1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

Windows will not boot with more than 2gb of ram

By ekurz335 ยท 37 replies
Jan 1, 2009
  1. I have an acer ast180 the mobo is EM61SM/EM61PM and the OS is 32bit vista, i have 4 matching 1gb strips of 4200 ddr2 533mhz ram. Whenever i put more then 2 strips in my machine windows will not start. All info i find says i can have up to 4gb on my comp, and i know 32bit vista may not recognize it all, but why can i not install more then 2gb and windows will not start. All the ram works and and all the ram slots work, i even tried installing 2X1gb and 2X512mb and that did not work either. I have been trying to resolve this for 2 weeks now and acer support is not usefull please someone make my new year and help me figure this out.
  2. BlkHeartWolf

    BlkHeartWolf TS Rookie Posts: 151

    you have SP1
  3. ekurz335

    ekurz335 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yes i have sp1, this is what is causing the problem?
  4. brucethetech

    brucethetech TS Booster Posts: 223

    run msconfig and click the boot tab. click advanced and there u can set ur max memory
  5. ekurz335

    ekurz335 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    i see were i am supposed to enter the amount or mem i want, and it says only 2048 but everytime i enter 4096 and hit ok it just resets back to 2048
  6. brucethetech

    brucethetech TS Booster Posts: 223

    so it already had 2048 in the box?!?!?

    also try increasing it in GB increments since 4096 may be out of range
  7. corbett_1989

    corbett_1989 TS Member Posts: 51

    Thats not going to work. If he is looking at what I think he is looking at. The system is asking how much RAM to use, that is in the system already and since you have 2 GB already in it the system thinks thats all you got to offer. It's a useless offer since everyone wants to use all the memory they have in the machine. Do you get any error messages while Windows boots up? Where does it stop? Can you get past POST.
  8. brucethetech

    brucethetech TS Booster Posts: 223

    yes it will work. his system works fine it just doesn't see all of the RAM. This setting is where the system is told how much memory to use. And everyone does NOT want to use all the memory in the system all the time (98% of us crave all the ram we can get). there are situations when certain applications dont run with more than "x" amount. That's why Good Ol' Bill gave us the option of making the adjustment. if you have the box ticked you can manipulate this setting. Unticked it should use the default vaule of what's installed in the system. This setting is the equivalent of the /maxmem switch used in the boot.ini file of system prior to Windows Vista. Read up on it here http://support.microsoft.com/kb/108393 Note that Vista isn't listed here because it uses BCD Boot Configuration Data rather than a boot.ini file. Anyhow, they are equivalent for the most part. Thanks. :)

    P.S. If the adjustment doesn't work it is more than likely hardware related
  9. corbett_1989

    corbett_1989 TS Member Posts: 51

    I understand that and what not, but maybe I said it wrong. That function will see how much physical ram that is already in the system and won't consider anything more than that. Even though you might have more RAM sitting out of the system getting ready to installed. Also I do agree with you that this is most likely a hardware issue now probably the third or fourth slot has been damaged. Which can best solved by using one stick turning on the machine to see if it works than turning off and moving onto the next slot.
  10. brucethetech

    brucethetech TS Booster Posts: 223

    Incorrect. But i must say that you rarely have to manipulate that setting anyway. i doubt its a bad slot. I was leaning more towards a motherboard/bios setting or total memory capacity.
  11. BlkHeartWolf

    BlkHeartWolf TS Rookie Posts: 151

    TOO MANY TECH's or tech wanna be's
  12. ekurz335

    ekurz335 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ok i have the max memory unchecked in msconfig, and when i restart my machine with all 4gigs installed, i get 2 long beeps and i go to the safe mode screen and it shows that the ram is there but windows will not start

    also it not bad slots or bad ram i tested them all indepentantly when i got the ram
  13. corbett_1989

    corbett_1989 TS Member Posts: 51

    So something is failing POST. Sadly though I tried to find your motherboards manual online and it does not show anything about any beep codes. If you have the manual on you look through it and see whats going on. I looked up phoenix beep codes and it points to the memory your trying to use has gone bad. If its new RAM it might have been damaged before you bought it which happens once in awhile. Have you tried using different RAM in all the slots before or just the new ones you got?
  14. ekurz335

    ekurz335 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yes, i originally had 4x512mb strips and when i put them back in everything works like normal
  15. corbett_1989

    corbett_1989 TS Member Posts: 51

    Well now we know that all slots working. Though without the proper beep codes we're not working on much. Last thing to do is push one of your new chips in one at a time to see if it boots them all take it out and place a new one in until all the chips have been tested. After that who knows
  16. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 505

    Sorry corbett_1989, POST is Power On Self Test and has nothing to do with Windows loadng or not!

    I am surprised I don't see this in the searches I do with most search engines!
    I build a lot of Vsta "machines" and as a rule, I never instal more than 2GB when I start to insall Vista, as soon as I have Vista installed, I do all the updates till there are no more, then install the rest of the RAM (more than 2GB) and there is no problems ever!

    I've had issues with installing Vista with more than 2GB of RAM or upgrading a system with 2GB aleady in with no updates applied.

    Another case just today, I have a 40GB drive that I have Vista Ulimate 32bit installed on and use it for troubleshooting, this drive was left in the trunk of my Jetta since Nov, 08! I brought it in yesterday and it would not load, I could not even re-insall or do a repair install, it always froze, even safe mode.

    I though it was my Video card upgrade since last I used the drive, or the fact that the drive was in a trunk with the cold and wet. The drive passed all the tests!
    Just few hours go I remembered that I had upgraded the RAM from 1GB to 3GB, all I had to do was to remove 1GB and I'm posting from it righ now.

    Just finished doing all the updates, going to re-boot, put the 1GB back n and post back with 3GB!

    I got here by searching for te KB responsble for the fix, if I find it I will post that as well.

    ekurz335, do you have all the updates as well as the SP1?

    So far have done 49 updates, re-booted, let Vista configure updates and still can't boot with more than 2GB, installing 7 more updates now, after all avaiable updates, I'll try again then will do the SP1 and report back.

    Just to add, I use4 different hard drives with this system, 1st a 250GB SATAII with XP Pro SP3 and all post SP3 updates, 2nd a 250GB STAII with XP Pro Sp2 + all available updates, 3rd a 40GB PATA with Win 2K SP4 (all these boot and work with 3GB), 4th is the 40GB PATA with Vista Ultimate with almost all the updaes with no SP1 that refuses to boot or go through setup with more than 2GB of RAM installed.
  17. hrlow2

    hrlow2 TS Rookie Posts: 114

    I seem to recall reading somewhere that Vista can only read 2GB RAM if using 32bit version. Have to have 64bit to access more.
  18. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 13,810

  19. hrlow2

    hrlow2 TS Rookie Posts: 114

    Knew I was right about the difference, just unsure of the amounts. Thanks for the clarification.
  20. JellyBrain

    JellyBrain TS Rookie Posts: 21

    Just passing by....

    When you experience problems with RAM, it's useful to check if the system loads and works with every single slot, while others are replaced. From my experience - RAM is a part of computer that breaks relatively often, in comparison to other hardware components, so in some cases it can help easily locate the problem.
  21. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 505

    Please note I am not talking about 32bit addressing and more than 3GB of RAM issue!

    This is when you build a system and put more than 2GB of RAM then start installing Vista (32bit and 64bit), setup will crash, I have to go through setup with only 2GB, then do updates, add the rest of the ram, then there are no problems. I had to do this many times with many new builds different components. Latest BIOS always applied as soon as systems were put together, I quit since Nov 08, haven't built or setup many since! Was wondering if other builders have experienced this, since I can't find anything about it in my searches!

    Any way, for the system I was talking about last night, after applying all the updates as well as SP1, still no load with Vista Ultimate 32bit when I go above 2GB, either re-boots or freezes..

    This is an older system, (A7N8X-E Deluxe, Barton 2600+) so I have to blame it on the chipset and how the memory is addressed, no nForce2 drivers from Nvidia for Vista, but I bet if I tried Windows7, it would be OK, that's next week! Vista runs perfect with 2GB of RAM on this old board.

    This is me just testing and this is not my main system! I am not looking to fix this just wanted to add my experience above and see what others have to add, this was the only Vista system around and I wanted to see if updates would allow me to install more than 2GB of RAM as well as to see if the original poster has all the updates and SP1,

    I think the fix I was looking for is the KB929777?!?!
  22. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 13,810

    No one has directly addressed this issue of using 2Gig to initially setup Windows then increase Ram after that

    Indirectly there have been may recorded faults (or threads) where Members needed to reduce their Ram to 2Gig only to install Windows, and usually these posts are followed by, please do a memtest on your Ram (of which, usually comes up ok)

    This is an unrecorded silent issue, that many computers seem to have, I would like to hear further feedback on this as well.
  23. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 505

    I just finished another Vista Ultimate 64bit install on a "newer" board EVGA NVIDA nForce 680i, Q6600 with 2 kits of OCZ DDR2 PC2-8500 2GB (2x1024MB) SLI-Ready Ed., the DVD has SP1, the setup went smooth with 4GB installed.. (soon to change to 2 X 2GB modules not wanting to stress the Memory Controller with 4 X 1GB high performance modules!)

    All other installs I'd done were using media with no SP1.

    Thanks for your reply kimsland, much appreciated and thank you for merging my posts, haven't been on here in a long time, are there any rules I should read up on or were you just "cleaning" up?
  24. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 13,810

    No just "cleaning up" that's all

    But actually there are rules here yes, I usually point members to this thread (ie new members usually start at the Introduce yourself forum, where it's located ;) )

    => How to post a New Thread

    This thread includes all links to Guidelines\Rules\Terms of Service
    And helps members to learn how to create a New Thread :)
  25. mannywood

    mannywood TS Rookie

    you can check the memory timings and loose them in bios to see if it helps.
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...