XP Pro 32bit - 4GB Ram Installed - Is This The Answer?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by DasFox, Jul 7, 2010.

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  1. DasFox

    DasFox Registered Member

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    I've read that with XP Pro 32bit with 4GB of ram installed it is not going to show you all the ram in the System Properties, on a box I have it installed it only shows 3GB.

    Is this the answer to making it show and use all 4GB?

    I read this online:


    The solution is easy, open up your boot.ini file in the root of your system drive. At the end of the line for your XP installation, add "/PAE" without the quotes. This enabled the physical address extensions which will allow you to use up to 4GB of memory (the upper limit in XP Pro). Also enable DEP?

    Or no matter what you do XP can only see 3GB but your processor will use 4GB? And XP can only see the 3GB for now and you are all good to go as far as your XP is concerned, or will changing the boot.ini show 4GB in XP?

    And one last thing, this is normal seeing the 3GB, because XP has it mapped to other devices the 1GB?

    THANKS
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  2. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Sorry I don't know the answer to your question, but all the XP 32 bit machines I've had or used with 4 gigs ram usually showed about 3.5 in task manager. Other than that, I don't know much on the subject. Hopefully someone else will.
     
  3. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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  4. DasFox

    DasFox Registered Member

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    Well I know that XP has a 4GB limit, but no matter what you do, or change it's always going to report it below 4GB?

    Like for me in the System Properties it says 3.00GB Ram and below that
    Physical Address Extension

    I put in the boot.ini /PAE not sure it was needed, it's my understanding you only need PAE for more then 4GB ram, correct?

    The bios shows 4GB but it's my understanding that XP just doesn't show the complete 4GB even though it uses it.


    THANKS
     
  5. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    If you have a video card that uses shared RAM, it can become less than 4 gb.

    The other devices may be another factor, but I simply moved on to Windows 7 64-bit.
    Now I can utilize all of my RAM (had 3.25 GB in old XP Pro 32-bit with same hardware).

    There's XP Mode for your old software.
     
  6. DasFox

    DasFox Registered Member

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    I understand all this, what I'm trying to ask is it always going to be normal to see less then 4GB in XP, or can you make it show you the 4GB? This has been my question all along, sorry if I wasn't being clear here, hehe.. :)


    THANKS
     
  7. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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  8. DasFox

    DasFox Registered Member

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    Well he's saying one thing and I've read others saying that the 4GB is there being used just that Windows only shows you 3GB.

    And my understanding is that 32bit XP has a 4GB limit meaning it's all you can go up to and use. This guy seems to be contradicting this 4GB limit in 32bit systems.

    From what I've read XP uses 3gb but the hardware will use 4gb. One I didn't mention, the bios shows the 4GB, which leads me to believe the hardware does have access to this, just that Windows seems to place a limit on what it has access to.

    Then he mentions Linux, I use Linux and my understanding is it uses and shows it.

    For me in under a command in Linux called 'free -m' I get this:

    Mem: Total 3546

    Which makes sense because I have onboard video for a laptop using up the other parts of ram, but then I wonder even if I have onboard hardware using ram if Linux should show me 4000...

    THANKS

    P.S. I guess this is it in a nutshell:

    A 32bit address bus is limited to 4G, some of that is reserved for I/O devices ( usually 1G ) so this is what limits your system to see only 3 to 3.5G of ram.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  9. ABee

    ABee Registered Member

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  10. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    32bit windows has limit of ADDRESSABLE memory of 4gb. Use the PAE option.

    The reason you see 3.x gb is normally because of the video card. Remember please, that video RAM is addressed memory, so if 32bit has a total of 4gb to address, and your video card has 768mb ram, then 768mb is already addressed, leaving only 3.2gb roughly left to address from the 4gb available system ram.

    Put different video card of different memory size in, and you should normally see that memory amount change.

    I used to know a bit more about PAE and this whole subject, but once I knew it was always going to be normal to see 4gb total with 3.x usable, I quit looking.

    Sul.
     
  11. pajenn

    pajenn Registered Member

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    The above solution allows certain 3rd party applications to use the 4th GB of RAM, but not Windows directly afaik.

    For example, you can use SuperSpeed's RamDisk Plus (not free) to mount the extra GB of memory that's not managed by Windows as a ramdisk. You could then place a pagefile on it or move/install programs to it. Another program that can use the hidden memory is called eBoostr 4 (not free), which is supposed to improve system performance.

    Personally I'm using SuperSpeed + pagefile for the 4th GB right now. I tried eBoostr, but wasn't sure it boosted anything (lots of users posted positive reviews in their beta forum though, so give that a go first).

    I tried various other things, for example, I would move or direct (with NTFS junction) frequently used folders and programs to the ramdisk. Ram is much much faster than regular hard drives, so I thought the programs would run faster too, and also ram is solid state (no drive spin) so I was hoping to reduce drive activity on my laptop hard drive. However, I didn't notice a significant improvement in practice, and I also experienced some instability/slowdown because ramdisks need to be mounted at startup and dismounted (and/or saved) at shutdown, and obviously if your system crashes then changes to the ramdisk's contents will be lost, and furthermore locked handles on it can cause dismount problems at shutdown. But maybe I just didn't configure or use it right.
     
  12. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

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    I don't believe you can make it show 4gb, because it was designed to show the amount of ram available to the OS not the amount installed in the system. This was changed in Windows Vista precisely because people misunderstood it to mean the OS was not detecting the ram properly, but it makes no functional difference. To change the amount of available ram you either have to reduce the ram used by the video adapter or move to a 64 bit OS.
     
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