Is there anything I can do to see what happened to it?
Is there a chance it came loose? How can I check if it's fried?

Edit: nobody stole my RAM. I didn't physically do anything to it. I have a Dell Studio Laptop. I'm running 64-bit Windows 7. I don't know exactly what else to specify, I'm not familiar with dealing with RAM.


  • I ran a MemTest but it did nothing except confirm that I had 2 gigs of RAM that worked.
  • I opened the laptop and took out the 2 GB module, putting the 4 gig module in its place. I powered up the laptop, and it reported 4 GB.

  • Then I put the 2 GB module in the old 4 gig slot, powered up, and the laptop reported 6 GB.

The short story is that I don't know what the problem was, but it's no longer manifesting itself.
Don't buy Dell.

  • Be specific.If you ask a vague question, you’ll get a vague answer. But if you give us details and context, we can provide a useful answer.
    – Ashildr
    Oct 18, 2013 at 15:48
  • Have you opened the case and physically looked at the RAM? Have you any type of memory test? Have you looked in the BIOS to determine what is installed? My point is that there are too many possible answers to this question without more information. Where do you see only 2GB? Was 6GB there before?
    – user201262
    Oct 18, 2013 at 15:57
  • Side note: seldom simply swapping the memory banks (the slots in which are plugged in) allows the computer to correctly read...
    – Hastur
    Jul 12, 2019 at 13:52

3 Answers 3


The first step in figuring this out is to actually open the computer and see if it's there.

You can physically remove it and put it back in by following this Youtube video It might not be your exact model but it should still work.

Once you have confirmed that you physically have the RAM and it is seated properly then boot up your machine and go into BIOS by pressing F2 or F10 or whatever it may be on your laptop.

Find the memory section and make sure it is reporting all of your 6GB

Now boot into Windows and see if your RAM is properly showing by checking either the task manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc) or right-click on Computer and go to properties.

If you do not have the correct amount showing then shut down again and physically remove all of your RAM. You will probably have a 4gb stick and a 2gb stick so put only one stick into slot 1 and start up your machine, does the RAM get reported?

Power down again put in a different stick all by itself, does that one get reported?

If your computer simply fails to boot and probably will make a beeping noise then you know that you in fact have a bad stick of RAM.

It could also be a case of having a bad RAM slot so individually test both slots with both sticks of RAM and see which combos either work properly or break.

There are many diagnostic things and methods you can attempt but this is probably the simplest and will give you the correct results.

  • @DaveDev So what was the final result?
    – MonkeyZeus
    Oct 21, 2013 at 15:32
  • Sorry I'm late replying here! I opened the laptop, saw that I still had to RAM modules, 1 2GB and 1 4GB. I put the 4GB one in the 2GB slot, started the laptop and could see that the laptop registered 4GB. I then put the 2GB module into the 4GB slot, started the laptop and could see that there was 6GB. I don't know what was wrong or why it went wrong, but simply swapping them fixed the problem. This never happened to me before. Between this and all the other problems I've had with this laptop I'm never buying anything Dell again!
    – DaveDev
    Nov 6, 2013 at 9:05
  • @DaveDev Glad I could help you get your machine to a stable state. I would like to say though that I've bought a Dell laptop (Vostro 1500 in case you were wondering) before and I had no issues with it at all. I even took it completely apart and applied new thermal paste to the CPU and GPU after 3 years of owning it.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Nov 6, 2013 at 13:24

Run Msinfo32 to display how much ram you have. It should be shown as the installed physical memory. If it isn't there, You'll need to do a memory test from your BIOS.


Reboot and go into your BIOS, have it disable quick boot and count all your RAM during POST. Then, boot with a Linux LiveCD and run MEMTEST to rule out a hardware problem.

If you do have a hardware problem, remove and reseat your RAM modules.

If not, please come back here after going to Control Panel | System | collect the version of Windows you have, and also how much RAM appears there.

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