Question 8GB of 16GB RAM are hardware reserved, memtest also shows only 8GB, but each single one works

Jul 31, 2022
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Hello,

I have 16gb of RAM (4x4Gb DDR3 1600MHZ), on a older GA-H97-D3H Motherboard / Dual Channel and an Intel Xeon E3-1231 v3 Processor. 2 weeks ago I had to reset the CMOS and afterwards Windows showed 16gb in task manager, but 8GB are suddenly hardware reserved.
The RAM is from 2 2x-Kits and I have bought them together & I have put the ones belonging together in the respective slots.

Current status:
  • Checked msconfig for max allowed boot size, checkbox is unticked
  • Tried to boot with each RAM single, each one did work & windows did boot & showed 4GB of RAM
  • Made sure that belonging RAMs (same production ID) are together on the same channel
  • Tried one single RAM on each RAM slot to make sure that a broken slot is not the issue, each one did work & windows did boot
  • BIOS shows 16GB of RAM
  • DUAL channel seems to be enabled
  • Gaming works fine with some small stutters (Squad, CoD Warzone), avg. 7.2GB memory of the 8GB are used while gaming
  • Memtest lists all 4 RAMs in „Details RAM (SPD)“ info, but shows only 8 GB of RAM in system Info, not 16
  • Memtest (without DMA test) passed all 4 test runs (for the 8GB)
  • Memtest fails on DMA tests, but I have read that this is experimental and might not work with older systems
One thing I can imagine is the onboard graphic card reserving memory, I read that windows can block memory for it. Unfortunately I do not see the graphic card in the Device Manager, and I cannot see any option in the BIOS to disable it.

Any ideas what else can I try to find the issue or what’s broken here? Is there a BIOS setting that I have to set to get access to the full 16GB?

I took some screenshots of memtest:





EDIT: Added CPU-Z Screen
 
Last edited:
Hello,

I have 16gb of RAM (4x4Gb DDR3 1600MHZ), on a older GA-H97-D3H Motherboard / Dual Channel and an Intel Xeon E3-1231 v3 Processor. 2 weeks ago I had to reset the CMOS and afterwards Windows showed 16gb in task manager, but 8GB are suddenly hardware reserved.
The RAM is from 2 2x-Kits and I have bought them together & I have put the ones belonging together in the respective slots.

Current status:
  • Checked msconfig for max allowed boot size, checkbox is unticked
  • Tried to boot with each RAM single, each one did work & windows did boot & showed 4GB of RAM
  • Made sure that belonging RAMs (same production ID) are together on the same channel
  • Tried one single RAM on each RAM slot to make sure that a broken slot is not the issue, each one did work & windows did boot
  • BIOS shows 16GB of RAM
  • DUAL channel seems to be enabled
  • Gaming works fine with some small stutters (Squad, CoD Warzone), avg. 7.2GB memory of the 8GB are used while gaming
  • Memtest lists all 4 RAMs in „Details RAM (SPD)“ info, but shows only 8 GB of RAM in system Info, not 16
  • Memtest (without DMA test) passed all 4 test runs (for the 8GB)
  • Memtest fails on DMA tests, but I have read that this is experimental and might not work with older systems
One thing I can imagine is the onboard graphic card reserving memory, I read that windows can block memory for it. Unfortunately I do not see the graphic card in the Device Manager, and I cannot see any option in the BIOS to disable it.

Any ideas what else can I try to find the issue or what’s broken here? Is there a BIOS setting that I have to set to get access to the full 16GB?

I took some screenshots of memtest:



Disable xmp.
Any diff?
 
Jul 31, 2022
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10
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Disable xmp.
Any diff?
I just checked, and XMP was already disabled. I have enabled it (I just have the option to either select "Disabled" or "Profile1"). When I select "Profile1" & reboot I get an error on boot:



Make sure your motherboard BIOS is the latest version available for it. Even if already installed, with all 4 sticks of memory installed, re-install the latest version.
I already did that, updating the BIOS was the first thing I did (forgot to mention it), and all RAM was installed by then. But I will retry
 

COLGeek

Cybernaut
Moderator
On older rigs, when using all four memory slots, it was common to bump up the memory voltage slightly to get all memory to perform optimally. Try increasing (in the BIOS) the smallest increment possible (from default) to see if it helps.
 
Jul 31, 2022
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On older rigs, when using all four memory slots, it was common to bump up the memory voltage slightly to get all memory to perform optimally. Try increasing (in the BIOS) the smallest increment possible (from default) to see if it helps.
Just tried that, increase from 1.500 to 1.520V and now I get the same boot error as when enabling XMP, with slightly different values:

1.520V


1.540V


BIOS says that default is 1.500V. should I keep increasing the voltage?
 

COLGeek

Cybernaut
Moderator
Try resetting the BIOS from default. This is how I perform a BIOS reset:


First, disconnect all power sources, including the monitor, remove power cable attached to the PSU, and powered speakers.

Next, press the power button to discharge any residual power stored in your system (yes, it is true).

Then, remove the battery, and wait 30 secs.

Now, put the battery back and retrace your steps to reconnect power and the monitor.

Power up.
 
Reactions: randomjoe1337
Jul 31, 2022
7
0
10
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Try resetting the BIOS from default. This is how I perform a BIOS reset:


First, disconnect all power sources, including the monitor, remove power cable attached to the PSU, and powered speakers.

Next, press the power button to discharge any residual power stored in your system (yes, it is true).

Then, remove the battery, and wait 30 secs.

Now, put the battery back and retrace your steps to reconnect power and the monitor.

Power up.
I did that just now, unfortunately my PC wont boot at all now (no beep, no fan spinning). Maybe the CMOS battery is bad? I had that issue 2 weeks before as well, what I did was remove everything and put it back together and suddenly the PC booted again
 
Jul 31, 2022
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I did that just now, unfortunately my PC wont boot at all now (no beep, no fan spinning). Maybe the CMOS battery is bad? I had that issue 2 weeks before as well, what I did was remove everything and put it back together and suddenly the PC booted again
If you have a GPU, disable the integrated graphics. The hardware reservation is likely for the iGPU on your CPU. Some aftermarket boards allow for insane amounts of iGPU reserved memory, especially older AMD APUs since you could overclock the GPU portion of the APU in BIOS for some actually decent results.
 
Jul 31, 2022
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The Intel Xeon E3-1231 v3 has no iGPU.
Never know, some Xeons do. I'll admit I didn't look it up.

I don't think it's a fault with his RAM though, some other setting on the board like RAM caching for storage.

Hit WIN+R and type 'msconfig' without quotes.



Click on Boot then Advanced Options



Make sure Maximum Memory is unchecked

 
Reactions: randomjoe1337
Jul 31, 2022
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As written in my OP I had already checked the msconfig & checked for an option to disable onboard graphics (but thanks for pointing out that I have no integrated graphics, I always thought I have :) ).

I fixed it now. I was under the impression that removing the battery is enough to clear the CMOS, but I had to bridge the CMOS clear pin for a few seconds (with power off).

Put everything back together and tadaaaa, it works, full 16GB of RAM in windows 🥳

Thank you very much for all your help guys!
 

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