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PC Not Reading RAM Properly

Hassan writes in with a hardware question

Question:
I have an Intel Pentium 4 CPU at 3.06 GHz and there are two different RAM chips in this PC. One is 256 MB and the other is 512 MB. When I checked from the Windows My Computer system properties it shows 320 MB of RAM. Therefore can you please tell me how to get full size of RAM which I installed? Is it possible? If so please tell me. My system is installed XP Professional version 2002 service pack 2.

Answer: You will need to find out what configurations of RAM your computer can use. Sometimes only certain combinations of chips will work. I would try each one by itself and make sure that the whole thing is recognized. Your 512 may be defective and being read wrong. Put it in by itself and see if it shows up as 512. If not then you know you have a problem with the chip. If you have your motherboard manual it should tell you what combinations you can use. The video card may be using your onboard RAM as well for video memory.

You can also go into the BIOS with both chips installed and see what it reads it as. It may need to be updated in the BIOS and saved for Windows to recognize it.


 



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