Here's a link that states that the use of the PAE (Physical Address Extension) can enable 32 bit versions of Windows to use more than 4 gB of physical memory: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366796.aspx
With PAE enabled, the operating system moves from two-level linear address translation to three-level address translation. The extra layer of translation provides access to physical memory beyond 4 GB. Instead of a linear address being split into three separate fields for indexing into memory tables, it is split into four separate fields: a 2-bit field, two 9-bit fields, and a 12-bit field that corresponds to the page size implemented by Intel Architecture (4 KB).
Following the BCD Edit link ( http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=93291
) leads you to a page that discusses the implementation of PAE when the system boots or with hot swappable memory (only available in Server OS's now). It sends us to this link that RandomUser already posted: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid&ID=929605
That link discusses (in the More Information section) the problems with using PAE - and the consequent driver failures that may occur. And it states that DMA transfers and memory allocation are the most common problems caused by it.
Not a nice picture - but it sure makes me want to try it out. FWIW - the article also states that the maximum memory available will be 3.12 gB - on my system I've got 3.26 gB, so I'm not sure of the validity of it all.
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