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  • How to get more usable RAM in Win 10

    Posted on delsuggs Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 10 Questions: Win10 How to get more usable RAM in Win 10

    • This topic has 10 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago.
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      • #2283608 Reply
        delsuggs
        AskWoody Plus

        In an attempt to improve my Windows 10 (32-bit)  desktop, I recently upgraded the RAM from 8 GB to 16 GB. My MB has a built-in graphics board, so I know some of the RAM goes to graphics processing. And, since it’s a 32-bit system, I think the max usable RAM is limited to 8 GB. After installing the new RAM, the system info reads “16.0 GB (2.21 GB usable).”

        I checked the BIOS, and it shows 16 GB. I’ve tried going into MSCONFIG and clearing the Maximum memory checkbox.  I don’t think the RAM is malfunctioning since it is visible in BIOS and in the system settings. The RAM chips are identical. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get my machine to recognize more usable RAM? Thanks in advance for your help.

      • #2283631 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        If you run Task Manager > Performance > Memory it will show you how much RAM Windows sees.

        If you are really running Windows 10 32 bit you will never be able to see / use more than 4GB RAM. You will have to install Windows 64 bit to use the extra memory – you can’t upgrade from 32 to 64 bit.

        cheers, Paul

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2283690 Reply
        Microfix
        AskWoody MVP

        Although this screenshot is from Windows 7 pro x86(32bit), the task manager displays a total of 3039 mb available to the system but, the device has 4096 mb of RAM installed.

        TaskMan

        To utilize that extra RAM safely, you need to move to a x64 (64bit) operating system.

        Win8.1 Pro | Linux Hybrids | Win7 Pro O/L | WinXP O/L
        Attachments:
      • #2283809 Reply
        PaulK
        AskWoody Lounger

        The 4G addressing limitation is architectural, not something arbitrary by the manufacturers.
        2 to the 32nd power = 4,294,967,296.
        But 2^64 = 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 (18 quintillion);
        which is very roughly 32K moles.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/32-bit_computing
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/64-bit_computing
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avogadro_constant

        • #2283832 Reply
          satrow
          AskWoody MVP

          It’s licensing, not architectural, that MS launched a Win 2003 x86 Server Datacenter Edition licensed for 128GB of RAM was a clue:

          The maximum 32-bit limit of 128GB, supported by Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition

          Geoff Chappell broke it down and cracked it for a Vista x86, there was an unlicensed method of converting ?Vista? x86 some time later, maybe someone’s been working on a W7 version?

          Good luck with finding stable x86 3rd party drivers that’ll work with your hardware though.

          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2283890 Reply
        Bundaburra
        AskWoody Plus

        I would tend to believe the calculations above by PaulK, which suggest that a 32 bit system could never generate  numbers large enough to address memory locations beyond about 4 GB.  However, for what it’s worth, there is a 4 GB Patch, which may or may not do anything.

        Windows 10 Pro 64 bit 2004

        • #2283905 Reply
          satrow
          AskWoody MVP

          No wonder MS went bust, trying to sell multiple x86 64/128GB versions of their XP/Vista-like server ranges:

          Physical Memory Limits: Windows Server 2008
          The following table specifies the limits on physical memory for Windows Server 2008. Limits greater than 4 GB for 32-bit Windows assume that PAE is enabled.
          Physical Memory Limits: Windows Server 2008
          Version Limit on X86 Limit on X64
          Windows Server 2008 Datacenter 64 GB 1 TB
          Windows Server 2008 Enterprise 64 GB 1 TB

          Physical Memory Limits: Windows Server 2003 R2
          The following table specifies the limits on physical memory for Windows Server 2003 R2. Limits over 4 GB for 32-bit Windows assume that PAE is enabled.
          Physical Memory Limits: Windows Server 2003 R2
          Version Limit on X86 Limit on X64
          Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter Edition
          64 GB 1 TB
          (16 GB with 4GT)
          Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition
          64 GB 1 TB
          (16 GB with 4GT)

      • #2285782 Reply
        delsuggs
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks, all– I had thought that a 32-bit system could use up to 8 gb RAM, but I see that I’m wrong. I appreciate your help!

      • #2285839 Reply
        cmptrgy
        AskWoody Plus

        @delsuggs, I know you say you have a 32-bit system.
        — For verification, does that mean your processor isn’t 64-bit capable?

        HP EliteBook 8540w laptop Windows 10 Pro (x64)

        • #2299473 Reply
          delsuggs
          AskWoody Plus

          The  CPU is an AMD A10-5800K, so it’s 64-bit capable. But one issue is that I have a program that I must run that is 32-bit, but I can’t install it on a 64-bit machine because it uses the old-school 16-bit installer.

          • #2299482 Reply
            anonymous
            Guest

            Depending on your needs (and the program you need to run), you may be able to create a virtual machine running a 32-bit version of Windows to run that program in. This will work even on a 64-bit version of Windows. This will allow you to leverage more RAM on the rest of your system while still being able to use older 16-bit programs. With 16 GB of RAM installed, 32-bit virtual machines should be fairly smooth sailing as they can only use 4 GB of RAM anyway. So in your case, even if you gave that VM 4 GB of RAM, you’d still have 12 GB left over for the rest of your system.

            I can recommend VirtualBox or VMware Workstation Player as free virtual machine programs for Windows. VirtualBox has more features out of the box for free, while VMware seems to have better performance overall. Your mileage may vary, but feel free to test them both out and see how well the program you need to run works in both.

            As for getting a copy of 32-bit Windows, Microsoft still makes 32-bit versions of Windows 10 available for download. I believe you can download them from Heidocs or using the Media Creation Tool. Be sure to download the ISO version of Windows, since that’s needed in order to install Windows in a virtual machine (analogous to buying a disc with Windows on it and then popping it into a physical disc drive). If you have older versions of Windows lying around, you can try using those as well (Windows XP and 7 work quite well in virtual machines these days).

      • #2299516 Reply
        Zig
        AskWoody Plus

        ??Have you tried running THE INSTALLER in compatibility mode for an earlier version of Windows??

        Zig

        • This reply was modified 1 month ago by Zig.
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