Nowadays, the most common RAM memory capacity in any type of PC is 8 GB, although it is true that 16 GB are more and more common and more and more in equipment geared towards games. But what if you suddenly realize that the operating system is not detecting all this available memory? Let’s see what to do about it.
Let’s start with the obvious: check the software
First of all, one of the first things to do is enter the BIOS of the PC and make sure that the computer detects all the installed RAM, otherwise you should move on to the next point as the problem is related to the equipment. In any case, it is always a good idea to make sure beforehand that the memory installed is compatible with your motherboard and that you have the necessary BIOS updated.
Another thing that you should check at the software level, and especially if you have found the problem with the Windows operating system, is that you do not have limited RAM usage by the operating system. To do this, press the key combination WIN + R and type “msconfig»And then press OK; A window called “System Configuration” will open, in which you will need to access the second tab, called Startup.
Once here, click on the Advanced … button and look on the right side, where it says “Maximum amount of memory”, that the box is unchecked. If for example the box was checked and the displayed value is 4096 but you have 8 GB of RAM, then the system will operate as if you only have 4 GB installed. Whatever you have, ideally this box should be completely unchecked here.
If you checked it and unchecked it, click OK and then click OK again to close the System Setup Tool and restart the computer to check if you are now using the full amount of RAM or if the problem persists.
Is the PC’s RAM working properly?
When the PC does not detect the full amount of RAM you have installed, it is possible that one of the memory modules (or the motherboard socket) has failed. You can easily recognize this problem if, for example, you have 8 GB of RAM in two modules of 4 GB each and the PC detects only 4 GB installed, as that would mean that it does not detect one. You can make sure of this by going into the BIOS and seeing if it detects memory in all the sockets it is installed in (and if not, in the BIOS you will see which of the modules is the one that works, so by throwing, you will already know which one is the one that does not).
In the event that a memory module does not work, verify that it is correctly installed and that it is not physically damaged. Try swapping out the position of the memory modules (put the non-working one where the working one and vice versa is installed), or try using the other two memory sockets on the motherboard if you have them. Remember that for memory to work in dual channel, you must use alternate memory sockets, i.e. each module is separated by an empty socket.
You also recommend to check if any of the modules is broken by running the Windows 10 built-in diagnostic tool. To do this, click on the start button and type “Windows memory diagnostic” to open the application and, when you do, it will open a window that asks if you want to restart the computer now to check for issues or if you want to schedule it to run the next time you turn on the PC.
When running the program, the system will start with a blue screen which will allow you to select the type of test you want to perform, and you will be able to choose between the Basic (faster but less exhaustive), Standard (a medium term) test. , the recommended option) or extended (takes a long time but does a deep RAM check).
Once you have chosen the desired option, the system will check if the RAM is working well or if, on the contrary, problems are detected. Just let it do its job and patiently wait for it to finish (when it does, it will automatically restart the PC).
If an error is found, the system will display it when you restart the operating system, and then you will know that one of the RAM memory modules is faulty and that is why the PC does not recognize it correctly. Either way, you will know you need to buy a new RAM because the one you have is not performing well.
Watch out for integrated graphics
Integrated graphics cards use some of the operating system’s RAM as dedicated video memory, and if you don’t have a dedicated graphics card you will have to live with it because the iGPU needs a certain amount of memory. reserved. In this case, the operating system will detect the total capacity of your RAM but it will tell you that only a certain part is usable.
The amount of RAM reserved for the integrated graphics card can be configured in the BIOS, as well as you can configure whether you want to disable it, which is actually what you will need to do if you have a dedicated graphics card. Typically, the system detects when you have a dedicated graphics and automatically disables the iGPU, so there won’t be any reserved RAM, but there are times when this doesn’t happen and you will have to manually disable it to that it stops consuming memory.
After disabling the iGPU, save the changes and restart the system; if the problem were the following, you will have recovered the lost RAM memory capacity.