Reported Memory Does Not Match Amount of Installed Memory

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 146912 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q146912
Expand all | Collapse all

On This Page

SYMPTOMS

When you view the Performance tab in System properties, the amount of memory reported may differ from the actual amount of memory installed in the computer.

CAUSE

This behavior can occur for any of the following reasons:
  • Himem.sys is not using all the memory on an EISA computer.
  • A driver or program loading from the Config.sys or Autoexec.bat file is claiming a portion of random access memory (RAM).
  • A virtual device driver loading from the System.ini file is claiming a portion of RAM.
  • A protected-mode driver is causing the memory mismatch.
  • The registry is damaged.
  • A CMOS setting is disabling some of the RAM.
  • You have the "maxphyspage=" setting in your System.ini file set to restrict Windows from using some of the installed memory.
  • Ramdrive.sys is being loaded in the Config.sys file.
  • You are using a video adapter that is integrated into the motherboard.

RESOLUTION

To resolve the issue, use the method in the appropriate section.

Himem.sys Not Using All the Memory on an EISA Computer

If you have an EISA computer, determine whether Himem.sys is addressing all the available memory. To do so, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
ARTICLE-ID: Q82712 82712
TITLE : HIMEM.SYS /EISA Switch

Device or Program Loading from the Config.sys or Autoexec.bat File

To determine whether a real-mode device or program is claiming a portion of RAM, follow these steps to bypass the loading of the Config.sys and Autoexec.bat files:
  1. Restart your computer. For Windows 95, press the F8 key when you see the "Starting Windows 95" message, and then choose Step-By-Step Confirmation from the Startup menu.

    For Windows 98, press and hold down the CTRL key after your computer completes the Power On Self Test (POST), and then choose Step-by-Step Confirmation from the Startup menu. For more information about Windows 98 startup, see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    ARTICLE-ID: 178548
    TITLE : No "Starting Windows 98" Message at Startup
  2. Press Y at each prompt except the following prompts:
    Process your startup device drivers (CONFIG.SYS)?
    Process your startup command file (AUTOEXEC.BAT)?
  3. After Windows loads, check the memory reported on the Performance tab in System properties.
The real-mode CD-ROM driver from Teac for their 4x CD-ROM drive loading in the Autoexec.bat file has the parameter "xmssize= -1." This parameter can cause this behavior. The resolution is to change the parameter to "xmssize=0."

Virtual Device Driver Loading from the System.ini File

To determine whether this behavior is caused by a virtual device driver being loaded from the System.ini file, replace the System.ini file with a clean version. To do so, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
ARTICLE-ID: 140441
TITLE : Creating a New System.ini File Without Third-Party Drivers

Protected-Mode Driver Causing Memory Mismatch

To determine whether a protected-mode device driver is causing a memory mismatch, perform the following steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double- click System.
  2. Click the Device Manager tab.
  3. Double-click a listed device, and then click the Original Configuration (Current) check box to clear it. When you are prompted to restart the computer, click No.
  4. Repeat step 3 for each listed device.

    NOTE: Do not repeat step 3 for devices listed on the System Devices branch. When you disable the hard disk controller, click Yes to restart the computer if the hard disk controller is a Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) device. PCI hard disk controllers cannot be loaded and unloaded dynamically.

    For additional information about PCI hard disk controllers, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    ARTICLE-ID: 136106
    TITLE : Re-enabling CMD PCI IDE Controller Hangs Computer
  5. Restart the computer.
  6. After Windows loads, check the memory reported on the Performance tab in System properties.

Registry Is Damaged

To determine whether the registry is damaged, replace the current registry with a backup copy. For information about how to do so, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
ARTICLE-ID: 131431
TITLE : How to Troubleshoot Registry Errors in Windows 95

A CMOS Setting Is Disabling Some of the RAM

Some computers have CMOS settings that can disable a portion of the computer's RAM or prevent Windows from recognizing the RAM. Computers known to have such a setting include:
  • The Cyrix 166. This computer has a CMOS setting labeled "Hold to 15 MB RAM." If this setting is enabled, Windows reports only 15 MB of RAM on a computer that has more than 15 MB of RAM installed. Disable this CMOS setting to cause Windows to recognize all the RAM in the computer.

Maxphyspage Setting in System.ini File

Remove or disable the "maxphyspage=" line in the System.ini file, and then restart your computer. To disable the line, use a text editor (such as Notepad) to edit the System.ini file and place a semicolon (;) at the beginning of the line.

Ramdrive.sys Being Loaded

Check your Config.sys file for a line containing "Ramdrive.sys." If you have this line, it means you are using a RAM drive. To disable the RAM drive, remove or disable the line in the Config.sys file that contains "ramdrive.sys." To disable the line, use a text editor (such as Notepad) to edit the Config.sys file and place a semicolon (;) at the beginning of the line.

Properties

Article ID: 146912 - Last Review: January 19, 2007 - Revision: 1.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows 95
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbenv kbprb KB146912

Give Feedback

 

Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from smallbusiness.support.microsoft.com