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Make 32 bit Vista read more than 4gb

By tizerist ยท 7 replies
Jan 31, 2010
  1. Hi. Okay, I've had a little read around and have gathered that 32 bit Vista can indeed utilize more than 4gb RAM, but it involves modifying a kernel or something.

    Expecting laymans terms may be a bit much, but could someone direct me how to do this please?
    Any help appreciated.

    Attached Files:

  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    Got a source for that? Vista 32bit by definition can't address more than 4 gigs of RAM.

    Vista 32 before SP1 wouldn't display 4 gigs in the system control panel even if you had it, it would read 3.x like XP does, but SP1 "fixed" that cosmetically and changed it to 4 even if it isn't going to be able to utilize it all.
  3. tizerist

    tizerist TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

  4. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    More 'kooky' conspiracy theory junk...

    It's technically true that Windows supports more than 4GB, but in practical application, it doesn't work that well and 'who cares?' (very few people, that's who).

    "32-bit" CPUs since the Pentium Pro (Just before the Pentium II) are actually 36-bit. However, the software industry decided it was just easier to not implement 36-bit software when Intel added 36-bit capability to their Pentium Pro. Microsoft left Windows as a 32-bit operating system for compatibility, simplicity and perhaps out of laziness.

    Microsoft added PAE capability later on in Windows 2000. Windows is NOT 36-bit, but supports 36-bit memory addressing by extension only. Enabling more than 4GB works, but there are some caveats: a measurable decrease in performance (exponentially worse for memory intensive software like games) and drivers + other applications that live in kernel space can crash your system if they do not properly support PAE.

    It's a hack.. Windows isn't natively designed to address 36 bits of memory.

    Of course, the benefit of having 4GB right now is negligible at best -- unless you actually have a use for it -- A server. Windows Server (Advanced Data Center, I think?) supports up to 128GB of RAM, which is a good example of Windows' ability to address more memory space. But your 'licensing' theory is ridiculous. :)
  5. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    it's Vista anyways... waste of time if you ask me.

    i love having 4GB of RAM on a 64-bit OS though... it helps tremendously with running lots of heavier applications simultaneously and when burning DVD's. with 4GB, i can burn a few disks at once with most of the information being stored in physical memory; still have plenty of room for Photoshop and some web browsing.
  6. Ultiweap

    Ultiweap TS Enthusiast Posts: 606

    Vista is not worth it better you get the Windows 7 64 bit edition and all will be ok.
  7. hughva

    hughva TS Rookie Posts: 58

    2^32 = 4,294,967,296 which is the limit of any 32 bit system.
    No patch is going to change this, and 4 GB is certainly enough for just about anyone.
    I have Win7 x64 with 8GB and I haven't been able to use even 5 GB at one time (I got really tired of opening apps and files.)
    Vista is a fine, rock-solid OS. Don't listen to all the hype. With patched and updates it's quite OK.
  8. Ultiweap

    Ultiweap TS Enthusiast Posts: 606

    Yes now with all the patches and Service Pack Vista is ok but all these patches and Service Pack takes place on the HDD and even on the Memory usage. Whereas Windows 7 is good and even best withtout all those patches and service pack.

    P.S Windows 7 is one of the OS that had got good notes and score and that is well appreciated withtout the necessary of installing loads of updates and service pack
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