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Windows not making use of my 4GB RAM.

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Bryan84    1

14092009235215.png

I have 4GB of RAM but my computer is making 3GB usable only. I have read a few articles regarding this issue and having to enable "Physical Address Extension" >3GB seems to solve the problem.

Can I confirm this is the solution I need to use to make my computer make use of my full 4GB? If so, can someone please kindly advise me how I should do it clearly? Step by step would be nice.

Related Articles:

http://www.megaleecher.net/Windows_XP_PAE

http://en.kioskea.net/forum/affich-90275-m...play-in-windows

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/aa...28VS.85%29.aspx

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hdood    145

I'm afraid there is nothing you can do. 32-bit Windows only has a 4GB (2^32) address space, and in this it has to fit references to various pieces of hardware (like your graphic card's memory) in your machine, and not just your system memory. In other words, if 1GB of the address space goes to other hardware, there is now only 3GB left to map your system memory. The last GB will simply remain unused. There is no way to change this, it is a hard limit. The only thing you can do is change to 64-bit Windows.

PAE can only be used to extend the available RAM in the Server editions of Windows. In the client editions, PAE is only used to facilitiate DEP (a feature that lets you label a page of memory as either being data or executable code, and you need 64-bit page tables to store this, something PAE offers).

If this is a pre-made system you've just bought, you should take it back and demand that they replace the OS with the 64-bit edition so you can actually use the hardware in it.

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BlackSteyrAug    3

32 Bit doesn't allow for 4 gigs.

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Bryan84    1

Oh my! :( Even if I am to get 64-bit, does it means my hardware such as my motherboard and CPU has to support it? Here is my system summary.

15092009002201.png

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deactivated01032015    8

Yes, your hardware must support 64-bit addressing. In your case you shouldn't have any problems.

On the other hand - it's extremely unlikely that your system will ever need 4GB of RAM. Unless you are using professional software.

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Bryan84    1

Okay my system can handle 64-bit.

15092009002958.png

Well since I have 4GB of ram, won't it be very wasteful if I do not get the 64-bit OS instead? Even if I am not using professional software.

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Andrew Lyle    336

You will need XP, Vista or Windows 7 64-bit to use all 4GB of ram.

Also, you need to format your hard drive to go from 32bit to 64bit.

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t_r_nelson    97
Yes, your hardware must support 64-bit addressing. In your case you shouldn't have any problems.

On the other hand - it's extremely unlikely that your system will ever need 4GB of RAM. Unless you are using professional software.

That's not exactly true ;) Running single apps may not put pressure on RAM. There are a lot of people that use things like CAD programs, image editors, media encoding, etc. on a regular basis and run many of these at the same time. Having the extra RAM is very useful when you add in other things like gaming and such.

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Phantom Helix    53
You will need XP, Vista or Windows 7 64-bit to use all 4GB of ram.

Also, you need to format your hard drive to go from 32bit to 64bit.

lol, when i first read that i thought you were saying the hard drive needs to be in 64bit

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Bryan84    1

Erm yeah I am quite put off by the fact that I have to format (again) after just days of using Windows 7 now. :( No I do not use those professional softwares you mentioned. Neither am I a very heavy gamer. I spend most of my time online, surfing the net and playing flash games probably. What disturbs me is that I have 4GB RAM yet only 3GB is made use off. :(

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boogerjones    86
Well since I have 4GB of ram, won't it be very wasteful if I do not get the 64-bit OS instead? Even if I am not using professional software.
It probably will make no noticeable difference for you. It has nothing to do with "professional software," so please just forget that misconception. Having 4 GB or more of memory is only useful if your system is allocating that much memory. I have 2 GB in my system, play games, modify large pictures, encode video, and use "professional software" and only once had a problem when I tried to load a 12 GB dataset into 3D visualization software. It's the only time that I've truly needed a 64-bit machine; If your computer never allocates more than 2 GB of memory, then purchasing 4 GB is wasteful in the first place.

That said, if you have access to a 64-bit operating system (especially Windows 7), it's a good time to install it. Past problems with 64-bit driver availability are mostly gone. More games may benefit from having access to large amounts of RAM. But I highly doubt that you'll notice any of this.

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deactivated01032015    8
Erm yeah I am quite put off by the fact that I have to format (again) after just days of using Windows 7 now. :( No I do not use those professional softwares you mentioned. Neither am I a very heavy gamer. I spend most of my time online, surfing the net and playing flash games probably. What disturbs me is that I have 4GB RAM yet only 3GB is made use off. :(

Frankyl, for that type of use even 2GB would be more than enough.

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Bryan84    1

Ah! So what is the spare 1GB going to be doing around in my system? :s

@boogerjones: Yeah I've read about the driver problems in 64-bit and having to run applications that need 64-bit compatibility is also another put-off for me to use a 64-bit system now actually.

From the way you all commented, it seems it will not make much difference anyway.

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Pikey    29

I wouldn't worry about it .. think of it as extra 'headroom'.

Handy if you want to upgrade down the line though.

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hdood    145

Unless you run some really obscure software or hardware, the chances that you'll have any compatibility problems with 64-bit Windows are slim to none.

If you can get the 64-bit version for free, there is no reason why you shouldn't install it. Maybe you can save it until the next time you have to reinstall?

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ViperAFK    797
It probably will make no noticeable difference for you. It has nothing to do with "professional software," so please just forget that misconception. Having 4 GB or more of memory is only useful if your system is allocating that much memory. I have 2 GB in my system, play games, modify large pictures, encode video, and use "professional software" and only once had a problem when I tried to load a 12 GB dataset into 3D visualization software. It's the only time that I've truly needed a 64-bit machine; If your computer never allocates more than 2 GB of memory, then purchasing 4 GB is wasteful in the first place.

That said, if you have access to a 64-bit operating system (especially Windows 7), it's a good time to install it. Past problems with 64-bit driver availability are mostly gone. More games may benefit from having access to large amounts of RAM. But I highly doubt that you'll notice any of this.

Playing 64 bit crysis certainly uses more than 2 gigs :rofl:

4 gigs was so cheap theres not a huge argument against getting that much either. You may not use memory hungry apps now but you may in the future.

Also he is using vista or win7 which DOES use all of your ram for increased performance.

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Bryan84    1

Ahh! I'm so lost now. :(

But really thanks everyone for your inputs! :)

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Darrian    254

It basically boils down to Windows 32-bit = ~3.5 GB of RAM usable, even if it sees it all; Windows 64-bit = 4GB+ RAM usuable. This has been a pretty common discussion over the last few years; I knew what your problem was just by reading the thread title :)

Ignore the jerks who tell you to format your hard drive. If you want to do a 64-bit install just select Custom at the install screen, do NOT format, and it will move your 32-bit Windows files into a folder called Windows.old so you can retrieve the data when it's done.

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Farquard    0

I have no actual idea how it is done, or if it was just a fluke, but when we were testing Photoshop CS4 on a 32bit system that also had 4Gigs of ram. Photoshop showed it had access to over the 3Gig 32bit limit. If someone with the inner workings of the code is online here, it would be interesting to know if this is a fluke or normal.

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Eric    1,605

You didn't list your sound card, but nVidia's 64-bit drivers are top-notch. If you're using on-board sound you should be fine.

The reason you don't see all 4GB as usable is 4GB is the maximum amout of memory that can be represented in 32 bits. Any video RAM or motherboard resources has to be in that 32-bit range so it gets "mapped" over your RAM. x64 operating systems will eliminate that and allow your full 4GB to work alongside your other resources.

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O.G    0
You will need XP, Vista or Windows 7 64-bit to use all 4GB of ram.

Also, you need to format your hard drive to go from 32bit to 64bit.

You do not need to format to go from 32bit to 64bit, that's nonsense. You cannot perform an "upgrade" from 32 to 64. You can perform a clean install of 64bit on an existing "32 bit" Windows partition and the old Windows install gets moved in its entirety to windows.old directory. This is true for Vista and 7. XP 64 bit would delete the old Windows first, so data would need to be backed up manually (like documents&settings).

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Bryan84    1

@GreyWolfSC: I am using Creative SB Live 24-Bit soundcard. And I also hope to install the older version driver so that I can have the "What U Hear" feature that the latest driver no longer has.

@O.G & @Darrian: Phew!!! So means I can save all my trouble of installing back all my data and simply do the upgrade? Keeping all my applications, games, programs? And once I've got the 64-bit to work, the windows.old can be just deleted?

Edited by Bryan84

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deactivated01032015    8

If I were you I'd wait until reformat and then I'd install 64-bit version.

If I'm not mistaken Darrian's method only saves old data and you still have to install all the programs.

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Bryan84    1
If I were you I'd wait until reformat and then I'd install 64-bit version.

Now... I have already set my mind to reformat since it has only been 2 days since I last formatted. But I really hate to go through all the hassle to backup and recover. And people are suggesting I can just upgrade by doing a Custom Install instead. That is good news. So I want to confirm that.

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hdood    145
@O.G & @Darrian: Phew!!! So means I can save all my trouble of installing back all my data and simply do the upgrade? Keeping all my applications, games, programs?

No. You have to reinstall everything. It is not possible to do an upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit.

He just means that it won't actually delete the old files, so you can manually copy over documents and things like that without having to back them up elsewhere first. All your software still has to be reinstalled.

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