Edit: After writing the message below, I used google to find the issue, probably what the OP found:
That does make it sound like mem= is a correct work around.
Originally Posted by reidtc82
From ehat im reading is that dell puts a memory hole early in ram and the install thinks it doesnt havr enough ram because it has no addresses mapped beyond the hole. At least thats my understanding.
Where did you read that?
That doesn't sound very plausible.
Even if it is correct, I'm pretty sure correct syntax for mem= still wouldn't help any.
Linux can use memory with big holes. But I don't know whether there is some restriction in loading the kernel across a hole. One one not normally expect a hole in ram after the first MB and before enough contiguous ram to load a kernel.
Ive tried a few versions of fedora all x86 64 as i think thats the right one for my system.
Do you have any version of Linux that will boot up? Maybe 32 bit Linux is best for this.
With any Linux that boots up try the following command and post the results:
That should give you the BIOS memory map showing which ram the BIOS tells Linux is usable vs. reserved or missing.