Author Options:

I can use very little of my computer's ram Answered

I have recently bought an expensive new ram card for my laptop. I bought it to add to what was on my laptop. But, I can only use the second card (since my laptop has two ram slots), even though the computer has recognized the new card, it won't let me use it.

Here's what it says in system properties:

Installed memory (RAM): 10.0 GB (1.74 GB usable)

I just can't figure it out.

I even looked to see if my computer had set a limit by going to the start menu, typing 'msconfig' and seeing if any limits were set, and I could not see any.


I believe I need to check one of the ram slots because I switched the slots that the cards were in today and when I turned the computer back on the new ram card was able to be used but the old, smaller one was not. I think it is just needing to be cleaned/inspected. If that is the case, this question will be deleted. If not I will update it again if a new problem arises.

Thanks for your help! 



4 years ago

Hey everyone, thanks for the help!

Mark it as answered if you have the answer you are looking for!

The OS version is not the problem. I have worked on thousands of
computers running win7 64bit (pro, home premium and Ultimate) and not
there is not a flaw with the OS. It is either a hardware
limitation/problem or couple settings misconfigured. A 64bit OS is
required to be able to use more than ~3.5gb of RAM.

is nothing you can do to 'service' a memory slot. Simply take the ram
out, dust it off with a LIGHT shot of canned air and reinsert the ram.
You don't want to blast it as that will drive the dust deeper into the
slot, possibly damaging it.

Here is the microsoft KB article on this problem, it has many suggestions on things to try.

Is there any way you are using win 7 64bit?

Yes, but I now know what to do. I believe one of the memory slots needs to be cleaned and or serviced.


Yes you should do that first...and if it doesn't work...try changing the version of windows...windows 7 64-bit has that problem...I faced the same problem before...


4 years ago

I'm going to assume you have correctly exacted the speed, compatibility issues and parity on the "expensive new ram card " whats left is a bad chip on the card OR a poor slot connection.

Then consider removing the card

( always a good time to verify laptop works as before )

and GENTLY clean the socket connection with air spray can and inspect the pins before re-inserting the card and try again...

Ok, will do! I happen to have some air spray so I will do that.


First what brand and model is the laptop. There are limits to how much RAM the system can use. Even if it has 2 slots doesn't mean it can handle more than a few gigs of RAM. The chip set is designed to handle a limited amount of RAM. In Netbooks and older laptops that limit may be only 2Gb or 4Gb. With the system saying 2 usable it's seems the system is only able to handle a max of 2GB. Sure windows is able to see the added memory but there is no way the hardware is capable of using it.