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Windows 7 32-bit with full 4 GB or 8 GB RAM support

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unawave    0
For some background on the complications which resulted in >4GB of addressing using PAE being disabled for client editions of Windows:
But I think there is no risk in using more then 4 GB with PAE enabled.

Because Microsoft sells these 32 bit versions:

  • Windows 2000 Advanced Server, 8 GB
  • Windows 2000 Datacenter Server, 32 GB
  • Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition, 32 GB
  • Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition SP1, 64 GB
  • Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition, 64 GB
  • Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition SP1, 128 GB

I don't think that Microsoft says to their customer: You can run Windows 2000 Advanced Server with 8 GB. It is a 32 bit system - but even with PAE enabled there is a risk of using "some" 32 bit drivers. They can crash your system.

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hdood    145

Yes, they do. The difference is that server users generally use very carefully picked hardware. It's a very controlled environment. Consumers, on the other hand, use random hardware from all over the place.

You're suggesting some conspiracy where Microsoft lies about it causing problems (even going to the extent of creating detailed fake technical explanations), which is just silly.

Also, I believe 4GB is the maximum memory allowed by the license, which means if you do patch the kernel to allow more, then you are violating the license.

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BigBoobLover    0
There are no CPUs with 36-bit registers. PAE doesn't change register sizes. It just adds another level of hierarchy to the page table structures.

Which, in effect, gives it 36-bit addressing. It is part of the processor architecture that allows for the extra 4 bits. While technically, the processor is still 32-bit, the effective addressing space is 36-bit.

By the way, I found a good link with some background on PAE, including information on the driver compatibility problems others mentioned.

http://blogs.technet.com/markrussinovich/a...21/3092070.aspx

Edited by BigBoobLover

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unawave    0
The difference is that server users generally use very carefully picked hardware. It's a very controlled environment. Consumers, on the other hand, use random hardware from all over the place.

So I ask:

Is it not allowed to install "Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition" with 64 GB on a consumer PC ?

Do there exist a list of supported hardware ?

You're suggesting some conspiracy where Microsoft lies about it causing problems

What about the restrictions Windows 7 Starter Edition only can use 2 GB of RAM ? Is the reason also "not supported hardware" (4 GB of RAM) ?

Also, I believe 4GB is the maximum memory allowed by the license, which means if you do patch the kernel to allow more, then you are violating the license.

At least in German there is the rule: You only agree the license when you can see and read it before installation. And I don't read any part that disallows it.

Other example:

In Windows 7 Starter edition it is not possible to change the desktop wallpaper. But some OEMs deliver their Netbooks with changed desktop wallpapers. Is this a violation of license agreement ?

Or with "Stardocks MyColors" anyone can do it yourself. Is this a violation of license agreement ?

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Jason S.    1,495

why cant people let go of 32-bit? technology changes... adapt to the change... 64-bit is the future.

and i'll get replies about "software compatibility brah! not all software works for 64-bit meng! legacy this and that. rabble!" and to that i say, then dont use the crappy software. done and done.

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BigBoobLover    0
why cant people let go of 32-bit? technology changes... adapt to the change... 64-bit is the future.

and i'll get replies about "software compatibility brah! not all software works for 64-bit meng! legacy this and that. rabble!" and to that i say, then dont use the crappy software. done and done.

I guess the fact that lots and lots of people still have perfectly useable 32-bit systems eludes you. Be careful, your arrogance is showing.

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unawave    0
why cant people let go of 32-bit?

I have a 32 bit PC, 3,4 GHz with 4 GB RAM and it is fast enough for me.

Why should I buy a new 64 bit PC ? Do you ever hear something about "environmental protection" ?

And I want to use the full 4 GB of RAM ? if it is possible. Why I have paid for it ?

If I had a 1 terabyte hard disk I also want to use 1 terabyte and not only 750 GB.

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hdood    145
Is it not allowed to install "Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition" with 64 GB on a consumer PC ?

If you bought a license, then yes. I do not believe that it is available to end-users though.

Do there exist a list of supported hardware ?

No, you've got it backwards. It's hardware that supports Windows, not the other way around. You would get compatibility information from whoever you got the hardware from.

What about the restrictions Windows 7 Starter Edition only can use 2 GB of RAM ? Is the reason also "not supported hardware" (4 GB of RAM) ?

I have no idea at all what point you are trying to make. Starter is limited to 2GB by license, not any technical reason. Licensing software based on memory and processors is very common.

I don't believe that Microsoft has claimed that the 4GB limit in the client edition is for compatibility reasons. They decided that 4GB is the max you get to use without paying more, just like you also have to pay more to use additional processors. Standard business practice.

What is done for compatibility reasons is disabling the option to use PAE to extend the usable memory. The result of this is that everything has to fit in 4GB, and you end up with just 3GB or less of usable RAM. With PAE, you could have used all 4GB.

In Windows 7 Starter edition it is not possible to change the desktop wallpaper. But some OEMs deliver their Netbooks with changed desktop wallpapers. Is this a violation of license agreement ?

No, because the OEM has an agreement with Microsoft that allows them to do this. It's known as the OEM license (which is separate from the end-user license.) Without such a license, it would be illegal for an OEM to do anything to Windows.

Or with "Stardocks MyColors" anyone can do it yourself. Is this a violation of license agreement ?

I don't know. It might be, depending on the license and jurisdiction (like you said.)

Also, is it really necessary to try to draw parallels to other things when discussing a specific topic? I don't think so.

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Brandon Live    232
But I think there is no risk in using more then 4 GB with PAE enabled.

That is impossible with a 32-bit system. Plus it appears you misread the statement you quoted. PAE is always enabled. It was >4GB of memory support which is disabled on client editions.

Because Microsoft sells these 32 bit versions:

  • Windows 2000 Advanced Server, 8 GB
  • Windows 2000 Datacenter Server, 32 GB
  • Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition, 32 GB
  • Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition SP1, 64 GB
  • Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition, 64 GB
  • Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition SP1, 128 GB

I don't think that Microsoft says to their customer: You can run Windows 2000 Advanced Server with 8 GB. It is a 32 bit system - but even with PAE enabled there is a risk of using "some" 32 bit drivers. They can crash your system.

That is precisely what we say (or rather, said, since we don't ship 32-bit Server SKUs any more). Running with >4GB of RAM on 32-bit Server editions comes with a lot of warnings about being careful which hardware and drivers you use. For example, NVidia and ATI video cards just generally won't work with the OEM drivers. But server applications don't care about that, they don't use those kinds of cards and they generally stick with the barebones SVGA driver if they even have a monitor connected. Server mainboards, chipsets, I/O controllers, etc - are all designed for these server scenarios including the >4GB of RAM requirement.

The existence of mainstream 64-bit platforms has helped the situation, since cleaning up a driver codebase to support 64-bit often results in cleaning up the 32-bit version as well, in many cases addressing some of these issues. But they're still there.

I have a 32 bit PC, 3,4 GHz with 4 GB RAM and it is fast enough for me.

Why should I buy a new 64 bit PC ? Do you ever hear something about "environmental protection" ?

And I want to use the full 4 GB of RAM ? if it is possible. Why I have paid for it ?

If I had a 1 terabyte hard disk I also want to use 1 terabyte and not only 750 GB.

But you probably wouldn't connect a 1TB disk to an I/O controller which only support 750GB disks.

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Brandon Live    232
I don't believe that Microsoft has claimed that the 4GB limit in the client edition is for compatibility reasons. They decided that 4GB is the max you get to use without paying more, just like you also have to pay more to use additional processors. Standard business practice.

What is done for compatibility reasons is disabling the option to use PAE to extend the usable memory. The result of this is that everything has to fit in 4GB, and you end up with just 3GB or less of usable RAM. With PAE, you could have used all 4GB.

Correct. Though the memory limit for client editions would be higher if it weren't for the compatibility concerns, there would still be a limit (for example, Home Premium 64-bit can support 192GB of RAM, so there's no licensing reason for 32-bit to have a lower maximum since it's the same license).

There are several compatibility reasons why PAE address extensions aren't supported. In some cases, it's a matter of devices which deal with 64-bit addresses but ignore the top 32-bits. In other cases, it's pure 32-bit devices (which have to go through a double buffering workaround, incurring a performance penalty) which make assumptions about the layout of memory or the address table. As I mentioned above, most common consumer hardware now has solid 64-bit drivers, which likely caused their 32-bit drivers to have these issues resolved. But as Mark pointed out in his blog post linked above, it's difficult to assess the risk here and not worth it considering that 64-bit Windows is now the default option and immune to these concerns.

Edited by Brandon Live
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tsupersonic    1,794
I have a 32 bit PC, 3,4 GHz with 4 GB RAM and it is fast enough for me.

Why should I buy a new 64 bit PC ? Do you ever hear something about "environmental protection" ?

You do realize that clock speed does not correspond with 32 or 64 bit. I have a 1.8GHz CPU that is 64 bit. So, by you saying I have a 3.4GHz computer, that means it could be a 32 or 64 bit CPU, hard to tell just by frequency alone.

Besides, who says it has to go in the trash, give the computer to someone else so that it doesnt end up in a landfill...

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unawave    0
So, by you saying I have a 3.4GHz computer, that means it could be a 32 or 64 bit CPU

You misunderstood me. What I wanted to say was:

I have a 32 bit PC.

With 3,4 GHz and 4 GB RAM it is fast enough for me.

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The_Observer    293

So when do you think we will get a 5Ghz CPU!

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unawave    0

What about the restrictions Windows 7 Starter Edition only can use 2 GB of RAM ? Is the reason also "not supported hardware" (4 GB of RAM) ?

I have no idea at all what point you are trying to make. Starter is limited to 2GB by license, not any technical reason.

Exact your last sentence I wanted to pointed out: "Starter is limited to 2GB by license, not any technical reason."

So it could be that the restriction to 4 GB of the other 32 bit Windows 7 versions is also only because license and not any technical reason

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Pierreken    1
You misunderstood me. What I wanted to say was:

I think he understood you correctly. Given the clock frequency of your CPU I would think that it's 64-bit compatible.

Do you know the exact type of CPU you have?

Right click on "My Computer", select "Manage", go to "Device Manager" and expand "Processors"

Can you tell us what items are in there? (could also just be one)

Regards

Pierreken

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morphen    14

bottom line; if you have a 64-bit capable cpu, and have >4gb ram, buy a 64-bit version of windows:p

if you don't have a 64-bit capable cpu, then just run the 32-bit version or go buy a 64-bit capable cpu, you don't need a top of the line cpu for that, there are dirt cheap cpu's out there.

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hdood    145
So it could be that the restriction to 4 GB of the other 32 bit Windows 7 versions is also only because license and not any technical reason

I don't know why you keep this up. It has been stated many times in the thread (with references) exactly what the source of the RAM limit (which is just over 3GB in the real world, not 4). Even a Microsoft employee chimed in earlier to confirm it. That there is a technical reason is an indisputable fact. It isn't speculation, it's a solid hard fact like the earth not being flat.

The fact that Microsoft also restricts RAM in various editions is a separate and unrelated matter. Why would they lie about it like you are implying?

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unawave    0
Do you know the exact type of CPU you have?

Found three descriptions:

Intel Pentium 4 CPU 3,4 GHz

x86 Family 15 Model 3 Stepping 4 GenuineIntel ~3391 Mhz

Intel Pentium 4 550 with HT-Technologie, 3,4 GHz

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unawave    0
It isn't speculation, it's a solid hard fact like the earth not being flat.

I have tested it with 4 GB and even 8 GB of RAM. I believe what I have seen. Perhaps you can explain what I have seen wrong ? if so.

Have you ever tested it ? E.g. with a quick VHD installation ? Praxis beats theory.

And if you think it is not worth the time to test it or 32 bit processors are not worth to test I have no problem with it.

And I also have absolute no problem when you believe what you have read.

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andy2004    1

russians wanting to patch your kernels ? ahahahahaha all your base are belong to us :shifty:

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hdood    145
I have tested it with 4 GB and even 8 GB of RAM. I believe what I have seen. Perhaps you can explain what I have seen wrong ? if so.

Have you ever tested it ? E.g. with a quick VHD installation ? Praxis beats theory.

And if you think it is not worth the time to test it or 32 bit processors are not worth to test I have no problem with it.

And I also have absolute no problem when you believe what you have read.

I assume by "it" you mean this patch. What point are you trying to make? You do realize that Windows runs on a billion computers worldwide, and not just yours? The fact that you don't think you have any incompatible drivers does not mean that there aren't thousands of them (especially back when the decision was made.) Why do you think the Microsoft engineers who had to deal with this problem would lie about this? What is the gain? You seem to be suggesting some grand conspiracy.

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DrCheese    103
I installed "VMware Player 3" and created a virtual machine with 5 GB of RAM. And this works.

....

yes it does work, you could assign it 32gb for all it cares, all it does is page what can't fit in memory to disk instead, so no it's not proof that the 32bit hack works

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leesmithg    226

If a x86 ops could run on more than 3.2-3.6 gb r.a.m. I would have thought Microsoft would have released the ops being able to do it already.

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unawave    0
russians wanting to patch your kernels ? ahahahahaha all your base are belong to us :shifty:

If you have read the link in my first post then you should recognize that you also can do all the steps manually ? no Russian patch necessary.

You do realize that Windows runs on a billion computers worldwide, and not just yours?

Your are right. But say "a billion computers minus 4" because I have tested this patch on 4 different PCs without any problem

all it does is page what can't fit in memory to disk instead

Not in my case, because I have disabled paging file.

If a x86 ops could run on more than 3.2-3.6 gb r.a.m. I would have thought Microsoft would have released the ops being able to do it already.

You are right- Microsoft has released operating systems that are able to do it:

  • Windows 2000 Advanced Server, 8 GB
  • Windows 2000 Datacenter Server, 32 GB
  • Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition, 32 GB
  • Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition SP1, 64 GB
  • Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition, 64 GB
  • Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition SP1, 128 GB

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The_Decryptor    1,105
...

Not in my case, because I have disabled paging file.

...

Yeah, you wouldn't be able to use that 5GB of RAM in the VM then, you'd run out of physical memory very quickly.

Disabling the page file isn't a good thing to do.

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