Reduce or eliminate Skyrim random CTD's on your 32-bit Windows 7
Hello everybody. Instead of coming up with a problem, I'm here to offer a little solution that may be useful for some of you that perhaps didn't know about the 3GB switch. I'll try to explain what is it, what does it have to do with Skyrim and how can you access to it to solve one of the most common problems with the game. Please, excuse my english.
Let's say you have a nice computer, with a 64-bit processor, and 4GB of RAM minimum. For some reason you have installed a 32-bit Windows 7 on it, and you don't have the time/mood to move to a 64-bit version yet. Or simply your beauty has a 32-bit processor and 4GB of RAM. Your precious Skyrim is suddenly crashing to desktop like... everytime while you're playing, forcing you to save on every step you take. You noticed that it occurs specially during a snowstorm or when you approach to Windhelm. And the most important thing: This happens without any mod installed.
You're having a memory access issue. Fortunately, there's an alternative. Take note that 32-bit W7 only can access to a maximum of 4GB of RAM.
Well, what does a 3GB switch do? It allows you to access to 3GB of memory for user applications, when normally a 32-bit W7 only makes available 2GB for this purpose, assigning the remaining 2GB for kernel processes (you'll have 1GB for the kernel after the switch activation, usually enough for your Operative System to work).
Yeah, yeah, tl;dr. How can this help with my CTD problem?
Your games *cough*Skyrim*cough* and graphic applications (3DS Max, Maya, Solidworks, and others) are less limited in terms of memory access, decreasing the chance of slowing down your computer while you're using them, and therefore reducing or even eliminating the number of crashes to desktop.
This may not work with some computers, it will depend of your graphics hardware or drivers. Make sure to have your graphics drivers and operative system updated before you try to do this. DO IT AT YOUR OWN RISK.
To enable the 3GB switch follow these steps:
-Click on start. On the search bar write "cmd". -Right click on the program that appear in the menu, select "Run as Administrator" the Command Prompt will be open. -Write bcdedit /set IncreaseUserVa 3072 press enter. -Write exit and press enter to close the Command Prompt. -Restart your computer.
That worked wonderfully for me, I not longer have random CTD's even with some graphic overhauling mods and the Unreal Cinema ENB installed. I don't see negative side effects on my system.
If you're still having problems after you do this, or worse, you deal with new ones, you could try using a value of 2700 (2.7GB) instead of 3072. If it didn't work either, you can (and have to) disable it. Start to consider moving to 64-bit version if your system support it.
To disable the switch do the following:
-Open the Command Prompt again, remember to do it as administrator. -Write bcdedit /deletevalue IncreaseUserVa, press enter. -Close the Command Prompt. -Restart your PC.
It's not a good idea to use more than 3GB (a value bigger than 3072), your system may start to give you error messages about having problems to load drivers and other stuff.
Ok, I hope it helps you. If you have a question feel free to comment, If I don't know the answer, we can investigate and learn together, even other users around here can share their knowledge with us and smack the ignorance out of our brains. See ya.