Hack your Windows Vista 32 bits to address 4GB or more of RAM

No, the subject is not fake, but as I will explain there is a hidden limitation.

After some research, made almost entirely by my friend Lobo666, the actual limits of Windows Vista 32 memory address are just a licensing imposed limit, not a real one.

Here and here you have not only info but actual steps to perform by yourself this hack (or directly a kernel patch).

This all would be great for upgrading to maybe 8GB of RAM your machine, but will it be really used? The answer is yes and no.

Using PAE the OS can benefit form any amount of RAM (up to 16TB? xD), so theorically yes, it takes advantage of any extra RAM.

But, in any 32 bit x86 Windows, no application is able to allocate more than 2GB of memory by default. No matter how much memory you have. So at the same time, no, no game will be able to allocate 6GB of RAM for itself.

"But hey, what about Address Windowing Extensions?" The AWE are a hack an API to access more physical memory than virtual address space, which means, avoid that 2GB limitation. It could work, but then a "human factor" appears: As "legally" no 32 bit software can access more than 2 GB of RAM, AWE will probably only be used in 64 bits applications And a 32 bits OS can't run those :/

So there is no magic trick. If you want tons of memory for your non-gaming pc use, now you can on your 32 bits Vista. But if you were searching for a way to speed up games, this is not the path (in fact, PAE seems to be a bit slower than native non-PAE addressing).

Posted by Kartones on 2009-08-23

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