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Windows xp Pro Memory

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The following users give thanks for this topic MaXMhZ - Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:58 AM
Deleted_User_3331
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Post Post subject: Windows xp Pro Memory
Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 08:34 PM
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I will _never_ run vista unless I'm forced to for some reason.
I make my own custom "bare-bones" XP editions to save some resources for the games, why would I install an OS that needs at least 2GB of RAM and a 2.5 GhZ CPU only to stay up?!?

I did some reading about the 4GB thing: turns out that some 32 bit Windows are supposed to support up to 4GB of physical memory but lots of people have reported that their systems would only see anything between 2.5 to 3.5 GB of RAM despite BIOS correctly detecting all 4GB.



The trick described in the page linked by Max is interesting but it's not the point, as 4GB should be usable anyway, even without any trick.
The sad truth is that as usual, when MSdescribes its products it sounds like they're awsome but users reporting about their own experience with those same products sound much less enthusiastic.

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Rjennings
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Post Post subject: Windows xp Pro Memory
Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 08:47 PM
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Unfoutunately, being the nice guy i am, i loaned out my copy of xp pro to never see it again, (learned my lesson), but fortunately, i have friends with software that loaned me thiers, thats why i decided to use this copy of Vista Home edition, my friend that loaned me this copy is sticking with xp pro, and this disc of home edition vista was still sealed in the package, like i said, i would rather have xp pro, and may end up ordering the 64 bit version, still undecided. I ended up using a 2gb stick and a 1 gb stick for a total of 3 gb memory and it recognizes it fine, but i still have 2 more memory sticks laying around not in use...=)

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tooslow
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Post Post subject: Re: Windows xp Pro Memory
Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:43 AM
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I remember my first computer programming class in college was Fortran (spelling?) and the IBM-1620 had just been upgraded from 1K of memory to 4K. The instructors challenged us to see if we could use all that memory in our programs. We had to punch cards and read printed sheets ... usually with error messages that we had to fix!!! That was in the mid-60's. I started with programable calculators and slowly migrated to desktop computers after that. When we got Apple II's at work with Visacalc (an early spreadsheet) I thought I was in heaven.

My first real home computer was a Atari 800 with 48K (a lot of RAM at that time). My second computer was an Atari ST and these all used floppy drives. I eventually got a massive 5MB hard drive to use with ST. I still have the ST and keep saying I want to set it up some time and see if I can still use it. I guess from this you can tell that I've been around for a while.

Today I build my own systems, but do very little programming as I use spreadsheets to do most of things I want to do.


Last edited by tooslow on Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:45 AM; edited 2 time in total
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Rjennings
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Post Post subject: Windows xp Pro Memory
Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:58 AM
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I wish i still had my old atari 800xl with the big floppy drive and the 1030 modem, that was the days, i think there was 3 BBSs (bulletin board systems) in the area and they were run by friends (why not just drive to their house) lol, and we would get in the chat room and talk to each other, about 3-5 people, and you could "ring" the sysop...lol and chat with them. Geez if i knew now what i knew then, i could have invented the internet intstead of that blasted Al Gore. LOL!!!

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tooslow
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Post Post subject: Re: Windows xp Pro Memory
Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 01:51 AM
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For several years we had Atari user group meeting once a month and we met in Concord, California (near San Francisco). We had some rather talented folks in the group. The inventors (programmers) for Sim City were part of our group. Also we had some folks that were developers for the WWII flight simulator by Lucus Films - "Battle of Britian" I believe it was called. One of the members was a key programmer for "Falcon". I was just a run of the mill "want-a-be" programmer at that time. I actually got a third place finish in a programming contest against these folks, but only once ... they usually blew me away. We certainly had a lot of talented people in the user group. Of course they moved on to bigger and better things. I always enjoyed the meetings and the people.

Today we "talk" on line to people all over the world and don't think twice about it ... but back then it would have been considered science fiction.

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Deleted_User_3331
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Post Post subject: Windows xp Pro Memory
Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 08:00 AM
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I wouldn't use an OS that needs 2GB of RAM and a 2.5GhZ CPU just to stay up.
The 3GB vs. 4GB of RAM problem: after some reading I found out that the max RAM for WinXP Pro and some other MS 32bit OS's is supposed to be 4GB, or at least that's what MS says .
Lots of users report that their systems detect anything between 2.5 and 3.5 GB of RAM and the most suggested fix seems to be "switch to 64bit".

[edit] this is basically a rewrite of my previous post in this thread: for some reason I thought I'd forgotten to post it so I sent it again and now I've seen that the original is where it's supposed to be. sorry.
[edit2: the usual typos]


Last edited by Deleted_User_3331 on Wed Jan 09, 2008 07:25 AM; edited 2 time in total
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MaXMhZ
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Post Post subject: Re: Windows xp Pro Memory
Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 09:44 AM
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The 3 or 4 GB are theoretical limits.
Every PCI card you have in a system claims a certain amount of rAM. this will reduce the maximum RAM reported usable by the system. This is true for all operating systems.

Another thing is that the RAM reported by the system is not the memory space that is available to programs. Most of the time half of the reported RAM is assigned to the OS and the other half is available to programs.


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Last edited by MaXMhZ on Tue Jan 08, 2008 09:48 AM; edited 1 times in total
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Post Post subject: Windows xp Pro Memory
Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 10:00 PM
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Quote::
Unfoutunately, being the nice guy i am, i loaned out my copy of xp pro to never see it again
That's illegal, y'know?
Well then, as you're a criminal anyway, you may well download...

Quote::
Every PCI card you have in a system claims a certain amount of rAM. this will reduce the maximum RAM reported usable by the system. This is true for all operating systems.

That would explain it: 4GB of physical memory minus 2x512MB for the video cards = 3GB reported in the system tab.
BUT why does WinXP64 report 4GB, then?
[edit: my video cards are PCI-E]

I'm considering to switch to 32bit (again!) because I've found a free TrackIR replacement that uses a cheap webcam as input but I can't get my old Logitech QuickCam Pro to install under 64bit. I thought I would install the 32bit XP on a virtual machine and see if I could make it detect 4MB of RAM... but that wouldn't be a reliable test because [long boring VM stuff]. I guess I should temporarily "triple boot" as I already planned some time ago... bah. I guess I'll try that next time I screw up my Windows.


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Post Post subject: Windows xp Pro Memory
Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 10:05 PM
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Hey Rudi, that abacus was a great upgrade from the smoke, incantations, feather waving and chicken bones! I know you ate the sacrificed goat, so that didn't count! Laughing

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MaXMhZ
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Post Post subject: Re: Windows xp Pro Memory
Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 05:56 AM
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Windows uses a Virtual memory model (just to over-complicate things and cloud issues). PCI and PCIe cards, motherboard components and some drivers can use memory mapped-I/O. Video cards can claim regions of RAM to quickly transfer data to the video processor and there are other things that can claim RAM. By using the Virtual memory model the user programs still see one big block of RAM even though lots of chunks have been "eaten" by the aforementioned mechanisms. Because of the memory model used and different drivers it's very hard to say what exactly causes x64 to see 4GB while 32bit on the same system reports less. There are differences in drivers and in memory model between x64 and 32bit XP systems...


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Post Post subject: Windows xp Pro Memory
Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:31 PM
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Well i have found one thing i like about Vista, the ready boost feature lets you use flash memory, (compact flash cards, flash drives) as a cheaper alternative to buying more ram, i hooked up a 1 gb flash drive to my usb port to see what would happen and there is a noticeable diffrence in speed as far as web pages and explorer working.

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MaXMhZ
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Post Post subject: Re: Windows xp Pro Memory
Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:45 PM
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Interesting. I'll have to look into that readyboost thingy.
I don't quite see how that works, Flash memory being very slow compared to DDR2 for example.

I tried to install my copy of Vista Premium again yesterday. Total dud - One BSOD after another. Even on the install. Sad The PC shop where I bought my system recently keeps insisting they have no complaints from other users. I don't trust them anymore. Too many errors and wrong advice from them in the past. I'm running XP Pro again and this time I'll stay with it. Vista can go to the hot place. Never again. I did manage to get rid of it by hand (had it installed as multi-boot). It did not succeed to install, but it did succeed to mess up my MBR and boot sectors. friggin garbage.


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Post Post subject: Re: Windows xp Pro Memory
Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 04:48 PM
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MaXMhZ wrote:
Another thing is that the RAM reported by the system is not the memory space that is available to programs. Most of the time half of the reported RAM is assigned to the OS and the other half is available to programs.

That is exactly the case. By default, Windows XP assigns 2GB of virtual memory (your physical RAM plus swap file space) to the OS and another 2GB to applications. Needless to say, unless you have a lot of physical RAM installed, most of this is from the swap file.

There is a switch to force iWindows to do a 1GB/3GB split, but if the application you are running does not support the 3GB virtual memory limit (very few do), then it does you no good.

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Deleted_User_3331
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Post Post subject: Windows xp Pro Memory
Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 05:44 PM
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This CD is very useful when dealing with MBR problems.
Its main purpose is to restore the Grub boot loader (Linux) after a Windows installation (think dual boot) but even in a Windows-only environment it will enable you to boot your installed copy of Windows despite the messed-up MBR (I don't know how useful that would actually be, as you can resetore your MBR using the Windows installation CD, but I thought it was worth mentioning anyway)

I did it.
I switched back to a 32bit XP Pro only because I couldn't get my old Logitech QuickCam to work unde 64bit WinXp.
For the record, Windows now detects 3.2GB of RAM.
The rest of this story is in a new thread because it's totally unrelated to RAM and stufff like that.

[edit: typo, as usual]


Last edited by Deleted_User_3331 on Thu Jan 10, 2008 06:45 PM; edited 1 times in total
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MaXMhZ
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Post Post subject: Re: Windows xp Pro Memory
Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 05:50 PM
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Thanks Lucky_Luke - I'll check that CD out just in case...
I got XP back through the repair function, then issued the commands
FixBoot c: and FixMBR

That worked. I deleted all vista crap and back I was Very Happy


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