Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Unusually High "Hardware Reserved" Memory

  1. #1


    Posts : 2
    Windows 8 x64

    Unusually High "Hardware Reserved" Memory


    Hello,

    I have seen a fair amount of discussion regarding Win8 x64 OS demanding a high amount of RAM, but none of the solutions recommended have solved my issue.

    My (inherited) Sony VAIO has 4gb (2x2gb) DDR3 RAM. This amount is recognized by BIOS. Resource monitor and task manager both inform me that 2.3gb of this RAM is hardware reserved. This seems atypical as compared to similar systems proffered elsewhere in this forum.

    As far as I know, every aspect of the system is factory with the exception of the OS. It was upgraded from Win7 x64 to Win8 x64 before it came into my possession.

    Quick Specs:
    Win8 x64
    Radeon HD 4200 (256mb reserved)
    AMD® Athlon™ II X2 2.10ghz


    Screenshot for reference:
    Click image for larger version

    To this point I have tried:
    1) Swapping RAM channels
    2) Updating BIOS (from Sony Website)
    3) Memory Diagnostic
    4) Ticking and unticking MSCONFIG > Boot > Advanced > Max Memory

    Thanks.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    My first impression is that the onboard graphics chip is using system memory for video. There should be some BIOS or other setting to control how much system ram it will use.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 2
    Windows 8 x64


    On both my previous version of BIOS and my newly updated one, I see no option to control RAM allocation. AFAIK this is pretty typical among laptops.

    I also have swapped my 2x2gb sticks out for another matched pair of 2gb for good measure. No noticeable change.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    Have you tried on Sony forums? Sometimes, as with Windows the manufacturer has "undocumented" features. As example I had HP desktops with no setting in the BIOS to control when the fans increased speed. My machines would lock up under load. I posted on HP forums and found out there was an undocumented BIOS page accessed by pressing F11 on boot. On that page I could adjust the fans.

    Alternatively is there a slot open for a video card? Installing a video card with dedicated ram should override the built-in video chip. But on a Laptop that may be wishful thinking.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 151
    Win8 Pro


    Windows Key + R > msconfig > boot tab > advanced options >

    Is the "maximum memory" option turned on? If it is, turn it off, hit apply, and restart.

    Also, 4GB of RAM for a 64bit OS like Windows 8 is going to be pretty rough. Hardware reserved memory is usually reserved by the BIOS and some low-level drivers for peripherals. If the machine is capable, the best thing you can do is swap out the 2x2GB sticks with at least 2x4GB sticks.

    If this is not an option, I can help you tweak the Windows 8 environment by turning off some system hogging services, which will allow your computer to perform much better without so much bloat. As you may or may not know, there are several services and tasks that run in the background that are largely unnecessary for the average user, yet eat up valueable system resources. It's not very hard to do and takes all of about 5 minutes.

    Let me know.

    Jason
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    I had Intel on board video on a desktop. The chip itself only had 8 MB of memory. The rest was taken from system ram and used for video. I would go to the manufacturer as I'm sure people aren't putting up with 2 GB being roped off against their will. There's a way to reduce it someplace. It's just getting at it that's the issue.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 21
    Windows 8.1 Pro w/ Media Center


    Take out all the sticks and put just one in the DIMM 1 slot and boot into the BIOS/UEFI. Repeat this until you find the stick that's faulty.

    -IF-

    The above yields no bad sticks then begin repopulating the DIMM slots. Booting into BIOS/UEFI each time you add a stick.

    You'll likely find that one RAM Bank is dead and not reporting the memory.

    ...and now be amazed that BIOS/UEFI appear to be smart enough to map out bad RAM and flag it , in Windows, as "Hardware Reserved".

    -----

    I'm currently dealing with this. Of the 12GB (4GB x 3) I have installed I now can only use 7.99GB. Note how I said "now". I use to have the full 12GB "usable", but now it's only 7.99 flagged as "useable" under 'System', but Windows does see the full 12GB. BIOS only sees ~8GB.
    ...It appears my DIMM 3,4 banks have died (spare RAM 6GB [2GB x 3], so total of 18GB, doesn't show the 2GB in DIMM 4 either)

    Not too bad I guess for a MOBO from 2009, that's been run for 14hrs a day

    EDIT:

    Though I will say it's odd that if a DIMM slot were to fail that Windows, and all Windows environment programs, would still see that I have 12GB installed (but only 8GB for "System Total"). Yet the BIOS, the very start of the machine only sees 8GB installed.
    ...even a CMOS reset via the CMOS reset button didn't correct it. Hence why I'm assuming it's a hardware failure.
    Last edited by illutian; 19 Jul 2014 at 15:47.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Try uninstalling Chrome.. then look.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 151
    Win8 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by illutian View Post
    ----

    I'm currently dealing with this. Of the 12GB (4GB x 3) I have installed I now can only use 7.99GB. Note how I said "now". I use to have the full 12GB "usable", but now it's only 7.99 flagged as "useable" under 'System', but Windows does see the full 12GB. BIOS only sees ~8GB.
    ...It appears my DIMM 3,4 banks have died (spare RAM 6GB [2GB x 3], so total of 18GB, doesn't show the 2GB in DIMM 4 either)

    Not too bad I guess for a MOBO from 2009, that's been run for 14hrs a day
    Illution, it may be different for your system, or this may not be the case anymore (I do not build machines anymore, so my suggestion is probably an outdated one), but it's worth a mention I guess -

    I know you mentioned having 4 DIMM banks, and if I understood you correctly, it seems as if your system wouldn't recognize the RAM in bank 3, or 4.

    It used to be that you had to add RAM in pairs - ie., if banks 1 & 2 are being used, and you decided to add a stick to bank 3, bank 4 would also have to be occupied for banks 3 & 4 to be utilized properly. Is it possible that this could be the source of your problem?

    Like I said, I haven't fiddled with a motherboard for some years now, but I thought I might bring it to your attention if there was a possibility that it might help...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Without knowing exact MB can't really tel but on some if they are different modules you have to place them at 1&3 and 2&4 slots to work in pairs. Most Intel based desktop MBs are like that, most of times different colors of slots giving an indication of how to place them.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Unusually High "Hardware Reserved" Memory
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