PROBLEM WITH ....Windows 7 32bit cannot fully use 4Gb Ram - HotUKDeals
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PROBLEM WITH ....Windows 7 32bit cannot fully use 4Gb Ram

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6y, 10m agoPosted 6 years, 10 months ago
Recieved delivery of Dell Vostro 430 purchased through 20% deal.
Very nice machine.

However I went for the option of 32bit operating system, when I checked in properties to make sure my 4Gb RAM was installed windows reported...

4Gb installed 2.99Gb usable.

Had a look on Google and seems that although Win 7 32bit limit is 4Gb many people are finding Windows 7 it is not actually using it all. I have contacted Dell on this and am awaiting reply.

Does anybody else knows anything about this problem/issue?
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6y, 10m agoPosted 6 years, 10 months ago
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banned#1
32 bit system limitation I'm afraid. You should have gone 64bit if you wanted to utilise all the RAM.
#2
master_chief
32 bit system limitation I'm afraid. You should have gone 64bit if you wanted to utilise all the RAM.


Well I read limitation was 4Gb, So figured 4Gb was ok. Now I read that it includes any memory, including Graphics card.

Dell should not really be offering the option with this amount of memory. Not hard for them to have an alert when you choose too much memory for 32bit. They do it for other things.

Anyway asking them to swap the OP to 64bit.
1 Like #3
Yep!

Windows 7 Starter (32-bit) can only use 2Gb, all other versions (32-bit) can only see 4Gb, this is purely a limitation of 32-bit systems and not windows "fault". Windows 64-bit can see up to 192Gb!

Of the 4Gb the system will use some which is why you will only see around 3.5Gb that is available - if you have on-board memory that will generally take up aGb of it which you would only see 3Gb.

If you want to use it all you will need to get a 64-Bit processor and upgrade to Windows 7 64-Bit.
#4
JamesUK
Yep!

Windows 7 Starter (32-bit) can only use 2Gb, all other versions (32-bit) can only see 4Gb, this is purely a limitation of 32-bit systems and not windows "fault". Windows 64-bit can see up to 192Gb!

Of the 4Gb the system will use some which is why you will only see around 3.5Gb that is available - if you have on-board memory that will generally take up aGb of it which you would only see 3Gb.

If you want to use it all you will need to get a 64-Bit processor and upgrade to Windows 7 64-Bit.


this is not quite true and it is entirely Microsofts fault..
1 Like #5
And to be honest, the 1 gig doesn't make too much of a difference.

I would love 32 bit in my laptop, because my older printer wont work with 64 bit. But cest la vie!
#6
thanks for info so far.

JamesUK
is purely a limitation of 32-bit systems and not windows "fault".


I have read this is an artificial limit microsoft initiated to encourage people to move to 64bit / allow older tech to work with it.

maddogb
this is not quite true and it is entirely Microsofts fault..


Can you say more on this please?

aircanman
And to be honest, the 1 gig doesn't make too much of a difference. I would love 32 bit in my laptop, because my older printer wont work with 64 bit. But cest la vie!


I had heard drivers was a issue, which is why I went 32bit in first place. True system is fast anyway, just seems a joke for dell to offer the option without a warning. Btw how old a printer?
2 Likes #7
It's not Dells fault... You chose 32 bit, you could have had 64bit at no extra cost, but you didn't know any better, so it shouldn't be an issue (aside from ensuring compatibility).

You're unlikely to notice the difference anyway :)
banned 1 Like #8
DragonChris
It's not Dells fault... You chose 32 bit, you could have had 64bit at no extra cost, but you didn't know any better, so it shouldn't be an issue (aside from ensuring compatibility).

You're unlikely to notice the difference anyway :)


massive +1
#9
[QUOTE=DragonChris]It's not Dells fault... You chose 32 bit, you could have had 64bit at no extra cost, but you didn't know any better, so it shouldn't be an issue (aside from ensuring compatibility).[QUOTE]

That is my point. The software and hardware they sold me are not fully compatible. I am not gutted about it, I find it irritating that they did not have an alert on the site about the memory usage. I did look into the memory issue at the time and found out about 4gb limit. It was only when I put into goggle the term "4gb installed only 2.99gb usable" did I get the further info. I don't think you should have to be an expert to buy a pc from DELL and get it all working.

Also why do you have to make a choice? If you buy Windows 7 you should be able to run either version. It seems Microsoft yet again turns one product into 2 at the expense of the lay person and our pockets.
banned 1 Like #10
You're right there Plum, they should have both versions on the disc, they do it for MSDN subscribers so why not to the paying public?
1 Like #11
its not microsofts fault. it is a limitation of a 32bit system. the 4gb is all memory including graphics card motherboard cache and any other memory. its not dell's fault or microsoft's. you wouldn't have a leg to stand on. but as you bought it at a distance you coud use the distance selling rules to return the computer
1 Like #12
wolf359
but as you bought it at a distance you coud use the distance selling rules to return the computer



Doubt it, Vostros are sold on the business site so DSR does not apply
1 Like #13
Plum
I have read this is an artificial limit microsoft initiated to encourage people to move to 64bit / allow older tech to work with it.


It isn't, it's a fundamental limitation of the 32-bit architecture. The only artificial memory limits are on the 64-bit versions of windows where the home ones are limited to 16GB and the business ones are limited to 192GB rather than the full 17 billion gigabytes 64-bit is capable of.

I suppose it could be argued that Microsoft shouldn't have made a 32-bit version but a lot of business clients will still be running old software and Vista/7 is a lot better than XP generally. I'd blame Dell personally for not making the difference clear.
1 Like #14
2^32 = 4294967296 which is the addressable range available within a 32 bit OS as addresses have to fit in the 32 bit range.
Im guessing you have a video card with 640-768 ram on board which all has to be in the addressing range.
I have 4gb on a 32bit os and have 3.4 physical available to windows with a 512mb video card.
I would have thought this would have been mentioned somewhere on the site when you ordered it as it is a well known issue
1 Like #15
Plum
thanks for info so far.



I have read this is an artificial limit microsoft initiated to encourage people to move to 64bit / allow older tech to work with it.



Can you say more on this please?



I had heard drivers was a issue, which is why I went 32bit in first place. True system is fast anyway, just seems a joke for dell to offer the option without a warning. Btw how old a printer?


Printer just over a year old, Canon LBP5000 Laser Printer.

Pain in the butt really, its the only issue I am having with it.
#16
deanos
Doubt it, Vostros are sold on the business site so DSR does not apply

not always :) my vostro was bought through the normal section
#17
plum
will people please stop claiming this is THE FULL limit of 32bit OSes,
whilst it is true they can only see the equivalent of 4GB there have been systems to work round this for some time,
the most popular was PAE which is actually included with windows xp/vista/7 and is utilised to allow addressing of greater memory range such as the swapfile which you will still find enabled on a system with 4Gb of RAM running a 32bit OS
IT IS a limitation written into windows to not utilise any further physical RAM than 4GB
#18
been running 64bit for 4 weeks now and have no driver issues
highly recomended :thumbsup:
#19
maddogb;7741524
plum
will people please stop claiming this is THE FULL limit of 32bit OSes,
whilst it is true they can only see the equivalent of 4GB there have been systems to work round this for some time,
the most popular was PAE which is actually included with windows xp/vista/7 and is utilised to allow addressing of greater memory range such as the swapfile which you will still find enabled on a system with 4Gb of RAM running a 32bit OS
IT IS a limitation written into windows to not utilise any further physical RAM than 4GB

It's not a limitation written into Windows at all, it's the opposite way round - Microsoft needed to implement a system to get around the 4GB limit not enforce it. While systems such as PAE do exist, they're not a proper fix for the problem as they add several problems of their own - it's more of a stopgap measure until wider 64 bit support was available. The proper solution for going beyond the 4GB memory limitation is to move to a 64 bit operating system, the more standardised this is, the better support will be in general.

To the thread starter - unless you're planning to load the machine up with ram, I wouldn't worry about losing the last part of your 4GB memory. While a 64 bit OS can use all 4GB of memory, software running in the 64-bit OS may need more memory to function at the same level as within a 32 bit OS. Unless you're paging badly because you're hitting over 3GB memory usage the lack of 64 bit OS is not likely to be an issue.

John
#20
I was in hurry to buy as my previous system was dying and the Dell special offer on this had stopped working the day before and just came back again that day. As it was £100 difference I acted quickly and was not able to do as much research as usual.

Anyway as I said the vostro runs really well and so I guess the Ram will be there for the future. Hopefully this thread my help anywone else on the upgrade route.

Thanks for all those gave me some useful info. rep given (as much as allowed).
#21
Johnmcl7
at all, it's the opposite way round - Microsoft needed to implement a system to get around the 4GB limit not enforce it. While systems such as PAE do exist, they're not a proper fix for the problem as they add several problems of their own - it's more of a stopgap measure until wider 64 bit support was available. The proper solution for going beyond the 4GB memory limitation is to move to a 64 bit operating system, the more standardised this is, the better support will be in general.

To the thread starter - unless you're planning to load the machine up with ram, I wouldn't worry about losing the last part of your 4GB memory. While a 64 bit OS can use all 4GB of memory, software running in the 64-bit OS may need more memory to function at the same level as within a 32 bit OS. Unless you're paging badly because you're hitting over 3GB memory usage the lack of 64 bit OS is not likely to be an issue.

John


please be more clear about what you are arguing for/with because if you are claiming the problem is with use of PAE and microsoft didn't want to use it then why did they?
is it really so much better to use PAE on disk based memory where it wasn't designed to be used?
#22
maddogb;7743213
please be more clear about what you are arguing for/with because if you are claiming the problem is with use of PAE and microsoft didn't want to use it then why did they?

I explained why already - the rather simple reason for PAE was introduced was because of the lack of x86 general 64 bit support at the time. Windows 2000 supported PAE but AMD wouldn't release the first x86-64 processor until 2003 and it would take some time after that before there was reasonable hardware and software support. The suggestion given here is that PAE simply enables the extra memory without issue and Microsoft are just being their usual greedy selves and trying to force people to upgrade to 64 bit by enforcing an artificial memory limit. This simply isn't true, it's genuinely a limit of a 32 bit architecture and PAE is no fix - it was designed for servers running specific applications and hardware, not standard home machines. Performance under PAE can be slower due to the extra copying/mapping required (depending on performance) and it can cause the system to crash if the device driver cannot work with the extended amount of memory, Modern servers with large amounts of ram now run with 64-bit operating systems and hardware, not PAE.

The reason for PAE in home operating systems such as XP, Vista etc. is not to extend its memory limit but instead to implement the No eXecute/Xecute Disable for data protection. Now that 64 bit hardware and software is mainstream with solid driver support if you want to use more ram then that's the way to go.

John
#23
No john you didn't explain anything, you simply stated a contradicting argument along the microsoft party line.
"It's not a limitation written into Windows at all" when it is quite clearly is, as PAE is enabled for the pagefile.

different forms of memory relocation techniques are available yet MS chose to force its flawed implementation of PAE on us whilst crippling it to only allow specific use so as to try and move the market onto its later 64bit OSes, more money for the kitty eh
We know PAE is not a substitute for full 64 bit memory addressing that doesn't explain why MS chose to implement for use in virtual memory yet not real ram the only excuse possible is the cash cow.
banned#24
GET OVER IT LADIES! :lol:
#25
maddogb;7744418
No john you didn't explain anything, you simply stated a contradicting argument along the microsoft party line.
"It's not a limitation written into Windows at all" when it is quite clearly is, as PAE is enabled for the pagefile.

It isn't a limitation written into Windows because it exists with any 32 bit operating system architecture - PAE is simply a stopgap workaround, not a solution to the memory limit which was required due to the lack of x86-64 support. The genuine artificial limits are those such as the 16GB ram limit for Vista/Windows 7 64-bit which is simply there to push people to professional which I definitely do not agree with given there has been no increase from Vista to W7.

different forms of memory relocation techniques are available yet MS chose to force its flawed implementation of PAE on us whilst crippling it to only allow specific use so as to try and move the market onto its later 64bit OSes, more money for the kitty eh

No - other PAE implementations have similar issues and MS are absolutely right to try and move the market to 64 bit rather than create a messy split market. They've already been criticised for being too slow and holding the market back on 32 bit OS's.
We know PAE is not a substitute for full 64 bit memory addressing that doesn't explain why MS chose to implement for use in virtual memory yet not real ram the only excuse possible is the cash cow.

No, not at all - there are serious downsides to PAE which make it unsuitable for the desktop market and its use is limited even in the workstation market. As an example, Nvidia device drivers would crash the a 32bit enabled OS using PAE on Windows server. Similarly on Linux, restricted Nvidia drivers are required on a PAE enabled system with over 4GB ram otherwise the system will suffer graphical problems. Sun also warn developers when working with Solaris PAE enabled systems over 4GB to be extremely careful developing drivers for this exact reason.

John
#26
such a long winded repeat of earlier statement john, still not answering my questions, we don't need to know that nvidia can't write drivers to work with PAE on Server 2008 etc etc
please just state what is not true and why you think so about the following (which are simplifications of my previous posts)
PAE allows access to more than 4GB of RAM on a 32bit OS
PAE IS used in Windows 32bit
PAE is limited to only using swapfile for extra memory.in those OSes
cheers!
#27
When a PAE enabled system uses more than 4GB ram it can cause severe problems in the device drivers and the software which is why MS did not allow desktop operating systems to bypass the 4GB limit using PAE. I can't be any simpler than that, I've already given the technical explanation which is very much relevant to desktop operating systems as the same problems would occur but much worse due to the wider range of software/hardware.

John
#28
wolf359
not always :) my vostro was bought through the normal section


Vostro is the business machine from Dell, not sure how you got one from the consumer section ?
#29
Johnmcl7
I can't be any simpler than that,/QUOTE]

3 questions and yes or no would of done, i call that simple

[QUOTE=Johnmcl7] I've already given the technical explanation
John


lol where? there is a difference between historical and technical.
#30
As was the statement I made but as with everything else that doesn't match with your 'MS sucks' attitude you choose to ignore it, you've so far failed to reply on any technical point - apparently the fact that drivers and software wouldn't work on home system with more than 4GB is strangely irrevelent to you but would definitely be an issue to most users. If you had any technical understanding of the PAE issues, you wouldn't have asked the questions you did.

Here's another simple and obvious proof of the reasoning given above - XP Home and XP Pro share the same 4GB memory limit on 32 bit whereas Windows 7 HP-64 and Windows 7 Pro-64 do not, the home OS is limited to 16GB whereas Pro 192GB (which is actually an artificial limit). If MS could have used PAE to bypass the 4GB limit to force people to shell our more for XP Pro (as they currently do for Vista and 7), they would have done but they couldn't have done so,

John
banned#31
Johnmcl7

Windows 7 HP-64 and Windows 7 Pro-64 do not, the home OS is limited to 16GB whereas Pro 192GB (which is actually an artificial limit).
John


What's with all the long winded replies? I got pro and I use all 192GB of my RAM it's brill :thumbsup:

p.s. using XP laptop to post this as my PC uses almost 900Watts when turned on.
#32
Johnmcl7
As was the statement I made but as with everything else that doesn't match with your 'MS sucks' attitude you choose to ignore it, you've so far failed to reply on any technical point - apparently the fact that drivers and software wouldn't work on home system with more than 4GB is strangely irrevelent to you but would definitely be an issue to most users. If you had any technical understanding of the PAE issues, you wouldn't have asked the questions you did.

Here's another simple and obvious proof of the reasoning given above - XP Home and XP Pro share the same 4GB memory limit on 32 bit whereas Windows 7 HP-64 and Windows 7 Pro-64 do not, the home OS is limited to 16GB whereas Pro 192GB (which is actually an artificial limit). If MS could have used PAE to bypass the 4GB limit to force people to shell our more for XP Pro (as they currently do for Vista and 7), they would have done but they couldn't have done so,

John


so you accept MS impose artificial limits on the capabilities of its OSes, that is the point i was making
"Server 2008 with nvidia drivers doesn't work", that is a historical statement not a technical one

technically MS have managed to get PAE to access more than 4Gb of address space, its just
used for the swapfile, this is FACT not fiction and requires only the simplest of understanding.

ps has anyone ever told you your posts come across like a right pompous ass?

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