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windows xp is showing only 3GB memory instead of 4 or 3877

hi
i have windows xp machine which is 32 bit machine i am only seeing 3GB of memory instead of more then 3
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mattibutt
Asked:
mattibutt
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14 Solutions
 
Randy DownsOWNERCommented:
That's pretty much all it will show

http://www.techsupportforum.com/forums/f210/4gb-of-ram-installed-but-windows-xp-only-shows-3gb-266089.html

windows xp 32 bit will acually see 3.25gb. that is the limitation of 32 bit OS, 64 bit will see 128gb of ram amd use every bit of it. I have windows xp x64 with 6gb of ram.
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Mohamed ElManakhlyInfrastructure Team LeaderCommented:
i had a laptop with a VGA Card that consumes 1/4 of the installed memory , so if i installed  a 4GB only 3GB will be avilable for the OS , also Number-1 is right 32-bit systems are limited to 4 GB memory
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pjamCommented:
Mattibutt
If you added RAM, you should make sure it is being used by going to My computer\properties\advanced\perfomance settings\advanced\virtual memory\change and set Recommended to what ever Windows suggests.  In my case 4554MB.  and since I installed it with 4GB initally my maximum is set to 6831MB, although it won't use any more than the 4554 since it is 32 bit.
I have set up several 64x Windows xP pro computers here with 8GB and thjey really fly , especilaay with 1GB graphics cards.
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mattibuttAuthor Commented:
i have windows xp professional it should see more then 3gb and less then 4gb
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nsonbatyCommented:
XP OS can only deal with 3GB RAM, even you install more but it is desigend to operate with 3GB, and as all experts said the 64bit can deal with more RAM
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TheGorbyCommented:
Just to avoid any confusion, pjam's post about virtual memory is wildly inaccurate. The virtual memory settings have no effect on Windows' usage of physical RAM, they only affect the page file stored on the hard drive that Windows uses as if it were RAM.
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pjamCommented:
My bad Gorby
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
The maximum that XP can use is 4GB, but Windows must also use some of that address space to address the hardware in your system ... so things like video memory will limit how much Windows shows as actually being usable.  Check Device Manager ... Windows must use that limited address space it uses to map memory to also map and manage all those devices.  So, depending on your hardware, you will never see a full 4GB, unless you are using a 64-bit OS.
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
The max for any 32-bit OS is 4GB (not 3GB ... 2^32, do the math):
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366778(v=vs.85).aspx#physical_memory_limits_windows_xp

The difference in real-world, usable memory lies in the hardware that Windows must also address.
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mattibuttAuthor Commented:
so how do i utilize my additional GB i have hp stations they have four gigs memory and they do pickup 3xxx i dont remember precisely but on my station i am only seeing 3GB when i boot my computer i do see 4 GB in bios
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
The only way to use more is to use a 64-bit OS.  You cannot change the amount that is usable by Windows, unless you remove your video card, NIC, audio, and any other hardware you can live without.  What you are seeing is normal and cannot be changed in a 32-bit environment.  
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Randy DownsOWNERCommented:
What you see in BIOS is your real memory so it's working properly if that matches the installed memory. What Windows reports is memory that it can use and that varies depending on the hardware.
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Kenneth BrownResearch AssociateCommented:
I would count my blessings if you have a stable xp system with 4g ram installed, even if less is useable. In my experience certain top end (oldish) mobos dont work with 4G ram & xp, despite what the theory dictates.
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Robert JacksonSystem DeveloperCommented:
  1. Click Start
   2. Click Settings
   3. Click Control Panel and double-click the Systems icon.
   4. In the General tab will be listed the amount of RAM currently installed and detected.

Does this show 3gb only?
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mattibuttAuthor Commented:
yes it does show 3GB only
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Robert JacksonSystem DeveloperCommented:
Thanks for confirming that - now it does appear to be an issue.  This is an addressing limitation not a physical memory limitation. ALL memory (motherboard, cache and Video) must be mapped into the 4 GB limitation that is built into the 32 bit Windows OS.

Straightforward explanation:
http://members.cox.net/slatteryt/RAM.html

Very good technical appraisal from HP - basically says 64 bit computers solve the issue!!!
http://h20331.www2.hp.com/Hpsub/downloads/RAM_Allocation_w-WinXP_HP_MWP_x64.pdf

Other info:
http://download.microsoft.com/download/e/b/a/eba1050f-a31d-436b-9281-92cdfeae4b45/mem-mgmt.doc
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mattibuttAuthor Commented:
if i get this correct i wont be able to use the last 1GB due to physical address issue
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
This is a very common issue with any 32-bit system that you will never seen a full 4GB usable by the OS.

Possibly an oversimplification, but:
A 32-bit OS has 4 billion addresses available to it, Windows starts addressing hardware from 4,000,000,000 down ... let's say to 3,200,00,000.  Those addresses are no longer available to use for "usable" memory.  So, if you have 3GB of memory, that memory is mapped to using addresses 0 - 3,000,000,000, so all of it is "usable".  If you upgrade to 4GB, it will map it using addresses 0 - 3,200,000,000, but since the addresses above 3,200,000,000 are already reserved for hardware, it cannot map any more memory in that address range, giving you 3.2GB of "usable" memory.  Remember, a 32-bit OS has only 4 billion addresses to use - it cannot use more.

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navaidfarooquiCommented:
i am surprised with all these long posts on this issue? why are you just not installing Windows XP Pro X64 if you want to see the proper 4GB memory?
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mattibuttAuthor Commented:
hi
i have alot of programs installed it will take me days to install all those programs on to 64 bit machine
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mattibuttAuthor Commented:
thanks guys
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