Unusable RAM/Unproductive RAM slot, Samsung Series 3 laptop

eidolon171

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This is a Samsung Series 3, Geeksquad refurbished model NP365E5C-S02UB with an a8-4500m apu. Laptop started running slow a month or two ago. I noticed in ResMon that half the RAM was hardware reserved. I took out one of the memory modules, and sure enough the laptop wouldn't boot. I bought new RAM, installed it, and the hardware reserved issue remained. I tested one module at a time in one slot at a time. I confirmed that both modules are working properly, but one slot won't even post. With both slots occupied Bios and windows recognize the RAM module in the corrupted slot, but will allocate it as hardware reserved. I've checked the contacts on the bad slot, but I don't see anything wrong with them. There are no bent pins, debris, or traces burnt onto the board surrounding the slot. Any ideas? I can upload pictures if that helps.
 

cTs Corvette

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Sounds like 2GB of RAM is being reserved for the onboard GPU. You can upgrade to 8GB of RAM, or decrease the amount of RAM being used by the GPU if you're not a gamer or doing video/photo editing on it.
 
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cTs Corvette

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Sounds like 2GB of RAM is being reserved for the onboard GPU. You can upgrade to 8GB of RAM, or decrease the amount of RAM being used by the GPU if you're not a gamer or doing video/photo editing on it.
 
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eidolon171

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It was originally 4GB but the replacement RAM kit I bought is 8GB. So at first I only had roughly 2GB usable RAM, now I have about 4GB usable RAM.
 

eidolon171

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Went into the BIOS, accessed "UMA Frame Buffer Size", it was set to "Auto", I changed it to "Manual" and set "Share Memory Size" to 256M (only options are 128, 256, and 512). Also confirmed again in BIOS that "Total Memory" reads 8192 MB, "Slot1 Memory" reads 4096 MB and "Slot2 Memory" reads 4096 MB. I saved the changes and exited to Windows, pulled up ResMon, still seeing 4391 MB under Hardware Reserved.
 

eidolon171

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Re-installed Windows, no change. It's a bad sign, but any one of the two new or two old RAM modules inserted into the "good" RAM slot and I get full usability (minus the appropriate amount of memory for the igpu). Looks like the RAM slot is dead, regardless of the fact that it passes visual inspection, a dead slot has got to be the answer. Anyone care to dispute that?
 

cTs Corvette

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I know your laptop is supposed to have 64-bit Windows installed, but you did say Geeksquad refurbished it, so just for the heck of it, can you verify that you do indeed have 64-bit Windows installed?
 

eidolon171

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Okay so I bought new RAM. That didn't solve the problem. Also noticed that the fan would start spinning when the laptop turned on but would eventually stop spinning shortly after Windows loaded up. So I bought a new fan too. That didn't solve the problem either. So I bought a motherboard replacement. And figured, heck why not just upgrade the apu while I'm at it. I just got the motherboard replacement and an a10 5750m today. Installed them both. The Resmon now shows all (7.8GB or so) RAM is usable. But the fan is doing the same thing that the old fan and mobo used to do! Makes no sense. Couple that I have no fan with an a10 5750m and after five minutes of web browsing and it's 100°! I'm at a loss.

I found the schematics for my motherboard,
http://www.s-manuals.com/pdf/motherboard/compal/compal_la-8864p_r0.3_schematics.pdf
But I see nothing weird in the design that would cause this
 

cTs Corvette

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The fans should be thermally controlled and only kick on when needed. Is that temperature in F or C? If it's F it's not a big deal, 100 isn't that hot. If it's C, then yes, there's a problem somewhere.
 

eidolon171

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Samsung laptops have some kind of "silent mode" feature which overrides Windows power plan settings. It goes into "passive"cooling, forcing the cpu to slow down as it gets hot, and never altering the fan speed. According to Samsung support the only way to disable it is to use the FN+F11 hotkey command. But that requires having all the correct drivers, which Samsung does not readily provide for manual installation. The support team assured me that downloading the SW update tool would assign the hotkey drivers accordingly, but that was apparently bs, because the only thing SW update seems capable of offering me (as far as drivers are concerned) is a graphics driver and a bluetooth driver.
 

eidolon171

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Apparently the reason the SW update tool won't provide the drivers I need is because they are supposed to come from the Samsung recovery partition on your hard drive. But guess what. That is not the original HDD that came with the laptop, it is a 240B OCZ SSD that I installed. A few months ago. And guess what that correlates with.

Samsung support is useless. Their only suggestion is that I send it in to them for repair. That's not gonna happen. I am just going to have to figure out how to take control of that fan on my own, or with help from the toms community.
 

eidolon171

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This is my hightech diy solution for temporary cooling support,




Seriously though, I used the HWinfo tool to find out this about my bios,




Maybe there is something in all those red X's
 
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