Windows Legacy OS forum

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Windows XP Professional 32-bit version = max 3.5GB of ram.

by jonflatmo / November 11, 2008 6:03 AM PST

Windows XP Professional 32-bit version = max 3.5GB of ram.

I have 6gb ram, but windows 32-bit version allows just 3.5gb of ram and that's lame.

Why have they set this ridiculus max-limmit?

And any way to crack/fix/patch this problem...

sure i can upgrade to vista og xp 64-bit but they all sucks.

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Why do you need more RAM?
by Coryphaeus / November 11, 2008 6:05 AM PST

Bragging rights?

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I need more ram bacause I...
by jonflatmo / November 11, 2008 6:10 AM PST

I need more ram bacause I have 6GB ram and why not use the res 2.5gb of ram?

I run allot of heavy programs?

*

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RE:
by jonflatmo / November 11, 2008 6:15 AM PST

Are you a greek or something?

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Geek?
by Coryphaeus / November 11, 2008 6:39 AM PST
In reply to: RE:

Pretty much in that I know Windows and other programs will never use that much RAM. Even with 64 bit, that much RAM is overkill. Do a little research on your own. And with 64 bit very few programs will run.

Or you can load up your "heavy" programs then look at how much RAM is in use.

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Ridiculous max-limit?
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / November 11, 2008 6:54 AM PST

When XP was first issued talk of 1GB or 2GB of RAM was thought to be pie in the sky. How expectations change!

I saw this somewhere;

"All processes (e.g. application executables) running under 32 bit
Windows gets virtual memory addresses (a Virtual Address Space) going
from 0 to 4,294,967,295 (2*32-1 = 4 GB), no matter how much RAM is
actually installed on the computer."

Ahh. Found it;
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555223/

Doesn't look like you are going to get any change to the OS anytime soon. If ever.

Mark

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Not ridiculous
by Jimmy Greystone / November 11, 2008 7:24 AM PST

It's not a "ridiculous" limit, it's one that's been in place since the days of the Intel 386 processor back in 1986. Put simply, 4GB is the maximum amount of RAM that you can fit into a 32-bit variable, and the reason you see only about 3.5GB in XP is because part of those 32-bits are reserved for system functions like protected mode execution. This is what keeps Application A from clobbering the memory address of Application B, resulting in the all too common General Protection Fault (GPF) errors from the 16-bit Windows days.

This has been a known limitation of ALL 32-bit processors and operating systems for over 20 years, so why it comes as this giant surprise to people is a bit of a mystery to me.

And yes, there is Physical Address Extension (PAE) features on most Intel and AMD CPUs, but there is simply no good way for Microsoft to support this in any of their 32-bit operating systems. If they added support for this feature, they'd have to field calls from people whose CPUs do not support this feature and are upset because it says on the box that it can support more than 4GB of RAM. Much easier to deal with people like you, and simply point you to Vista x64 as a solution.

Since you already know about Vista x64, but are choosing to ignore the solution, then you're screwed, it's as simple as that. You could run Linux, which can and does support PAE if you compile it into your own kernel, but if you're not willing to upgrade to Vista x64, I suspect Linux is similarly out of the question.

For what it's worth, I've been using Vista x64 since around mid-July, and it's not half bad. For most people, I'd say there's little point in upgrading from XP, but in your case... I guess it depends on how badly you want to use that extra 2.5GB of RAM. Microsoft will NOT be supporting more than 4GB of RAM on any of its 32-bit operating systems, and there is no way to "crack/fix/patch" the system into doing so. You want to use that full 6GB of RAM with Windows, you'll have to get a 64-bit version, end of story. No point whining about a 20 year old limitation. If you want to get started whining about the 48-bit memory addressing limit on the x86-64 (or EMT64 if you have an Intel CPU) instruction set, go right ahead. At current rates, it'll probably be 5-10 years before we start bumping into that limit, so you've got plenty of time to make yourself look like some kind of tech prophet to the unwashed masses.

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Is Ridiculous
by kevinppatel / January 23, 2009 11:34 PM PST
In reply to: Not ridiculous

Jimmy,

I'm afraid it is a ridiculous limit than can be overcome. It is not a technical limit that Microsoft can not get past. It was overcome over half a decade ago on the NT kernel than Windows Vista uses. Server 2003 Enterprise 32-bit can use 16GB of RAM & the Datacenter edition will address 32GB.
http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/platform/server/PAE/PAEmem.mspx
^ Proof

Instead you are looking at corporate strategies here at its finest to force a shift in computing which I don't think is a bad thing. Someone has to do it. The only evil thing about it is that Microsoft will not let consumers upgrade from 32-bit Vista to 64-bit unless it was purchased retail. Lets face it who buys vista retail, its school licenses, educational discounts, MSDN Academic Alliances, DreamSpark programs, and OEM versions that came with the PC that people have. That run into brick walls when trying to upgrade their ram.

kevinpatel.com

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So what will you do with this?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 23, 2009 11:46 PM PST
In reply to: Is Ridiculous

I'm unsure what issue you are trying to resolve here. Let's try this.

What happens if you call up Microsoft and ask for them to fix it?

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My Problem 5 licenses, no upgrade path
by kevinppatel / January 24, 2009 12:32 AM PST

They tell me to pay $300+ to buy a retail version of vista

My problem is that I have a brand new Lenovo W500 Laptop that I got through the IBM Outlet, so it comes as is with no chance of making an changes to the options. It came with 2GB RAM & Vista 32-bit. So now that I plan to upgrade the RAM to 8GB I won't be able to use it without changing OS's.

I called Microsoft & they will charge me retail price to upgrade to 64-bit. I called Lenovo & they will charge me the price of all the software on my computer plus windows 64-bit to get a 64-bit preload disk for my laptop.

I could only get 32-bit versions of software through dreamspark. https://www.dreamspark.com/default.aspx

My schools campus wide agreement with Microsoft only entitles me to 32-bit & 64-bit windows XP pro & 32-bit vista ultimate but no 64-bit ultimate.

So I have not been able to get any of my licenses converted to 64-bit dreamspark(windows server 2003 & 2008 std), Microsoft Campus licensing (vista ultimate 32bit), or the OEM Vista 32-bit license that came with my computer. Microsoft just will not give me an upgrade from the same windows to the equivalent 64-bit version no matter which of the 3 windows licenses I try to have upgraded. I find it ridiculous that I have access to ever version of windows just in 32-bit. Yet am forced to downgrade to windows xp 64-bit as are others just to be able to handle ram requirements & VPN software to do work.

It would be nice if myself and others weren't stuck with an End Of Life product. Especially when I have licenses to all 3 newer versions of windows that have come out after it and have payed for in one way or another money which I can't refund or use in any meaningful way.

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What end of life product?
by Jimmy Greystone / January 24, 2009 1:05 AM PST

What end of life product? Vista is maybe unloved due to its commercial failure, but it's still far from an end of life product.

This 32-bit limitation has been known since about 1985 when Intel introduced its first 32-bit CPU the 386. So, this is hardly a new thing, since it's been a known limitation for around 2 decades. If you failed to educate yourself on the various pros and cons of some product you were purchasing, then you really only have yourself to blame. Companies could do a better job educating people of this limitation, but it's really not their responsibility to do so.

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XP=EOL & Forced to Pay
by kevinppatel / January 24, 2009 2:28 AM PST

The end of life product that I mentioned is Windows XP. The OS that Microsoft is trying to kill as quick as possible but is getting backlash. I never mentioned Vista was EOL.

I have not failed to educate myself in anyway. I know about all the limitations of 32-bit operating systems that I have learned in Operating System design classes.

You do need to consider that most people pay microsoft money for windows with out any choice not to. It's not that I'm not educated in the operating system limitations, it's that I had no choice but to give Microsoft money for operating systems I did not want. I had to do it when I bought my laptop so that I could get the best deal on the hardware. I also pay Microsoft through my college tuition which can not be avoided without transferring to another college since it's automatically rolled into my tuition without the option of not paying.

So please, do me the favor & explain to me how more education on my part would help. It's not like I've ever had the option not to purchase the software.

Microsoft's different licensing channels are screwed up, that's what I have a problem with.

P.S. you can theoretically go past 256GB with 32-bit it's just not very practical at all.

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Linux is free.
by Kees Bakker / January 24, 2009 2:34 AM PST
In reply to: XP=EOL & Forced to Pay

Why not use it? This is a rather useless anti-Microsoft rant at the moment.

Kees

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Then check the EULA
by Jimmy Greystone / January 24, 2009 5:29 AM PST
In reply to: XP=EOL & Forced to Pay

Then check the EULA, you can get a refund for the cost of the Windows license if you want to install Linux or something else on there.

And yes, I know all about PAE, but like you said, there's practical issues involved. It's something that works great for an open source OS like Linux, but wouldn't work at all for closed source Windows. Microsoft reaped what it sowed IMO. They designed an OS for complete idiots, and guess what, that's exactly the kind of people it attracted. So trying to explain to people that yes, some systems can have a 32-bit OS that can use more than 4GB of RAM, but their particular system cannot... Well, let's just say anyone who could do that all day for even a month without snapping, would have my vote for sainthood.

Anyway... Like I said... You can get a refund for the software if you do not plan to use it. So check the terms set forth in the EULA. Here endeth the lesson.

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I read your post TWICE and found no licenses.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 24, 2009 4:27 AM PST

At least no license you paid direct to Microsoft. The area of licenses seems to be rough on those that first run into it.

-> These OEM licenses are limited, limited and limited. (clear enough?)

If you want to discuss licenses, please start a new discussion.
Bob

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