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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Alternative Operating Systems > Bootcamp Win 7 64-bit ram issues

Bootcamp Win 7 64-bit ram issues
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sek929
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Dec 12, 2017, 07:53 PM
 
I've had my sister's old 27" iMac for several months but only just now booted into the Win 7 partition to backup data, spring clean, setup Steam etc...

It's running Win 7 Home Premium, says 64 bit. Under the system control panel it recognizes all my RAM (24GB) but says only 16GB are usable. This would mean my newer Crucial RAM is working but the OEM RAM that my sister used to run Windows before is for some reason not playing ball.

Cursory googling brings up a lot of people with 32 bit systems and tons of "bad RAM, test slots etc.." PC-aimed stuff. The memory works great under OSX, and it would be a bummer if my new source of gaming can't see 8GB of memory. There's always the "get Windows Ultimate" installed option but I'd like to avoid it.

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Dec 15, 2017, 06:21 AM
 
Windows 7 Home Premium is locked to 16 GB RAM max. Nothing is wrong with the hardware, it is just locked to 16 GB because of MS market segmentation.

The long term fix is to upgrade to Windows 10, which raises the limit to 128GB. You can still do this for free for another two weeks:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/acce...ndows10upgrade

That said, 16GB RAM is enough for gaming for now.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
sek929  (op)
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Dec 19, 2017, 10:49 PM
 
Thanks for the reply, I had actually discovered the RAM ceiling thingy on my own after a while. The thought of a modern 64 bit OS limiting RAM never entered my mind.

However, I now have an entirely new problem on my hands...which might need a switch to a different subforum, but here goes.

Many of the programs my sister uses are Win-only, CAD and 3D modeling etc... She's an architect. So I felt a fresh install of Win 7 Ultimate was in order. I made a bootable thumb drive but didn't see an option to install over/delete and reinstall windows in bootcamp assistant. Some light googling convinced me to just delete the partition and start over, good for me because the 1TB drive had been split in half and I don't need Windows to have nearly that much space.

Now I can't make a bootcamp partition at all. The assistant spits out an error which directs me to repair permissions, which I've done through OSX and in single user mode. Through disk utility making a partition of any kind gives me a posix error, which some more (admittedly frustrated) googling led me to an "unstable partition map" on my HDD, which I haven't really looked into any further because I've been busy.

In short, what did I **** up?

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Dec 20, 2017, 10:16 AM
 
OK, this got complicated...

Bootcamp for Windows 7 is a clever BIOS emulation layer. For BIOS to work, the partition map should be in so called MBR format. Modern Macs normally use GPT, a format that is preferred by among other things EFI.

So to make all of this work, Bootcamp does some sort of magic. I don't know the detail, but I think that part of it is that they write the partition map twice in two formats so both systems can find their stuff, and include a special hidden partition to redirect things that don't work.

I suspect that somewhere, when you removed one partition, it edited one partition map and not the other.

My advice:

* Do a Time Machine backup of the Mac stuff if you want to keep it.
* Reboot into recovery mode.
* Wipe the drive completely in DIsk Utility. As in, completely trash the partition map and make on
* Reinstall MacOS, and reboot into the new installation
* Use Migration Assistant to restore the Mac data in the right place.
* Use Bootcamp assistant to install Windows fresh.

Are you set on staying on Windows 7?
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
sek929  (op)
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Dec 20, 2017, 01:28 PM
 
Absolutely not set on Win 7, this is basically just going to be a Steam gaming setup so I’m up for whatever would serve that purpose the best.

I’ll get a backup going tonight and do a fresh install of Sierra, I had suspected wiping the drive was my only option...what started as “let’s boot into windows so I can play STALKER again” sure got away from me quick

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Dec 20, 2017, 02:29 PM
 
As I mentioned: Win 10 is for free until the end of the year on the link above, so it is now or never. Since you have to upgrade at some point before Extended support ends in 2020, I think it is best to upgrade now.

Win 10 gets a lot of heat for “spying on its users” (it sort of does, but less so than any Android phone) and forced updates (which are annoying but can be disabled), but his doesn’t matter if you don’t have any data on here and only play some games, and it does bring some much-needed upgrades under the hood. On balance, I’m happy I upgraded.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
sek929  (op)
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Dec 21, 2017, 07:56 PM
 
Would that Win10 link work as a fresh install or do I need to already have windows running?

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Dec 22, 2017, 04:57 AM
 
When I did the upgrade on my gaming PC, I think I just downloaded the Win 10 ISO and entered the key from the Win 7 disc. It had been activated before, so I had to do the phone activation thing, but it worked. The link above is a bit of a loophole, I'm not sure how that will work. Try, I guess?

Note that you don't really need to do the activation anymore. If you try to activate with a known bad key, it will complain, but if you just ignore the activation prompts, you lose exactly one feature: The ability to set the desktop background. It will remain black. If you can live with that - and if you're only using it to launch a game, you probably can - you can leave Windows unactivated forever.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
sek929  (op)
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Dec 22, 2017, 09:10 AM
 
Good to know, thanks for all the help!

I just ordered a 4 TB external drive I’m going to slice up in a couple partitions. One will be for regular time machine backups because that’s way overdue.

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