Q: Question Regarding Windows 7 64 Bit RAM. MSConfig and Maximum Memory in Advanced options

Hello everybody in the Microsoft community.

I have a Dell Studio 1558 with the following specs:

Processor: Intel i5 M520 @2.40Ghz
Graphics card: ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470
500GB Hard Drive
Windows 7 Home Premium 64Bit

Anyways the issue I have been having is regarding the memory. I know for a fact I have 4GB installed but according to the System Information I only have 2.99GB of Total Physical Memory. I primarily use this laptop for university work, running virtual machines (as and when the laptop doesn't freeze from not having the ability run a VM) and the odd low-spec game.

I checked in Task Manager (performance tab) for the Physical memory and it says:

Total: 3060
Cached: 856
Available: 1315
Free: 512

So after taking my laptop to my university's technical team we sat for a few hours and decided to get rid of some of the unnecessary services/applications on my laptop. It did boot up a little faster but still not fantastically. We updated the BIOS and all the software from Dell's website. Let's put it this way, it takes around 2 minutes to boot up. 

I noticed, after asking some of my friends, that in MSConfig the maximum memory is set to 3072 (ticked). However I will only change this feature as a last resort as the last time I changed something in this menu, that I was advised upon doing (like a complete noob), my PC stopped booting into windows. If this is the only fix then I will just fresh install my windows (too much junk).

So I have a number of different solutions people have suggested:

-Perhaps the graphics card hogs 1GB of RAM? (I checked the specification but it doesn't say anything about shared memory)
-The MSConfig Maximum memory tab "fix" (like I said, last resort)
-Trying new ram incase one stick is faulty and not addressing properly (I will update this post as and when this happens)

Any of these seem logical or make sense?

Also can someone confirm with me whether or not the MSConfig Maximum Memory tab actually speeds up your system?

(I would post screenshots but I couldn't find anything regarding screenshot rules so I didn't want to risk being flagged)

Regards and thank you in advanced!

You create screenshots using the win7 snipping tool, save, then upload them via the picture icon on your msg menu bar

Having 4gb installed what you see as 2.99gb is about right, the system takes some memory for hardware resources and some is allocated to the graphics card

If you have two ram chips that's 2x2gb and both most be functioning ok to produce what you see

If msconfig max memory is not ticked then win will use all available memory

Do you have Dell data safe auto starting on boot, and what Anti-virus as some can be memory hogs?

Did this solve your problem?

Sorry this didn't help.

In the System Information applet, you should see something like the following at the bottom of System Summary:

As long as "Installed Physical Memory" is the same as what you think you have (in your case, 4.00 GB), your system is almost certainly working as it should and you shouldn't start tweaking things.

The readings on the Task Manager "Performance" tab are neither intuitive nor particularly helpful.  Instead, click the "Resource Monitor" button and select the "Memory" tab.  You should see something like this:

Although the numbers here will continually change depending on what processes are running, you can get a good idea of how your RAM is being used.  The above figure shows:
  • 8 GB of physical RAM installed
  • Hardware is using 300 MB of address space (that is, the hardware isn't actually using the physical RAM, but the address that point to 300 MB of RAM are being used to point to hardware devices, including any RAM that might be installed on a video card).  Thus, the "Total" shown in the figure is the 8 GB (8192 MB) of physical RAM less the 300 MB that can't be addressed because those addresses are being used for hardware resources (8192-300=7892)
  • The processes that are currently running (including Firefox, which I'm using to view this forum and post this message) are using about 2 GB (2041 MB).
  • About 5.7 GB (5770 MB) of memory used by running but inactive processes has been paged out to the pagefile because the operating system has decided that it's not needed at the moment
  • About 5.8 GB (5808 MB) is available.  This includes 5727 MB of "standby" memory and 81 MB that's not being used at all. 

Although the following article was written to explain why a 32-bit operating system with 4 GB of RAM typically shows only about 3 GB available, but it's helpful to explain why it is "address space" that's important rather than "shared memory" -->

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Did this solve your problem?

Sorry this didn't help.

First of all; thank you for the responses!

@Palcouk, thank you for clearing up the MSConfig question I had, would you recommend unticking it?

Also I am running AVG 2014 which doesn't seem to be taking up that much memory. Also Dell Data Set is not booting on startup and I removed it due to noticing it hogged a tonne of memory a few years back.

@LemP I went through system information and can confirm it did pick up 4GB of Total Physical Memory.

Also in the Resource manager it says that it is reserving 1036MB for hardware. Is there anyway I can even lower that a bit? 1GB of RAM is alot for a 4GB machine, especially one that is as slow as mine.

Did this solve your problem?

Sorry this didn't help.

I would suggest un-ticking max memory

Hardware is the graphics + system hardware

There maybe a setting in the Bios for graphics (to reduce shared)

How does the system perform if booted to safe mode?

Did this solve your problem?

Sorry this didn't help.

I will try to untick the box (hopefully I'll get no issues with MSConfig this time around).

Going to just boot into safe mode and give you an answer in a sec. I'll just edit this post when it's done. Be right back!

Did this solve your problem?

Sorry this didn't help.

Ok so I booted into safe mode and it did load up quite a bit faster. My lappy was now averaging at about 16% of memory being used rather than the 50-60% it usually hangs at.

Did this solve your problem?

Sorry this didn't help.

Question Info

Views: 780 Last updated: March 14, 2018 Applies to: