Maximum RAM in Vista 32 bit

Discussion in 'Windows Desktop Systems' started by Guybrush, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. Guybrush

    Guybrush Village Idiot

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    I have recently taken delivery of a new computer and although the Bios says there is 4gb ram installed windows is only showing 2813gb.

    Is there maximum of RAM Vista will show, just like the big hard drive issues in Win XP SP1.

    I have downloaded all the windows updates to now as requested by the company I bought the new computer from and to now we are both stumped.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
     
  2. anmor

    anmor OSNN Junior Addict

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  3. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    it's a 32 bit problem not a vista problem

    all memory needs an address, those are alocated to 4 gigs max

    why is your system showing only 2813?

    this might be your video card, it might be some memory address space reserved for hardware that uses memory...if the bios thinks some hardware might have it's own memory the os will set aside address alocation to be used by that hardware

    that means your on board memory can't be used above that criteria

    here's a pdf

    http://forum.osnn.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=6193&d=1123270098
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2007
  4. NetRyder

    NetRyder Tech Junkie Folding Team

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    The maximum amount of addressable RAM varies depending on the hardware in your machine. See this post for a more detailed explanation: http://forum.osnn.net/showthread.php?p=775847#post775847

    Basically, if you want all 4GB of RAM to be usable, you need to install a 64-bit OS like XP/Vista x64.
     
  5. Sazar

    Sazar F@H - Is it in you? Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    Can the PAE extension hack from XP be performed under Vista?

    I have neither considered it nor am considering it, I can simply slap Vista-64 and go that route but, is that not an option?

    AFAIK without delving further into this, I believe that performance is uneven and there may be severe slow-downs. Other than that, I am nto sure.
     
  6. NetRyder

    NetRyder Tech Junkie Folding Team

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    It should still work (haven't tried it myself, so I can't say for sure).

    But as you mentioned already, it's definitely not recommended. It adds an additional level of paging, and can also cause serious stability issues with certain device drivers.
     
  7. Sazar

    Sazar F@H - Is it in you? Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    Guybrush, I would suggest simply moving to the 64-bit version of the OS if it is possible.

    If not, I think you are going to have 2.8 - 3.25 GB of RAM available to you and the remainder may be used for paging or whatever else the memory management features deem necessary.

    It's not exactly being wasted in the precise sense, but it's definitely not as useful as being able to address all of it for system tasks as needed.

    Sorry bud, no software fix for this other than the OS change to 64-bit.
     
  8. Xie

    Xie - geek - Subscribed User Folding Team

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    I find it interesting that someplace would sell you a system with 4GB of RAM with only a 32-bit OS installed. That seems a bit of a shady business tactic for a few extra bucks on their part IMHO. :(
     
  9. j79zlr

    j79zlr Glaanies script monkey Political User

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    This is a Windows limitation, the 2.6 kernel on x86 can utilize up to 64GB of RAM with 32-bit as long as PAE is compiled in the kernel. A single process can only utilize up to 2 (or 3, I forget) GB of RAM.
     
  10. Sazar

    Sazar F@H - Is it in you? Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    All vendors do that, re: offering 4GB systems.
     
  11. LordOfLA

    LordOfLA Godlike!

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    PAE does weird things on any 32bit OS. If you want more then 3GB ram go 64bit.
     
  12. NetRyder

    NetRyder Tech Junkie Folding Team

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    It's a limitation of any vanilla 32-bit kernel, not just NT (Windows).

    As you said, with Linux you specifically need a kernel with PAE support compiled in. In Windows, using the /PAE flag switches the kernel to ntoskrnlpa, which is ntoskrnl with PAE support. 32-bit versions of Windows like Server 2003, for example, support 64GB of RAM with PAE enabled.

    PAE was created as a stop-gap measure by increasing the size of the address to 36 bits (hence the 64GB limit) and adding an additional level of address translation (three instead of two). Now with the availability of 64-bit CPUs and OS's, there aren't many good reasons to still fall back on PAE, given the performance and stability implications.
     
  13. Guybrush

    Guybrush Village Idiot

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    Many thanks for all your replies. I think I will eventually spend £200+ for the 64 bit version - she who must be obeyed permitting!

    Incidentally, I spoke with the company's customer services and they advised me to remove the second stick of RAM myself and return it to them for a refund!! What happens to my warrenty then?!
     
  14. Brad

    Brad Moderator Political User Folding Team

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    In many major manufacturer's laptop cases they have an easy access panel on the bottom to access the RAM. I would ask the question again, but document who you talked to and when just in case there is some question.
     
  15. j79zlr

    j79zlr Glaanies script monkey Political User

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    Have them send you an email describing exactly that. If they give you sh!t about the warranty, you have it in writing they asked you to remove it yourself.