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In a Dell Precision server, there are 8GB RAM. The OS is Windows XP 64-bit.

Originally, everything is working fine. Both BIOS and Windows are able to detect 8GB RAM. One day when I power up the server, the BIOS shows a message "the amount of system memory has changed. Press FX to continue". After the server finished booting up, Windows shows 4GB RAM only.

I rebooted the server and checked the BIOS. In the memory details page, it shows 4GB RAM in the summary. But below the summary column, it shows that it detected 8 x 1GB memory sticks in the system.

I have installed Speccy in Windows. It also detected 8 x 1GB RAM. But Windows's system properties window only shows 4GB.

Why the BIOS suddenly fail to detect 4GB RAM? Is this a hardware failure? How can I activate the inactive 4GB RAM? Thanks.

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Sounds like hardware failure if BIOS doesn't report 8GB. Have you tried fully powering it down? –  Nathan Adams Apr 21 '13 at 20:26
    
Hi Nathan, yes, I have shutdown the server many times. In BIOS, it shows 4GB in the summary column, but under the summary column it shows that there are 8 X 1GB RAM. Have you seen this kind of calculation error in BIOS before? –  Patrick L Apr 21 '13 at 20:36
1  
Try unseating and re-seating the ram. If that fails, run a memory tester application, such as Memtest, which will test for bad memory. –  Davidw Apr 21 '13 at 20:38
    
Your RAM might be defective (or it might be the motherboard, or a bug in your BIOS... is there any BIOS updates available?). Did you try the RAM bar in another machine? Or another RAM bar in this machine? –  Ale Apr 21 '13 at 20:42
    
Also, has there been any hardware changes recently? –  Davidw Apr 21 '13 at 22:21
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Try unseating and re-seating the ram. If that fails, run a memory tester application, such as Memtest, which will test for bad memory.

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