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I recently installed another 8GB of RAM, but my computer isn't able to use it. Apparently, it's all "hardware reserved." I don't think that Windows 10 needs 8GB of RAM to run, and I would like to be able to use the memory I installed. Can anyone help?

My MB is the MS-7693 970 Gaming by MSI, and the memory in question is Corsair Vengeance (CMZ8GX3M1A1600C10)

16.0 GB (7.95 GB usable)

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  • This is most likely a problem with the firmware. Have you checked relevant BIOS settings yet? A driver could theoretically also be to blame. Consider trying with Linux (Live CD/USB) and also check Windows Setup (use Shift-F10 to bring up a console, then start ˋtaskmgrˋ. – Daniel B Jan 2 '20 at 1:38
  • @somebadhat I've added my MB and memory to the question. – Owen Jan 4 '20 at 4:42
  • I've got 2x4GB and 1x8GB. the 4GB sticks work fine – Owen Jan 4 '20 at 5:08
  • Nope, the 2x4GB are PV38G186C0K – Owen Jan 4 '20 at 5:27
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat. – somebadhat Jan 4 '20 at 5:31
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Read about mixing computer memory.

Identify your motherboard with powershell. See if your choice of motherboard and cpu supports 16GB of the type of memory you have installed by reading your manual.

Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_BaseBoard | Format-Table Manufacturer, Product, SerialNumber, Version

Identify your memory with powershell:

Get-WmiObject win32_physicalmemory | Format-Table Manufacturer,Banklabel,Configuredclockspeed,Devicelocator,Capacity,Serialnumber -autosize

If you have used a supported amount / type of memory read the following.

Windows 10 Won’t Use Full RAM

  • Modify RAM used on Boot
  • BIOS limit Windows from using the full amount of RAM installed
  • Windows 10 showed less amount of RAM usable due to a physical defect
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  • My RAM is supported by my MB (MS-7693) and modifying RAM on Boot didn't do anything for me. I don't really know how to change my BIOS settings, but I do know how to get into my BIOS, just once I'm in there I have no idea what I'm doing. – Owen Jan 4 '20 at 2:38
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Windows 10 detected a problem with the 8GB RAM that you recently installed, and is reserving it so that it does not get used.

Your computer may have one of these problems.

  • The new RAM stick is bad.
  • There is a bad memory slot in the motherboard. Try swapping the RAM stick around to another slot.
  • The new RAM stick is not compatible with your computer's hardware.

Run the Memory Diagnostic tool in Windows 10 to troubleshoot the problem.

  1. Click the lower-left Start button on the desktop to expand the Start menu, and then select Settings in it.
  2. Type "Diagnose your computer’s memory problem" in the search box and press Enter.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to run it.

Windows Memory Diagnostic

If the new RAM is not compatible with the version of Windows 10 that is installed the Memory Diagnostic tool will report it.

If you have a Linux live USB handy, it may show a message about the RAM on the screen when booting the USB to a live session. If you take a photo of this message and search for it online it will help you to troubleshoot the problem. It has been my experience that if a RAM stick is bad the relevant message will appear on an otherwise empty black screen for less than a second right after the manufacturer's splash screen disappears when the computer is booting.

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  • I used the Memory Diagnostic but Windows didn't detect a problem with the memory. – Owen Jan 4 '20 at 2:36
  • You should use something like memtestx86 which is much more extensive then the memory diagnostic built-into Windows – Ramhound Jan 4 '20 at 5:08
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    Memtestmemtest runs from a USB stick to check your RAM. Crucial.com has a different free utility for checking/identifying RAM (and they will try to sell you the correct type; albeit at decent prices from what I've seen.) – ashleedawg Apr 1 '20 at 11:04

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