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Here's the setup:

-32bit Windows 7 Host O/S, recognizing only ~3GB of 6GB RAM

If I virtualized a 64bit guest using VMWare, will it be possible for it to address the full ~6GB of RAM, or am I constrained to what my 32bit host can see?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

You're constrained to what the 32bit host can see. Even with PAE, a single process can only use ~3GB of RAM, so your guest(s) will be limited to that.

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I was thinking this but hoping it wouldn't be the answer. Kind of like when you open the fridge hoping you have enough milk left for a full bowl of cereal when you know full well that you only have enough for half. – zincorp Nov 15 '10 at 23:16
@zin - if you make your bowl half the size, then voila - a full bowl! – Mark Henderson Nov 16 '10 at 1:23

If you are using VMware Workstation for virtualisation, the only way to allocate RAM >4GB for a guest VM is to run a x64 Host.

You better use "true" virtualisation by installing Win 2k8 server and activating hyper-v or VMware ESX.


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