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I am running Windows XP 32bit. I have a total of 3GB memory installed and I also increased the Virtual memory to 4GB (Properties --> Advanced --> Performance Settings --> Advanced --> Virtual Memory --> Change)

I've read here that the total available virtual memory is approximately the sum of installed RAM and the size of the pagefile(s).

However, launching "System Information", XP reported that the "Total Virtual Memory" is only 2.00 GB? Why is that?

When I checked on my Windows 7 machine, the "Total Virtual Memory" is the RAM + Pagefiles.

Thanks, Ian

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Windows 7 32 or 64bit? your current setting are over the 32 bit address limit, thus this might explain what happens. – weismat Feb 23 '10 at 13:29
Wrong site for this question? At least I hope you aren't running WinXP on a server... – davr Feb 23 '10 at 23:41
@weismat: Windows 7 32 bit – Ian Feb 24 '10 at 4:52
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Virtual memory in 32-bit Windows is always 4 GB per process, irrespective of how much physical RAM or swap file you have. Increasing either will just mean that it has longer to go before running out.

This is by default divided into 2 chunks. 2 GB for the OS (roughly speaking) and 2 GB for process address space. I guess (although I haven't investigated so it remains a guess) that what you're seeing reported is one of those 2 GB chunks.

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You're right. I added the /3G switch and got the Total Virtual Memory to 3GB! Thanks! – Ian Feb 24 '10 at 4:52
You're better off not using the /3GB switch unless you know for certain that you need it. Generally only large databases really need it. Only having 1 GB of address space for the OS stuff can actually be detrimental to performance most of the time. – 21st Century Moose Feb 24 '10 at 9:58

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