RAM memory on revC is less than expected 256 MB

Hello from beautiful (and hot!) Tucson, Arizona.

I recently installed the latest demo BeagleBoard image to a bootable 8 GB SD card on a RevC board, following a system crash that corrupted a previous SD card. Using the linux “free” command, I see ~59 MB total memory available. Prior to the crash, I recall 200+ MB memory availability, as expected from the 256 MB RAM specification.

This memory constraint prevents fully booting into the GUI mode (it sends kill signals as memory constraints became significant).

This seems to occur for other SD cards as well (I tried several pre-built ones purchased from Special Computing); I suspect it may not be due to this SD card’s image and instead lie with some board setting (maybe something on the NAND side? I’m no NAND wizard).

As a work-around, I set up 512 MB swap memory to allow full GUI boot-up (swap was installed by accessing the system over serial cable). I’d like to fix this so that I may remove the swap dependency so that the system will run more quickly.

Any ideas on checks to perform, possible root causes, or even a better proposed work-around, are appreciated.

Thanks for your time & consideration.