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I've seen lots of folks having problem with hardware reserved memory issue in Windows 7/Server 2008 R2. I have it myself but not as huge as others have.

Problem description

When you install Windows 7 (or its bigger brother Windows Server 2008 R2) your memory may not be fully utilised. If you look at

Task Manager >
    Performance Tab >
        Resource Monitor >
            Memory Tab

And scroll to the bottom of the list you will see a graphical representation of your memory. Some of it may be hardware reserved. Previous Windows versions didn't have this problem. System was able to utilise all memory available.


Is there any solution to lower/remove hardware reserved memory?


I tried installing 32 and 64 bit versions but to no avail. I also tried both Windows: 7 and Server 2008 R2. But always get the same amount reserved by HW. On previous Windows versions I had more memory available because I'm simultaneously running 2 VMs on host (so three machines all together). And my memory peaks much higher now as it did on older versions.

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Got the same problem here, recently I upgraded from 2GB to 6GB and stated that 3GB was hardware recerved. Today I bought another 4GB, only to find out that those whole 4GB end up in hardware reserved aswell. This makes me wonder if the problem lies with the reserved pard or that the normal part isn't properly expanding. My system: <ul><li>Proc: AMD 965x4 Phanom BE</li> <li>Motherboard: ASUS M4A79XTD-EVO</li> <li>Memory: 10GB DDR3 (A1:4 A2:4 B1:2)<i>With only 3GB available to windows 7?</i></li> <li>HD: 1.5TB (4-8GB PageFile on each partition)</li> <li>Video: Dual VideoCards (CrossFire – user68331 Jan 26 '11 at 18:24

Your PC always consumed that RAM, but older versions of Windows didn't show.

Now if you think that the hardware reserverd memory is a lot we need to which device is consuming that and how much each device.

For do that open the Device Manager (devmgmt.msc), go to the view menu, Select Resources By Connection and expand the Memory subtree. There you have the ranges of RAM used by each device.

Convert the two values of each device from hexadeximal to decimal, and substrac them. The difference is how much memory is a device using. This way we will know what are taking you RAM.

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My problem solved as follow:

Windows 7 SP1 64-bit, Fujitsu NB, 4GB dual channel DDR3 1 bar samsung, 1 bar kingmax, Windows see them, 2050MB hardware

reserved, all solutions found online couldn't solve it.

I tested boot with 1 bar at a time, the samsung bar good ==> 2GB installed, 2MB hardware reserved only ! while the kingmax bar couldn't boot at all !

2 bars of samsung ram, ==> 4GB installed, <2MB hardware reserved only !

Checked with "resmon.exe" of Windows 7 !

Conclusion: Windows 7 may find little problem with the RAM, therefore marked

it as hardware reserved !

Suggestion: Try to set your ram to run at same speed, use same brand of ram.

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How much memory are you seeing as 'Hardware Reserved'? If its less than 256MB you're seeing the memory that exists in the system but is preallocated to the video card.

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Hardware reserved memory is 641 MB. – Robert Koritnik Oct 26 '09 at 18:48
That's high, but not unreasonable. On my 32-bit laptop with 4GB RAM, I don't see 1GB. At home on the desktop on 64-bit (also 4GB), it's a measly 68MB. – user3914 Oct 26 '09 at 19:44
hmmm. My 64 bit Windows 7 with 4GB of RAM shows 6 MB Hardware reservered. I have a ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3670. – Knox Oct 26 '09 at 20:17
@knox: good for you. I wish I was in the same position as you are. :) – Robert Koritnik Oct 26 '09 at 22:41

Could be a "cheap" graphics solution without dedicated memory - then the memory is taken from system memory;) I suggest you tell us sometihng aobut your server hardware, please ;)

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Well it's an HP nc8430 notebook with a dedicated Ati graphics card with its own memory. – Robert Koritnik May 7 '10 at 18:31
Ok, so it also has no additional fancy stuff (notebooks rarely have). Out of ideas. – TomTom May 7 '10 at 18:50

So the answer i seem to get is that all the RAM sticks have to be the same speed. I just got 6 sticks of RAM from dell, each 4gb. the first 2 they sent were 1066mhz and the other 4sticks they sent were 1333mhz. So my system says 24gb (16 usable) 8 is hardware reserved due to the mismatch in the RAM. thats what the dell guy says anyway

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That's just bollocks. I have two 2G SODIMMs in my notebook and I get 641 hardware reserved memory. If the guy at DELL was right I should have 2G of HW reserved mem. I assume his answer was just the easy way out to get rid of your problem so you wouldn't bother him again. Something that convinced you he's right. And BTW: Both of my SODIMMs are the same. So I shouldn't have any HW reserved mem. – Robert Koritnik Mar 27 '11 at 11:58

For the two servers I saw this on (32GB, 16GB usable/Hardware Reserved), it was the fact they have RAM redundancy set to "Spare" full redundancy mode.(So half the RAM is sitting there as a hot spare.)

Checked using Dell OpenManage ServerAdmin -> Memory:

Memory Redundancy
Redundancy Status   Full

Fail Over State Inactive
Redundancy Configuration    Spare

Attributes of Memory Array(s)
Memory Array 1

Location    System Board or Motherboard
Use System Memory
Installed Capacity  32768 MB
Maximum Capacity    524288 MB
Slots Available 16
Slots Used  16
Error Correction    Multibit ECC

Total of Memory Array(s)

Total Installed Capacity    32768 MB
Total Installed Capacity Available to the OS    16384 MB
Total Maximum Capacity  524288 MB
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