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I have a server I've installed Windows Web 2008 R2 on, which is reporting that I have double the physical memory installed as is actually the case. In msinfo32 "Installed Physical Memory" shows as 2x what ever the actual installed amount is, though "Total Physical Memory" shows the correct amount. The "System" info window shows installed memory as 2x, with the correct amount in parenthesis listed as the "usable" amount).

This server mistakenly had Windows Web 2008 (32-bit) installed on it just previously, and that OS also reported the same faulty information as Win2K8R2 is reporting.

BIOS reports the correct amount, memtest was run on this server before installation, and a previous Windows 2000 instance installed on this system also reported the correct amount, as I recall. Server operation seems to be fine as well (it's only trying to use the correct amount of memory).

The server is a generic pizzabox running on a SuperMicro X6DVL-EG with dual Xeon-3.2's. Memory installed are 4 matching mt18vddf12872g-335c3 sticks (1GB pc2700 DDR ECC REG cl2.5) This behavior occurs whether two or all four are installed.

So, has anyone seen something like this before? Have any idea about what's causing it, and how I should be concerned about it? Everything else seems good so far, and I'll be upgrading the memory before putting the server into service, but I don't want to spend too much time/money/effort on the server if it's got something odd going wrong here.

UPDATE: There was a question I ran into regarding memory sparing in the BIOS and a possible (buggy) effect thereof; however, flipping that bit back and forth in the BIOS revealed that isn't the issue.

Still flummoxed a bit about this one, though I still have seen no negative impacts.

Post-Answer Update (January 13, 2011): Upgrading the system with new, larger memory has fixed this issue.

share|improve this question
Update all available firmware and drivers already? – Chris S Dec 6 '10 at 3:35
Firmware was updated before recent OS installs. – Andrew Barber Dec 6 '10 at 4:37
When you loaded the new os did you just do an in place upgrade or a full reload? – ErnieTheGeek Dec 20 '10 at 21:27
It was a fresh install on new drives. – Andrew Barber Dec 20 '10 at 22:13
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Msinfo32 is known to have issues regarding how it reports memory statistics, so I wouldn't rely on nor use it. What does Task Manager or Process Explorer report?

The fact that it shows twice the amount installed might be due to that particular dual processor platform's memory architecture.

Before upgrading, please refer to the memory limitations guide for the Intel E7320.

share|improve this answer
msinfo32 : I'd applied that hotfix when I first discovered this issue in Win2K8, but it didn't have any effect. I think R2 doesn't have that particular issue (though certainly it could have another, separate one). Task Manager/ProcExpl Neither report the 'physical', installed memory separately, but both show the same as msinfo32 for 'Total' memory (4095MB). Resource Monitor shows the same as msinfo32: 8192MB 'installed', 4095MB 'total'. Architecture : My guess was something along those lines. As for the upgrade; I planned to get a new set of matching modules, if I do it. – Andrew Barber Dec 21 '10 at 0:52
+1 and thanks for the info too, btw. – Andrew Barber Dec 21 '10 at 0:52
I'm going to Accept and award the bounty if I don't get anything else before the bounty expires. – Andrew Barber Dec 23 '10 at 17:54
Thanks. It's a very good question and it's a bit annoying that noone provided a precise answer - but that's usually the case with these things. Contacting SuperMicro might give some engineering clues if they're nice enough. – Oskar Duveborn Dec 28 '10 at 17:40

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