Only 2.93Gb usable of my 4Gb RAM?


New Member
I have Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit on a Dell n5010 laptop. I purchased this laptop and everything was fine until I formatted it, and for some reason it now shows that only 2.93 of the installed 4Gb are usable. I checked the BIOS and it in fact shows that I have installed 4096mb of RAM as well as in the "System" tab. Is there any way to revert this and get the full amount of RAM working without having to re-format the computer or do anything drastic like that?
I have attached a picture. Any help will be GREATLY appreciated, Thanks. RAm.PNG


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Hi kseh,
this page may help: Dell n5010 laptop

It might also be worth checking the bios and updating if necessary: Drivers & Downloads


New Member
Thanks for the reply! :) That page is where i updated my BIOS from and right after that, after the reboot when the BIOS was done I started having this problem. All my drivers seem to be OK too, I even tried a system restore that I created before updating the BIOS and even that didn't work. :/


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Well do you want to hear the good or the bad news?...

The good news is it's worth keeping the 4 GB if you eventually go 64-bit. The bad news is that even with PAE enabled that *MIGHT* let your 4 GB show usable (doubtful as you need an Itanium processor and apps have to support PAE) you will never truly get access to 4GB of memory in the 32-bit version of Windows. Why you might ask? Why Why Why?? well its kind of technical but to sum it up:

1. A 32 bit OS can only use 4GB of memory total, that means if you have 4GB of ram and your graphic card has 1GB of ram, you have a total of 5GB of memory.

2. Out of that 5GB of memory, you can only use 4GB total. 1GB the graphic card will take up, so now the 32bit OS can only use 3GB.

3. Or out of that 4GB of memory if your video interface did not eat it up (See some of your memory is used to ADDRESS other memory and hardware you have installed), then your system is going to steal some of it to address the PCI Bus, PCI-e Bus.. etc etc etc...

Sooooo be happy if you get 3.0GB showing, or even happier if you can get anything above 3.0GB showing. Remember kids just because your mobo says it supports 4GB doesn't mean jack poop! Anyhow I hope this was somewhat informative :)

a bios update usually reset the bios back to all defaults - you may have to change some settings back to what it was before then all 4092MB may return!

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New Member
Haha definitely. As a matter of fact i tried reverting from 64bit win 7 home premium to 32 bit, hoping to have better performance and having it run smoother with those 4gb, but all the drivers of the laptop were for 64-bit Windows 7, so I was pretty much forced to go back to 64-bit. Also i managed to get it up to 3.8Gb out of 4GB. In msconfig, on advanced boot I unchecked the "number of processors" and "maximum memory" boxes and rebooted and it went back up.

You are on a 64 bit OS, you should be able to access up to 64gb ram.

In your BIOS take a look at how much memory is allocated to your Video.

Laptops don't have separate memory for video. The GPU instead uses a chunk of main memory. Dell and Toshiba generally set aside about 20% of system memory for video so you could have up to 1gb ram allocated.

Try reducing it to 128mb and see what you get.

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