Really strange RAM issue.

Here's the short version. If anyone has an inkling on what might be the issue, I'm happy to provide more details about hardware/software, etc.

I'm running Windows 7 Pro 64 with 4gb of RAM installed. However, my BIOS is only reporting 2gb. Windows Task Manager shows 2gb available, and Resource Monitor shows 2gb total, 3gb installed.

Where it gets interesting, though is: everything else (CPU-Z, AMD Overdrive, etc.) shows that they DO IN FACT see the two sticks of 2gb ram. I've done all the basic stuff (memtest shows both sticks as functional, "maximum memory" is not checked in msconfig) but for the life of me, I can't get my BIOS (and, by extension, Windows 7) to recognize the second stick of RAM.

My motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-880GM-D2H. Again, I can provide any other technical information that might be helpful.

Is this a new thing, was it showing the full 4 before, or have you done a new setup and it's now showing 2/3?

I bought the RAM (and most of the rest of the system) in June and as far as I know, it was posting the full 4gb. In the interest of full disclosure, I had a power supply fry a little bit over a week ago. Everything else is working fine and, as I said, lots of things in the system can SEE both sticks, so I want to exhaust all other options before I just assume it was something related to the power supply and go replace the motherboard.

I'd try seeing what another OS sees using a live-cd, or memtest86. Perhaps try booting off one stick or the other, different slots. I had a 'fun' error while trying to diagnose my PSU when I knocked one of my RAM sticks slightly out of the socket, which threw me for a while.

When I boot to memtest86, I can boot to either RAM stick, but only on slot 1. Having just one RAM stick in slot 2 keeps the computer from booting.

PSU died and mb is acting funny? Unfortunately that is a bad sign.

Have you reset the mb by taking out the CMOS battery (waiting, then putting it back in)?

My guess is that it's something having to do with slot 2 and probably originating from the power surge. It just seems really weird that some Windows apps are still like "nope you've got 2 sticks installed, I can see them" when apparently the motherboard doesn't.

garion333 wrote:

PSU died and mb is acting funny? Unfortunately that is a bad sign.

Have you reset the mb by taking out the CMOS battery (waiting, then putting it back in)?

Yeah, no change. Still 2gb posting to the BIOS, 2gb accessible by Windows (but 4gb recognizable in many Windows programs).

You know what I would bet might be the problem? Incompatible sticks.

Did you buy them as a matched pair? Are their timings and whatnot all identical? Are they identical manufacturers? etc. etc.

If you never saw that the system always detected 4GB RAM then I guess we can't assume that it ever did...

Yeah, they're the same type - g.skill 2gb sticks (I can get the actual model number if need be) - bought together as part of a kit (with the mobo and hard drive) from NewEgg in June.

I upgraded my video card a couple weeks back and everything was running flawlessly, so I never thought to check. However, after the PSU failing, things are definitely more sluggish (especially gaming) so I'm venturing a guess that something indeed happened, as opposed to them always just being faulty in some way.