O.T. XP won't use all RAM


Everyone thinks they can manage the page file in XP from the control panel. Believe me you can't. I have a program that looks into the computer and it resets itself every time. I've tried all the obvious controls, modified the registry most daringly and it still won't use over 256 MB of RAM. I installed 2 GB and it recognizes it, but it still keeps shuffling data onto page file.
By loading many places in Google world it can use up to 44%, surely as video memory. Can anyone help me use my RAM in everyday use? Thanks and Merry, and Happy tto all. sam


I think most modern BIOS' will recognize installed ram but that would be my first stop as it is the closest to the physical memory. Go into your BIOS config when booting up and see if there are any settings there that effect how the system recognizes or uses RAM

Edited: 24 Dec 2010, 2:34 p.m.


Chip design folks that need lotsa *usable* RAM without thrashing are not pleased with this issue on Win boxes. It's been an issue back to NT/2K days, (unsure of the severity levels across the platforms).

There was a company that produced IDE "hard disks" that were really RAM drives. System performance improved markedly; similar results occurred with RAM drive software. It was more valuable to add RAM to a RAM drive than it was to add RAM to the system pool beyond around 512MB.



Nowadays you can simply use a real RAM drive, located in main memory. If your PC has 4GB or more RAM, at least the Gavotte can create a PAE RAM disk automatically (if chipset/BIOS allow)

Then you can set your temp directories to there, which will lead to a big performance gain in many cases.

Consider unpacking a 100MB zip file. Normally it will be unpacked to the current temp dir on the HD, and then copied to the destination. The 1. step, unpacking, will be _much_ faster if you use a RAM disk, and even the copy operation will be faster.

And your web browser will react faster, too, if the cache resides in RAM.



A Pagefile is a location setup on your hard drive that Windows uses as temp storage of open programs and data so it can be easly swaped out when the OS needs more RAM for other programs. When you change the amount of disk space that is used you need to click on the SET button to get Windows to accept the change. Windows will then tell you, you must restart the computer for the new settings to take effect. I think most systems default to 2GB but generally recommend 5GB as the minimum. I use allot of CAD and GIS software so I have my minimum at 10GB and maximum at 16GB.


The program I use to look at all memory use shows me that the sum of memory used would easily fit in 2GB RAM. It slows down all processes when it shuffles data onto disk when it need not. It may be that a BIOS revision is a key. That would obviate having to work with XP. Thanks, sam


Have you tried disabling paging file completely ?


I have chosen "no page file" and restarted. It notifies me my pagefile is too low and resets it. It is simply reverting to the days when 512M was a lot of RAM. I'll see if an updated BIOS is available. Thanks, sam

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