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08-07-2015

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Windows 7 x32 reports odd memory amount on T500

2015-08-12, 23:30 PM

I've reinstalled Windows 7 Pro 32-bit on a T500 with 4 GB of memory.  However, I noticed that when you look at the computer properties, it indicates:

 

Installed memory (RAM): 4.00 GB (2.46 GB usable)

 

Untitled.jpg

 

I have to admit that I don't recall seeing something like this on a Windows system before, though admittedly I wasn't specfically looking for it. I have no idea if Windows was indicating this before I rebuilt the OS on the system.  When I look at the Performance tab in Windows Task manager, it also shows maximum physical memory as 2,520 MB.

 

I've found articles which do indicate that Windows will generally not be able to use all physical memory (though again, I don't recall seeing this "usable" indicator on other systems), but this seemed like a bigger drop than I would have expected for memory taken up by other things besides the OS, and that it's such an odd number.  I spoke with a colleague who is much more familiar with PC hardware, and he told me to check the BIOS to ensure features like memory shadow mapping is disabled, but the T500 doesn't seem to have really any memory config options other than to run checks at startup.

 

I've tried running the Windows memory check utility (where it boots into the test program and you're to be able to see the results when Windows restarts).  The test progresses, but it seems to keep hanging on the second pass and doesn't complete, though it never indicated that it found any problems.

 

So my questions are:

1) Is the odd usable memory amount an indication that the memory itself it corrupted?  Is so, how can I confirm that?

2) Could this be an indication of some other problem, such that replacing the memory wouldn't fix it?

 

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

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9644 Posts

12-27-2009

Canada

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Re: Windows 7 x32 reports odd memory amount on T500

2015-08-13, 23:07 PM
Yeah that's normal for 32-bit on that generation. You'll need 64-bit Windows.

There does exist a grey area kernel patch to get 128GB RAM support on 32-bit Windows:
http://www.unawave.de/windows-7-tipps/32-bit-ram-barrier.html?lang=EN

But it will probably fail because the integrated graphics has reserved a portion, which the patch does not allot for. (Might have changed; I last tried this years ago.)

W520: 2960XM, Q2000M @ 1091/1380, 32GB RAM, 500GB&750GB HDD & 500GB SSD, FHD&MB168B+
X61T: L7500, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
W550s: 5600U, K620M at 1164/1281, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 3K touchscreen
X200s: SL9400, 6GB RAM, 64GB SD card, WXGA+ screen
TPT1: 1839-23U
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4 Posts

08-07-2015

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Re: Windows 7 x32 reports odd memory amount on T500

2015-08-13, 22:43 PM

Some additional information:

 

- have updated the BIOS to the most recent version for this model, even though it was just one rev beyond what it already had and the only change was a new feature (no fixes).  As expected, no change.

 

- ran msinfo32 and it confirms what I see under computer properties:

Installed Physical Memory: 4.00 GB

Total Physical Memory: 2.46 GB

 

- ran msconfig and under the boot tab->advanced options, I made sure the "Maximum memory" box was unchecked.

 

- installed the Lenovo Solution Center app and under memory on the System tab, it shows this:

Capture.JPG

Interesting that this utility seems to think that I have the full 4GB to use; not sure where it's getting it's information.

 

I'm about to run the memory test in this utility to see what that says.

 

Update: the memory scan test in Solution Center passed with flying colors, and it also seems to indicate that it can see all 4GB of memory:

 

Capture2.JPG

 

So what I'm confused about is if Windows *thinks* it only has 2.46 GB that it can use, wouldn't that also include the apps (like Solution Center) running in it?  Unless there's more to it than that, how can Windows apps like this touch memory beyond that "total physical memory"?

 

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9644 Posts

12-27-2009

Canada

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Re: Windows 7 x32 reports odd memory amount on T500

2015-08-13, 23:07 PM
Yeah that's normal for 32-bit on that generation. You'll need 64-bit Windows.

There does exist a grey area kernel patch to get 128GB RAM support on 32-bit Windows:
http://www.unawave.de/windows-7-tipps/32-bit-ram-barrier.html?lang=EN

But it will probably fail because the integrated graphics has reserved a portion, which the patch does not allot for. (Might have changed; I last tried this years ago.)

W520: 2960XM, Q2000M @ 1091/1380, 32GB RAM, 500GB&750GB HDD & 500GB SSD, FHD&MB168B+
X61T: L7500, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
W550s: 5600U, K620M at 1164/1281, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 3K touchscreen
X200s: SL9400, 6GB RAM, 64GB SD card, WXGA+ screen
TPT1: 1839-23U

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4 Posts

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Re: Windows 7 x32 reports odd memory amount on T500

2015-08-15, 19:53 PM

Well, using a 64-bit OS seemed to make the difference.  I had an unopened retail copy of Win 7 Ultimate that someone from Microsoft gave me years ago, so after doing a clean install with that, Windows now reports:

 

Installed Memory (RAM): 4.00 GB (3.90 GB usable)

 

Would be interesting to understand to where the remaining 0.1 GB of memory is being siphoned off, but it's a far sight better than the 2.46 GB I was getting before.  Thanks!

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9644 Posts

12-27-2009

Canada

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Re: Windows 7 x32 reports odd memory amount on T500

2015-08-15, 22:43 PM
The integrated graphics uses the little bit of system RAM.

Not sure why 32-bit OSes get 1.5GB reserved.

W520: 2960XM, Q2000M @ 1091/1380, 32GB RAM, 500GB&750GB HDD & 500GB SSD, FHD&MB168B+
X61T: L7500, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
W550s: 5600U, K620M at 1164/1281, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 3K touchscreen
X200s: SL9400, 6GB RAM, 64GB SD card, WXGA+ screen
TPT1: 1839-23U
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