PC TIP OF THE DAY: Make Windows 7 (32Bit) Support More Than 4GB RAM

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As you’ll know, there has been 2 versions of each Windows starting from XP which are 32-bit and 64-bit editions. Sometimes a Windows 32-bit is referred as x86 and 64-bit as x64. I won’t go into details on what are the differences between x86 and x64 are, but one of the major differences is a 64-bit Windows can support more than 4GB of RAM. If your computer has 4GB of RAM and you’re using a 32-bit Windows, you’ll notice that only about 3GB – 3.5GB is being recognized and the remaining memory is gone. Weirdly, Windows server 2003 and 2008 can already address more than 4 GB of memory so why can’t we do that with windows 7 and newer operating systems?

The answer is: Microsoft doesn’t want that and it’s all just a licensing matter. Contrary to popular belief, there is no physical reason why a 32-bit Windows cannot access memory above 4GB, but it’s more a case of Microsoft opting not to allow it.

Install Memory 3.5GB
We can of course go for a 64-bit version of Windows, but even today, there is still quite a lot of software which cannot run properly on x64, which can be inconvenient if you’re someone like me who installs and tests a lot of software. Not only that, Windows 64-bit doesn’t accept unsigned drivers unless you disable driver signature enforcement manually every time you boot. Quite frustrating… Well, here is good news for Windows 8, 7 and Vista users because we have some patches here to make your 32-bit Windows support more than 4GB of memory.

There have been a few 4GB patchers available, but unfortunately most of them haven’t been kept up to date. For example, the RamPatch tool over at unawave.de works quite well on Windows 7 RTM, but was never updated to reflect the changes to the kernel files in Service Pack 1. Also the program was removed from the website due to many false positives from antivirus software.

You can download 32bit RamPatch and try it out on Windows 7 or 8 (32bit OS) if you wish. Although some users have reported no issues running the patched kernel file from SP0 on an SP1 install, we suspect there may be stability or compatibility problems that will arise as a result of this at some point. Consider this program a useful tool to test with and perhaps not something to use permanently.

This process can cause your computer not to work properly so you can try this at your own risk

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