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My local computer shop installed Windows 7 Home Premium with their OEM key, and I cannot afford to upgrade to a higher version. I have 32GB of RAM but Home Premium has capped the RAM to 16GB, rendering half of my RAM unusable. Is there any way I can change a registry key or something to allow myself to remove the 16GB cap?

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@Ramhound it's an OEM key, it's quite legal. – Jordan Doyle Jul 18 '13 at 18:40
You should elaborate on what led to them installing the "wrong" version of the OS for your hardware. They might owe you a refund, or a replacement, or something. – Sparr Jul 18 '13 at 18:43
@Ramhound he says in a comment to an answer below that he got the license key sticker with it. PS: there's nothing illegal in the US about possessing pirated media, just making and selling it. Don't scare this guy into thinking he might be breaking the law just because the computer shop might have done so. – Sparr Jul 18 '13 at 18:46
@Sparr - If he has the sticker then he is fine. I was trying to verify he had the sticker. I posted my comment before the answer, since saying you have no options except piracy, is a horrible answer. Furthermore I was accusing the shop not him. – Ramhound Jul 18 '13 at 18:48
up vote 6 down vote accepted

These are your only options for Windows to be able to use all 32 GB of RAM.

  1. Upgrade to Windows 7 Pro, it is $84-$99 to do so.
  2. Upgrade to Windows 8, it is $119-$200 to do so.

If you do upgrade make sure you get 64 bit. You say you can't afford to upgrade, then I don't know why you bought 32 GB of RAM for a home version of Windows. If you can afford the RAM, you can afford the upgrade.

Windows 8

Windows 7

Memory Limits for Windows

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The 32GB RAM was cheap at time of purchase, around £30. – Jordan Doyle Jul 18 '13 at 18:41
@JordanDoyle I have never seen RAM that cheap for that size in my life. What brand and type of RAM is it? Also was it used RAM? – nate Jul 18 '13 at 18:45
I believe it was branded under Komputerbay on Amazon. I did a check on it (I believe it was called MEMTEST?) all the RAM was fine, none dead. DDR3, 12800, 9-9-9-24, 1600MHz I believe. I'm just copying this off Amazon. I don't know what it means. – Jordan Doyle Jul 18 '13 at 18:51
Jordan likely purchased… perhaps with a discount and an exchange rate it would be possible… – Ramhound Jul 18 '13 at 18:57

Unless they gave you that OEM key itself (the sticker with the license number) they sold you a pirated copy of Windows.

There is not any way to circumvent the 16 GB cap, unless you go even further into software piracy territory.

Or install Linux. It's free and doesn't have these silly restrictions.

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I have the sticker, yes. I'd rather not go trudging into piracy territory. – Jordan Doyle Jul 18 '13 at 18:42
At least your Home Premium is legit then. Awesome price on that RAM. You would need to upgrade to Win7 Pro or Ultimate, or to Win8 Pro. In all cases the 64 bit version as 32 bit is limited to just 4 GB max. Honestly, unless you are using extremely RAM hungry software, you would hardly notice the difference between 16G and 32G. The unused 16G doesn't degrade the performance in your current setup. – Tonny Jul 18 '13 at 20:09
Thanks Tonny, I'll look into having to buy Windows 7 Ultimate. Price is a bit steep though, I'm only seeing around £150. – Jordan Doyle Jul 18 '13 at 20:27

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