How to use full 4GB RAM in Windows 7 32 Bit (Gavotte RAMDisk in Windows 7)

Introduction

I was using Gavotte's edition of the Windows RAMDisk driver for a while in my windows XP installation for a while already and my results were so far really good. Using the RAMDisk driver I was able to use my full 4GB RAM in my Windows 32 Bit environment.

Question is actually: How does it work? If Microsoft limits Windows to 3GB RAM how can this be extended?

Answer: Depending on the used hardware and BIOS configuration the non-usable memory between 3GB and 4GB (this is a area for reserved addresses for physical devices) is remapped to the area above 4GB.
Windows XP/Vista/7 32Bit editions are limited to 4GB RAM addresses so the memory above 4GB is just "unused".

The Gavotte RAMDisk is able to set the RAMDisk in the area above 4GB memory addresses and can enable the usage of this area for other purposes. I use the RAMDisk for setting my page file to this area but you can also use it for setting the TEMP folder or other stuff there.

It is just important to know that the RAMDisk is not persistent - so don't store any important stuff there - every reboot or power cycle the content is lost - so temporary files can be stored very good at this location.

I came across the RAMDisk driver when reading the famous German computer magazine c't which published an article in edition 7/2009, page 78 called "Ghost-Memory" (translated from German)

Installation in of Gavotte RAMDisk in Windows 7

Step 1: Download RAMDisk Package

First you need to download the RAMDisk driver from a suitable location. Use Google to find a file called...

Gavotte_RAMDisk_1.0.4096.5_200811130.7z

or

Gavotte_RAMDisk_1.0.4096.5_200811130.zip

...unzip the content to a suitable folder.

Step 2: Enforce PAE mode in Windows 7

Open a command line with elevated right (=run as administrator) and type the command ...

bcdedit /set pae ForceEnable

Run bdcedit and validate the result. "pae" should be listed as shows below:

Command Prompt Result

 

Step 3: Reboot

Reboot your PC to have the PAE mode effective.

Step 4: Configure PAE mode for RAMDisk

In explorer locate the file "ram4g.reg" within the extracted set of files from the RAMDisk, double click the file to add the registry settings. The content of the REG file should look like this:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\RRamdisk\Parameters]
"UsePAE"=dword:00000001

Step 5: Install RAMDisk

Navigate to the folder where the RAMDisk files have been extracted and start "ramdisk.exe" with administrator permissions.

Run ramdisk.exe as administrator

In the GUI of ramdisk.exe click on "Install Ramdisk".

After you clicked the button there will be a warning displayed by Windows Security to validate of you really would like to install the RAMDisk, click on "Install this driver software anyway".

Then... you need to wait a bit, on my box it took ~30 seconds to complete the installation. If completed the GUI should display something like:

Also you'll notice that a drive "R:\" is now available in your Windows Explorer using the size of your missing memory between 3GB and 4GB.

Step 6: Reboot (again)

Reboot (again) to validate that RAMDisk is installed correctly. After reboot the RAMDisk should be displayed in Explorer as drive R:\ again.

Step 7: Enjoy

Now you can be sure to be able to use the RAMDisk. I personally use it as swap space.

To set it up as swap space (swapping from RAM to RAM) you...

  1. Right click on "Computer" in Windows Explorer
  2. pick "Properties"
  3. then use the menu on the left for "Advanced System Settings"
  4. in the following dialog use the tab "Advanced"
  5. in the group "Performance" click the "Settings..." button
  6. on the following dialog use tab "Advanced"
  7. in the group "Virtual Memory" click on "Change..."
  8. in the following dialog (seems very advanced at this step already :-) unselect "Automatically manage paging file size for all drives" checkbox.
  9. Select your RAMDisk drive in the list box
  10. Select "Custom Size"
  11. Enter e.g. 1000 into "Initial size" box
  12. Enter e.g. 1000 into "Maximum size" box (whereas my RAMDisk had space of 1022MB available)
  13. Click on "Set" button
  14. Close the dialog with "OK"
  15. Close the dialog with "OK"
  16. Accept to reboot

After reboot you can enjoy having a computer swapping from RAM to RAM.

References

AttachmentSize
Gavotte_RAMDisk_1.0.4096.5_200811130.7z160.59 KB

Ram Disk vs Fixed Media

I have it setup as instructed and working fine but I have to ask.

What's the difference in Ram Disk vs Fixed Media and why wouldn't we set it up as a Ram Disk instead?

Thanks,

Ralph

PS: Your captha is a RPITA!

After 1 year I found issues using Gavotte Ramdisk

I had windows 7 32 bit with 8 gb and gavotte ramdisk running for approx 1 year.

When I first installed the Ramdisk I noticed it set the ramdisk size as 4.74 GB which I found troubling but as initial tests didn't come up with any issues I just stopped caring about that issue.

I found it troubling because the GPUs also use the RAM, as very famously known from Vista times with people complaining about not having their 4 GB fully available. MS said this was due to driver problems.

Well looks like Gavotte ignores those driver problems since it seems it can take year(s) of use to find them.

 

Long story short - I had pagefile on the ramdisk and everything worked quite fine until Flash started crashing and then I started to find that running a file compare resulted in different results each time. And OCCTPT reported CPU error.

All the problems disappeared once I disabled the pagefile (it was set to min 2000 MB max 3000 MB auto-resize) that was on the ramdisk.

 

It may be too early to say if this problem was incompatibility with use of pagefile on the ramdisk, the fact I had changed in recently to auto-resizing (it seems the problems started around that time) or what.

 

Either way. The fact that the file compares gave different results randomly suggests that file corruption was also possible during copying. Now it may be all related to the auto-resizing pagefile but personally I'd rather have a ramdisk that I can be sure of that it is not overlapping GPU memory and that pagefile is fully supported on the ramdisk. I have no use for 32bit that can't have pagefile on the ramdisk reliably so I am going back to 64 bit (64 bit support on debuggers is improving slowly so my 32 bit needs are reducing).

contd.

I'll add a note here that I was not using the hack to make 32bit support 8+GB because I don't want to use anything that could possibly interfere with windows update patching, and modifying the OS files has potential to do so. Now if you do all your browsing in a VM or another machine and are able to run the modified OS with all networking disabled, which should be doable (you should be able to pass eg. USB WLAN stick to WM without enabling networking on the host), or use a hypervisor solution, then by all means hack your OS. Otherwise doing a permanent mod to kernel is something I personally would not do unless you have systems in place to alert when that kernel file is patched by MS and can verify that it's actually patched (for security exploits) even though you are using your hacked file. 

 

 

Suggest you disable low disk space warning if using all for swap

Jens, excellent article, thank you I might also sugest that you suggest a additional registry Key to prevent the Low disk space warning's ( ialthough it does kills it for all drives ) that would need to create the Explorer Key as in:

 

 

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

 

and create the DWORD ( 32 bit ) : NoLowDiscSpaceChecks with a 1 value

 

reboot and hopefully you can say aufidersen to those pesky pop ups ! ;-)

 

Thanks!

 

 

I think this post will help a

I think this post will help a lot of people in making their RAM size productive. You have shared great tips to use 4GB RAM in Windows 7 32 bit. I would love

to recommend this site to my friends. Thanks a lot. 

Gavotte Ramdisk

Hi

Thanks for this help for using 4GB of RAM on Windows7 32bit.

I have a minor problem that I get returning message "There is not enough disk space at your Ramdisk PAE (R)" What to do?

Best regards

Garp

 

Windows still creates pagefile in C:

I am running Windows 32 bits in a 4GB RAM system. I followed the instructions and everything went fine apparently. I have now a R: Drive with 1GB. I have also done the setup to have no pagefile on any drive other than R, with 1 GB.

However Windows gives me a message at startup saying it has created a temporary pagefile in C: with 2GB. And when looking at disk activity in resource monitor I can see it is being used. No disk activity is shown for drive R.

Why is Windows creating this pagefile in C: despite having specified I don't want it?  Can you please help?

Thanks

DON’T put a pagefile on a RAM-drive!!!

Do NOT put a swapfile on a RAM-drive. It is absolutely pointless and other than one or two very specific edge cases, provides zero benefit.

When you put your swap file on a RAM-drive, you waste physical ram for the swapfile which could have otherwise been used for programs to avoid having to use the swapfile.

This is made much worse if the swapfile on the RAM-drive is only a complementary file since the system will always use the one on the system drive (and usually other volumes on earlier drive letters) before eventually getting to the one on the RAM-drive. You could disable all swapfiles other than the one on the RAM-drive, but not having a pagefile on the system drive has serious consequences (for one thing, it disables crash dumps).

If you want to reduce paging to disk, then you can disable the swapfile altogether by setting the pagefile on each drive to none; that way the system keeps memory in RAM instead of paging to disk, but of course this has its own rammifications (plus the system doesn’t immediately move program memory to disk anyway, it first moves them to another part of RAM).

Here’s an explanation and discussion:

http://www.overclock.net/t/1193401/why-it-is-bad-to-store-the-page-file-on-a-ram-disk

 

RE: I still recommend using it :-)

hi Bob,

thanks for your comment. Yes, you are right in normal installations but this description above is being made for 32bit systems where the Windows Kernel is not able to address/use all of the pysical RAM. So the benefit of this version and approach is to be able to use the normally not available RAM for page file purposes. In this way you are able to use more than 3GB of physical RAM in 32Bit Windows.

For all other cases I totally agree that it makes no sense.

Jens

how to undo???

how to undo???my computer has crashes..please help mee.....

 

I did everything here, 

I did everything here,  exactly to the letter and I'm getting Blue screened on my emachine E625. I added 2GB to make it 4GB and I'm running Win 7 32bit. The extra hard drive I created has 767MB and it says it has 32.0 MB free. My system feels even slower than before. What can I do to fix?

RE: I did everything here

Nothing you can do - if the extended memory is not showing up then your BIOS is not supporting memory remapping. You can only try to upgrade the system BIOS.

How could I reverse the

How could I reverse the process in that case because the system is almost unusable now.

Is that working??? I hope you

Is that working??? I hope you are not lying..

hi im useing windowa 7 64bit

hi im useing windowa 7 64bit version and also my ram 4gb but 3gb usable   how to solve this problem ? 

3GB in 64Bit Windows

You can only check if a BIOS upgrade is available. If only 3GB are available I would reccomend swichting to Windows 32 Bit...

I want to ask ,The memory

I want to ask ,The memory that we used in Ramdisk is set from our 4gb memory or set from usable memory? sorry... bad english

Wrong memory value

my post was not published

I have a 4GB system on D2700 nettop, win 7 home basic sp1 32bit, Maxtor 160GB 3,5'' hard disk and the system obviously leave me only 2,99GB memory. Enabling PAE and Gavotte the system works, or better starts. But with strange results. I created a ramdisk of 768MB, as selected in menu of gavotte (I have 1GB unused), but it creates a ram disk (label: RAMDISK-PAE) of 4GB (checked on disk properties).

At the beginning, the used ram is 700MB and the total physical memory is 3060MB. I started to copy files, the system gave me a not enough space errror after I effectively copied about 4GB of files. In the meantime and also at the end of copy the memory usage of system was always 700MB on 3060MB. So, what the hell is happening?
Some other info: I Installed floatled, an utility who shows which partition is reading/writing, and seems that files was really read on a disk and write on ramdisk.
From ramdisk I can cancel files but not some directories (!): I always checked if read only flag was enableb, but disabling it some directories was canceled, others not.

So, now I tested the disk using crystal diskmark on C: physical partition:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1 (C) 2007-2010 hiyohiyo
Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
* MB/s = 1,000,000 byte/s [SATA/300 = 300,000,000 byte/s]

Sequential Read : 70.336 MB/s
Sequential Write : 67.415 MB/s
Random Read 512KB : 28.277 MB/s
Random Write 512KB : 37.911 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 0.518 MB/s [ 126.6 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 1.759 MB/s [ 429.5 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 1.197 MB/s [ 292.3 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 1.722 MB/s [ 420.5 IOPS]

Test : 1000 MB [C: 10.3% (12.0/117.4 GB)] (x5)
Date : 2012/06/30 20:17:13
OS : Windows 7 Home Basic Edition SP1 [6.1 Build 7601] (x86)

and then on R: ram disk partition, after canceled some files:

Sequential Read : 156.738 MB/s
Sequential Write : 373.292 MB/s
Random Read 512KB : 155.242 MB/s
Random Write 512KB : 346.910 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 20.769 MB/s [ 5070.5 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 21.548 MB/s [ 5260.7 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 19.670 MB/s [ 4802.4 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 20.627 MB/s [ 5035.8 IOPS]

Test : 1000 MB [R: 49.0% (2004.9/4092.0 MB)] (x5)
Date : 2012/06/30 20:26:24
OS : Windows 7 Home Basic Edition SP1 [6.1 Build 7601] (x86)

Any logical conclusion? Mine is the system is not working properly, so I will not use, in this condition, gavotte ramdisk. But why?

Platform = Windows Version =

Platform = Windows

Version = XP

Sub Version = Service Pack 3

CPU = Intel(R) Xeon(TM) CPU 3.06GHz

CPUArchitecture = X86

Memory = 2687 MB  ECC  I have 5100 MB and I dont now to activate it

 

Model = Maxtor 6Y080L0

Revision = YAR41VW0

Serial Number = 3359443139424539202020202020202020202020 Interface = ATA Cylinders = 10337

Tracks/cylinder = 240

Sectors/track = 63

Bytes/sector = 512

Capacity = 80023265280

(Bytes) = 74 (Gb)

ReadPerSecondAvg: 37.460 MB/s

RandomSeekTimeAvg: 18.063 ms

 

 

Vendor = SuperSpeed_

LLC Model = RAM_

Disk Revision = 9.0

Serial Number = 0001

Interface = Cylinders = 101

Tracks/cylinder = 255

Sectors/track = 63

Bytes/sector = 512

Capacity = 830753280

(Bytes) = 0 (Gb)

ReadPerSecondAvg: 408.946 MB/s

RandomSeekTimeAvg: 0.000 ms

 

hi

is that so? care to elaborate? just thought i would ask ;-D

KERNEL

 

Cant believe, that there is solution so fantastic and so secret. Because it took me very long time to solve.

All above solution does not work for me. I have 6GB and WIN 7 say 6 installed, 2 usable. 
When I installed RAM Disk, it eat memory from 2GB usable. Not from above 2GB. Useless. Of course bios is seted up well. Limit in msconfig set to NO no limit. Doesnt work...

THE SOLUTION IS:
Windows 7 32-bit with full 4 GB or 8 GB RAM support, Even up to 64GB!!!
http://www.unawave.de/windows-7-tipps/32-bit-ram-barrier.html?lang=EN 

Works absolutely perfect. I can use 6GB of RAM in WIN 7 32bit. 

It is true, that now it could be intelligent to try RAM disk to SWAP to RAM to even increase the system speed. If you have more RAM you need it is fine method. 
I also tested eboostr, which is just made for that purpose. 
ENJOY!

 

 

GREAT !!!  BRILLIANT !!! I

GREAT !!!  BRILLIANT !!!

I was able to retire Windows 7 (64bit), reinstalling XP while using all available 8 GB RAM, 3 1/2 GB ot RAM for XP and 4 1/2 GB for the Ramdisk, filled with XP's paging file  !!!

THANK YOU SO MUCH !!!

Windows 2000 + Windows XP are the best Windows ever !!!

 

Barney

That's not really brillant,

That's not really brillant, as you are still in a 32 bits environment, so your programs cannot use more than 2 GB or ram each.

still in a  32bits.... pfff !

still in a  32bits.... pfff ! Me too i'm on 32bits, no problemo man ! If programs need more ram, they used the pagefile.sys on ramdisk !!!  Total speed and perfect working applications on a stable system. Hapiness !

I cant install

I cant install. its sayin failed. i run it with administrator and yet

Hey, I'm running a 32 bit OS

Hey,

I'm running a 32 bit OS (win 7) and I upgraded my RAM from 2gb to 4gb.

But after step 5 the capacity of the R drive is only 15.9 MB, I was expecting a bit more.  I tried rebooting and formatting R:, but that did nothing.

Hope you can shed some light on this, thx.

> But after step 5 the

> But after step 5 the capacity of the R drive is only 15.9 MB, I was expecting a bit more [16 MB].

That’s because 16MB is the size of the RAW volume. Once it is formatted, the filesystem takes up some of the same for its structures (FAT, $MFT, etc.).

 

If the result of this

If the result of this installation shows only a few megabyte then probably the BIOS of you PC is not supporting Memory Remapping. See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3_GB_barrier#Address_remapping_.28the_.22memory_hole.22.29

Thx for the speedy reply

It works now.  I updated my BIOS, so that may be why it's working, but I think I followed the instruction too closely (step 5 fig.4) and didn't manually set the drive space, thinking it would do this automatically.

ramdisk with command prompt

an enlightening article. here is an application elsewhere, a challenging one, if you can resolve. i used to run mcafee 5.400 under dos command, booting with cd (minipe xp). it had been fun.
eversince newly released mobos must comply to vista-standard, microsoft has been poisoning the usage of wxp_sp3 with its updated service pack 3. first with its UAA Bus Driver for HD Audio (error 0xE000027)). then with its ridiculuous BCD (Boot Configuration Data) and then pushing the mobo producers not to embed IDE controller (a disk read occurred. press ctrl+alt+del to restart). intel motherboards are the worst one. they can not beat the AMD in 64-bit technology.
most intel mobos love to fail to provide the system to access the high memory area. crash, blue screen, reboot. some of the worst are G41 and G31 chipsets. enough for the beetching.
my problem is that windows nowadays love to limit the system to access the 'wasted, unused RAM', by replying "Program too big to fit in memory".
back in the early 1990s, whenever computers were provided without harddisk, I used to create a RAM disk to reserve the life of the 1.44 MB and/or 1.2 MB disk drive. i copied the WordStar (ws7) and/or 123 programs to the RAM disk. although the RAM was 4 MB, the computer worked much faster than to access the diskette. it was like a lightening speed, back that days.
jens, and anybody, can you help me out with this thing?
thank you anyway. nice work.

understandig

mhm, sorry, I'd like to help but I don't understand your question - what is the problem?

NO PAE may be required by your PC

Attention:
If you are a software developer using Microsoft Visual Basic 2010 Express, the setting "/NOPAE" may be required in your boot loader for VB2010 Express to function. The only way I could get VB2010 Express to function on my PC was to turn off the PAE in the bootloader using this /NOPAE switch.

I am both a musician and software developer. I use RAMDISK for memory enhancement with virtual synthesizers; but for software development in VB2010 Express I need to set the PAE to 'OFF'...

Hi, thanks for this pretty

Hi,

thanks for this pretty nice guide.

But my problem is the following...

i have 8 GB RAM and i created a Ram disc for about 4,74 GB, so that i could use the whole unused potential.

But the created Ram disc just uses 764 MB of 4,74 GB and the hardware monitor shows me that i have a maximum of 3327 MB.

 Could you help me with that? :(

answer

hi,

I assume you can not do much about this. If it is not giving the full ram size this might be a limitation of your bios how it reports it back to the operating system.

you may check for a bios upgrade or for a configuration for memory remapping in the bios but I think it is very rare that this can be fixed.

jens

So if I use the ramdisk as

So if I use the ramdisk as virtual memory like your last step, then I can't hibernate? Doesn't work for me on win7, any work around for that?

RAMDisk and Hibernate

I assume this is a limitation in Windows - Hibernate only covers the RAM which is addreaable by Windows, as the RAMDisk is in the upper memory layer this would not be stored to disk in case of hibernate - thus the driver claims that hibernate power state is not supported.

Brilliant! Thanks, I will not

Brilliant! Thanks, I will not have to upgrade to 64bit after all

Gavotte RamDisk

Hello - sounds really interesting.

Before I mesh up something: should this work on a netbook running on Windows 7 Starter (is limited to use 2 GB-Ram maximum) with physically 4 GB-Ram installed, to make use of the excess 2 GB that is now waiting to be used?

Hope to hear your ideas!

Cool Idea

Sorry, I never have tested such a scenario - has someone else? Maybe I could test thius in a VM with the starter edition when I have time somewhen...

Email Feedback

Hi!

I've tested the setup after I upgraded my machine to 8GB RAM. This was also working, I had 3GB available RAM and a 5GB RAM Disk.

I tried to enable 5GB as Swap space but unfortunately Windows is limited to 4GB Swap per drive :-) But you can still put the %TEMP% folders to the RAM drive...

Thanks & Best Regards,

Jens Scheffler

-----Original Message-----

From: ****atjensscheffler [dot] de [mailto:****atjensscheffler [dot] de] On Behalf Of ejr@*******.com

Sent: Montag, 15. August 2011 23:58

To: ****atjensscheffler [dot] de

Subject: [Feedback] Gavotte RamDisk

Eugene sent a message using the contact form at http://www.jensscheffler.de/contact.

I have successfully used the ramdisk on systems with 4GB of memory.  I get a disk of between 768 and 1 GB depending on the machine.  I want to double my RAM to 8 GB.  Will Gavotte be able to use the additional memory (have you tested that personally)?

Thanks.

System Managed

If you still want double pagefiles, the ones on the RAM and the ones on the disk, Set the RAMDisk's Disk Initial Size to the amount of RAM which is left unused by the OS.

And on the other HD you just write down Initial 16MB / Maximum 4096(or 8192)MB. (Just write it down on the maximum. It won't take that much unless the system needs it.)

I'm an heavy user, 4GB isn't just enough.

Hi Jens, thanx for the

Hi Jens, thanx for the info..

I've followed all your instructions, work nice, but i didn't see any 'big' differences.

Oya, I have 4GB's of RAM on Win7 Ultimate 32-bit. It says only 2.75GB usable. So i set the RAM-Disk for 1GB

I have some questions :

  1. Do we really must do the ForceEnable option on PAE with bcdedit?
  2. How about the Paging File on C: ? Do we really must shut it off (No Paging File) and use only the RAM-Disk.. OR use both of them?
  3. As i Set initial size to 1000MB and max size as 1000MB, and the result is : i always receive a Low Disk Space Notification. Any clue for this?

Thanx for your answer

Regards, i'm from Indonesia, forgive my bad English :-)

How to use 4GB Ram In Windows 7 32 Bit

Dear Adee,

Please Read this article "http://www.unawave.de/windows-7-tipps/32-bit-ram-barrier.html?lang=EN"

In the article all have shown how to use 4GB Ram In Windows 7 32 Bit. And Also You Can Use 64GB Ram!!!

Just Read It And You Will Understand All.

Thnak You.

Autobot

Question on multiple-swap files

In this example, you left the C drive swap file at "System Managed".

How do you ensure the 1 gig Ram disk swap file even gets used, instead of the C drive one? How do you know it's actually being accessed at all, instead of Windows just going to the main disk one?

 

 

 

It's not been accessed at

It's not been accessed at all! You are not saying windows to use this RAMdisk as a swap file.

System Managed

Hi, I assume this is a "bug" in the screenshot - of course the swap file on C: should be disabled.

re-check results

sorry, doesnt work. ram is allocated from free windows memory, check for yourself using taskmans ressource monitor. the ramdisk capacity gets allocated from windows' 3gig of usable memory. the 1gig difference stays untouched.

tested on a macbook running win7 with 4gigs of ram.

Finally !!!

Followed the instructions, then used R:\ as swap-file (762MB-762MB).

Resource Monitor: 2715 available + 555 in use + 769 hardware reserved = total 4039

Works clear as crystal !!! Thanks very much Jens !

 

Sorry pal. That's exactly the

Sorry pal. That's exactly the same result you get  if the Ram disk is not installaled. Just try uninstalling the Ram disk and check the Resource Monitor again.