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256 out of 512 ram being used

By pcalla1 ·
I am currently on a P4 1.6 with 512 RAM. I use Win XP Pro and have not had any problems until last night. When I booted my PC last night to watch a DVD, I noticed that the DVD was playing very slugish. I rebooted and noticed that the memory check was only showing 256k RAM, so I opened it up to check the RAM and it looked ok. They were warm to the touch. As any good PC tech knows, you alway unplug prior to any inside work, so that is what I did. When I pluged the PC back in and restarted, I gita error message saying their was a problem with my CMOS. The problem was that it reset itself. I elected to keep default setting and the PC took care of itself and began showing 512k RAM. When I went back to watch the DVD, it was still slugish, so I rebooted again and again noticed the PC was only reading 256k RAM. I am not sure why this is happening, please help.

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by sgt_shultz In reply to 256 out of 512 ram being ...

do you happen to have your ram check at boot disabled (fast boot on?). turn it on.
reseat the ram modules. if you have done this already, i vote for bad ram module. can you try taking one out and running with one. see how it goes. then take out that one and run with the other. put marker dot on one so you can tell them apart.

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by jimmy In reply to 256 out of 512 ram being ...

You say when you unbanked and then rebanked the RAM that when the PC rebooted it said CMOS error and then showed "512k RAM".

How exactly are you checking the RAM. Could you right-click My Computer and let us know what it says in there?

Running a DVD takes a huge amount of system reources.
Sounds Like you got a bad stick off RAM or dodgy CMOS battery from your description sounds more like a dodgy stick of RAM but only time will tell.

Try running the PC with only 256MB RAM and see what happens.
Then take that stick out and use the other again for a day.

Could be that the applications which are using a lot of RAM are finding the stick out. E,G. you DVD SW.


Another thing to do is let us know if you have added any RAM tot he PC.

May be incompatible modules.

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by csmith In reply to 256 out of 512 ram being ...

Surprise!
About 60% of the time this problem is the battery on the motherboard.
This can also be something shorting the battry contacts(Looose screw, etc.). (Not too common)
This is not a OS problem.
It is hardware.
The CMOS can not retain the RAM setting.
Again, check the battery first.
This can also be a problem caused by dirt, but usually only in a very humid environment.
Do you live in the tropics? Gulf Coast? Florida?
The RAM being just barely warm to the touch is normal.
Actual RAM failures are not normally intermittent.
The other problem can be lack of airflow, but that usually shows up first as strange behavior by the CPU.
Regards, Chris

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by pcalla1 In reply to 256 out of 512 ram being ...

The problem was not the RAM. I replaced the CMOS batterey and the DVD software and have had no problems. I was using WinDVD. I am now using PowerDVD. thanks for all the help

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by pcalla1 In reply to 256 out of 512 ram being ...

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