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Computer only recognizes 1 GB RAM

By on January 16, 2010 1:18:28 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

alexfisher79

Join Date 01/2010
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Have an HP Pavillion a1320n Desktop with 1 GB PC4200 (micron) installed ram.  I decided to install a second 1 GB Kingston PC4200 to improve computer performance.  The maximum ram the system handles is 2GB with two available ram slots.  However, in control panel, system and in BIOS, it only shows 1GB ram.  The new and the old 1 GB will work in either slots but with both installed, I will only get 1 GB ram.  I tried to update the BIOS but still have the issue.  Would appreciate any help.

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January 17, 2010 11:52:05 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Why don't you return the 1Gb stick and get a 2 Gb stick instead.Remove your original RAM and install it. You now have 2 Gb,and if the original will work with it,you may end up with 3Gb total installed.

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January 18, 2010 1:09:57 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

That should not be done, because the MB only accepts 2GB of ram - spread across 2 slots.

Each slot can only address 1GB.

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January 18, 2010 1:37:16 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I have an ASUS mobo with 4 RAM slots that the specs say is capable of reading up to 8GB, but it will only recognise RAM in 2 slots at any one time.  I can put 2 sticks in either or of the 2 channels, not both.  If I install RAM to the remaining slots/channel they are not detected... meaning, if I want to use 4gb of RAM (which the board reads, no problem), I have to use 2x2gb, not 4x1gb.

I messed with the BIOS and tried various step/combinations to overcome this, even took it to my techie mate, but no go, the mobo simply refuses to employ both channels at the same time.  Oh well, it's only in an old backup rig these days, so it's no biggie.

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January 19, 2010 12:39:53 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting starkers,
I have an ASUS mobo with 4 RAM slots that the specs say is capable of reading up to 8GB, but it will only recognise RAM in 2 slots at any one time.  I can put 2 sticks in either or of the 2 channels, not both.  If I install RAM to the remaining slots/channel they are not detected... meaning, if I want to use 4gb of RAM (which the board reads, no problem), I have to use 2x2gb, not 4x1gb.

I messed with the BIOS and tried various step/combinations to overcome this, even took it to my techie mate, but no go, the mobo simply refuses to employ both channels at the same time.  Oh well, it's only in an old backup rig these days, so it's no biggie.

Are all ram sticks buffered? Sometimes, unbuffered ram will be seen at half the amount, or sometimes not at all.

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January 19, 2010 11:29:46 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Are all ram sticks buffered? Sometimes, unbuffered ram will be seen at half the amount, or sometimes not at all.

There is buffered and unbuffered RAM.  Not that I'm an expert on the subject, but I understand that some mobos do not read unbuffered RAM.... and if buffered RAM is installed in the primary channel on a mobo that reads both types, unbuffered RAM will not be read in the secondary channel, and visa versa.  In other words, you can use either or, not a mixture of both.

That however, is not the issue with my ASUS board!  I tried 4 identical sticks of unbuffered RAM from a set, but I can only use 2 sticks at any one time, in either the primary channel or the secondary channel.  It's really weird, the mobo will accept 2 sticks of 2gb RAM in the primary channel (or the secondary), so it can read 4gb no problem, but when I tried 4 sticks of 1gb in all four slots, the sticks in the secondary channel rapidly started to overheat, like 4gb was too much for the board or something.

In my opinion, the mobo is either faulty/has incorrect circuitry or was wrongly rated.... RAM should not start to burn like that.  I just wish that I had discovered this issue prior to the mobo's warranty running out.  I'd only ever tried to use the primary channel with 2 x 1gb sticks before, so it wasn't detected until it was too late.

 

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January 20, 2010 1:15:13 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting starkers,

Are all ram sticks buffered? Sometimes, unbuffered ram will be seen at half the amount, or sometimes not at all.


There is buffered and unbuffered RAM.  Not that I'm an expert on the subject, but I understand that some mobos do not read unbuffered RAM.... and if buffered RAM is installed in the primary channel on a mobo that reads both types, unbuffered RAM will not be read in the secondary channel, and visa versa.  In other words, you can use either or, not a mixture of both.

That however, is not the issue with my ASUS board!  I tried 4 identical sticks of unbuffered RAM from a set, but I can only use 2 sticks at any one time, in either the primary channel or the secondary channel.  It's really weird, the mobo will accept 2 sticks of 2gb RAM in the primary channel (or the secondary), so it can read 4gb no problem, but when I tried 4 sticks of 1gb in all four slots, the sticks in the secondary channel rapidly started to overheat, like 4gb was too much for the board or something.

In my opinion, the mobo is either faulty/has incorrect circuitry or was wrongly rated.... RAM should not start to burn like that.  I just wish that I had discovered this issue prior to the mobo's warranty running out.  I'd only ever tried to use the primary channel with 2 x 1gb sticks before, so it wasn't detected until it was too late.

 

 

That's too bad. I have used Asus in the past. It's unfortunate they don't have a limited lifetime warrant like some other brands do. I mean 9/10 times people would never use it as 3-4 years you could easily be onto a new build and it doesn't transfer when you sell it and the amount of lemons is so small (percentage wise).

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January 20, 2010 6:54:03 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I tried to update the display driver by installing the catalyst driver, updated the BIOS, and finally installed two exact rams Kingston, 1GB 1RX8 PC2-4200U DDR2 533.  I still get the same result, the system will recognize only 1 GB.  I am wondering if this issue has to do with a windows xp limitation.  Thanks to everyone for their help

Alex

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January 20, 2010 9:10:55 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Windows XP will recognize up to 3.5 GB of RAM. Sounds like a motherboard issue to me. Have you messed around with any settings in BIOS?

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January 21, 2010 1:04:43 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting kona0197,
Windows XP will recognize up to 3.5 GB of RAM. Sounds like a motherboard issue to me. Have you messed around with any settings in BIOS?

There is definitely something funky about that board. He's not the only one though. HP had a few people with this model post something similar, and i posted a link to one of the threads with a potential solution, but there was no word in that older thread if it actually worked. Did you try the Southbridge Chipset up date?

I can't say I am surprised that matching sticks didn't fix the issue, although it's still unfortunate. I agree with Kona though, I don't think this is an XP thing either. I mean the BIOS itself doesn't even see the 2nd stick. You'll never get Windows to see it if the BIOS won't, not the other way around.

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January 21, 2010 1:06:31 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Wonder if the system will see the stick he has working in the other slot? If so it's an issue with the RAM. He may have a bad RAM stick.

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January 21, 2010 1:21:14 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Hmm.. so you can put either ram stick in either slot and it is recongnized, it's just not seeing both sticks when put in together...?

ODD!!

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January 21, 2010 1:29:29 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Yeah, what Heigar said. It recognizes one but not both. Scratch what I said before, according to the manual, it doesn't look like it would be the Soutbridge but the NB that controls RAM anyway.

http://www.ecs.com.tw/ECSWebSite/Downloads/ProductsDetail_Download.aspx?detailid=589&DetailName=New&DetailDesc=RC410-M2%20%20(V1.0)&CategoryID=1&MenuID=82&LanID=0

I think that is the board and the manual says NB anyway. I see the RAM listed on page 15, but it doesn't say you have to do anything "special" to get the second one to work. Say when you said one at a time, was it always the same DIMM? As in DIMM 0 and never DIMM 1?

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January 21, 2010 2:21:09 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Wonder if one stick is high density and one is not.

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January 21, 2010 3:51:43 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

The controller chip on the RAM has something to do with how RAM is recognized, as does the controller chip on the MB.

If they are not compatible with each other, you will see this problem.

The best thing to do is return the newly bought stick and exchange it for another brand with the same specs. That is what I did, when my HP system had the same problem.

Funny thing is, the first try was a brand and model that was recommended for my system - which didn't work with my currently installed RAM. And the second try - which did work - was a lesser known and cheaper brand that was not on the 'recommended' list.

PC's are finicky, and much of it has to do with the BIOS and specific controller chips. You never know until you try - and sometimes it takes more than one try to make things work correctly together.

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January 21, 2010 4:23:27 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Moosetek13,


PC's are finicky, and much of it has to do with the BIOS and specific controller chips. You never know until you try - and sometimes it takes more than one try to make things work correctly together.

 

100% agree there which is why they can be a bitch troubleshooting and why you find people asking for help on pretty much every message board there is.

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January 21, 2010 12:20:57 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

My 2 cents...just because 2 sticks of Kingstone ram has the same part number and looks the same does not mean it is the same.

Kingstone buys ram from all types of suppliers and they stick thier name on it. I have ran across some Kingstone ram that look exactly the same, part number and all and when I view the ram in Everest, they showed to be different brands with differnet timings.

The only way to get matching ram is to buy a pair in one box that indicates they match...any other way is pot luck.

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