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Access the Rest of your Memory in 32-bit Windows

Access the Rest of your Memory in 32-Bit Windows
Type this into the box and press Enter to access all your memory.

If you’re like some of us, you’re stuck with 32-bit Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7. You don’t want to invest in 64-bit Windows, and all the hassles that entails, just to access the rest of your memory.

See, systems with 32-bit Windows can only see 3 to 3.5 gigabytes of your memory, no matter how much you have installed. Most newer PCs come with 4, so at least a half gigabyte of RAM is going unused, slowing your system down.

Luckily, there’s a way to take advantage of any extra memory in your system without switching to a different version of Windows.


Physical Address Extension

This is a feature available to a lot of CPUs that allows 32-bit Windows with 32-bit processors to still access memory above that 3 to 3.5 GB limit. Sometimes it’s enabled by default, but just to be sure, let’s turn it on.

To turn on PAE in 32-bit Windows Vista or Windows 7:

  • Click Start
  • Type cmd.exe in the box and press Enter
  • Type bcdedit /set pae ForceEnable and press Enter

To turn on PAE in 32-bit Windows XP:

  • Click Start
  • Right-click My Computer
  • Click Properties
  • On the Advanced tab, under Startup and Recovery, click Settings
  • Under System Startup, click Edit.
  • Add /PAE to the file, save, and exit.

Restart your PC, and your system will now utilize the extra memory as best it can. It won’t be as efficient as a 64-bit operating sytem would be, but you’ll definitely notice a difference.

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