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OTL only reporting 3 of 4 Gigs of installed RAM


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#1
regron

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Hey Guys,

After coming to the forums for a Google Search redirect issue and running an OTL Scan I noticed that OTL only reports 3 GB of RAM. There are 4 GB of RAM installed in the machine and the System Information Display (in Vista) reports 4 GB of RAM.

Snippet from my OTL Report

3.00 Gb Total Physical Memory | 2.00 Gb Available Physical Memory | 65.00% Memory free


The following is from the OTL Tutorial on this forum

Note: The number shown may not reflect the hardware position the user believes is there. RAM reported may appear lower than what is actually on the machine. This can happen when the machine can't actually access all the RAM it has. Possibilities include faulty RAM or Motherboard slot problem or something preventing the BIOS recognising it (e.g. BIOS may need to be upgraded). Also, for systems with more than 4GB of ram installed, the maximum amount reported will only be 4GB. This is a limitation on 32-bit applications.


How can I determine exactly what is going on here, is my best bet to mix and match my sticks and slots to determine if it is a fault RAM or slot? Is there some sort of tool that could let me know which slot or stick may be faulty. I doubt it is the BIOS since the machine came with 2 GB and another 2 GB of RAM were installed later at the same time (so at least one of those are working).

Thanks in advance.

System Info:
Dell Inspiron 531
Vista 32-bit Home Premium Service Pack 2
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#2
rshaffer61

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Vista 32-bit Home Premium Service Pack 2

A 32 bit OS will only see and utilize 3.5 gigs at best. In order to utilize all the memory you would have to switch to a 64 bit OS of Vista or Win7.
Try this and post the results:
Push and hold the Windows key on keyboard. This is the one with the Microsft windows logo on it.
While holding Win key down click on the Pause\Break key

This should open the System properties window
On this window it will show

System info:

Microsoft Windows: type and version
Service Pack number

Registered Name
Register Number

Computer:
CPU type
Memory
I need all the above info in your next reply Except for Register name and number.
This is private and we don't need to know this information
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#3
regron

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rshaffer61,

The items didn't match up 1-to-1 on the System properties but all the information should be here. I have attached a screenshot of the System properties window.

System info:
Microsoft Windows: Windows Vista Home Premium
Service Pack number: Services Pack 2

Computer: Dell Inspiron 531
CPU type: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 5600+ 2.81 GHz
Memory: 4.00 GB
System Type: 32-bit Operating System

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  • System_Info.jpg

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#4
rshaffer61

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The system is seeing the memory but the OS will not utilize it.
As for why OTL is only seeing what it sees it may be something that the author of the program can fix. I will try to message him and let him know.
With your system it is seeing and using the correct amount of memory for a 32 bit OS. Are you experiencing any issue with the system since getting a clean bill of health from the malware tech?
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#5
regron

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rshaffer61,

Everything is fine with the system, I was more looking into why OTL was only reporting the 3 GB of available memory. I understand that the OS wont utilize the full 4 GB of RAM and why, but was expecting OTL to report closer to 3.5 GB. I don't know why I didn't think about this earlier but you can compare it to the physical memory reported in Tskmgr (screenshot attached). Here you can see the ~3.5 GB of RAM that is accessible and can be utilized.

If nothing else hopefully this lets the OTL author improve their great tool.

Thanks for the assistance and information.

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  • Tskmgr.jpg

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#6
rshaffer61

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I have messaged OldTimer the author and I'm hoping he will drop in here and explain it for both of us.
:D
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#7
rshaffer61

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OK good news OldTimer has responded with a explanation for the memory difference. I am including his explanation minus his message to me.

OTL doesn't necessarily report the actual amount if memory if it isn't on a full boundary. It rounds the results to the nearest MB or GB because it isn't critical to know if there is 3.5GB or 3GB. Even so, different tools usually report different amounts of memory. It depends on how they query for eth information and how they process it. For example, OTL uses a kernel API call named GlobalMemoryStatusEx(). This returns the amount of memory that Windows reports in bytes. Different tools using that value could easily report different amounts of memory depending on how they calculate that amount. GB is 1000MB which is 1000KB. A KB is 1024 bytes and some applications use 1000 to process the amount. That will be different than what a different tool using the true 1024 bytes in a KB reports. OTL actually uses the OS reports as the the value that it uses for KB, MB, and GB.

So OTL doesn't really care what other tools report as the actual amount in various denominations. It actually gets the amount in bytes and calculates to other amounts and then rounds it off.


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