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Usable Memory

  • I have a problem with my Alienware Aurora R1 desktop.  In the Windows 7 control panel it shows that there is 9GB RAM (5.99GB Usable).  In trying to solve this problem I have updated the BIOS, and reseated all of my RAM.  I have Windows 7 x64 Home Premium, so it has a memory cap of 16GB.  My RAM configuration is set up as 2 sets of 3 RAM modules with black/white tabs. [ (b)(w)  (b)(w)  (b)(w) ]   While rearranging/reseating the RAM I have found that the third memory recepticle on the motherboard does not read the memory attached to it no matter the configuration of the modules.  Since I have given up on trying to fix the problem and gain access to this last recepticle, would there be any problem in only using the other 4 memory recepticles to run my computer?  My computer is set up to have RAM in sets of three, but it has been working fine with 2 sets of 2 only.  Also, I can reach my RAM cap for Windows Home Premium using only these four recepticles. (4x4GB)  If anyone has a solution for either the "Usable Memory" problem or an answer to my question about only using the 2 pairs of memory please I would truly appreciate it.  I have been working on this problem for quite some time now.

    Thanks,

    Chris

  • I had the same problem with my Dell xps 435t, 6gb ram(3.9gb usable). i switched the memory chips around in every slot,tested each chip, ran Dell's memory test as well as mem 86+ and could not find anything wrong. i thought that I had a bad motherboard and Dell send a tech with a motherboard and six new memory chips. I had 5 of the memory chips installed and the computer was running fine this way.

    The tech installed a new stick of memory in the empty slot and windows showed all memory usable. I have not had another problem with it since. Memory chips errors are hard to detect. I would call Dell and ask them to send you new memory sticks. If that does not fix the problem then it could be a bad motherboard.

    I hope this helps you, believe me I I know what you are going through as i worked on this problem many days and  with one stick of memory my problem was fixed.

  • Its a specific pair of slots that is giving me a problem, or atleast one of the pair is problematic.  I don't think I should have a problem using the other 2 pairs seperately since I haven't had any problems using only those 2 pairs alone while the other pair was unrecognized but my computer seems to have no problem simply using the memory that is left on the board.  Could this become a problem down the road?

  • There are 2 Banks of 3 slots. Other than filling all 6 slots ... you can also fill all 3 slots in Bank-1. Those are the only 2 recommended configs. They both allow the RAM to run in tri-channel mode. The manual shows all this.

    You can test them by running 3 modules in Bank-1 with MemTest86. If those test good, swap in one of the remaining 3 (with the known 2 good ones) to find the bad one.


    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

    All my Dell Machines and Specs

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    Registered Microsoft Partner
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    I'm not a Dell employee.

  • I have 6 memory sticks, 3x 1GB and 3x 2GB.  They were originally organized in the fashion (1a)(2a)  (1b)(2b)  (1c)(2c). Where all the 1GB sticks were all in Black slots, while the 2GB sticks are all in White.  The problem does not lie in any of the sticks being faulty, but instead the "C" ports being faulty.  Right now my configuration is (1a)(2a)  (1b)(2b) and it is running seamlessly, saying in Windows and in my BIOS that 6GB are recognized and being used. Should this not be happening? I'm somewhat confused on the whole "tri-channel mode" thing considering my current configuration is working.

  • Is it possible that my motherboard is only looking for dual-channel mode? that would explain it not recognizing both sizes of memory sticks in the "C" slots.

  • If the motherboard is partially broken (slots or whatever) anything can happen. However, an Aurora R1 is Intel X58 chipset based. On X58, only tri-channel is supported. Single-channel is the fallback/compatibility mode. To my knowledge, dual-channel is not supported.

    Again ... unless working RAM modules are installed in all 3 slots of a Bank, the memory runs in Single Channel mode:

    hardforum.com/showthread.php


    Alienware Aurora ~ Intel i7-930 ~ 12gb ram ~ AMD HD-5870
    256gb Samsung 830 SSD / 1tb HDD ~ LG Blu-Ray ~ USB 3.0 PCIe
    Dell 24" UltraSharp u2410 LCD ~ Dell 22" LCD

    All my Dell Machines and Specs

    Wiki-like Threads I've written and other Favorites

    Posting Tips:
    - Always provide machine make, model, specs and software versions.
    - Click the button if we answered your question.

    Registered Microsoft Partner
    & Apple Developer:

    Gaming when I'm not programming.

    I answer questions here, but
    I'm not a Dell employee.

  • Well right now I am only using 2 of each type of stick and it seems to be working perfectly. All RAM is recognized by both the BIOS and Windows, with all "usable". Is there any chance that it could be in dual-channel? Or is it possible that all 4 are working in single-channel mode individually? Is there any way to check to see?