Windows XP 32 Bit bears a resemblance to Vista issues..

I'm probably very late on the ball - But I've recently become so fed up with Vista 32 bit (Because of it's RAM usage locked at 3.5 Gb) That I went to Windows XP x64 Bit for the unlocked RAM, and less RAM usage. Also, because I run a AMD x2 5200+ 2.71 GHz Dual core 64 bit. It just made sense. All until I read reviews - And went through hell trying to install my friggin INTERNET DRIVERS. I couldn't even get past step one.

So i decided to go Windows XP 32 bit.. And then found 3.0 GB out of my 6.3 GB RAM used. I was mad. So I tried reinstalling Vista.. And it froze every time I tried to install.

So here I am, probably asking the same question that somene else has over and over.. I know there's a way to unlock the RAM adressing in Vista.. But is there a way in Windows XP? Any help is greatly appreciated. :]

AMD Athlon x2 64 bit 5200+ Dual core CPU
4 Gigs Corsair DDR2 (2x 2 gig)
2 Gigs shitty RAM (2x 1 gig)
256 ATI VGA PCI:E Graphics card
300 GB 7200rpm Hard drive.
Windows XP 32bit.



Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Hi Mentana, welcome to NST.
If your 2Gb of sh*tty RAM (not seen that brand name before !) is slower than the Corsair, you'd do better to remove it altogether. I'm pretty sure the mobo will run the 4Gb at the slower speed, so you'd gain a speed advantage if it were by itself
XP uses more than Vista of the theoretical 4Gb addressing limitation inherent in a 32bit architecture, for other purposes, so it has a practical high limit of 3.2Gb rather than 3.5 Gb in Vista, though the OS kernel is smaller so I guess it's swings and roundabouts. (what you gain on one you lose on the other, for anyone unfamiliar with English idiom).
The only way there's any point in putting >4Gb is if you're using Vista x64 (like me) or XP x64 (if you can get it to work - I've never tried, but from what I've seen written about it in other places, it seems a bit less stable than you'd want your prime OS to be)

(Or one of the x64 Linux distros of course)
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Removing RAM

Actually, I just removed it before reading your reply, and it seems to be running a little slower - but not terribly. I believe my old RAM were DDR1 and my Corsair is a recent DDR2, so the math is easy there.

However - That's not to say my original question wasn't answered (No offense) Is it possible like Vista to unlock the Ram adressants?


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
The extended addressing in XP is via the PAE switch in boot.ini rather than BCDedit.

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(x)partition(y)\WINDOWS=”Microsoft Windows XP Professional” /noexecute=optin /fastdetect /PAE

But XP still won't support more than 4Gb

and the extra mapping involved will slow your system down

Mak 2.0

Staff member
There is no way to unlock the RAM in XP or Vista. Vista SP1 will show the amount of RAM you have installed. But that doesn't mean it will USE it. Just because on the system properties it will show 6.3GB doesn't mean that it will USE the 6.3GB of RAM.

32 Bit Systems can NOT use that much RAM. It is impossible. It has to do with the coding of the architecture. This has been discussed here before. Not sure if i can find that topic. But due to the limitations of 32 Bit you will NEVER be able to use more than 3.5GB of RAM in 32 Bit. It is physically impossible.

Difference Between 32 Bit (x86) and 64 Bit (x64) - Computer Forums

I wrote out a whole thing about this on another site. You will have to get Vista 64 Bit. There is no way at all to unlock the RAM in 32 Bit. You may be able to get it seen and shown. But it will never be able to be used.