System only sees 8 of 16 GB of RAM

Eric Olsen falconv at
Tue Aug 3 23:46:10 MDT 2010

 Any suggestions on what I should do next?
    Call Lenovo support. They might give you the run-around because you
didn't buy the memory with the laptop, and it may not be in the "supported
memory" list, but you can try.

I'm sure someone with more knowledge will correct me, but the way I
understand it, if the BIOS doesn't see the full amount of memory, nothing
will. Sure, each slot might be able to see 4GB, hence memtest shows 4GB each
slot, but if the BIOS can't handle 8GB as a whole then you're out of luck.
Since Lenovo claims it supports it, they may have a problem with their BIOS
and will have to come out with an update soon.

Good luck.


On Tue, Aug 3, 2010 at 10:07 PM, Richard Esplin
<richard-lists at>wrote:

> I am curious if anyone has any insight into my problem.
> My new ThinkPad W510 arrived today. Though it is a nice machine, I am very
> annoyed that Lenovo stopped selling machines with Linux preinstalled. But
> that is a complaint for another day.
> I ordered the minimum RAM from Lenovo, and then ordered 16 GB (4 x 4 GB
> sodimms) off of NewEgg. I replaced the memory, and rebooted the machine.
> Facts:
> * The BIOS only reports 8GB of installed memory.
> * Using "free", Linux appears to only see 7GB of memory--I am guessing the
> video card has the rest.
> * Memtest reports only 3GB of memory, but I think this is a known bug.
> * Memtest reports 4x4GB Dimms installed. It correctly lists the brand and
> model of each sodimm.
> * Lenovo advertises this model as supporting 16 GB in 4 sodimms.
> * I'm using Kubuntu 10.04 x64.
> * I checked my BIOS version and it appears to be the lastest (1.24).
> Questions:
> * How can memtest see the sodimms, but the OS isn't using them?
> * Do I need to do something for all the RAM to appear?
> * If one sodimm is bad, will it prevent the other one from being used?
> (i.e. do they have to be paired?)
> * Any suggestions on what I should do next?
> Thank you,
> Richard
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