How do you tell if your Win7 box is using PAE or 4GT technologies

Posted on 2013-09-06
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-09-06
Is there a way to tell whether my Win7 (32-bit) machine is using a PAE or 4GT configuration for large memory support?


Should there be something mentioned in the system control panel to indicate this? I'm just not sure where to look. I have limited access to see certain OS files because this is actually a VM machine.

Question by:JonahGroup
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Assisted Solution

ded9 earned 200 total points
ID: 39470917
Launch admin command prompt

type bcdedit

You should get the info from this screen


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Expert Comment

ID: 39471164
Did you enable 4GT as mentioned here
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/bb613473(v=vs.85).aspx  ?

Or did you enable PAE as mentioned here
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa366796(v=vs.85).aspx  ?
Note the statement that "Windows automatically enables PAE if DEP is enabled on a computer that supports hardware-enabled DEP"

Also a good reference

Author Comment

ID: 39471248
Thanks for the responses.

I don't actually know if PAE or 4GT are enabled, as I didn't configure the machine. It's a virtual desktop (VM) machine controlled by a sysadmin. What would the output of "bcdedit" look like if I had one of these enabled? I just want to know if either are configured and what it would look like. Here's what it looks like for me:


Windows Boot Manager
identifier              {bootmgr}
device                  partition=C:
description             Windows Boot Manager
locale                  en-US
inherit                 {globalsettings}
default                 {current}
resumeobject            {34e17226-dc1e-11e1-814b-005056821f6d}
displayorder            {current}
toolsdisplayorder       {memdiag}
timeout                 30

Windows Boot Loader
identifier              {current}
device                  partition=C:
path                    \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description             Windows 7
locale                  en-US
inherit                 {bootloadersettings}
recoverysequence        {34e17228-dc1e-11e1-814b-005056821f6d}
recoveryenabled         Yes
osdevice                partition=C:
systemroot              \Windows
resumeobject            {34e17226-dc1e-11e1-814b-005056821f6d}
nx                      OptIn
bootux                  Disabled

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Expert Comment

ID: 39471278
From http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/bb613473(v=vs.85).aspx
"To enable 4GT, use the BCDEdit /set command to set the increaseuserva boot entry option to a value between 2048 (2 GB) and 3072 (3 GB). "
What does the boot entry option look like?

Note that PAE is enabled by default "if DEP is enabled on a computer that supports hardware-enabled DEP"
Whereas 4Gt requires a separate step to be enabled.

Author Comment

ID: 39471402
For 4GT, how do I show the value of "increaseuserva"? If it were set to a value, would it show up as a line in the "bcdedit" output I posted earlier?

And for PAE, how do I know if DEP is enabled on my platform? Is there a place I should look?

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Accepted Solution

jcimarron earned 1400 total points
ID: 39471636
JonahGroup-- 4GT.  Yes, you should see a "boot entry option with a value between 2048 (2 GB) and 3072 (3 GB)".  But if not, running bcdedit should show you the value now set.

PAE. DEP settings

Author Comment

ID: 39471699
Great; thanks! So I'm going to increase the points and continue with another question.

Given that PAE is enabled (because in my case DEP happens to be enabled, and 4GT is not), when I see this in the system properties window:

Installed Memory (RAM): 4.00  GB (3.00 GB usable)
System Type: 32-bit Operating System

Does this mean that all 4GB is being used (either my my applictions or Win7)? After all, this was the intent of PAE. Or is there really only 3GB available to use for OS or my applications? I know there are "3GB barrier" issues on 32-bit platforms, but it's confusing to me (based on what I've read) whether PAE actually is allowing me to use the extra 1GB that I have above the 3GB limit.
LVL 50

Expert Comment

ID: 39471720
JonahGroup--With all respect, you should start a new thread for the new question.
Many people will read only the original post and not look for an additional question.

However, maybe this will help
" going into msconfig/ boot/advanced, and untick 'maximum

I did that, rebooted and now 8gb of RAM is shown in system with no
amount usable, as before."

Source Bob H post http://www.w7forums.com/win7-64bit-not-seeing-all-8gb-ram-t9488p2.html
This should apply to 4GB memory as well.

Author Comment

ID: 39471736
Thanks. I am on a 32-bit OS, and the "maximum memory" checkbox was already "unticked". Yet still the system properties window says "3.00 GB usable".

I will open another question, and close this one.

Thanks again.
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Expert Comment

ID: 39471835
JonahGroup--You are welcome.

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