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Enabling PAE on Windows 7 32-bit?

I heard there was some kind of patch that let's a 32bit Windows installation use more than 3.25GB of ram(which is the limit for a 32bit OS). This patch doesn't remove the 2GB memory per process limit, but it will overall make the system user all the ram available.

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marked as duplicate by Breakthrough, Moab, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Nifle, Sathya Aug 11 '11 at 7:58

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Note that you can just install 64-bit Windows 7 if the reinstall isn't a problem - the license keys no longer care which version of the operating system you have installed and should work regardless. –  Shinrai Aug 8 '11 at 14:55

5 Answers 5

I don't recommend using it, it's not stable. But if you do, good luck.

The Patch.

SuperUser Post Covering the Same topic (PAE)

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How not stable is it? –  dikidera Aug 8 '11 at 14:39
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@dikidera I wrote that answer. I used it for over a year without any problems, but that was just for my particular uses. It does modify the Windows kernel, so I would make a backup before you attempt anything. –  Breakthrough Aug 8 '11 at 14:43
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If it's about the per process memory limit, i don't mind. As long as the os can be a bit snappier with all the RAM used, i will be happy. –  dikidera Aug 8 '11 at 14:49
    
Since Windows 7 attempt to use all free memory for disk cache, it will be lot snappier –  Martheen Cahya Paulo Aug 8 '11 at 15:00
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Well, that was an opinionated statement; modifying the windows kernel is generally unstable. I just use 64-bit stuff if I need more than 4GB. –  skub Aug 8 '11 at 15:07

A group of programmers have released a kernel patch for Windows 7 to allow the usage of more than 4gb of RAM under Windows 7. Click here to download the patch, or view more information about it (warning, some side-bar advertisements are NSFW). The patch basically modifies the Windows 7 Kernel to be more like the Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition, which is compatible with up to 8gb of RAM under 32-bit mode.

The patch allows you to extend the PAE well into 8gb of RAM under Windows 7 32-bit. For more information about why Microsoft implemented this technical limitation, see this article.

As mentioned above, note that individual processes will still be limited to 4gb even if the system can access more... Although if you had 8gb of RAM, then at least you'd still have another 4gb for other processes ;)

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As far as I know, this isn't possible due to the inherent nature of 32-bit operating systems.

That is, due to the fact that they use 32-bit memory addresses, the OS cannot address memory past the ~3.25GB mark, as this requires a larger address for the memory.

Thus, the only real "patch" that you can apply is an upgrade to a 64-bit version of your operating system.

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The 32-bit address limit has nothing to do with RAM limit. It's more then possible to use an address extension or a hardware module to address a literally infinite amount of memory on any system. 32-bit systems can just address 4GB worth of addresses in a single word. Even some 32-bit Windows Server variants can use a lot more memory (up to 64GB, or even 2TB). –  Breakthrough Aug 8 '11 at 14:32

Before applying/looking for a patch make sure your hardware supports 64bits. A 32 bits hardware will allow you to have a memory address of 4Gigs (addressable from 0 to 4294967295) which includes your RAM and all the addressable hardware such as a video card. Trying to change the address space of an OS might cause your system to crash requiring a new install.

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Yes it's an AMD processor, and afaik they were the first to make a x64 cpu available which was backwards compatible with 32bit OSes. –  dikidera Aug 8 '11 at 14:38
    
@dikidera but which processor is it? Not every AMD is 64 bit –  Simon Sheehan Aug 8 '11 at 14:42
    
Believe me it is ;) It's the Phenom II 955 Black edition CPU. Unlocked multi and ready for overclock, although it's a revision C2 sample and thus wont be able to go to 4Ghz –  dikidera Aug 8 '11 at 14:43

http://wj32.wordpress.com/2011/02/23/pae-patch-updated-for-windows-7-sp1/ Works for me. Before applying it, I only got usable 2.5 GB from 4GB installed memory. As I have encrypted the whole disk with TrueCrypt, I don't want to go through the hassle of decrypting them, reinstalling Windows, installing my development stuff, etc. Did it work? I tried disabling the pagefile, then opening instances of Visual Studio until it barfed at 3.8 GB memory usage. Since I still have the original kernel, I tried booting the original kernel, and voila, it actually barfed at 2 GB memory usage. So yeah, it works. The caveat is, your program still only be able to access a total of 2GB private memory and 2GB shared memory. Remember that some application even share those 2GB memory. But unless you're using a huge memory eater apps like Photoshop or Premiere, things should do fine

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