How Fix Windows 7 BSOD Due to 4GB RAM

Windows-7-Crash-Due-To-4GB-RAM I ran into a peculiar problem recently. I had 1 x 2GB DDR2 RAM installed on my laptop. When I tried adding another ram stick (again 2GB), Windows 7 started crashing. I would get the infamous Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) during the “Windows is Loading” screen.

Obviously, the most probable culprit was the RAM stick. And that’s what I thought too. But, soon I realised that Windows 7 was the only one having trouble with 4GB ram. Linux Mint worked perfectly with 4GB as well as 2GB ram and Memtest didn’t throw up any errors.

I tried swapping the two RAM sticks. But the end result was same. Use any one of the memory sticks and Windows 7 would work, but use both of them and Windows would crash. Apparently I wasn’t the only person facing this problem. A quick Google search revealed that several other folks were having trouble with this weird phenomenon.

After digging around for a little while I finally found the solution. There is a simple fix to this problem. This is what you need to do:

Arrow Plug in all of your memory and boot into safe mode. In order to do this press F8 just before the Windows boot screen appears.
Arrow Type msconfig in the Start Menu.
Arrow Click on Boot and select Advanced Options.
Arrow Set the Number of processors to reflect the your configuration e.g. 2 for dual core processors.

Windows-7-BSOD-4GB-Works-2GB

Arrow Manually set the value of Maximum Memory. Here memory size is specified in MB. Hence, for 4GB RAM you should set it to 4096.
Arrow Save the changes and restart your system.

After doing this, all the entire memory should be visible in Windows. However, you still won’t be able to use more than 3GB RAM on the 32bit version. In order to use more than 3GB ram in Windows you will need to use the 64 bit version or patch windows to forcefully bypass this artificial restriction.

, , ,

29 Responses to How Fix Windows 7 BSOD Due to 4GB RAM

  1. Wordpress Help December 1, 2009 at 12:26 pm #

    Wow, so glad you posted this – I was getting ready to put a new stick of memory in my Toshiba laptop…lol. It’s a shame they don’t tell you this kind of stuff when you them them. Thanks again!
    .-= WordPress Help´s last blog ..Do You Think Twitter Sucks? Think Again =-.

  2. Aji December 1, 2009 at 8:17 pm #

    i have same problem. i just follow your your step in this article last night, and whole day normal :) but SODIMM only usable 3GB (although detected 4GB). i use win 7 64bit and Compaq CQ40-416AU (AMD turion X2 processor).
    any ideas?

    email me : ajieboy[at]gmail.com

    • Pallab December 1, 2009 at 8:27 pm #

      This is a problem 32 bit systems normally encounter. But since you are already using a 64bit OS, my guess is that your graphics adapter is sharing 1gb of RAM. Hence, it is not usable.

  3. Bobob December 19, 2009 at 6:56 pm #

    I actually tried changing the number of processors on my windows 7 32 bit install from 1 to 2 (have an E6850) to speed up my boot and had all sorts of problems. BSOD, had to safe boot, etc. Ended up restoring my system image from a second HD (thank goodness I did that!). Have you heard about this problem before?

    • Pallab December 19, 2009 at 7:08 pm #

      I haven’t heard about BSOD’s due to changing that figure, but I remember reading that changing the no. of processors won’t make windows boot faster. Its a fake tweak that’s all over the intertubes.

  4. Bobob December 20, 2009 at 5:36 am #

    Looks like I fell for it and it cost me some headaches!

    Thanks for the response.

  5. Jimmy Pierre January 22, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    Greetings,

    Does anyone know if there is a tweak to get Server 2008 R2 to do the same tjing?

    Cheers,
    Jimmy

    • used tires March 18, 2011 at 1:10 am #

      Did you figure it out Jimmy? would be great if you posted here the solution :)

      -Jean

  6. Gamliel February 9, 2010 at 11:28 pm #

    This windows fix won’t work for me fully — it did stop the BSODs from showing up, BUT when I hit “apply” in msconfig, and then I go back into the BOOT Advanced window, it shows 3072!!! I have an NVidia 9400GT card that I assume does not share memory, but it is, is there a way to stop it from doing so?

    I assume that this was case in Vista Ultimate (which, by the way, showed 4GB RAM despite being the 32-bit version), but it didn’t show “the truth”.

    BTW, I am running a workhorse ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe with 4GB of Corsair Value Select and an AMD Opteron 185.

    Oh, and on ASUS’s forums I found a fix that didn’t really work in the BIOS where you disable mapping (S/W and H/W) of 4GB and above of RAM. What affect would that have here? (It didn’t make a different in the reporting of the RAM that W7 saw.)

    Any ideas on the issues above?

    Thanks!

    • zayed August 9, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

      The cause of the problem is generally windows corruption.
      If nothing works then ur last resort is
      1.Create a sysytem image of ur windows c: drive(if u have installed windows in this drive else use in which u did) on an external or some other drive of ur hard disk. by using backup option in control panel.
      2.install a new copy of windows(format the c: drive b4 installing). After sucessful installation… restore ur system by using system restore with the system image u created(remember step 1).
      i faced the same problem n only this mothod worked after trying everything and even the microsoft’s solution.

  7. brewt February 18, 2010 at 1:21 am #

    I love you man, i couldn’t figure this out at all. and neither could any tech support. all said the RAM didn’t meet the requirements of the machine. Awesome your the best.

  8. Zaker April 2, 2010 at 9:35 pm #

    Hi,

    i too get the same bsod too many times. i have 2x2gb ddr2 ram on 32 bit xp os.

    it runs perfectly on 2gb ram, but if i add another chip it gets crashed.

    from your tip of changing the memory usage in boot.ini , i cant change it to 4096 :( dont know why i have attached both the chips [2x2gb] but still it just takes 2gb max in boot.ini. If i unselect the MAXMEM option then it recognises to 3.25gb but bsod’s occur :(

    can you please help me out?

    mail me please : zaker78@gmail.com

    thanks in adv

    Regards

  9. Mike September 13, 2010 at 12:25 am #

    I thought this might work but i cant even boot up in safe mode with the 4GB installed. It just restarts like it was doing before….any ideas for that?

    • Gil C November 21, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

      for Mike,

      You’re probably using a customized ripped version of Windows Vista or Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit, like the TinY Editions. These have a lot of features removed, most importantly the HyperVisor features, DEP and PAE. You’ll need to use bcedit.exe to modify your boot parameters to reenable PAE.

      You can’t boot in safe mode, so remove enough RAM to keep it below 4 GB. Boot up normally and you’ll be just fine with under 4 GB of RAM. Then run cmd.exe or Command Prompt, and enter “bcedit.exe /set PAE ForceEnable” without the quotes (of course!). Then power off, plug the extra RAM module right back in and Windows will now boot with the extra RAM without any problems and even start using it right away (though 32 bit OSes will only be able to use 3.4 GB of your 4 gigs available).

  10. Gil C November 21, 2010 at 3:58 pm #

    Sorry, that should be bcdedit.exe and not bcedit.exe.

    Cheers.

  11. paul December 27, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    Guys i found that win 7 64 bit crashes with 4 gb but is fine under that amount, the solution is to boot with 2 or 3 gb and update he graphic driver to 64 bit version and all your motherboard drivers, then it should boot all the ram you have succesfully, do not know if this helps the 32 bit version though

  12. Shameka Baylock February 12, 2011 at 11:31 pm #

    I respect your piece of work, thankyou for all the good content .

  13. Yowan March 12, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    The advance boot options are for Debugging purposes only. Changing these values with not in anyway increase your performance because the computer is well aware of what the capabilities of your hardware already is.

    So this is another fake ‘tweak’

  14. Jimmy PIERRE March 18, 2011 at 2:08 am #

    Sorry Jean,

    No luck. Wiith Linux, openSUSe and SUSE Enterprise however, I can “see” the 4GB.

    Cheers,
    J

  15. Komodo Dragon March 19, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

    Wow, sounds like a really simple solution but why does MS not make it an automatic detection instead of the user having to go down this route of booting into safe mode and manually telling the OS how much RAM there is?

    • Yowan April 1, 2011 at 11:14 pm #

      Its just a PAE hack that is only beneficial if you use PAE enabled applications which are rare.
      Its in no way a solution. 32-bit systems are limited to 4GB and this patch only adds up a 4-bit extension making your OS 36-bit. The real modern solution is to use 64-bit

  16. worked! June 6, 2011 at 12:50 am #

    it worked with 2x2gb corsair xms2 that caused bluescreen on win 7 64bit before. thanks. now will try adding the old 2x1gb :-)

  17. worked! June 6, 2011 at 2:38 am #

    adding the 2x1gb to have 6gb ended worked. then I changed the max memory to 6gb and now its like it was before (freezing at boot). …

  18. NikoOeyes January 11, 2012 at 1:12 am #

    I was having this problem on my laptop with vista. After days of being frustrated with thinking I had faulty ram or my computers memory slots had gone up I did another search and found this page. I found a patch and WAL-LA! Your solutions worked! Thanks so much!

  19. purchases settlements January 11, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

    I had this issue with an old Compaq laptop, and not one could figure out why, I found out about a year ago that they had configured the thing so it wouldn’t recognize added memory. I wonder if there is a work around for that now.

  20. Agblat March 4, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    Getting into configsys showed that RAM memory was recognized, but the number of processors didn’t agree. When the next BSOD occurred, rebooting in Safemode showed in Event Viewer that multiple Code 41’s with a Hexadecimal coinciding with a power fault was a problem caused by a failing power supply. Many thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

  21. LUIS March 13, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    This option only fuction windows 7 64 bits.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Enable More Than 4GB RAM In Windows Vista and 7 32 Bit - January 4, 2010

    […] could cause a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) if the system had 4GB (or more) RAM. I managed to find a fix for that issue. But, I had another minor niggle to figure out. Although I paid for 4GB of RAM, […]

  2. How To Enable More Than 4GB Memory in Windows Vista and Windows 7 « hohohk Technical Journal - December 25, 2011

    […] could cause a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) if the system had 4GB (or more) RAM. I managed to find a fix for that issue. But, I had another minor niggle to figure out. Although I paid for 4GB of RAM, […]

More in Tips and Tricks (16 of 28 articles)