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A 32bit Window Vista Home Premium installed as a virtual machine does not use more than 3071GB RAM regardless how much is configured in the VM settings. PAE is enabled according to WMI. Strange is that with 4GB configured, it does the same. Is it possible to make PAE work in VMWare?

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marked as duplicate by 8088, wizlog, Mokubai, Windos, Karan Mar 13 '13 at 4:30

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the cause is licensing issues: geoffchappell.com/viewer.htm?doc=notes/windows/license/… –  magicandre1981 Mar 13 '13 at 5:15

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Even though PAE is enabled there still are license restrictions on the maximum ram windows can use. If you need 32 bit and more than 3GB of ram (the limit is really 4 but a good chunk is taken up by your IO) you will need to go to something like Windows Server 2008 Datacenter or Enterprise edition.

There are patches that can remove the license restriction (that link is for Win 7 not Vista), however it is much more reliable and safer to just run the 64 bit version of windows.

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