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Old 02-17-2016, 11:20 PM   #1
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Default 4 Gig of Ram 2.99Gig useable?

I'm not sure if this is software related but I would assume there's some connection because there will ultimately be a software setting to correct this.

I have an IBM Thinkcentre M51 8106 and it shows me that I have 4 Gig of Ram but only 2.99 Gig is useable. I can see around the web that if you go into msconfig you can adjust the maximum back to 4 Gig of ram via the boot tab. This does not work on my pc.

I realize that 1 Gig is set aside for system hardware memory but I can't see how it needs all this ram. Is there a way of adjusting this back.

I realize this computer isn't the newest on the block but I like it because it's small and it has the capacity for enough speed for me.

Does anyone know how to fix this?
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Old 02-18-2016, 12:08 AM   #2
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Default Re: 4 Gig of Ram 2.99Gig useable?

According to Lenovo Support this is a fairly old machine and comes with Windows XP.
Detailed specifications - ThinkCentre A51 (type 8105, 8107) / ThinkCentre M51 (type 8104, 8106, 8108, 8118, 8120).

Check this Microsoft Support article to check if you OS is 32bit or 64bit, How to determine whether a computer is running a 32-bit version or 64-bit version of the Windows operating system

Also if you were running Windows Vista and up you should see something like below by going to Control Panel > System & Security > System.

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Old 02-18-2016, 12:38 AM   #3
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Default Re: 4 Gig of Ram 2.99Gig useable?

Hi
I'm running a 64 Bit machine.
See attached.
My_System.png.
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Old 02-18-2016, 04:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: 4 Gig of Ram 2.99Gig useable?

Windows and other programs like an anti virus, will chew up some ram. Windows will protect what it's using and prevent you from being able to use that. Even a wallpaper background on your desktop will chew up a good amount.

Just the nature of the beast.
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Old 02-18-2016, 04:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: 4 Gig of Ram 2.99Gig useable?

I have known things like this being down to hardware; M/B or the RAM. You could try and restore settings in your BIOS, or have some app to test your RAM, but if that doesn't solve it then your next course of action would be hardware troubleshooting, if you can't do it then a shop can simply take each RAM module out and test it in each slot and also on its own.
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Old 02-19-2016, 06:23 AM   #6
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Default Re: 4 Gig of Ram 2.99Gig useable?

Hi,
Usually it's the onboard graphics that munch away at your RAM leaving you with very little. There's often (but not always on branded machine) an option in the BIOS for you to reduce the shared memory to the graphics card. Have you had a mooch in the BIOS to look for this option yet?
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Old 02-19-2016, 07:12 AM   #7
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Default Re: 4 Gig of Ram 2.99Gig useable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joedaman633 View Post
Hi,
Usually it's the onboard graphics that munch away at your RAM leaving you with very little. There's often (but not always on branded machine) an option in the BIOS for you to reduce the shared memory to the graphics card. Have you had a mooch in the BIOS to look for this option yet?
Yep, I've checked. Nothing in the BIOS which affects this.

The reason 1 gig isn't useable is because 1 gig is allocated to onboard hardware processes. It says so in my Resource Monitor under 'Memory'.
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Old 02-19-2016, 09:25 AM   #8
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Default Re: 4 Gig of Ram 2.99Gig useable?

Mhm.. strange

Right click your desktop and select "screen resolution", then in the screen that pops up, click "Advanced settings". The properties should pop up for your graphics adapter. Can you give us a screenshot of this screen please? (should show the available and shared memory for the graphics card)
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Old 02-19-2016, 10:11 AM   #9
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Default Re: 4 Gig of Ram 2.99Gig useable?

Ok now it sounds like mismatched memory (different brands), so it's likely you have more than one memory module, Windows SEES all the memory but renders a certain amount as 'Hardware Reserved'.

You could try changing them around in their slots, or having a look around in msconfig boot options; if I remember correctly there's an option to edit the way Windows deals with memory in the Boot tab under Advanced options.
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: 4 Gig of Ram 2.99Gig useable?

It's not a hardware issue. The OS has to have room in the ram to do its thing. And that's protected. You're not going to be able to use that.
Wallpaper (desktop background) will eat up some ram also. If you have one turn it off and check the ram again.
Anti virus that runs in real time will eat some more as will any software that is running in the background.

Like I said in my previous post, it's just how it is. You're not going to get to play with all of the installed ram.
I have 16gigs of ram in my rig. I only have 11gigs available. There's no problem with the ram physically, it's just a lot of things going on in the background.
Action Center
Realtek HD Audio Manager
ESET Smart Security 8
APC UPS Monitor software (Power Chute)
And a few programs that self monitor for updates are ram resident.

It's not a hardware issue you're having with your ram. If you see all 4gigs but can only use 2.99 it just means the OS and other software are using some of the ram to do their thing. Nothing to get worked up about.

If you're needing more ram to run some resource heavy software, check your model number at the manufacture website and see if it can handle more ram.
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