Why won't your computer recognize RAM?

Installation of additional random access memory modules(RAM) is the easiest and most affordable way to improve the efficiency of your computer. Each working process in your PC uses a certain amount of RAM. The module is a temporary data store that provides system performance. The more RAM you have, the faster your PC works. Usually RAM is not connected with a lot of problems. If Windows does not detect new hardware after installation, you need to pay attention to several important system parameters.

Оперативная память

What should you consider before buying RAM?

Before you go to the store, you should check the maximum RAM capacity of your operating system, regardless of version: Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1 or 10. 32-bit Windows supports up to 4 GB. To use more memory, you need to install a 64-bit system.

Modern computers use the new DDR4 memory standard, while older versions use DDR3. Specify the type of RAM your pc supports so as not to make mistake when actually buying. The DDR4 module will not fit into DDR3 slot, because the notch on the side with the contacts differs for different types of RAM.

 DDR3 и DDR4

PC does not recognize the newly installed RAM

You have bought the right RAM type, you have a suitable operating system, but the computer does not recognize the installed memory? First of all, check if the module is correctly inserted into the slot. To do this, turn off the computer, remove the RAM-card and wipe the contacts. Use a hard eraser or microfiber cloth moistened with pure alcohol. Now insert the RAM-card into the slot. Make sure that the module is correctly installed into the slot: you will hear a slight click when the part snaps into its place.

If even after checking the correct installation of the RAM, it is still not recognized by your PC, you should exclude the possible reasons for such behavior:

  • software configuration errors;
  • problems with RAM;
  • malfunction or incompatibility of the motherboard.

The easiest way is to start by checking the configuration of your PC, and then make sure that all the parts are working and compatible.

How to check computer configuration?

In any operating system there are certain restrictions on the amount of supported memory depending on the bit depth and version of Windows: "Starter", "Home Basic", "Professional" and so on. If the amount of RAM matches the supported amount of your system, but the module does not work, try checking one more parameter:

  1. Press Win + R;
  2. enter "msconfig" (without quotes!);
  3. сlick OK;
  4. the “System Configuration” window appears, go to the “Boot” tab;
  5. go to the "Advanced options" and check if the limit is set in the parameter "Maximum memory";
  6. If the check mark is checked, uncheck it.

The system does not set such restrictions; it could be previously assigned manually. Having excluded the option of system malfunctions, it is worth checking the operability of the PC components.

How to see if your RAM is working properly?

In a situation when you add an additional RAM-card, but your PC does not recognize it, try removing the old module and starting the computer with only the newly installed RAM. If the PC does not work at all, then the RAM is not working, and you will have to contact the store for a replacement.

If the computer works, but the motherboard gives out more than one sound signal, the computer restarts or “freezes” - this also means that there are problems with the new RAM.

If the computer works with one RAM-card, but not with two, it is worth excluding the possibility of incompatibility of two modules. In order for the system to work at its full potential, when installing the second memory module there should be a match of operating parameters of the components:

  • clock frequency (from 800 to 3333 MHz);
  • timings;
  • sometimes capacity (two RAM-cards of 4 GB, two of 8 GB, are installed).

All information about the equipment is indicated on the module, but you can check the parameters with the help of special software, for example, MemTest86 +. You can download the utility at http://www.memtest.org, you can download both trial and full version of the program. The program does not determine compatibility, however, it shows RAM errors and its main characteristics. In case of discrepancy of one module with another in frequency or in another parameter, it is necessary to replace RAM-card with another one.

Планки оперативной памяти

Possible malfunctions of the motherboard

It happens that one of the slots on the motherboard reserved for RAM fails. This happens as a result of mechanical damage. In most cases, it is impossible to fix so the replacement will be required.

BIOS will help you to check whether the motherboard recognizes the new module. In most cases, information on installed equipment is displayed on the first screen. If the BIOS does not have data on all RAM-cards, the slot is probably defective. You can try to update the BIOS or reset the settings -you can always find the detailed instructions on the RAM manufacturer site.

If there are four memory slots on the motherboard, they are usually made in two colors. If you previously used one slot, the second module must be inserted into the connector of the same color. Other slots only work when the third and fourth memory modules are connected. All details can be found in the motherboard manual.

One of the above-mentioned solutions will help to solve problems with RAM or, at least, find out the cause of the problem.