Question RAM detected by BIOs, but not appearing on Windows

Oct 16, 2019
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Hi, so I recently bought a new stick of ddr4 RAM which is identical to the stick that I had originally. My motherboard is the Gigabyte GA-A320M-S2H which only has two slots, so I put the second stick in the only other available spot, but the memory was never being used. After playing around with the two sticks (swapping places, having one instead of the other at a time, etc...) the RAM was still never being used. On windows and in task manager, it would keep saying that I had 16gb of RAM installed, but only 7.96gb was usable, and in Task Manager, it was saying that 8gb was hardware reserved. I thought it was an issue with an outdated BIOs, so I proceeded to Q-flash and update the BIOs to the most recent version. Since doing this, the RAM isnt even being detected at all by Windows anymore, yet it still shows up in the BIOs interface. I have uncapped the maximum memory on boot, and everything and will be taking the stick of RAM to exchange tomorrow, but I doubt that the issue is with the stick itself since I played around with the positioning so much. HELP please!

Here's a link to the manual, though I think it is outdated : https://download.gigabyte.com/FileList/Manual/mb_manual_ga-a320m-s2h_1001_v2_e.pdf
The motherboard itself : https://www.gigabyte.com/ca/Motherboard/GA-A320M-S2H-rev-1x#kf
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
"Identical to the stick that I had originally" is no guarantee they will work as a set. The only guaranteed option is to buy a matched set. The manufacturer tests them as a set and guarantees them to work together. Anything else is a gamble. A manufacturer can change anything under the heat spreader, which can make it have the same part number, same look, but not work with a previous purchase.
You can check CPUz to see if the timings of the two DIMMs are actually the same. You can try manually setting the voltage and timings. But there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
 
Oct 16, 2019
3
0
10
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"Identical to the stick that I had originally" is no guarantee they will work as a set. The only guaranteed option is to buy a matched set. The manufacturer tests them as a set and guarantees them to work together. Anything else is a gamble. A manufacturer can change anything under the heat spreader, which can make it have the same part number, same look, but not work with a previous purchase.
You can check CPUz to see if the timings of the two DIMMs are actually the same. You can try manually setting the voltage and timings. But there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
If the two sticks aren't compatible, wouldn't the computer refuse to turn on in the first place? Instead, both sticks are showing up in the BIOs, and prior to updating the BIOs, both sticks were showing up in Task Manager and in System info (though again, only 7.95 gb was usable).
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
If you look in task manager, bottom right you'll see Hardware Reserved. That will normally be a small amount, but Windows gets buggy about it sometimes and will reserve upto half your current ram, for the igpu mainly. Even if there is no igpu. It's that buggy.

Most tinrs it's an easy fix, if a little time consuming pita. Pull both sticks. Boot. Shutdown. Install 1 stick in A2. Boot. Shutdown. Swap sticks. Boot. Shutdown. Install first stick in A2, second stick in B2. Boot. Check task manager. Hopefully windows got a kick in the pants and recognised both sticks, and reset the Hardware reserve after the initial swap, which should reset again with both sticks seated.

When booting without both sticks seated, don't boot fully to windows, do a hard shutdown by holding the power button down for @ 5 seconds. Only in the last boot, with both sticks seated go ahead and allow windows to load.

Windows cannot set 8Gb hardware reserved if total system ram is 8Gb, so a change is forced. Booting with no/partial ram installed after a hard shutdown forces a clean bios load out, not reliant on cmos settings, so bios has to physically check every piece of hardware at post, not just accepting cmos overrides.
 
Last edited:
Oct 16, 2019
3
0
10
0
If you look in task manager, bottom right you'll see Hardware Reserved. That will normally be a small amount, but Windows gets buggy about it sometimes and will reserve upto half your current ram, for the igpu mainly. Even if there is no igpu. It's that buggy.

Most tinrs it's an easy fix, if a little time consuming pita. Pull both sticks. Boot. Shutdown. Install 1 stick in A2. Boot. Shutdown. Swap sticks. Boot. Shutdown. Install first stick in A2, second stick in B2. Boot. Check task manager. Hopefully windows got a kick in the pants and recognised both sticks, and reset the Hardware reserve after the initial swap, which should reset again with both sticks seated.
There is no "hardware reserved" at all now that the new BIOs is installed, but I will def try what you recommended.
 

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