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I have upgraded ram of my macbook pro to 16gb and I am running virtual box to run windows 8-32 bit. In settings, I have assigned 8192 mb of RAM but when I run windows and check the properties of my computer, it only shows 3.50 GB of RAM.

Have I done something wrong or am I missing something? Or is there any restriction for the memory one can assign to virtual machines on mac or in virtual-box?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

32-bit versions of Windows are only capable of using up to 4 GB of RAM. You'll need to install a 64-bit version of Windows 8 in VirtualBox in order to use more. You're seeing 3.5 GB likely because of video memory or other things occupying the remaining 0.5 GB.

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Microsoft limits the usable RAM of 32Bit client systems to 3.25 till 3.5GB. So you can install a 64 Bit Windows 8 or try this bootloader which bypasses the limitation:

32Bit Win8 using 6GB RAM

The virtualbox graphic driver must support PAE, so there is no guarantee that it will work.

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