Old 02-28-2012, 05:21 PM   #1
King5
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Default "Windows XP 3 gig key switch" how to set?

Hi All,
I have installed 3 gig of RAM into my computer. An upgrade from the 2 gig I had in my computer. I was told that just installing it would not be enough and that I needed to switch something so I was hoping someone could walk me through how to set the key switch so I can use all 3 gig of ram.
Any help greatly appreciated.
King5
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:54 PM   #2
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Hey my friend, I did a little searching and came across this but I haven't had a chance to check it out yet.

http://blogs.technet.com/askperf/arc...fying-3gb.aspx
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King5 View Post
Hi All,
I have installed 3 gig of RAM into my computer. An upgrade from the 2 gig I had in my computer. I was told that just installing it would not be enough and that I needed to switch something so I was hoping someone could walk me through how to set the key switch so I can use all 3 gig of ram.
Any help greatly appreciated.
King5
Here's how I did it:
Quote:
Enable the 3GB switch on Windows XP

•Right-click My Computer. Click Properties.
•In the System Properties dialog box, click the Advanced tab.
•On the Advanced tab, under Startup and Recovery, click Settings.
•In the Startup and Recovery dialog box, under System startup, click Edit. The Windows boot.ini file will be opened in Microsoft® Notepad.
•Create a backup copy of the boot.ini file. Note: Boot.ini files may vary from computer to computer.
Select the following line in the boot.ini file:
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Micro soft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect

•Press Ctrl+C to copy the line and then press Ctrl+V to paste it immediately below the original line.
Note: Your text string may be different from the text string in this solution, so be sure to copy the text string from your boot.ini file, and not the text string included here.
Modify the copied line to include “ /3GB”, as shown in the following example:
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Micro soft Windows XP Professional 3GB" /3GB /fastdetect

Note: Do not overwrite any existing lines.

•Save and close the boot.ini file.
•Click OK to close each dialog box.
•Restart your computer.
•During startup, select the 3GB option. If you do not select the 3GB option, the system will default to the 2GB total memory setting.
Note: If problems occur during startup, you may need to update some of your drivers.
From http://dwf.blogs.com/beyond_the_pape...ows-vista.html

Painless, and it greatly reduced the crashes I used to get.
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:59 PM   #4
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Um, what? I upgraded my xp machine from 2 to 3 gigs a couple years ago and didn't do any of that. Just stuck it in, closed up the box, and turned it on. System info says 3 gigs. Are you saying my computer isn't really using it even though it is recognizing it? I thought I noticed a performance increases...was that just my imagination.
Are you saying...I might have more power hidden under my hood?
Please be saying that
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny View Post
Um, what? I upgraded my xp machine from 2 to 3 gigs a couple years ago and didn't do any of that. Just stuck it in, closed up the box, and turned it on. System info says 3 gigs. Are you saying my computer isn't really using it even though it is recognizing it? I thought I noticed a performance increases...was that just my imagination.
Are you saying...I might have more power hidden under my hood?
Please be saying that
Good news. (well, kinda sorta).
I might not have the terms exactly right, but in layman's terms, 32bit apps (like Reaper) can't actually access more than 2Gb of ram unless you enable the 3GB switch.

I say kinda sorta good news because supposedly the 3GB switch has the potential of causing other problems. I tried to find specifics of what problems might occur, but all I could really find were generic statements like this. So maybe I just got lucky, but I've had nothing but good after I made the change.

If you do the dual boot thing like is in the instructions I posted, it's easy to just boot into the "normal" configuration if you start getting weird behavior.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:06 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by KevinW View Post
Good news. (well, kinda sorta).
I might not have the terms exactly right, but in layman's terms, 32bit apps (like Reaper) can't actually access more than 2Gb of ram unless you enable the 3GB switch.

I say kinda sorta good news because supposedly the 3GB switch has the potential of causing other problems. I tried to find specifics of what problems might occur, but all I could really find were generic statements like this. So maybe I just got lucky, but I've had nothing but good after I made the change.
Its because you are sort of stealing some of that away from kernel memory. Technically 32Bit is 4GB of addressable space (2^32) Kernel memory gets 1/2, user apps get the other 1/2. Setting the 3GB basically says give the Kernel side of the OS 1 GB and the user side OS the remaining 3GB. This also cuts in half something called "non-paged pool memory" from 256MB to 128MB. NPP is preallocated at boot and can never exhausted or be paged out to disk, ever, because it has to handle some of the direct communication to hardware/drivers.

So that's the most basic; you can get instability for several different reasons however, for a DAW 95% of the time it'll probably work. The thing to do is to mentally make a note of the current stability before changing it and if you are seeing unusual crashes or hangs after the change you'll know what might be causing the problem.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:14 PM   #7
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But probably still unwise to experiment with this before my big session tomorrow...?
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:24 PM   #8
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But probably still unwise to experiment with this before my big session tomorrow...?
Unless you are hitting some memory brick wall anyway, I doubt it. You only have 3GB so it can't give the entire gig to the user mode side. Gotta leave some for the guts of the OS so to speak. Someone who has actually tried it with 3GB might can chime in with how it worked for them.
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Last edited by karbomusic; 02-28-2012 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:26 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
Its because you are sort of stealing some of that away from kernel memory. Technically 32Bit is 4GB of addressable space (2^32) Kernel memory gets 1/2, user apps get the other 1/2. Setting the 3GB basically says give the Kernel side of the OS 1 GB and the user side OS the remaining 3GB. This also cuts in half something called "non-paged pool memory" from 256MB to 128MB. NPP is preallocated at boot and can never exhausted or be paged out to disk, ever, because it has to handle some of the direct communication to hardware/drivers.

So that's the most basic; you can get instability for several different reasons however, for a DAW 95% of the time it'll probably work. The thing to do is to mentally make a note of the current stability before changing it and if you are seeing unusual crashes or hangs after the change you'll know what might be causing the problem.
Karbomusic, thank you for that great explanation. I implemented the switch when I went from 2GB to 4GB. My overall system was pretty stable prior to and after the switch. Reaper, on the other hand, crashed repeatedly prior, but rarely after. I use a lot of VSTi's, and Reaper's reported mem use was in the 1.5-1.8GB range prior to crashing. Now I can easily go over 2GB.

Another thing that is probably relevant - this is just a hobby for me and I rarely record other people. While I don't enjoy crashes, the risk is low wrt losing money or wasting other people's time.
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Reaper's reported mem use was in the 1.5-1.8GB range prior to crashing.
You did the right thing. Reaper crashing at the usage reported above means it was running out of memory. It doesn't get to 2GB before crashing for various reason (memory fragmentation etc) but either way this means the 3GB switch was the right thing to do.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:46 AM   #11
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Default Thanks Everyone!

I will give this a try and see what happens!
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:12 PM   #12
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Finally getting in to some heavy use of VST's and sure enough... ERRORS + crashes.

Kevin W - Thank you so much for posting the solution to XP woes. Not only does Reaper run with complete stability now, all my other apps and programs scream.

Another Windows geek thing after applying the switch - it allows for a larger page file, if need be, which can help with heavy demands.

Happy producing!

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Old 03-18-2012, 10:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
Unless you are hitting some memory brick wall anyway, I doubt it. You only have 3GB so it can't give the entire gig to the user mode side. Gotta leave some for the guts of the OS so to speak. Someone who has actually tried it with 3GB might can chime in with how it worked for them.
While at first after applying the switch Reaper seemed to benefit, my whole system eventually became very sluggish...

The 3GB switch may work fine on a dual-boot scenario with nothing but Reaper and your ASIO drivers loaded. I'm considering doing this. For now, the best solution was to maximize the page file size to what Windows recommended in the Advanced setting controls in Computer>Properties.

Everything runs better, is very stable. It used to hang at VST loads/changes and I got the dreaded memory warning. At the risk of getting technical on everyone, it seems very "snappy".

Cheers,

Todd
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