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Why is all my extra RAM marked as "hardware reserved" in Windows 7?

Why is all my extra RAM marked as "hardware reserved" in Windows 7?

I have a new HP Z800 Workstation, running Windows 7 Enterprise 64 bit. Z800 Specs are here.

Asked by: Guest | Views: 448
Total answers/comments: 5
Guest [Entry]

"Turns out that the installed RAM was in an unsupported config -- On this machine, if you install 2GB chips, they have to be installed in triple, as referenced here (pdf).

Its interesting to note that Windows saw the memory, but it was rendered not usable and marked as ""hardware reserved""."
Guest [Entry]

"I have this exact problem fixed! With Gigabyte p55a ud3r and Kingston KHX1600C9D3K4/8GX.

When you buy RAM, you get it in pairs, as it turned out each pair/memory stick can only work on memory channel 1 or memory channel 2.

If you put a pair of memory that designed to work only on channel 1, on channel 2 (like I did unknowingly). The BIOS only recognizes them, ""BUT"" not made available to use.
Windows 7 can only see the total RAM installed (in my case 8 GB), but can't make use of the other 4 GBs on memory channel 2, and
Windows 7 thinks the 4 GB memory are ""HARDWARE RESERVED"".

So I advise you to switch them up between the memory slots, like I did, and now I only have 5 MB HARDWARE RESERVED instead of 4 GB like before when I put the RAM sticks on the wrongs slots/channel."
Guest [Entry]

"For anyone still having this issue:

Press Start -> Run
Type msconfig
Go under the ""Boot"" tab
Click ""Advanced options"" button
Uncheck ""Maximum memory""


Helped for me, got still reserved only 9 Mb from totally of 6 Gb."
Guest [Entry]

"There's actually a big clue in the message: ""Hardware reserved"".

If checking/unchecking the ""Maximum memory"" checkbox under Windows isn't helping, the culprit may be the default BIOS settings, which can reserve excessive RAM for graphics hardware.

In my case, Windows reported that 1.1G of my installed 8G RAM was ""hardware reserved"":

I fixed it by changing the BIOS setting. The naming or menu details may be different in your BIOS, but here's the story in my case. Under the Advanced settings, go to Advanced Chipset Configuration:

Under Advanced Chipset Configuration is a setting called UMA Frame Buffer Size. This controls how much of your RAM is reserved for your graphics hardware, and by default may be set to Auto, which will decide an amount based on how much RAM you have installed and—depending on your needs—may reserve far more than necessary:


For general use, set it to 256M:

The result in Task Manager:"
Guest [Entry]

I had a similar problem with a Samsung R519. In my case I upgraded from 2gb to 4gb RAM but I only have a 32bit OS on my machine. So in my case that is the limiting factor as 32bit OS will only see 3gb max.