WinXP won't address more than 1.1GB of memory - Help.



Hi, my WinXP Pro SP 2 will not address ram memory above aprox 1.1 GB.
It does not go to pagefile.sys - it simple refuses to go above 1.1GB

System has 4 GB, even changed RAM chips to see if it was faulty chips.

System properties shows the expexted 3.25 GB RAM.

Xp works like a charm right until 1 GB has been used, it then weirds out
without any advance notice or error messages. F.ex in IE it will suddenly
refuse to
open a new window, apps won't start and open apps hang, and in some cases I
cannot even start task mgr. Clicking on the red x to close windows works,
so after I close some windows everything works again.

This is a new problem, ie not from day 1.

No malware etc according to Norton 360.

According to System Properties tag it uses Physical Address Extension, I
assume this is same as PAE? No PAE switch in boot.ini.

Any help appreciated.





I have not added a /PAE switch to boot.ini - from kb875352 it appears I do
not need to enable PAE as it's automatically enabled.

What would happen if I disable PAE?

Do I really need it at all?


Ron Hardin

Is there a swap file size, or whatever they call it in XP?
Page file maybe.

Thinking it might refuse to allocate more than it can swap.


Hi, there is the usual pagefile.sys, I've tried setting it's size manually,
and letting windows manage it's size - none of these have helped.

It's a complete mystery, if windows only saw 1 GB out of 4 that would
indicate a hw problem, but windows sees all the memory and sets pagefile.sys
to the recomended 1,5X of available RAM on it's own.

pagefile.sys is not read only (double checked that early on), I've also
tried deleting the file (by moving pagefile.sys position to different drive,
removing original and then setting pagefile.sys back to original position).

I wouldn't be surprised if this started with SP2, I only noticed it after
installing IE7 - which is a real memory hog - iexplore.exe routinely uses
150MB+ if I have a few tabs open. Only app I have that matches it in terms of
memory usage is Photoshop!


John John

For all it's worth, and I'm not saying this is the cause of your
problem, but AFAIK the largest possible usable size for a pagefile on a
partition (for 32-bit Windows) is 4,095MB. If you need a pagefile of
greater size than that then you have to configure multiple pagefiles on
multiple disks. If the pagefile on your partition is greater than
4,095MB change the options and set it manually so that it doesn't exceed
this size.





Well, I turned of PAE using the /noexecute=AlwaysOff function in boot.ini.

I then rebooted and turned on a few apps - loaded Photoshop and created a
huge psd file until I was using 1.3 GB (after that PS starts using it's
scratch file) - other apps loaded normally and apps that would previously
fail loaded and worked fine.

Didn't touch pagefile settings, wanted to try turning PAE off first.

So it would seem the culprit is PAE/DEP.

Why this happenes is beyond me but it should definately be in some KB article.

Thanks for all suggestions


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