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8 gigs ram installed but only 2.99GB usable. Why?

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February 5, 2011 7:27:05 AM

I just built my first computer. I installed 4 x 2 gb DDR3 Kingston 1600Ghz RAM. When I go into windows 7 show system, it says

" 8.00GB (2.99 GB usuable)

Why is this?
February 5, 2011 7:47:55 AM

Do you have 32 bit Windows 7?
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February 5, 2011 10:54:26 AM

A mistake that is made often. It's simple, that is all that 32 bit windows 7 supports. Upgrade to 64 bit or your memory is wasted.
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February 5, 2011 10:57:33 AM

You need to install windows 7 64 bit lad
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February 5, 2011 2:47:58 PM

Thanks guys. I guess im going to have to upgrade to windows 7 64 bit. Can you only use one copy of windows 7 per a computer. I have a laptop and desktop and I have heard you can a Cd key 2 or 3 times. Is this true? And is 32 bit windows cd keys different from 64? Im pretty sure but just wanted to make sure.
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a c 347 } Memory
a b $ Windows 7
February 5, 2011 5:01:26 PM

Yes, the keys are different; yes {OEM vs Retail}, you need a 64-bit OS; maybe you can use your other 64-bit 'key' but DO NOT use the OEM/Laptop DVD to install Windows. 9/10 Microsoft will NOT activate you either online or phone. The key is attached to the 'MOBO' primarily. In the cases where I've changed; I found it easier to get another OEM - I build systems.

Differences: OEM is either 32 or 64 bit; Full has both 32 AND 64 bit.

You'll need a copy of Windows 7 X64.
FAQ1 - http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/help/videos...
FAQ2- http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/32-bit-and-...
Reinstalling - http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Installing-...
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February 5, 2011 6:11:41 PM

So I need to purchase a retail version of 64 it windows 7, not upgrade version? I need to install it on my bro's computer as well who just built one. Can I use it for both? is there a family pack?
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a c 347 } Memory
a b $ Windows 7
February 5, 2011 7:23:10 PM

Then the Family Pack is the best option. http://www.microsoft.com/windows/buy/products/offers-fa... The Family pack is Windows 7 Home Premium".

Compare editions - http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/compare/defa...
RAM Maximum Support - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366778(v=vs.85).aspx
{Windows 7 Home Premium 16GB MAX}

"Determine if 32 or 64-bit is right for you
Each package contains two disks: one with the 32-bit edition and one with the 64-bit edition of Windows 7. Please make sure you know which to install on your PC. The benefits of 64-bit are most apparent when you have a large amount of random access memory (RAM) installed on your computer, typically 4 GB of RAM or more. In such cases, because a 64-bit operating system can handle large amounts of memory more efficiently than a 32-bit operating system can, a 64-bit system can be more responsive when running several programs at the same time and switching between them frequently. Please note: if you are presently running 64-bit software on a PC running a 64-bit edition of Windows Vista and you move to a 32-bit edition of Windows 7, your 64-bit software may no longer work."
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March 21, 2013 5:25:00 AM

Or just move to linux (ubuntu)
unless you are gaming or using certain programs heavily like office

ubuntu can do all you need and it free
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November 5, 2013 3:56:44 PM

spenceryuan said:
I just built my first computer. I installed 4 x 2 gb DDR3 Kingston 1600Ghz RAM. When I go into windows 7 show system, it says

" 8.00GB (2.99 GB usuable)

Why is this?


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November 5, 2013 4:01:00 PM

Actually all of you are wrong. You see it is true that a 32 bit OS limits you ram a bit. It only limits is to 3.25 not 2.96. If the computer properties are saying this then there is something else wrong. But if you look up a little more on the window of the computer properties, you will see if you have a 32 or 64 bit OS. And if you do indeed have a 32 bit then yes your 8 gigs will only be brought down to 3.25. However i have a 64 bit install of windows and it claims that only 2.96 of my 4 gigs or ram is usable. So it sounds like you and me are having the same problem.
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