Missing RAM?

  dantyboino1 18:16 09 Dec 06

Originally, I had my laptop last christmas (exactly a year on ... =) ) It is an Advent Laptop, and has some neat specs for a laptop of it's age. I have one problem however, that ocurred about 3-4 months after recieving it as a christmas gift.

Originally, the laptop was spec'd at 512Mb of RAM. This was also supported by the BIOS memory check, and the WINDOWS system panel. At the point in time mentioned above, I used a program off a software CD that I had with a computer magazine (possibly this one?) that claimed that it could speed up my computer by tweaking my RAM and Processor. From here, it all went downhill.

My processor becan reporting speeds of 1.4ghz, instead of the specified 1.6ghz, and my RAM started reporting 384Mb, instead of 512Mb. I performed a system restore, which recovered the processor speed, and not the RAM. After months of trying to solve the problem (and, trying to forget it exists) I have finally decided to ask for some expert advice.

So, any suggestions? Can I get my laptop reporting the real RAM? Maybe I can force it to understand that there's 512Mb of RAM, because I know there is ...

have you tried uninstaling the offending software and what was it?

  anskyber 18:28 09 Dec 06

It's a laptop. The most likely explanation is that it does not have a dedicated graphics memory. The result is that the 512 is shared between the computer and the graphics and as a result showing a lower RAM than the inserted RAM.

  dantyboino1 18:29 09 Dec 06

The system restore I performed removed the software. It was a speed tweaking software (BeFaster or something along those lines) came on a CD with a bunch of other PC stuff (like PCDoctor) ... I've since reformatted my laptop a few times, too. Always reporting the same 384Mb RAM.

  dantyboino1 18:30 09 Dec 06

anskyber, it has a 128Mb Reserved Memory ATI Radeon xPress 200M series.

I doubt considerably that that was the issue ...

did it report 512mb before you instaled this software? as anskyber's answer is the most likely

  ed-0 18:37 09 Dec 06

there you go.

You have 512Mb of memory in total.

Windows is using 384Mb of it and the graphics chip is using the other 128Mb. Total 512Mb.

You should be able to drop the amount of memory allocated to the graphics card, if you don't need to use so much.

  anskyber 18:42 09 Dec 06

Indeed as ed-0 has said the graphics memory may be dedicated....at the expense of the computer normal RAM.

  dantyboino1 19:37 09 Dec 06

Strangely, however, it DID report 512Mb or RAM before I used that software to tweak it, and the 128Mb of it's own video memory was still intact.

How do I lower the amount of shared RAM? Maybe if I try lowering that I can see if I'm any closer to a solution?

  Totally-braindead 19:46 09 Dec 06

dantyboino1 I'm not saying you are lying or anything like that but I think you may be mistaken in the memory thing. Laptop graphics do not have there own memory and use the system memory instead so what has been said is correct.

Is it possible it said this before and you just are recalling it incorrectly.
If you go into certain parts of the computer and look there it may well say you have 512mb RAM. If you use a third party program such as SIW or Belarc it may well report 512mb RAM but regardless of this it will 512 mb minus whatever the graphics is using. Perhaps some of the other programs you had said it was 512mb RAM?
If you go into BIOS it may well allow you to specify the amount of graphics memory.

  ed-0 20:09 09 Dec 06

What is the model number of your advent laptop?

You lower the amount of ram the computer uses for the graphics chipset usually via the bios. Some machines have software you can manipulate via windows. As Totally-braindead mentioned.

I know of only three manufacturers that have a dedicated graphics chipset in some of their laptops.

Apple, Acer and Sony.

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