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Refurbishing old music PC, not accepting 4GB RAM on W7 64, fine with 3GB?

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Refurbishing old music PC, not accepting 4GB RAM on W7 64, fine with 3GB?

Postby Mash » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:39 am

Hello folks, I hope this finds you all well.

I'm attempting to bring back an old music PC of mine back to life to donate to a friend. It was running X4 1GB sticks of RAM under XP32 and was running fine, after jumping over a few hurdles to bring it into the last century installing W7 64, it just won't boot (even to the BIOS sometimes) with 4GB RAM in. Boots fine with 3GB.

I've tried swapping different RAM sticks around/out and they all seem fine, running a memory test once booted with 3GB shows no problems with the RAM. Any clues to why W7 64/BIOS won't boot with 4GB RAM?

Muchos thanks,

Mash :)
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Re: Refurbishing old music PC, not accepting 4GB RAM on W7 64, fine with 3GB?

Postby Diablo » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:05 pm

Hi Mash,
you may possibly have a dodgy memory stick... XP32 wouldn't be able to see the full 4Gb, so may not have cared, whereas a 64 bit OS will see it, and try and use it. I've seen systems be completely unstable when a memory card is a bit dodgy.
Maybe try using memtest over a period of time to check out all the sectors. Its a free bootable program that exercises your memory, and reports errors it sees.
Worst case may be that you need some new memory, but thats fairly cheap these days for the quantities you're talking about.
Another common reason for instability is a failing PSU... try getting the old vacuum in there and cleaning out all the dust, in case the psu is overheating...

Disclaimer: I could be completely wrong... it's happened before, once or twice :tongue:
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Re: Refurbishing old music PC, not accepting 4GB RAM on W7 64, fine with 3GB?

Postby Goddard » Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:30 am

You've not given any specifics about your motherboard or cpu, so this is pure conjecture, but it might be a memory remapping issue.

Check your BIOS setup (boot with only 3GBs installed RAM if necessary to access BIOS setup) for a setting, something like "remap high memory" or "memory relocation" or "reclaim PCI memory space" etc. (the terminology varies between different boards), and change its setting to see if that will allow you to boot cleanly with 4GBs installed RAM.
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Re: Refurbishing old music PC, not accepting 4GB RAM on W7 64, fine with 3GB?

Postby Mash » Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:11 pm

Thanks for replies,

PC is:

Asus A8N-SLI Premium
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4400+ 2.20GHz
4X 1GB GEIL PC3200 DDR400 CL=3-8-4-4
be quiet newish good PSU

Curiously, under RAM in 'System' it shows 3GB (1.00GB Useable) ??

The built in Microsoft memory test thing shows no errors.

I have checked the BIOS for the 'remap high-memory' option, it was already enabled, I disabled it to see what would happen and it didn't boot, re-enabled it and it boots again with 3GB.

Silly old computer,

Mash :headbang:
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Re: Refurbishing old music PC, not accepting 4GB RAM on W7 64, fine with 3GB?

Postby Reiknir » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:22 pm

Try cleaning the memory contacts on the motherboard with a contact cleaner or alcohol, surprisingly often a problem with computers more than 2 years old

Memory sometimes "slacks" over time, i.e. memory modules that would work fine at xxx speed will after a few years only do the next speed below, I have never found out why. AMD processors are usually much more tolerant of this than intel but are limited by the BIOS, download the 1303 version of the BIOS and upgrade just to make sure (if you have not already that is), if you have a BIOS prior to version 1009 there were known memory timing issues with this board with older BIOSes so you should update at once
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Re: Refurbishing old music PC, not accepting 4GB RAM on W7 64, fine with 3GB?

Postby Robin Lemaire » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:57 am

I've had a similar problem with Geil RAM before now, it seems oddly picky. Funnily enough I have a 1GB stick of it sat here on the desk as this PC refuses to boot with it installed!

Seems to be OK in pairs, but I'd try some new RAM if I were you.

Rob.
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Re: Refurbishing old music PC, not accepting 4GB RAM on W7 64, fine with 3GB?

Postby Magic Matt » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:02 pm

Mash wrote:
Asus A8N-SLI Premium

This motherboard has issues with certain configurations of memory sticks. I had a computer with that board and it did exactly the same as you when I tried Crucial Ballistix 4Gb RAM. I changed to 4Gb Corsair RAM and it was fine. As you say, 3Gb inserted was not a problem. It also didn't like Kingston Value RAM in a 2Gb configuration, even though individually it was fine.

It's a fussy board.
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