View Full Version : Win 7 RAM upgrade issue

05-10-2011, 10:54 PM
So I just bought 4GB of shiny new RAM to stick in my machine- great, works fantastic. Until a couple of hours ago when loading up a game brought flickering screen and graphical tearing. Updating graphics drivers hasn't helped. A quick Google search has revealed that Win7 32-bit just can't handle 4Gb of RAM, is this true?

06-10-2011, 12:36 AM
Yes, the limit with 32-bit Windows is 4GB (although not all of that will be shown as available, usually a bit less than 3.5GB). Also, there's a 2GB limit for user processes, the rest is reserved for the OS.

You should install the 64-bit edition, if you have a retail Win7 license it should allow you to install either. If you have a pre-installed OEM license or bought an OEM copy you'll have to stump-up for a 64-bit license though.

06-10-2011, 07:44 AM
Win 7 won't complain about excessive RAM per se, it just won't be able to use all of it. This case sounds like bad RAM. Run memtest overnight.

President Weasel
06-10-2011, 11:30 AM
It does sound much more like a bad stick of RAM or even just one of them not quite being seated right.
If you put "too much" RAM into a 32 bit PC (say 4GB into a machine that has a 1GB graphics card, for instance, making a total of 5) then it won't break - it just won't use all of the RAM.

How many sticks of RAM did you get? 2? 4? Firstly pop them all out and seat them firmly, then if the problem persists take one stick out and try again, then swap that for another stick, and so on. You'll probably find one of the sticks of RAM is a bit dodgy.

Did the game run OK on your PC before?

06-10-2011, 02:14 PM
Thanks all- Yeah, it's definitely a dodgy stick. Even booting up with the new sticks causes a bluescreen now, so I called Maplin to arrange a return. Popped the original RAM back in and everything seems alright.

06-10-2011, 03:07 PM
Regardless 64 bit win 7 is what you want.

16-10-2011, 06:18 AM
Windows 7 32bit can be fixed to utilize up to 64MB of RAM. It's done by patching the windows Kernel to the same set of instructions used with the 32bit Server version. I use it on one of my boxes with 8 GB of RAM and it works just fine, is 100% stable.

more info here: http://www.unawave.de/windows-7-tipps/32-bit-ram-barrier.html?lang=EN

Basically it adds a line in your windows boot menu, you can either make it optional or default.

16-10-2011, 08:05 AM
Windows 7 32bit can be fixed to utilize up to 64MB of RAM.
You can patch it using PAE to do that but it's still better to get an x64 version of the OS. I can't think of a decent reason to stay with a 32-bit version of Windows 7.