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windows 7 32 bit RAM allocation

Posted on 2012-03-10
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Last Modified: 2012-03-27
Hello Experts,

I am using window 7 ultimate 32-bit. I have 6 RAM. Yet i see that windows using only 2.99GB.
I need to install Adobe software which have a minimum requirements in regards to the RAM. How can i use the entire 6RAM i have? Do i have to format my drive and install the 64Bit windows or there is another way?
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Question by:Refael
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by:Neil Russell
Neil Russell earned 100 total points
ID: 37705631
You can not. You have a 32bit OS, this a restriction of the OS. If you want more memory recognised you need a 64bit version of windows.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 37705652
The most any 32 bit operating system can see is 4gb. There are "cheats" that Microsoft and possibly others have implemented (in Microsoft's case, the "cheat" is only available in server enterprise and datacenter (using 36 bits of address space if the hardware supports it))

You might be able to get more usable RAM if you downgrade.your video card (the video card ram is stealing address space from the regular RAM). Of course doing that will reduce the effectiveness of your graphics subsystem.

Bottom line, you want more available RAM you NEED a 64 bit operating system.
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 100 total points
ID: 37705679
Agree. And to answer the last quesion, yes, you must format and start over to get to 64-bits. I have 8Gb on my own Windows 7 64-bit machine and it works fine using all the memory.

... Thinkpads_User
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 100 total points
ID: 37705714
I'll disagree partly - you don't have to format, but you can't upgrade.  You have at least two options i'd recommend - either just put the win7 x64 disc in and install cleanly (the old windows install will be moved to windows.old or install win7 x64 ultimate to a VHD on your c: drive - see my article http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/Windows_7/A_8951-Boot-from-VHD.html - this will allow you to dual boot so you can get working quicker and take your time reinstalling your apps (if your workstyle permits)
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by:John Hurst
ID: 37705726
Since you cannot upgrade, and since your new install is all new, I would recommend a clean start in such circumstances.  

Yes, of course, I agree with the last alternate approach as a possibility.

Since I can get any base machine up, running and workable in 4 - 6 hours (long evening), I just go for the clean install here. ... Thinkpad_User
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by:Darr247
Darr247 earned 100 total points
ID: 37706031
If your hardware supports PAE and it's enabled, Win7 32-bit should use it automatically.
That should allow addressing up to either 64GB or 128GB of memory, depending on the CPU.

Consult http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa366796(v=vs.85).aspx
to see if you can enable PAE manually before committing to a 64-bit version.
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Sandeep earned 100 total points
ID: 37706458
Installing Win 7 64 bit is the only way we have to make use of all the RAM.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa366778%28v=vs.85%29.aspx

Above link will guide you to learn about Physical Memory Restrictions for Windows Operating Systems.

Hope this Helps. All the Experts have suggested above are the best possible way, and in no way you can use 6 GB with Win 7 32 bit version.
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