Windows 8 64 to Win 7 32 bit

I have some legacy software that I use constantly and so need a 32 bit OS.  Unfortunately the only PCs available at the time were all 64 bit, so I purchased a Win 8 64 Bit HP Envy DV7-7338 and a Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit disk.

After an enormous amount of mucking about I now have a fully operational 32 bit Notebook except for 1 problem (I think).  

The system has a 2 Gb NVIDIA GEForce 635M card and 16 Gb of physical memory.  I know that 32 bit can only use 4 Gb, but my system is reporting only 2.41 Gb physical memory with the GEForce video reporting memory of 0 Bytes.

My guess is that the system isn't accessing any of the 16 Gb physical memory, but I'm not really sure.

 I have read about memory re-mapping via the BIOS, but the system won't allow me to modify any Video settings in the BIOS - HP, of course, don't supply a BIOS for 32 bit Win 7 on my machine.  So changing BIOS settings appears to be unavailable.

So my question is, is this a limitation forced by what I'm trying to do or can I somehow make my system acknowledge the physical and video memory and get a bit more RAM used by the system.

Thanks in anticipation.


OS Name      Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
Version      6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 Build 7601
Other OS Description       Not Available
OS Manufacturer      Microsoft Corporation
System Name      ANDREWHP-PC
System Manufacturer      Hewlett-Packard
System Model      HP ENVY dv7 Notebook PC
System Type      X86-based PC
Processor      Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3610QM CPU @ 2.30GHz, 2301 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 8 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date      Insyde F.27, 22/04/2013
SMBIOS Version      2.7
Windows Directory      C:\Windows
System Directory      C:\Windows\system32
Boot Device      \Device\HarddiskVolume1
Locale      United Kingdom
Hardware Abstraction Layer      Version = "6.1.7601.17514"
User Name      AndrewHP-PC\AndrewHP
Time Zone      GMT Daylight Time
Installed Physical Memory (RAM)      16.0 GB
Total Physical Memory      2.41 GB
Available Physical Memory      246 MB
Total Virtual Memory      4.81 GB
Available Virtual Memory      2.14 GB
Page File Space      2.41 GB
Page File      C:\pagefile.sys

Name      NVIDIA GeForce GT 635M
PNP Device ID      PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0DE3&SUBSYS_181D103C&REV_A1\4&438082C&0&0008
Adapter Type      GeForce GT 635M, NVIDIA compatible
Adapter Description      NVIDIA GeForce GT 635M
Adapter RAM      (2,147,483,648) bytes
Installed Drivers      nvd3dum.dll,nvwgf2um.dll,nvwgf2um.dll
Driver Version
INF File      oem33.inf (Section034 section)
Color Planes      Not Available
Color Table Entries      Not Available
Resolution      Not Available
Bits/Pixel      Not Available
Memory Address      0xD2000000-0xD2FFFFFF
Memory Address      0xA0000000-0xAFFFFFFF
Memory Address      0xB0000000-0xB1FFFFFF
I/O Port      0x00004F80-0x00004FFF
IRQ Channel      IRQ 16
Driver      c:\windows\system32\drivers\nvlddmkm.sys (, 8.65 MB (9,069,344 bytes), 28/08/2013 10:55)
Name      Intel(R) HD Graphics 4000
PNP Device ID      PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_0166&SUBSYS_181D103C&REV_09\3&11583659&0&10
Adapter Type      Intel(R) HD Graphics Family, Intel Corporation compatible
Adapter Description      Intel(R) HD Graphics 4000
Adapter RAM      1.02 GB (1,091,205,120 bytes)
Installed Drivers      igdumd32.dll,igd10umd32.dll,igd10umd32.dll
Driver Version
INF File      oem4.inf (iIVBM0 section)
Color Planes      Not Available
Color Table Entries      4294967296
Resolution      1920 x 1080 x 60 hertz
Bits/Pixel      32
Memory Address      0xD4000000-0xD43FFFFF
Memory Address      0xC0000000-0xCFFFFFFF
I/O Port      0x00005000-0x0000503F
IRQ Channel      IRQ 4294967294
I/O Port      0x000003B0-0x000003BB
I/O Port      0x000003C0-0x000003DF
Memory Address      0xA0000-0xBFFFF
Driver      c:\windows\system32\drivers\igdkmd32.sys (, 3.59 MB (3,759,616 bytes), 14/12/2012 01:02)


Resource      Device      
I/O Port 0x00000000-0x0000001F      Direct memory access controller      
I/O Port 0x00000000-0x0000001F      PCI bus      
I/O Port 0x00002000-0x000020FF      Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller      
I/O Port 0x00002000-0x000020FF      Intel(R) 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 6 - 1E1A      
I/O Port 0x00000070-0x00000077      System CMOS/real time clock      
I/O Port 0x00000070-0x00000077      Motherboard resources      
Memory Address 0xD4400000-0xD4403FFF      Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller      
Memory Address 0xD4400000-0xD4403FFF      Intel(R) 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 6 - 1E1A      
Memory Address 0xFF000000-0xFFFFFFFF      Motherboard resources      
Memory Address 0xFF000000-0xFFFFFFFF      Intel(R) 82802 Firmware Hub Device      
Memory Address 0xD2000000-0xD2FFFFFF      NVIDIA GeForce GT 635M       
Memory Address 0xD2000000-0xD2FFFFFF      Xeon(R) processor E3-1200 v2/3rd Gen Core processor PCI Express Root Port - 0151      
IRQ 16      Intel(R) 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller - 1E2D      
IRQ 16      NVIDIA GeForce GT 635M       
IRQ 16      Intel(R) 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 2 - 1E12      
IRQ 16      Intel(R) Management Engine Interface       
IRQ 16      Intel(R) 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 6 - 1E1A      
IRQ 16      Xeon(R) processor E3-1200 v2/3rd Gen Core processor PCI Express Root Port - 0151      
IRQ 19      Intel(R) 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 4 - 1E16      
IRQ 19      Intel(R) Mobile Express Chipset SATA RAID Controller      
Memory Address 0xA0000-0xBFFFF      PCI bus      
Memory Address 0xA0000-0xBFFFF      Intel(R) HD Graphics 4000      
Memory Address 0xD4500000-0xD4501FFF      Intel(R) Centrino(R) Wireless-N 2230      
Memory Address 0xD4500000-0xD4501FFF      Intel(R) 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 4 - 1E16      
Memory Address 0xA0000000-0xAFFFFFFF      NVIDIA GeForce GT 635M       
Memory Address 0xA0000000-0xAFFFFFFF      Xeon(R) processor E3-1200 v2/3rd Gen Core processor PCI Express Root Port - 0151      
Memory Address 0x9FA00000-0xFEAFFFFF      PCI bus      
Memory Address 0x9FA00000-0xFEAFFFFF      Motherboard resources      
I/O Port 0x0000FFFF-0x0000FFFF      Motherboard resources      
I/O Port 0x0000FFFF-0x0000FFFF      Motherboard resources
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käµfm³d 👽Commented:
You've got quite a bit of RAM there; have you considered virtualizing yourself a 32-bit machine? VirtualBox is one alternative.
The amount of RAM your OS shows is probably correct. Although theoretically a 32bit OS can address up to 4GB RAM, in practice that will be much less, as other hardware resources use up some of that address space. On most PC's a 32 bit OS can only use between 2.5 to 3.5GB, so yours seems to be about right, although at the lower end.

If your original Windows 8 version was Windows 8 pro or above, then you'd have had far better options available to you:

1. Add the Windows 8 Hyper-V feature (via control Panel, add remove programs, Windows features). Then install your Windows 7 OS as a VM within that. As Hyper-V is a type 1 hypervisor, you'd get pretty good performance that way, and you'd probably also have more of the RAM available to the VM. You could then run your 32bit software inside the VM.

2. Make use of the free upgrade to Windows 7 right you have with the pro version of Windows 8 (m$ actually calls that "downgrade"), and install a 64 bit version of Windows 7. Then in your new installation use VirtualBox (free), VMware Player (also free, but only for personal use), or VMware Workstation, and then use that to virtualize your 32 bit OS. As those hypervisors are type 2 hypervisors, they won't perform as well as Hyper-V, but it should still be fine with your hardware.

If you only have the standard Windows 8 version, you could still install the products I mentioned under (2.) above.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Another option in addition to the above is to install Windows 7 Pro 64-bit (not Home). Then you can download and run XP Mode. XP Mode is from Microsoft and is free. It provides a 32-bit platform for running legacy software. This is a good option used by many.

I use Windows 8 Pro 64-bit, have VMware Workstation, and have a number of machines including 32-bit XP.  This is the same as noted by others above.

.... Thinkpads_User
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andrewoconnellAuthor Commented:
Many thanks for the above - I tried a virtual machine with XP using VirtualBox, but found that I couldn't share folders (e.g. the data and update folders that I forward to users) between the virtual and base machine. i.e. I couldn't access the folders and files I'm working on in the virtual XP machine from the 64 bit system when I switched back to the email server on my main machine.  Hope that makes sense!
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Give the guest XP machine the same user name and password as the Windows 8 machine. Then share the Windows 8 C: Drive to that user name (you can try Everyone to test with). Then go the guest machine, open a command prompt and type:

NET USE Z: \IP_address_of_Host\DriveC   (where DriveC is the share name you gave above).

Make sure Network Discovery and File and Print Sharing are all enabled.

I hope you are using Pro everywhere, not Home so as to make everything work.

..... Thinkpads_User

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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@andrewoconnell - Thanks and I was happy to help.

... Thinkpads_User
andrewoconnellAuthor Commented:
Many thanks - I'll try it out on my spare PC.


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