Dell Studio XPS 8000 - 4GB Installed BIOS shows 2GB - 64 Bit Windows 7 - General Hardware - Desktop - Dell Community

Dell Studio XPS 8000 - 4GB Installed BIOS shows 2GB - 64 Bit Windows 7


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Dell Studio XPS 8000 - 4GB Installed BIOS shows 2GB - 64 Bit Windows 7

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I'm having this problem with my XPS where Windows 7 System information reports 4.00 GB installed but 1.99 GB usable.  However, when I check in my BIOS system information it reports that I only have 2048MB/2GB installed and available.  I am running on 64 bit Windows 7 Home Premium upgraded from Windows Vista Home Premium. 

Since Windows 7 reports 4GB installed, does that mean I'm capable of using all 4GB even though the BIOS only shows 2GB installed and Windows 7 says only 1.99GB is usable or not?

Does anyone else have this problem?  Has anyone had and resolved this problem?


Thanks to whoever can help me with this.

All Replies
  • Having the same problem here.  Just got (2 hours ago) an XPS 8k, mfg date is 20091104

    When looking at system.

    Installed memory (ram):  3.00GB, (.99GB usable)


    When viewing the resource monitor

    Available  347 MB

    Cached  345 MB

    Total  1015

    Installed 3072 MB


    It's late and after hearing the tech support nightmare some people have been going through, I'm not in the mood to call India.  Sent an email to Chris M on here, we'll see what happens.

  • Lee_Family,

    So the Bios and the Resouce Monitor show 3GB of ram which is what we installed. This is different from the others in that their bios was only showing 1/2 the ram installed.



    In your Windows 7 Resource Monitor, what is the difference in the Installed versus Total?

  • To answer your question Chris, my Resource Monitor shows 8183mb total and 8192mb installed, the difference being 9mb reserved for hardware. I was one of the early members who successfully had my motherboard swapped out. Before that, my resource monitor showed about half the 8gb being reserved for hardware (and, of course, the BIOS only showed 4gb installed). Keith

  • Just received my XPS 8000 on friday, first thing I did was check the memory, 4gb it came with, 2gb shown in the bios, tried different memory & different speed memory (1067  & 1333MHz) and didnt make a difference, reseated in ways that have been mentioned, I couldnt re-load the bios as the one on the web was a different date than mine, still A01 though. Vista shows 4gb installed, Win 7 shows 4gb installed (1.99GB Usable)

    Called dell, they were very good and send an engineer out today, motherboard has been replaced BIOS now shows 4gb mem installed instead of 2gb. Will check when I get home if this is good in Windows, but I feel confident that it will be.


  • Chris,

    Thank you for your prompt reply.  The computer sees all of the 3GB of ram installed, however only 1GB was marked as usable.  I was able to get this up to 2GB last night after I posted by re-installing in the sequence posted by JuJuBee but am still missing one of the ram sockets from my usable total.  I'm at my office w/o access to the computer but will send screenshots to you to illustrate the issue, please let me know what the best way for me to do this is.

  • hi everyone.  i already emailed chris my problem and hes speaking to engineering about it.  but i thought i would post it here too in the forum in case anyone else has something to say about it.  i have a 2 month old xps 9000/435t.  i have 9gb memory installed but its not fully recognized.  in the bios it shows only 6gb installed.  but in the windows experience index it shows 9gb installed but only 6gb usable.  and in the dell system profiler it does show all 6 slots filled with the full 9gb memory.  the resource monitor shows all 9gb but has 3gb under the column of hardware reserved.  so i dont think my memory is the problem here as all 9gb are being seen in the windows experience index, the dell system profiler and the resource monitor.  my problem is the bios is only seeing 6gb, which is the 6gb the resource monitor sees not including the 3gb the resouce monitor sees thats under the hardware reserved column.  so it appears the 3gb in the resource monitor thats under the hardware reserved column are not being seen by the bios.  ive read here that replacing the motherboard has resolved some similar issues.  any ideas??

  • To be more clear, the issue is a discrepancy between the ram seen by the bios during startup and the ram that shows up in Windows 7's resource monitor.

    In the bios, I have 2048MB installed and 2048MB available, speed is 1067mhz and the tech is ddr3. 

    In Windows 7 I have 3072MB installed but only 2039MB is usable.  This computer is supposed to have 3GB of ram in 3 sticks.

  • problem solved!  i dont know if i just got lucky or what, but i took a shot and removed all the memory modules and just reinstalled them again the same exact way as i did prior and now all 9gb are recognized in the bios, in the resource manager and in windows experience index!  so maybe in my case it was just a bad seated module??  or maybe just luck, but anyway, the problem is resolved.  im posting this info here so that everyone should at least give this a shot before going onto any other steps that are being offered as this step is easy to at least attempt.  take care and good luck to all trying to solve this issue.

  • Just to chime in with another datapoint, I recently got my XPS 8000 with 6 GB of RAM (2 sticks of 2GB each, 2 sticks of 1GB each).   Looking at my motherboard, the slots are filled thusly (all DIMM DDR3 1066MHz):

    bank#3: Samsung 1GB

    bank#1: Elpida 2GB

    bank#4: Samsung 1GB

    bank#2: Elpida 2GB

    BIOS only sees 3GB.  This is with both the original BIOS version A01 and the latest one from Dell's site A03.  Win7-64 sees 6GB total, but only 3GB is "usable", the remaining 3GB is "hardware reserved".

    I've tried reseating the sticks, no help.

    Update: ok, I've tried the following scenarios:

    1. putting any single DIMM into bank #2 results in BIOS seeing the correct amount.

    2. trying to boot with memory in bank#1 results in a BIOS 2 beep error.

    3. putting matching DIMMS into banks #1 and #2, BIOS only sees memory from bank#2.  Booting into Windows, whatever is in bank#1 is "hardware reserved" and unusable.

    4. putting matching DIMMS into banks 1,2 and then putting matching DIMMS into banks 3,4.  BIOS again only sees banks 2,4.  Boot into Windows, it sees the missing memory as "hardware reserved".

    5. Putting matching DIMMS into banks 2,4 and 1,3, BIOS again doesn't see banks 3,4. In other words,  I have two 2GB DIMMs that BIOS will now see, and in Windows the other two 1GB DIMMs are "hardware reserved". 

    So, I'm better off now, I guess, because the system is only failing to see 2GB as opposed to the 3GB before.  But then this seems to break the rule where only matching sizes should be installed in pairs.  What's happening here?




  • I am having the exact same issue. Have 4 GB of installed RAM (2 x 2 GB DIMMs) but the BIOS is only reporting 2 GB as being available. I even updated the BIOS to the latest A03 version and still see the same issue. Contacted Dell Tech support and they said it seems to be a known issue and to allow 4 - 5 days for a resolution. Lets hope that it gets resolved soon.

  • 15 reported cases -
    1 reseating ram fixed the issue
    8 replacement motherboards fixed the issue

    nTomy, demon646, Jazoda, Lee_Family, tomlouie, rizdoe,
    If your in the USA, send me the following in a private conversation so I can setup a motherboard replacement (Click my name, click Send a Message) -
    Email Address:
    Shipping address:
    Phone number:
    Service Tag number:
    Reason: Motherboard replacement to correct memory report in bios

  • FYI.: I had my motherboard replaced by Dell Denmark about a month ago...



  • For what it's worth...

    I received my XPS 8000 yesterday (EDD was 12/30 so i got it 1 day early. yea!!)  and based on previous posts one of the first things I did was check the RAM and HDD.  The hard drive was fine, but the RAM was not.  I ordered 6 GB with 4 Dimms and only 4 GB was being used per Windows 7.  I rebooted, selected F2 to check the setup and it also only showed 4 GB RAM.  So, I'm thinking Dell forgot to install the two 1 GB sticks....I was soo hoping it wasn't a MB problem.    Anyway, I opened up the case and all four sticks were there 2 - 2GB and 2 - 1GB. But on closer inspection the 2 - 1GB sticks weren't "clicked" in.  They were just resting in the slots.  So I'm happy to say that with a little push I was able to click in the 2 - 1GB and now have 6 GB Ram.  Whewww.. I sure didn't want to have to start working with Dell trying to resolve issues the first day...

    Merry Christmas all. 

  • I have the same issue - 8 gig of memory reported and 4 in BIOS and 8 with 4 reserved in Win 7 - sent msg to Chris, but as I am new to the forum it is not clear to me that it was actually posted.  We'll see


  • Chris,  I just became aware of this as well last night after having my system for about 2 weeks.  I will reset RAM and install A03 bios and see if that helps. Otherwise I will be PM'ing you.

    XPS8000, Intel DP55BS MB, i7 860@3.6Ghz w Zallman 9700 cooler, 1TBx2 RAID, Intel X25MG2 SSD, ASUS EAH HD5870, 8GB 1600 Corsair XMS Dominator, 3008WFP, Ultra Gold 550 Win7 x64