Enabling PAE in Windows? -- workaround for 32-bit OS's for more RAM support

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ice91785 Posted: Fri, Sep 7 2007 1:54 PM

What is your positions on enabling PAE within Windows? I have read bits and pieces about how its dangerous especially for drivers as they are only meant to address the normal 32-bit addressing....but do you think that enablnig PAE (for an increase to 36-bit)  for support for 64GB (i think it was?) of physical memory is truely dangerous or worth doing? I realize its not really something most people want to do but I just like to experiment and learn :)

Again, I would like just some really in-depth explanation if possible from anyone -- Davo? BigWop?

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Marco C replied on Fri, Sep 7 2007 3:21 PM

Well, the first thing you have to note is that PAE is only optimized for "server-class" versions of Windows.  With 32-bit, desktop versions of XP and Vista the limit is still 4GB, so there's very little point in enabling PAE.  Is it dangerous to enable PAE?  Not realy, because you can disable it fairly easily even if you have a device with an imcompatible driver.  The worst case scenario may arise if you have your hard drives connected to a PCI controller card and its drivers have a problem and you end up corrupting data.

I like to mess around with Windows and experiemnt as well, but you'll be pretty board pretty quick with PAE I think.  All you have to do is add a switch to the boot.ini file and you're done.

Another thing that makes messing with PAE somewhat useless is that 64-bit versions of Windows are much more mature now, and there's no need for PAE with a 64-bit version of Windows.

With that said, if you want to learn more about PAE and experiement, check out this page first:

http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/platform/server/PAE/PAEdrv.mspx

Lots of information there, direct from the source.

Marco Chiappetta
Managing Editor @ HotHardware.com

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ice91785 replied on Sat, Sep 8 2007 12:59 AM

interesting stuff -- thanks Marco!

While we're on the topic, do you have any favorite tweaks/cheats with Windows?

I am trying to learn more about the registry... I really need to buff up on registry stuff (my job makes me learn quite a bit about certain keys and such). For example if your optical drive disappears from your system (buffer overflow), deleting the upper and lower filters in LM > system > CCset > Control > Class > 4d36e965 and a restart will make it re-appear about 90% of the time.

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digitaldd replied on Tue, Sep 11 2007 7:15 AM

ice91785:

interesting stuff -- thanks Marco!

While we're on the topic, do you have any favorite tweaks/cheats with Windows?

I am trying to learn more about the registry... I really need to buff up on registry stuff (my job makes me learn quite a bit about certain keys and such). For example if your optical drive disappears from your system (buffer overflow), deleting the upper and lower filters in LM > system > CCset > Control > Class > 4d36e965 and a restart will make it re-appear about 90% of the time.

 

Sorry for not being on topic but a favorite site for registry tweak is http://www.pctools.com/guides/registry/  aka Regedit.com

 

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larac replied on Thu, Sep 20 2007 10:23 AM

The only time I mess around with PAE is when people order servers with 4, 8, 12 etc GB of ram, but then think they can save $20 by only getting the standard version on 2003 server.

Most of the windows 32bit OS's will see 4GB of ram as something odd like 3840MB or 3.5GB. So by enabling PAE they should see all 4GB.

"All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind" - Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)

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