20, 2005 12:39 AM PDT

BOOT.INI is just a few lines long, reveals nothing personal and would quash that possibility in one post.

Why drag this out?

Bob

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Good show
by Willy / June 20, 2005 12:27 AM PDT
In reply to: bios mem

Now that you found out there is a video allocation that is deciated, you won't be able to return it *all* to the main memory stack. The lowest video ram amount you can set is thus lost "if" you can't use that video port. Under XP os, you can actually have dual monitors setup. That's besides the point that deciated video ram is lost to you or it simply not accessible as system reported with on-board video disabled. You can add on to the current ram to whatever your system can handle, just know the blip, the video ram takes away. Now, this has nothing to do with your separate video card installed now, that video ram is truly deciated 100% to video and no fiddling with the bios will change that, these are separate edities.

As for ram totals 512x2=1024, this is an old math usage problem. 1000 vs 1024 bases. Yeah, the 1024 is present and will be reported as such minus the 16mb(on-board video). With my explanation and others, I hope you get the picture. Wink

ciao -----Willy Happy

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thanks to everyone so far...
by wetcrankymonkey / June 20, 2005 12:10 AM PDT

this has gone from a worry about missing or possibly bad ram to a puzzle/question about what is going on in my system. I realize now that I probably always just noticed the memory ammount (512)in the startup flash of bios instead of seeing it in the xp control panel system list (480).

I can only assume that other people running xp or with similar setups have the same issue.

So my current questions are...

1)Is that VGA memory allocation in the BIOS permanent? I assume that its purpose is to have graphics memory available from the motherboard if there is a crash/failure of other parts so you can still see something on the monitor.

2) My system will max out at 1gig of RAM. Which I intent to do as soon as I understand this a bit more. In adding two 512mb chips, will the leftover 24mbs be used for the vga allocation or does the system bios only recognize up to 1 gig, therefore that 24megs is just lost memory?

neither of these questions is a deal breaker to me, just curious and looking for info.

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Just to allay your fears
by Ray Harinec / June 20, 2005 12:52 AM PDT

there are a few other 64 k chunks of memory that the Operating system doesn't allow to be used to insure compatibility of various things. Thus your loss of a small chunk is totally insignificant, especially when you get to the Gigabyte.

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512mb Ram suddenly only 480mb?
by jcrobso / June 20, 2005 1:06 AM PDT

This has been interesting reading. I was unaware of the onboard video memory reserve that stays even if you disable the onboard video chip. This is one of the reasons that a lot of people do not like onboard video. John

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onboard graphics...
by graham_00 / March 15, 2008 12:43 AM PDT

why..a generic driver is better than no driver to run run the puter if your card goes **** up for some reason..id rather have small mb graphics than none till i was flush enough to get a new card or work the prob out
.get your self one of these mobo analizers. the manual will giude you through the beep patterns and the digital readout.. your comp doesnt even need to be running
you can get all up with postage for around 30 bux or so.. check ebay Happy cheers from graham_00

------------------
System Information
------------------
Time of this report: 3/15/2008, 12:50:22
Machine name: GMANSMAINFRAME
Operating System: Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 2 (2600.xpsp_sp2_gdr.070227-2254)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: System manufacturer
System Model: System Product Name
BIOS: BIOS Date: 09/27/07 23:06:21 Ver: 08.00.12
Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4800+, MMX, 3DNow (2 CPUs), ~2.5GHz
Memory: 896MB RAM
Page File: 432MB used, 1735MB available
Windows Dir: C:\WINDOWS
DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
DxDiag Version: 5.03.2600.2180 32bit Unicode

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ram reading change
by graham_00 / March 14, 2008 12:23 PM PDT

you could try a few things.. firstly reseat your ram and blow out any dust and maybe if you go into your bios setup and check whether your ecc check is ticked or not..Most computers require specific dimm chips for example they might need to be buffered or un buffered registered or non registered low or high parity etc etc..also you may have onboard graphics which share your ram and 32 mb's ecactly r missing... anyway goodluck with it..cheers graham_00


------------------
System Information
------------------
Time of this report: 3/15/2008, 12:50:22
Machine name: GMANSMAINFRAME
Operating System: Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 2 (2600.xpsp_sp2_gdr.070227-2254)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: System manufacturer
System Model: System Product Name
BIOS: BIOS Date: 09/27/07 23:06:21 Ver: 08.00.12
Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4800+, MMX, 3DNow (2 CPUs), ~2.5GHz
Memory: 896MB RAM
Page File: 432MB used, 1735MB available
Windows Dir: C:\WINDOWS
DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
DxDiag Version: 5.03.2600.2180 32bit Unicode

------------

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512MB listed as 496 after reinstalling XP
by instant water / May 13, 2008 2:57 AM PDT
In reply to: ram reading change

Thanks to all that have contributed info to this thread.

I just reinstalled XP Home on my notebook (and have installed all the updates through SP3), and System Info now lists my 512MB memory as 496. MAXMEM is unchecked (but only goes up to 496 as well).

I have software that requires 512MB to install, so it won't proceed.

I thought I ran into this and fixed it before, but can't remember where the change was made.

Any additional direction would be appreciated...

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It's Normal When And Integrated Graphics Card Is Included..
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / May 13, 2008 8:09 AM PDT

If that's the case, then the integrated graphics card IS going to use some RAM.. The best way to accomplish your goal is to add RAM.

Hope this helps.

Grif

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memory reporting

Thanks for the reply. What's strange is that I must have solved this before cause I've had the software running and it was showing 512 in My Computer > properties > General. I recently reinstalled the system using Toshiba's restore DVD, and now it only shows 496 and I can't remember how I changed it previously.

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