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Unused Ram

#1 User is offline   BearPup 

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 08:27 PM

I'm running Win 7, 32 Bit, Home Premium with 4 Gb of RAM. As such, it only recognizes 3.25 Gb of the RAM. Is there a way to make use of the 3/4 Gb (768 Mb) of 'unused' RAM, perhaps as Shadow RAM, or Virtual RAM, or a RAM Disk, or use it for ReadyBoost? If so, how? Thanks in advance for your help.
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#2 User is offline   LiveBrianD 

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 09:18 PM

As far as I know, a RAM disk is the only way to do that. ReadyBoost is designed for thumb drives, and I don't think it can be used with a hard drive (which a RAM disk will likely appear as).

"Virtual RAM" means the pagefile by the way (located on the slow hard drive), which is mainly used when you don't have enough RAM.

This post has been edited by LiveBrianD: 17 November 2012 - 09:19 PM

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#3 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:28 AM

You could switch to 64 bit Windows 7 (or Windows 8...a cheaper option most likely). Not sure it is worth the potentially added cost and definite added hassle just to get less than 1 GB of RAM "back"...

Of course, if you want to upgrade to more than 4 GB of RAM (either now or in the future), then it becomes much more "worthwhile".

This post has been edited by smax013: 18 November 2012 - 09:30 AM

Good riddance PCWorld.
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#4 User is offline   LiveBrianD 

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 10:04 AM

AFIAK, your license key is NOT locked to 32-bit or 64-bit Windows. You could download a 64-but ISO via the links in my sig, and install with your key.
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#5 User is offline   waldojim 

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 10:30 AM

Actually, OEM is locked.
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#6 User is offline   LiveBrianD 

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 10:56 AM

I've been researching this, and I'm actually not sure - OEM copies only come with one version, but it sounds like the key isn't limited to that.
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#7 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 11:02 AM

View PostLiveBrianD, on 18 November 2012 - 10:56 AM, said:

I've been researching this, and I'm actually not sure - OEM copies only come with one version, but it sounds like the key isn't limited to that.


I found some discussions on other forums that suggest that they are NOT locked for Windows 7.

Now, I have not really seen a discussion mention whether OEM licenses with "retail" computers are treated the same as "system builder" OEM licenses (i.e. those that one would get from NewEgg to build their own computer).

I supposed someone could test it...

This post has been edited by smax013: 18 November 2012 - 11:03 AM

Good riddance PCWorld.
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#8 User is offline   LiveBrianD 

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 11:20 AM

I happen to have one of both, though I'd rather not go through the trouble of testing it. (I use 64-bit Windows on both of my machines.)
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#9 User is offline   BearPup 

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 04:03 PM

I appreciate the info....and as I don't think my processor can do 64-Bit, I'll pass on testing it too! Next question: how do I go about creating a RAM disk, what are the downsides & difficulties, and, is there freeware software to do this?
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#10 User is offline   LiveBrianD 

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 04:49 PM

What CPU do you have? Unless it's really old (Pentium 4), it probably does.
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#11 User is offline   BearPup 

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 07:43 PM

Its an AMD Phenom II X4 (4 cores) 945 Processor with a 32 Bit Address Width (according to HardInfo reporting software). It also reports a data width of 64 Bits, and it being part of the X64 Processor Family. But I'm looking at the Address Width, which it reports as 32 Bit. Unfortunately, the AMD site doesn't specify whether its a 32 or 64 Bit, so I assume its 32 Bit.
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#12 User is offline   LiveBrianD 

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:29 PM

Yep, definitely 64-bit. The Athlon 64s and later all did on the AMD side. (2003 and later, for the most part. On the Intel side, it was more like 2005 and later.)
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#13 User is offline   BearPup 

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 03:26 PM

Though I downloaded the 64 Bit ISO file, I basically decided that gaining 768 Mb of RAM wasn't worth reinstalling all my dozens of programs (and everything else) from scratch. I think I'll wait on that for the next time I upgrade my hard drive (which is on the horizon). So back to an earlier part of my question: how does one go about creating a RAM disk, what are the pitfalls, and is there freeware software to do this?
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#14 User is offline   Flashorn 

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 05:20 PM

View PostBearPup, on 19 November 2012 - 03:26 PM, said:

Though I downloaded the 64 Bit ISO file, I basically decided that gaining 768 Mb of RAM wasn't worth reinstalling all my dozens of programs (and everything else) from scratch. I think I'll wait on that for the next time I upgrade my hard drive (which is on the horizon). So back to an earlier part of my question: how does one go about creating a RAM disk, what are the pitfalls, and is there freeware software to do this?



Hey BearPup !

Basically, a Ram disk will take away (or use) the Ram that's already on your PC. Meaning that, it will use Part of the Ram installed (what you allocate to RamDisk) on your PC to use as a RamDisk.

This means, if you have 4 Gigs of Ram installed, you would then allocate 1 or 1.5 Gigs to create a Ram Disk.

I have a video here that I will post to show you how to create a Ram Disk.

The software used is free from :

http://memory.datara...oftware/ramdisk

It can be used for either 32 or 64 bit OS.

I have 8 Gigs of ram installed and will try this out when I have the time.

In your case, having only 4 Gigs of ram installed, you will have to take into account the programs or games that might demand a certain amount of Ram to function properly.

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=zrecoX2nsOM



FLASHORN.

This post has been edited by Flashorn: 19 November 2012 - 05:22 PM

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#15 User is offline   BearPup 

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 06:46 PM

Thanks Flashorn, I'm giving it a try. Will post results here.
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#16 User is offline   BearPup 

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 06:56 PM

Flashorn,
Well it was a nice try. The Dataram software wouldn't install on my machine without shutting down AMD Fuel (overclocking features of my CPU) and the Catalyst Control Center, my GPU operating software (overclocking and display control features).

I guess I'm just plain stuck with Microsoft's limitations and waste of RAM. Next system I put together will be a native 64 Bit system and leave it at that.

But, much appreciation for your help, info, and video. Nice work.

BearPup
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#17 User is offline   BearPup 

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 09:44 PM

From BearPup to All:
I found a freeware RAM Disk site: http://www.radeonramdisk.com/ .

Its by AMD (the CPU folks), and if such software can be termed thus, its pretty basic. Few options, no NTFS formatting, but it should work with AMD processors. Its my next test. The replacement system drive arrives this week, so I'll also let you know whether or not OEM iso files use the same 32 & 64 Bit unlock code.

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#18 User is offline   snorg 

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:01 AM

I have XP 32bit, I have 4Gb RAM.
I have never seen my system use more than a small fraction of the RAM that I have so I dont see any point in going to 64bit.
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#19 User is offline   BearPup 

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 04:46 AM

Snorg,
Partly its a matter of principle - I paid for 4Gb, I want 4Gb! And partly its performance. I just used the AMD RAMDisk program for my Swap File, and its 1200% faster than my hard disk Swap File (per HARDiNFO 7). That makes a difference. I also deal with photographs a lot, and Photoshop and the like can benefit from all the RAM I can give it.
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#20 User is offline   BearPup 

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:14 PM

To expand upon the comment concerning the RAMDisk. I used AMD Radeon RAMDisk program, which is a kernal mode driver program that creates a RAMDisk of 4 Gb or less (freeware version). The software itself is a subset of the Dataram Company's RAM disk software that Flashorn recommended. I call it a subset as the original Dataram software wouldn't work on my computer because it conflicted with my AMD CPU driver, and the AMD branded version does not suffer from that conflict.

My computer has 4 Gb of RAM, and as I currently run Win 7 32-Bit OS software, only 3.25 Gb gets used; thus leaving 768 Mb wasted in limbo. First, the program installed and worked on my computer; it took two attempts to start it, but on the retry it worked. I then set up a DOS Mode RAMdisk of 768 Mb, which was assigned the next available drive letter 'G', without choice. I assume that can be changed in the Windows Disk Management console (if anyone knows that link and would post it....). I know that its there as it shows up in my file manager (I changed its Volume Label from "local Disk" to "RAMDisk"), and in the Control Panel app Device Manager.

Next to test it. First, I assigned my Swap File to Drive G, allowing it to use 760 Mb of the Drive (8 Mb is for the Swap File's overhead). Then I tested it using the Information and Benchmarking program HARDiNFO 7 (freeware). The results are impressive. Drive G had an avg. seek time of .01 ms and a benchmark score of 866.80. My Hitachi 500 Gb SATA II hard drive (it holds data, not the OS) on the other hand has an avg. seek time of 16.09 ms and a benchmark score of 65.20. This makes the benchmark score 1,329% faster than my fastest hard drive, and overall the RAMDisk is 1,469% faster than my fastest hard drive. I'm sold! Its not only speeds up my swap file to be virtually as fast as RAM, but it allows for me to set scratch disks (Photoshop's UNDO File) to the RAMDisk as well.
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