Vista Ultimate 64-bit 8GB on ASUS 3A32-MVP Deluxe

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Hardware' started by MrKit, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. MrKit

    MrKit Guest

    I have an ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe Series Wifi Edition motherboard, which is
    capable of running 8GB of RAM. In have a Phenom 9500 quad-core cpu, which is
    64-bit. I have 4 DIMMS of KVR667D2N5/2G, which is the RAM the motherboard
    manufacturer says runs in the board at 8GB.

    I run Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Sp1 and Windows XP Pro SP 2 as
    dual-booting Os'.

    I cannot boot to the desktop with 4GB of RAM in, and have tried all the RAM
    DIMMS alone and in 4GB configurations of all which works. It is in continual
    reboot with 8GB installed.

    I tried the KB929777 patch for 64-bit Vista, but it reported that it is not
    for this system.

    ASUS claims that the master boot record is the problem, but VISTA always
    crashes before it will let me fix the master boot record, or reinstall Vista
    or anything.

    If you can help, please do so.
     
    MrKit, Jun 27, 2008
    #1
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  2. Remove XP. Find out how to run Vista at 8GB before you consider doing
    anything else. You have to establish if the chipset can even support Vista
    x64 on your board with four dimms installed. I believe you are using DDR2
    667 memory so that should not be the issue. The problem is probably one of
    timings and not software.
     
    Colin Barnhorst, Jun 27, 2008
    #2
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  3. MrKit

    MrKit Guest

    Thanks, but not thanks. I am not going to destroy my XP installation and then
    go through later on reinstalling it, begging on the phone for Microsoft to
    activate it because it has been reinstalled so many times (back when
    Microsoft insisted I uninstall it in order to get support - now at least my
    support has run out and I can't afford their paid support for this overpriced
    OS).


    Taking away the functionality I have is not the answer.

    Kingston, the DIMM manufacturer, gave me the timing and other settings for
    the memory. It is also programmed on the DIMMS themselves, to be read
    directly by the BIOS. And, since the BIOS properly reports the 8GB of RAM,
    which is prior to the OS running, the DIMMS are working properly. It MUST be
    an OS issue.

    The BIOS accepts the RAM. It is the OS (XP Pro and Vista) that are having
    the problem.

    Remember, I tested each DIMM independently and then with another. They work.
    The system will boot with 1GB, 2 GB, or 4GB using those exact DIMMS. It just
    will not boot once the total is over 4GB.

    The motherboard and memory manufacturers say it is an OS issue. I'm no
    expert, but what little I know seems to indicate that they are right.
     
    MrKit, Jun 29, 2008
    #3
  4. Incorrect. The POST showing all the ram is important but does not mean an
    OS will be stable. This is a known issue and involves many hardware issues.
    A 64bit OS is more demanding on a memory controller than a 32bit OS even in
    4GB of ram. It is called the "fourth damn dimm" problem and you probably
    won't find a software solution.

    Just because a mobo is spec'd to support 8GB of ram and spec'd to support
    certain dram speeds does NOT mean that the board can support 8GB at the
    higher rated speeds using a 64bit OS.

    But I bow to your superior knowledge of the subject.
     
    Colin Barnhorst, Jun 29, 2008
    #4
  5. MrKit

    Curious Guest

    Curious, Jun 29, 2008
    #5
  6. Curious, that is specific to 32bit Vista. The OP's issue is an unstable
    computer running 64bit Windows on 8GB.

    The integrated memory controller in the phenom quad he is using may not be
    able to handle the configuration. I have read that there are issues like
    that with some phenoms. However, the OP insists it must be Vista because
    the mobo maker couldn't have gotten it wrong.

    Oh well.
     
    Colin Barnhorst, Jun 29, 2008
    #6
  7. MrKit

    Charlie Tame Guest


    Yes, Asus have got it wrong before. My old machine says it can take up
    to 2MB but install that and it reports something off the wall like 50
    bytes or something and crashes. New BIOS does not fix, it is a hardware
    addressing defect apparently.
     
    Charlie Tame, Jun 29, 2008
    #7
  8. MrKit

    MrKit Guest

    I never claimed to have superior knowledge of the subject. I just gave my
    reasons for coming to the conclusion that it was a software problem. Again,
    each DIMM works perfectly well on its own or in combination with any other of
    them. It is only when 3 or 4 are used that the problem occurs.

    I have extensively tested the hardware and software to determine the cause
    and solution. Now, if I arrive at an improper conclusion, I am teachable and
    willing to try other things. I am just not willing to uninstall Windows XP
    Pro in order to try and fix something in Windows Vista. Giving an answer here
    does not mean the recipient MUST obey everything you say to do.

    I think your comment "But I bow to your superior knowledge of the subject"
    is unhelpful and downright rude. I want help from someone who wants to help
    me rather than someone who wants to ridicule me. This is a computer issue,
    which should be unemotional. I just want to solve it without the personality
    issues.
     
    MrKit, Jun 30, 2008
    #8
  9. MrKit

    MrKit Guest

    On the surface I would agree with you about ASUS. They can and do make
    mistakes or misrepresent things in order to sell their products sometimes, or
    to keep from fulfilling their duties as spelled out in their warranty.
    However, I did talk to the people at Kingston, who tested the motherboard
    model at 8GB with their memory. They are the originators of the claim that
    the board could run at 8GBs using this particular memory model.

    It is possible, I suppose, that the memory controller on the Phenom is the
    problem, but what I need is a definate test to make absolute certain that
    this is the cause. If it is, I can then attack it from there, fixing the
    problem or returning/replacing the cpu. However, this would be too expensive
    unless there was solid, verifiable evidence that the memory controller is the
    problem.

    I know nothing of memory controllers on cpus. I just first heard about them
    a few days ago. So, I don't know how they work or anything. However, it just
    seems to me that if the BIOS accepts and reports the 8GBs, then doesn't than
    mean the motherboard and cpu have also accepted it? I am willing to contact
    the cpu manufacturer. I just need to learn more about the memory controller
     
    MrKit, Jun 30, 2008
    #9
  10. The problem is timings while accessing the memory. The BIOS is simply
    reporting the presence of devices compatible with the mobo. The BIOS is not
    predicting success of an installed OS.

    For mobo manufacturers and cpu makers, it is a real estate problem. That is
    why I call it the "fourth damn dimm" problem sometimes. The electrical
    distance out and back from the memory controller to the furthest dimm
    determines the maximum frequency that can be supported and also sustain
    stability. There is a point at which the memory controller is overwhelmed
    or cannot keep up. Slightly increasing the dram voltage (no more than 0.1v)
    can help in a marginal situation as can lowering the dram speed if the
    highest rated ram for the mobo is in use. I think you are already using 667
    ram which is a very comfortable dram speed for current boards so I don't see
    that as an issue. But the memory controller is integrated on the Phenom so
    while the cpu is compatible with the board and 8GB of ram is compatible with
    the board, is your model Phenom AND 8GB of your ram compatible on your mobo?
    That is the question. It is never the individual component specs but the
    combination that is such a headache to work out at times.
     
    Colin Barnhorst, Jun 30, 2008
    #10
  11. MrKit

    MrKit Guest

    Right. I agree with you there. As I said, I did contact the DIMM manufacturer
    and get the exact timing and voltage to use with this memory as well as this
    motherboard. They also said that each DIMM is embedded with the SPD which
    tells the BIOS which timing and voltage to use. In this case, they are cas
    latency 5, ras cas 5, row precharged delay 5 and voltage 1.8. I even hard-set
    these in the BIOS to override the SPD with the same results. To me, this
    eliminates the SPD as the problem. The BIOS had read it properly and set it
    for the DIMMS in the first place.

    And, I contacted AMD, the manufacturer or the Phenom 9500 in order to
    investigate any issues there - with the memory controller or something else.

    ASUS, Kingston and AMD all say that the BIOS is properly reading the SPD in
    the DIMMS and utilizing all the RAM. They each say this is an OS issue.
    Microsoft will not discuss the issue with me for less than $59 despite the
    fact that I paid full price for both Microsoft Os' in use on the computer.
    When one pays $399 for an operating system, they should get better treatment.

    This is the first incident I ever brought here. All previous issues that
    MIGHT be Microsoft-related I handled alone, with friends, or with Microsoft
    in the first 90 days. For one thing, although I have been using computers
    almost daily since 1978, I am not a good typist and it takes a long time to
    write these messages and remove most of the errors.

    I had hoped to run into someone with my same motherboard, cpu, memory and
    Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit edition, to see how they make it all play
    nicely together. That would have been great, but since it didn't happen, I
    get to deal with real life on life's terms.

    Frankly, all I am left to do is to examine the issue from all possible
    sides, and try those solutions which are the least destructive and seem most
    likely to work.
     
    MrKit, Jun 30, 2008
    #11
  12. MrKit

    Curious Guest

    If you read the entire article you will find lots of discussion about
    requiring 64 bit Vista in some situations and at lease one reference to 64
    bit Vista with 8GB installed.
     
    Curious, Jun 30, 2008
    #12
  13. If you a retail copy of the OS then you are entitled to free installation
    support, period. The only other possibility is an OEM pack, and you would
    be out of luck there. The purchaser of an OEM pack is responsible for
    supporting the customer for whom he installed the software.

    I would simplify. I would get XP off for the time being. I would focus on
    Vista because it is the one that can access 8GB of ram. XP can't anyway.
    You can always reinstall XP from an image to a second partition or drive and
    do the usual repair of the dual-boot startup from the MS KB article on
    installing XP second, or by using VistaBoot Pro. It is really hard to
    troubleshoot a computer as it is and simplification is priceless. In fact,
    it is an art form. :)
     
    Colin Barnhorst, Jun 30, 2008
    #13
  14. Yes, it points out that x64 is required to access all of 4GB of ram. That
    is the workaround.

    But the issue involving not seeing all of 4GB does not bear on x64. It is a
    problem peculiar to the 32bit clients. The KB is complex. It first
    addresses a Windows 32bit issue only, the effect of the BIOS reserving
    memory for devices. You'll notice through the whole first half that all the
    references are specifically 32bit Windows.

    The subject changes midway, beginning with the Workaround. At that point it
    discusses the requirements for x64 to see 4GB with 4GB installed. Most
    64bit computers meet these requirements now. I did have one AMD64 x2 box
    that needed the BIOS memory remapping option turned off or I would only see
    3.5GB. But the Workaround does not help the 32bit Windows user. Notice
    that the last bullet in the Workaround states a 64bit edition of Windows is
    required.

    Then comes the whole business about PAE which is pretty irrelevant to how
    much memory can be accessed by the OS. It is relevant to program space, but
    by this time the KB has suffered severe mission creep and the PAE part
    should have been merely a link to the same info elsewhere.

    PAE gets some techies excited but PAE can never be fully implemented in a
    Windows client now. Its use for extending memory addressing also requires a
    carefully controlled computing environement. All hardware and software must
    be PAE aware. The use of non-PAE compliant software would bring a system to
    its knees. That's why you only see support written into server editions of
    Windows. When was the last time you checked Ad-Aware to see if it was PAE
    compatible? :)
     
    Colin Barnhorst, Jun 30, 2008
    #14
  15. MrKit

    Curious Guest

    Everything you say is true. I posted the link since their was some
    information in it that applied to the subject of this thread and which might
    be of benefit to MrKit. I certainly was not trying to imply that the link's
    content would solve the Op's problem.
     
    Curious, Jun 30, 2008
    #15
  16. It's a good link. I usually snip all but the 32bit stuff. Frankly I'll be
    glad to see the issue die of old age someday when all new computers come
    with 64bit Windows. Most users just don't have the computer background to
    sort it out.
     
    Colin Barnhorst, Jun 30, 2008
    #16
  17. MrKit

    dennis Guest

    Actually, it is not about program space (virtual address space), because
    that does not change in pae mode. It only affects (bad) drivers that
    takes for granted that nothing will ever exists above 4G. Normal
    applications never sees anything more than 32bit addresses, and there
    cannot be affected.
     
    dennis, Jun 30, 2008
    #17
  18. MrKit

    MrKit Guest

    I installed Vista initially about 18 months ago. The 90-day tech support has
    long since expired. I mentioned that in at least a couple of my earlier
    messages.

    Both Windows XP Pro 64-bit AND Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit claim to be
    able to use 8GB of memory.

    I repeat something else I said more than once before - I will NOT be
    removing my XP installation. It works, and I use it for things I cannot do in
    Vista. It is much faster than Vista. There are many things that work in XP
    and not Vista. Besides all that, it takes too long and is a big hassle to
    re-install XP and then call in and beg for an activation when it won't
    activate over the internet because so many tech support people in the
    beginning told me to uninstall it. I used up the standard number of allowed
    XP installs just doing what Microsoft said way back then.

    So, since I am unwilling to remove XP, I am only looking for solutions that
    do not require me to remove Windows XP, especially since no one has presented
    one shred of evidence that XP is causing any kind of problem whatsoever. I
    won't destroy something that's working in order to fight with something that
    isn't working.

    This is computer science, not an art class. Computers are black-and-white.
    Art is relative.
     
    MrKit, Jul 1, 2008
    #18
  19. MrKit

    Curious Guest

    Colin is the guru of 8GB memory support and addressing in this and several
    other newsgroups.
    He assumed that when you mentioned XP that you did not mean the 64bit
    version of XP.
    All versions of Vista can run 64 bit vista and can support more the 4GB of
    memory. The 32bit versions can not support more the 4GB for any one process
    however.
    One difference between memory support in memory support in XP and in Vista
    is that when Vista boots it will test the speed of all the memory to insure
    that it is all running at the same speed. If it is not then it only
    recognizes the slower memory.
     
    Curious, Jul 1, 2008
    #19
  20. MrKit

    dennis Guest

    That is a job for the BIOS. It programs the memory controller, not the OS.
     
    dennis, Jul 1, 2008
    #20
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