Bypass 512 MB RAM Limit to Install Windows 7, Vista or Server 2008

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Recent operating systems from Microsoft house need some specific system requirement specifications before getting installed on system. One of the key requirement for installing wither of Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 on your system is 512 or more RAM physical memory, while officially they ask for a minimum of 1 GB RAM to enjoy faster computer operations. If you have less than 512 MB RAM on your computer, set up wizard won’t allow you to go through set up process.

If you have less than 1 GB RAM on your system, set up process will not continue. During installation, set up file checks for the minimum system requirements and if your system does not meet to it’s requirements, setup wizard will halt and force stop installation process with a error message. The error message looks like the below screenshot :

Windows detected that this computer has <YOUR RAM SIZE> MB of RAM, but 512 MB is required for installation. Installation cannot proceed.

low memory warning

Technically you do need a higher memory RAM to operate these latest operating systems. These OS are tend to use more system resources and if you don’t have such memory for system tasks, your system will halt, freeze or slow down. So, it’s better to have a RAM with higher memory. However, you can still install Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 on system having less than 512 RAM.

Method 1: Adding Physical RAM to meet a minimum of 384 MB

Windows 7, Vista or Server 2008 claim to need a minimum of 512 RAM to continue with the installation procedure, but technically they use 384 MB memory during set up process. Lets say you have 256 MN memory on your system, so now you need approx 130 MB memory more. At this point, you can add an additional piece of physical RAM into RAM slot to reach this threshold. If you are using a virtual machine, you can increase the allocated RAM limit to match 384 MB level.

Method 2: Adding Memory Stick to increase Memory Amount During Installation

Since Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 requires a minimum of 512 MB of memory to proceed with installation process, you have to make your system to stand up to it’s requirements. If you are using a virtual machine, you can easily use this hack to meke the installation process run without showing low memory warnings. All you have to do is to increase the amount of physical or virtual RAM to 512 MB  by adding memory stick. Once the RAM memory reaches 512 MB, run the set up process and get the installation process completed. Once the installation gets completed, remove the memory stick and reduce the memory size to the actual memory level. This hack is suitable for virtual machine.

Method 3: Patch winsetup.dll Hack

The file that checks for your system requirements is winsetup.dll and you can find this file on the DVD disc or ISO images. During installation procedure, this file gets activated first and checks for several required things including RAM memory. We can continue with the set up procedure if we can patch winsetup.dll to bypass the RAM memory check during setup installation of Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. However, this patch works only on 32-bit (x86) systems.

Follow below steps to patch winsetup.dll file :

  1. Extract the contents of DVD ISO image to hard disk drive
  2. Download and install HEX editor AptEdit Pro with HEX Editor plugin
  3. Open winsetup.dll using the HEX editor. You can finf winsetup.dll inside the /source/ folder of the copied installation files.
  4. Search following HEX string inside the file:
  5. 77073D7801
  6. Replace the above HEX string with the below one:
  7. E90400000
  8. Click on Save to save the changes you have made
  9. Run the setup.exe file and the installation should proceed without any RAM limit error messages
  10. You are done.

For user who wants to start installation from bootable DVD instead, replace the winsetup.dll in the ISO with patched version, and then burn the ISO to disc. That’s it. you can follow any of above three ways to bypass 512 MB RAM limit while installing Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 or Windows 7 on your system.

Soumya is the admin and founder of Techcular. He loves to discover and learn new things on Internet. You can find him writing on his personal blog few times.

5 Comments to Bypass 512 MB RAM Limit to Install Windows 7, Vista or Server 2008

  1. Worked Great, wanted to put windows 7 on my Lappy but it only has 256 meg of ram, i used the Hex editor trick explained above and it worked a treat, thanks :)

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