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I installed 4GB ram to my elitebook 8540w to increase the ram to 8GB , the laptop recognize the extra ram but it says only 2.99 usable. why what happened to my other ram
If you are running a 32 bit operating system like you posted, the maximum memory a 32 bit operating system can 'see and use' is 4 GB.
So, 2.99 GB usable out of 4 GB is pretty normal, the 1 GB going to support the shared graphics memory.
In order for Windows to 'see and use' most of the 8 GB of memory, you need to install a 64 bit operating system.
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