got a 32-bit windows and think you are limited to 3-4GB of memory? there is a trick I just learned which can increase the memory windows says it has available by using virtual memory on multiple logical drive letters.
I have a 32-bit windows and 32-bit processor (Pentium 4 HT 3GiB). it's through virtual memory. task manager says it has 11GB, because I am using 2 hard disks. actually, I could have more virtual memory if I wanted, as long as I have a 2nd hard drive, or I can partition my 1st hard drive up into multiple pieces.
Increasing VM beyond 4096MB on 32-bit windows
you want 1 primary parition usually which has your OS and data, which you should resize (shrink), use gparted ( gparted ) to resize and create and format blank partitions. an extended partition which fills the rest of the unpartitioned space, and logical drives(partitions) which fill up the extended partition.
format them as FAT32, make sure they have at least 5-7GB of space. enough for the 4096MB and the filesystem. NTFS takes more space, I don't know how much more, but I know it's a lot. for ntfs you may want 16GB.
when you set the virtual memory on that drive, set a fixed 4096 (minimum and maximum).
to set the virtual memory, [windows-logo-flag-key]-[pause/break], advanced, performance, settings, advanced, virtual memory, change. set min and max to 4096 and click set, and OK a bunch of times and then reboot.
then do ctrl-alt-del when windows is up and look in performance tab and look at how much memory you have. you should have a larger number now. enjoy.
the logical drive letters are drive letters like d:, e: f: g:, etc, so realize they can only go up to z:, don't forget to take into account your os recovery partition drive letter and cdrom drive letter, memory card reader, and any flash drives you have. it can reach up to Z: quickly.
this is for multitaskers like me who like to run LOTS of apps at once.
Chris Cox reminded me on one of his posts that 32-bit apps can only access 4GiB of RAM.
print this out and get a techie to help you out with this if you need help.
how the ram is currently used up
the 32-bit apps you run still can only address 4GiB of memory, as Chris Cox pointed out, but I can tell you from experience that for us folks still on 32-bit systems, part of that memory is used by background stuff like
- printer software
- windows itself and its pieces
- web server, database engine, ftp server if you are running XAMPP for a web server testbed
- cmd shells
- video card drivers and apps
- motherboard drivers and apps
- notification area applications
even if you don't know how to do any of this other stuff, just setting the virtual memory on the partition you have will provide about 7-8GB of total memory. the Adobe apps and compilers gobble it up, especially Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder.