Usable Memory


M

MrTsquare

I have a relatively new build from Aug14 (Win7-64/ASUS-Pro97/4790K/770)
with 32GB installed memory. Everything is running fine. Just noticed
in the "Windows Experience Index" that I have 32GB installed but only
16GB useable. I thought that Win7-64 handled up to 32GB, else I wouldn't
have bought 32GB. OPENHARDWAREMONITOR also only sees 16GB. I mean I
guess I really don't need the other 16, but why aren't they "useable???

T2
 
P

Paul

MrTsquare said:
I have a relatively new build from Aug14 (Win7-64/ASUS-Pro97/4790K/770)
with 32GB installed memory. Everything is running fine. Just noticed
in the "Windows Experience Index" that I have 32GB installed but only
16GB useable. I thought that Win7-64 handled up to 32GB, else I wouldn't
have bought 32GB. OPENHARDWAREMONITOR also only sees 16GB. I mean I
guess I really don't need the other 16, but why aren't they "useable???

T2
There are a couple possibilities.

1) Bad channel on memory controller.

Test with one stick of RAM. Try the stick of RAM in
each of the four DIMM slots. If a slot doesn't work, a
pin could be bent or dirty.

You're supposed to do that when the motherboard is new.

I carried that out on my new build in August, while
the system was still sitting on the kitchen table. I
tested each slot individually, to make sure they all worked.
When finished those tests, I installed all the RAM and did
one final test that all the memory worked.

Use http://www.memtest.org for a standalone bootable
memory testing program. It should report the amount of
memory it is testing, and the current version can test
a lot of RAM. Scroll half way down that web page, to find
the download links.

2) Windows boot.ini or binary BCD, has a provision for
disabling memory. You can dial down the amount of memory
used by Windows, instead of using the whole thing.

We needed to do such things on Win98, where the OS was
only really 100% stable with a 512MB setting. Later OSes
do not have that kind of issue, but the capability still
exists if you need to use it.

HTH,
Paul
 
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M

MrTsquare

There are a couple possibilities.

1) Bad channel on memory controller.

Test with one stick of RAM. Try the stick of RAM in
each of the four DIMM slots. If a slot doesn't work, a
pin could be bent or dirty.

You're supposed to do that when the motherboard is new.

I carried that out on my new build in August, while
the system was still sitting on the kitchen table. I
tested each slot individually, to make sure they all worked.
When finished those tests, I installed all the RAM and did
one final test that all the memory worked.

Use http://www.memtest.org for a standalone bootable
memory testing program. It should report the amount of
memory it is testing, and the current version can test
a lot of RAM. Scroll half way down that web page, to find
the download links.

2) Windows boot.ini or binary BCD, has a provision for
disabling memory. You can dial down the amount of memory
used by Windows, instead of using the whole thing.

We needed to do such things on Win98, where the OS was
only really 100% stable with a 512MB setting. Later OSes
do not have that kind of issue, but the capability still
exists if you need to use it.

HTH,
Paul
Thanks, Paul. I'll get to doing what you suggest, but... How can
Windows see the whole 32G if there is an error in one of the
sticks/pins??

T2
 
P

Paul

MrTsquare said:
Thanks, Paul. I'll get to doing what you suggest, but... How can
Windows see the whole 32G if there is an error in one of the
sticks/pins??

T2
Actually, RAM is weeded out by the BIOS. The operating
system simply assumes all RAM is good.

The BIOS first reads the SPD EEPROM on each DIMM, to
get the declared size. But the BIOS also does traditional
peek and poke testing, to verify the actual size of the
DIMM.

That handles cases of gross problems with a DIMM. Such
as the declaration SPD EEPROM being incorrect. One poster
here, had a 1GB stick with a 2GB SPD chip on it, and the
BIOS knew right away the DIMM was 1GB. Because it used
the historical peek and poke method to determine it
wasn't a 2GB stick.

Similar things happen, when a 2GB high density stick,
is used with a chipset lacking addressing support for such.
The BIOS figures out that only 1GB of the stick stores anything,
and uses that detected size when setting up the memory map.
Then, the OS uses that memory map without modification.

*******

Some utilities, when they're telling you about your
installed memory, they just read the SPD on each DIMM
and work out the size that way. That's why a utility can
say "I see 32GB of sticks", but Windows registers 16GB. The
BIOS knows what is going on, and most of the time, the BIOS
turns on just the right amount of address space. I consider
it amazing, how many motherboards do not crash due to
incorrect memory sizing. The BIOS is damn good at what it
does. That's the observed evidence.

So your BIOS knows only 16GB works, for some reason.
Your job is to figure out why, and correct it.

While the boot.ini has a field to control memory
usage, it is unlikely to be applied on a brand new install.
Only if the user has been fooling around with that setting,
would it get set to an inappropriate value. It doesn't get
that way on its own. On a brand new install, that field is
not defined or used. (But if you're working on some
other persons system, you have to consider them having
screwed around with that, when checking their system
for them.)

Paul
 
M

MrTsquare

bbbl67 said:
Strangely not all Windows 7 64-bits are equal. It sounds like you have
Win7 Home Premium. That has a 16GB max memory limit.

If you go to Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate, you'll be able to
use upto 192GB!

Max memory limits for 64-bit Windows 7 | ZDNet
http://www.zdnet.com/article/max-memory-limits-for-64-bit-windows-7/
WELL THAT REALLY SUCKS!! Thankyou Yousuf and I do have the Home-Premium
version. Good info and had I known I certainly would not have bought
that much RAM.

T2
 
P

Paul

MrTsquare said:
WELL THAT REALLY SUCKS!! Thankyou Yousuf and I do have the Home-Premium
version. Good info and had I known I certainly would not have bought
that much RAM.

T2
Wow. I didn't know there was that low a limit.

My best machine here has only 16GB.

*******

There is a canonical table for memory limits here. Scroll down
to find OS specific ones.

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366778(VS.85).aspx

Maybe the Windows 10 upgrade will fix the issue for you,
but at the current time, we don't know what upgrade paths
will be offered (whether Win7 Home Premium would become
Win10 Pro for example). I expect there will be an arcane
upgrade table, to annoy and irritate. The memory table
doesn't have a Windows 10 entry in it, but it should
be "at least as good as Windows 8".

The other possibility, is an "Anytime Upgrade" to change
the Windows 7 version, but I don't know whether you can
still purchase those or not.

Paul
 
T

Tom Thompson

From the comments following the article in your link it appears that
while Windows can identify my 32G is would cap it at 16G due to the
marketing limitation.

T2
 
T

Tom Thompson

Well, no real need for the other 16 at this point but just disturbing to
learn of the artificial limit. When I firts did the build I bought and
installed Win8.1 but it ticked me off so bad, even with Clasasic Shell
that within a couple of days I went over to Frys and got another copy of
Win7-64. So, if Win10 proves to be worthwhile and with the potential
free upgrades being discussed that may be to way to go. Also hearing
that Win10 may be MS's next shot at rental-ware so that is kindof
upsatting as well.

T2
 
F

Flasherly

Microsoft's Windows offerings often leave a lot to be desired. Now,
these limits are entirely arbitrary, and it has nothing to do with
technical limitations, they are entirely marketing-driven. Encouraging
you to buy the next higher version of Windows.

There might be a way to bypass it, but I wouldn't count on it.
16G is a healthy amount all except for some pretty intensive apps.
Discounting what all else is limited in Microsoft's benign designs, at
least that one is more oriented within their own ranks, no doubt,
aimed at industrial and corporate usages, and less the average PC for
home usages. Photo editing and a few virtual machines come to mind as
extremes for the latter instance. I've, still, 2G running W7, in as
much having seen actual benefits for eclipsing W98, on XP, with that.
And that's going really too far back, be as and for what it is, to
make, too readily, credible claims upon W7, to 4G to 8, 8G to 16, much
less 16G to 32G;- point being, what for the sake of precision, in
hell, does one do with 32G once one has it? And for an optimal, I'd
wonder, is a _sustainable_ one for upon which W7 might run, at an
optimal, for the least amount of populated RAM.

Arbitrarily market driven was, in likelihood, before -- less apropos
to lower cost, stable home builds these days -- were it not altogether
for a general geneses into handheld subscription devices in favor of a
diminutive wholesale PC market, at one compared to yesteryear's volume
sales. Tech is lean and pretty much mean for all, with Microsoft's
share of floundering, no less being a fact others have to deal with;-
and, they're all having the same problems with the newer crop of
handhelds holding up, constructurally and functionally, to where the
market share for their updated improvements are being relinquished, by
public demand, in deference to prior purchases. ($800US entry
tablets, indeed. ...& M$, of course, with their latest free W10
offerings to place upon it.)
 
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P

Paul

Tom said:
From the comments following the article in your link it appears that
while Windows can identify my 32G is would cap it at 16G due to the
marketing limitation.

T2
What you can try if you like, is DataRAM RAMDisk.

http://memory.dataram.com/products-and-services/software/ramdisk

The "RAMDisk Lite" version is free for RAM Disks up to 4GB
in size. If you like it, you can pay the fee and have up to
64GB (in your case, probably a bit less, as you have 16GB
of conventional RAM).

The idea is, the Windows memory license applies to Ring 3.
Whereas Ring 0 (driver and kernel), does not have that limit.
Programs in Ring 3 are subject to the memory license.

In the case of that RAMDisk, there is a driver that runs
in Ring0. And that means, with your 32GB RAM purchase,
you can have the 16GB cap for Windows programs, leaving
the other 16GB available for a RAMDisk. With the free
version, you could do 16+4, and with the paid version
of the RAMDisk software (license key), you could do
16+16.

I use that RAMDisk here, on WinXP. I bought 8GB of RAM.
WinXP x32 can only use 4GB of that. Leaving the other
4GB unused. But WinXP SP3 runs the memory mapper in PAE
mode, so all of that memory is mapped. It's just a matter
of something using it. And the driver trick is a means
to use it. So my OS uses 4GB, while the RAMDisk uses
the other 4GB.

Now, you have to think about what will happen to that
RAM during sleep, hibernation, shutdown. Sleep should be
fine. Hibernation on my machine, only stores the lower 4GB,
so the RAMDisk contents would get lost without help. I allow
them to get lost on purpose (as I don't want to wait for
4GB of stuff to be written out to disk). The RAMDisk does have
a tick box setting, to store the RAMDisk at shutdown.

Later, if something goes to use the RAMDisk after recovery
from hibernation, the partition appears to be corrupted.
So you have to "format" it, or turn it off and on again,
to refresh the formatting. But other than those details,
it's a way for me to get some kind of usage out of my unused
RAM.

When I run some other OSes here, I can use the whole 8GB, so
it isn't a complete loss. I have other x64 OSes to use, like
Win8.1.

The RAMDisk can grab memory from the Windows-owned memory
area (AWE). Or it can grab memory from above Windows (unused
PAE area). It won't use both at the same time, so you have
to decide which area to use. Since nothing else can use your
high memory area, giving it the PAE area is a natural fit.

When I benchmarked my RAMDisk with HDTune, I get 4GB/sec transfer
rate. Both my machines give pretty well the same transfer
rate value. So something software related, caps the rate.
I think the STREAM benchmark gives a better result than that,
as would the memtest86+ metric for memory speed (it has a transfer
test it runs).

Paul
 
M

MrTsquare

What you can try if you like, is DataRAM RAMDisk.
Now, you have to think about what will happen to that
RAM during sleep, hibernation, shutdown. Sleep should be
fine. Hibernation on my machine, only stores the lower 4GB,
so the RAMDisk contents would get lost without help. I allow
them to get lost on purpose (as I don't want to wait for
4GB of stuff to be written out to disk). The RAMDisk does have
a tick box setting, to store the RAMDisk at shutdown.

Later, if something goes to use the RAMDisk after recovery
from hibernation, the partition appears to be corrupted.
So you have to "format" it, or turn it off and on again,
to refresh the formatting. But other than those details,
it's a way for me to get some kind of usage out of my unused
Thanks, Paul. Something to think about.

T2
 
M

MrTsquare

16G is a healthy amount all except for some pretty intensive apps.
Discounting what all else is limited in Microsoft's benign designs, at
least that one is more oriented within their own ranks, no doubt,
aimed at industrial and corporate usages, and less the average PC for
home usages. Photo editing and a few virtual machines come to mind as
extremes for the latter instance. I've, still, 2G running W7, in as
much having seen actual benefits for eclipsing W98, on XP, with that.
And that's going really too far back, be as and for what it is, to
make, too readily, credible claims upon W7, to 4G to 8, 8G to 16, much
less 16G to 32G;- point being, what for the sake of precision, in
hell, does one do with 32G once one has it? And for an optimal, I'd
wonder, is a _sustainable_ one for upon which W7 might run, at an
optimal, for the least amount of populated RAM.

Arbitrarily market driven was, in likelihood, before -- less apropos
to lower cost, stable home builds these days -- were it not altogether
for a general geneses into handheld subscription devices in favor of a
diminutive wholesale PC market, at one compared to yesteryear's volume
sales. Tech is lean and pretty much mean for all, with Microsoft's
share of floundering, no less being a fact others have to deal with;-
and, they're all having the same problems with the newer crop of
handhelds holding up, constructurally and functionally, to where the
market share for their updated improvements are being relinquished, by
public demand, in deference to prior purchases. ($800US entry
tablets, indeed. ...& M$, of course, with their latest free W10
offerings to place upon it.)
And Bill Gates at one time thought we would never need more than a
Meg... ;<)

T2
 
F

Flasherly

And Bill Gates at one time thought we would never need more than a
Meg... ;<)
As well envisioning a "flat" picture screen on every household wall.

It was Word that got me, up round about the NSA, now, in Utah, where
Word Perfect dominated things.

MS, meanwhile, in CA, was behind literally one-way mirrors studying
peoples' faces, quirks and body language, for Word for Windows
development. 'Dem boys are taking themselves serious, I may have
remarked.

Things, of course, never stay the same.
 
M

MrTsquare

As well envisioning a "flat" picture screen on every household wall.

It was Word that got me, up round about the NSA, now, in Utah, where
Word Perfect dominated things.

MS, meanwhile, in CA, was behind literally one-way mirrors studying
peoples' faces, quirks and body language, for Word for Windows
development. 'Dem boys are taking themselves serious, I may have
remarked.

Things, of course, never stay the same.
Wish I had bought their stock then.

T2
 
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P

Paul

Yousuf said:
Yup, it won't be easy bypassing MS's blocks. And keeping the bypasses in
place.

Yousuf Khan
This is an example. But since it was done on a 32 bit OS (license bypass),
the signing requirements on 64 bit OS are a bit stronger. I don't know
if 64 bit OSes have a "testing mode" or not.

http://www.geoffchappell.com/notes/windows/license/memory.htm

It would likely be easy to bypass, if critical system files
were not checked for modification. To make this practical,
you'd need to hack the signing system (acquire Microsoft signing
key etc).

Paul
 

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