RAM Preventing Wakeup?


RAM Preventing Wakeup?

Ask the Doctor LogoDoc, I have a 2-year-old Dell XPS 720. It has a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600, a GeForce 8800 GT, and runs on Windows XP. It shipped with two 1GB DIMMs. A few months ago, I decided to upgrade to four 1GB DIMMs. I bought the RAM from Crucial. The machine boots and shows the correct amount of RAM and runs great. My problem is coming back from a sleep or hibernate state. The PC’s hard drive just spins and nothing happens. If I take out one DIMM, it will boot right up. I can shut it off, replace the fourth stick of RAM and it comes right up. It doesn’t matter which stick I remove or what slots they are in. I’ve updated the video drivers and BIOS but it didn’t make any difference. Any ideas?

—Jim Leiferman

While running greater than 4GB of RAM with Windows XP is known to cause hibernation issues, the Doc’s uncertain about the cause of your problem. The sad fact is, you could write an entire book troubleshooting hibernation and sleep issues in Windows XP. When you add RAM, your hiberfil.sys file will grow in size to match the amount of RAM you have. Your page file may also increase in size. If you are running particularly tight on hard drive space, this could be the source of your issue. It’s a little hard to follow what you did, but you didn’t actually add RAM to the machine while it was hibernated, did you? Adding RAM to Windows XP while in hibernation would likely induce strange results with the OS. If you’re just ready to give up on trying to figure this out, the compromise might be to run just 3GB of RAM instead of 4GB. Since 32-bit Windows XP cannot generally access more than 3.5GB of RAM, you won’t be giving up too much by losing that one DIMM. The lost memory bandwidth is also unlikely to impact performance very much, either.


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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