I ran into a peculiar problem recently. I had 1 x 2GB DDR2 RAM installed on my laptop. When I tried adding another ram stick (again 2GB), Windows 7 started crashing. I would get the infamous Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) during the “Windows is Loading” screen.
Obviously, the most probable culprit was the RAM stick. And that’s what I thought too. But, soon I realised that Windows 7 was the only one having trouble with 4GB ram. Linux Mint worked perfectly with 4GB as well as 2GB ram and Memtest didn’t throw up any errors.
I tried swapping the two RAM sticks. But the end result was same. Use any one of the memory sticks and Windows 7 would work, but use both of them and Windows would crash. Apparently I wasn’t the only person facing this problem. A quick Google search revealed that several other folks were having trouble with this weird phenomenon.
After digging around for a little while I finally found the solution. There is a simple fix to this problem. This is what you need to do:
Plug in all of your memory and boot into safe mode. In order to do this press F8 just before the Windows boot screen appears.
Type msconfig in the Start Menu.
Click on Boot and select Advanced Options.
Set the Number of processors to reflect the your configuration e.g. 2 for dual core processors.
Manually set the value of Maximum Memory. Here memory size is specified in MB. Hence, for 4GB RAM you should set it to 4096.
Save the changes and restart your system.
After doing this, all the entire memory should be visible in Windows. However, you still won’t be able to use more than 3GB RAM on the 32bit version. In order to use more than 3GB ram in Windows you will need to use the 64 bit version or patch windows to forcefully bypass this artificial restriction.