Ubuntu: System is showing MORE RAM then installed and I think is causing crashes, 4 GB showing as 8 GB



Question:

I just put in a new 4 GB stick of ram in and it is showing as 8 GB.

sudo dmidecode -t 17     # dmidecode 3.0  Getting SMBIOS data from sysfs.  SMBIOS 2.5 present.    Handle 0x002E, DMI type 17, 27 bytes  Memory Device      Array Handle: 0x002C      Error Information Handle: Not Provided      Total Width: 64 bits      Data Width: 64 bits      Size: 4096 MB      Form Factor: DIMM      Set: None      Locator: DIMM0      Bank Locator: BANK0      Type: Other      Type Detail: Synchronous      Speed: 1333 MHz      Manufacturer: Manufacturer0      Serial Number: SerNum0      Asset Tag: AssetTagNum0      Part Number: PartNum0    Handle 0x0030, DMI type 17, 27 bytes  Memory Device      Array Handle: 0x002C      Error Information Handle: Not Provided      Total Width: 64 bits      Data Width: 64 bits      Size: 8192 MB      Form Factor: DIMM      Set: None      Locator: DIMM1      Bank Locator: BANK1      Type: Other      Type Detail: Synchronous      Speed: 1333 MHz      Manufacturer: Manufacturer1      Serial Number: SerNum1      Asset Tag: AssetTagNum1      Part Number: PartNum1  

The second stick should be 4 GB. If I only have the new stick in by itself it still shows a 8 GB in the terminal but only 4 GB in the system monitor. Also the bios sees it as 4 GB.

The old 4 GB stick in by itself computer runs fine with no crashes. The new stick in by itself and it crashes when I open large programs. Both sticks in and it a toss up, sometimes it works, next time it crashes.

I have run memtest86 and it there were no errors after running it once. I also have reinstalled Ubuntu, no help.

I think the system is trying to use memory that actually doesn't exist.

sudo dmidecode -t 20  # dmidecode 3.0  Getting SMBIOS data from sysfs.  SMBIOS 2.5 present.    Handle 0x002F, DMI type 20, 19 bytes  Memory Device Mapped Address      Starting Address: 0x00000000000      Ending Address: 0x000FFFFFFFF      Range Size: 4 GB      Physical Device Handle: 0x002E      Memory Array Mapped Address Handle: 0x002D      Partition Row Position: 1    Handle 0x0031, DMI type 20, 19 bytes  Memory Device Mapped Address      Starting Address: 0x00100000000      Ending Address: 0x002FFFFFFFF      Range Size: 8 GB      Physical Device Handle: 0x0030      Memory Array Mapped Address Handle: 0x002D      Partition Row Position: 1  

If I understand hex correctly, then the second stick is starting at 4 and ending at 12.

I have searched google and found no solutions, mostly people having more ram then the system sees.

Worst comes to worst I'll just return it and get a new stick, but if the problem is not the ram a new one won't help.

Also

sudo lshw -short -c memory  H/W path         Device      Class       Description  ====================================================  /0/0                         memory      64KiB BIOS  /0/4/5                       memory      512KiB L1 cache  /0/4/6                       memory      2MiB L2 cache  /0/4/7                       memory      6MiB L3 cache  /0/2c                        memory      12GiB System Memory  /0/2c/0                      memory      4GiB DIMM Synchronous 1333   MHz (0.8 ns)  /0/2c/1                      memory      8GiB DIMM Synchronous 1333   MHz (0.8 ns)  


Solution:1

You didn't mention what mobo you are running. Or what version of Ubuntu. Obviously, you'll need to check the vendor's specs for that board to see if the memory you installed is supported. is the correct cas timing, ECC (or not) and so on. You'll also want to make sure you have your BIOS updated to include any updates that fix known RAM issues. Note that not all Vendor RAM is certified by the mobo manufacturer, even if it has the correct specs. It is also not a good idea to mix vendor RAM on the same mobo.

If the stick is indeed 4 Gb (this should be easily verified by the sticker on the stick as well as the part number) then the sticks should not be slot sensitive. However, you'll want to verify that you are installing the expanded memory in the correct slot, per the Vendor's documentation. If the new RAM is indeed the larger 8 Gb, it may need to go into a particular slot.

I'd also run memtest for several complete passes.

This doesn't sound like a Ubuntu issue to me. I've always found the System Monitor to correctly identify the RAM that's installed.

Clearly, this new RAM stick has issues. If you perform all of the suggestions above and there are no problems, I'd suggest replacing the new stick with another stick of the same vendor/model as what is currently installed in slot 0, which you know works in your mobo.


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