8GB of RAM is Too Much?


I have a home-built PC that uses a Gigabyte GA-EG45M-UD2H motherboard. When I load it with 8GB (four 2GB sticks) of RAM, I find that I cannot install either Windows XP or Vista 64-bit. The installation process fails partway through the “expanding files” section, with a “corrupt files” error. I tried new install media to no avail. Eventually, on a hunch, I removed all of the memory except the module in slot 1, leaving 2GB on the system, and the install completed normally.

I tested all of my modules in slot 1 and all passed. I then tested a module in each slot and all four passed. So what could be the issue with this motherboard? The memory (Kingston DDR2-800) is listed in the compatible memory list and the motherboard supports up to 16GB. I could find no information about this issue on Gigabyte’s website.

—Paul Jackson
Paul, your motherboard and OS should both be able to recognize 8GB of RAM. Since your OS installed correctly with 2GB, you should now try adding the rest of the RAM to that installation, rather than trying to reinstall with all 8GB slotted in. You may need to change your RAM voltages and timings to utilize all 8GB. Look up your RAM model number on Kingston’s website—you’ll find specific voltage and timing information there. JEDEC standards dictate that DDR2 draws 1.8V, but some performance RAM can draw up to 2.2V. Make sure your motherboard can supply enough voltage to all of your RAM, and set the voltages and timings correctly in the BIOS.

SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION Are flames shooting out of the back of your rig? First, grab a fire extinguisher and douse the flames. Once the pyrotechnic display has fizzled, email the doctor at doctor@maximumpc.com for advice on how to solve your technological woes.

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