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Ionosphere-
1 Copper

BIOS only reading half of ram

Hi,

I am using an XPS 7100 with BIOS version A06. I have 4 memory sticks, each 2gb. Two of them are fine, but the other two are read as 1gb each (both manufactured by Hyundai Electronics). The other XPS 7100 in our office has the same problem. Both running windows 7 professional. I should note that upon purchasing the computers we did format the hard drives and installed a clean OEM version of windows 7, though I am not sure whether that would affect anything. I don't know if BIOS was reading the full 8 gb before the formatting. Does anyone know what could be causing this issue?

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7 Replies
7 Plutonium

Re: BIOS only reading half of ram

Have you tried clearing BIOS?

Power off and unplug

Press/hold power button for ~15 sec

Open case and remove motherboard battery

Press/hold power button for ~30 sec

Reinstall the battery (right-side-up!)

Close the case and reboot

Does BIOS see all 8 GB now?

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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7 Plutonium

Re: BIOS only reading half of ram

This is one of the characteristics of High Density Ram.  It either does not work, or shows up as half of the size of what you expect etc.


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e.r.a.
2 Iron

Re: BIOS only reading half of ram

The STUDIO XPS 7100 is capable of supporting 8 GB of ram.  By your description it is evident that you have some incompatible ram installed in the system.  You can easily identify which sets work and which do not through a process of elimination  - swapping sets in and out of each system should convince you that with the two compatible sets installed the BIOS will report a full 8gb.  Once you are convinced that there is nothing wrong with the system and this simply being an incompatible memory issue then you need to buy compatible memory if you want the maximum amount possible installed in your system.

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Ionosphere-
1 Copper

Re: BIOS only reading half of ram

Clearing BIOS unfortunately did not work.

I received the following message from e.r.a. which I found helpful. This might be useful to someone who has also encountered a similar problem.

e.r.a. wrote:

"The STUDIO XPS 7100 is capable of supporting up to 8 GB of ram.  By your description it is evident that you have some incompatible ram installed in the system.  You can easily identify which sets work and which do not through a process of elimination  - swapping sets in and out of each system should convince you that with the two compatible sets installed the BIOS will report a full 8gb.  Once you are convinced that there is nothing wrong with the system and this simply being an incompatible memory issue then you need to buy compatible memory if you want the maximum amount possible installed in your system."

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7 Plutonium

Re: BIOS only reading half of ram

FYI: The Studio XPS 7100 supports up to 16 GB of RAM, per page 61 here.

Your systems aren't reporting "Half" the expected amount (4GB) if 2 are reporting 2GB and 2 as 1GB. That's 6GB in my math which ain't half of 8GB.

But since both systems are only reporting 6 GB in BIOS,  I actually suspect you have 2x2GB and 2x1GB modules caused by a possible manufacturing error. Suggest you examine the chips for their markings to see if they're all 2GB or some are actually only 1GB.

Dell did have an issue with some systems a while back, where they installed 1GB modules instead of 2GB modules. I believe that was a model sold at Walmart, but no telling if the same mistake could have been made on your systems, especially since you don't know what BIOS reported before you upgraded the OS.

If some of them turn out to be 1GB, and your systems are under warranty, contact Dell Tech Support and have your Service Tag numbers handy. They should be able to compare what was ordered with what you actually got.

 

 

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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Ionosphere-
1 Copper

Re: BIOS only reading half of ram

I meant that it's reporting half of the two sticks and the other two are fine, therefore it is reporting 6 instead of 8. I know that all the chips are 2GB (unless they are mislabeled). I think once I get to work tomorrow I'll try moving the chips that are reporting 1GB to different slots and see what happens. Faulty chips would not report only half, they would simply not work, is that correct?

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7 Plutonium

Re: BIOS only reading half of ram

I've had faulty RAM that worked ok but reported less than its 'true' capacity in BIOS. So it is possible...

Still betting 2 modules are only 1GB. Seems very odd both PCs suddenly have similar problem with faulty RAM unless you have bad motherboard slots on both of them.

Make sure you know which ones are only reporting 1GB now so you can ID them again after moving them to different slots.

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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