4GB Memory in Windows 2000 Server

Posted on 2004-11-26
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I'm currently setting up 2 new IBM Xseries 336 servers with 4GB(1x4) memory.  The server BIOS recognizes the memory correctly, but when I view the memory when logged into Windows 2000 Server, it's only showing 3,276,120KB.  Is there some reason that Windows doesn't see all 4GB of the memory, or should I be looking at the hardware itself?
Thanks in Advance.
Question by:essoft
    LVL 86

    Expert Comment

    The problem is that the upper part of the 4GB address space is reserved for AGP and PCI by the BIOS, so the physical memory there cannot be accessed by the OS. The memory missing will be at least as big as your video memory plus the AGP Aperture.
    LVL 86

    Expert Comment

    BTW, maybe;en-us;283037 ("Large memory support is available in Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003") can help.

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the comments.  I reviewed the /3gb and /pae boot options, but that didn't seem to make any difference.  It makes sense that part of my 4GB of memory is allocated to the video card, but I'm missing over 800MB - that much memory space shouldn't be taken by the video memory, right?  I'm not sure what the AGP Aperture's all about, but is it reasonable to take that much memory space?

    Thanks again.
    LVL 86

    Accepted Solution

    >>I reviewed the /3gb and /pae boot options, but that didn't seem to make any difference

    I was more thinking of the PAE part...

    >>but is it reasonable to take that much memory space?

    This is a common size in this case. From what I've seen regarding these cases (should add that I'm a programmer, not an admin), ~600MB +/- 200 are not uncommon.
    LVL 87

    Expert Comment

    I'm not sure if I have got your configuration correctly. Are you using 4 1GB Memory modules or 1 4GB Memory module?

    If they are 4 modules, that server can be configured with an online spare, if your System has been configured that way you would end up with about 3GB of usable RAM and that is about what your windows shows.

    Author Comment

    Thanks jkr.  I still have a hard time believeing that Windows consumes so much memory for PCI resources.  I've never seen this problem before, but I've also never used 4GB memory in a Windows 2000 Server.  I found a related document on IBM's site explaining this to be the case if using 4GB or greater of memory.

    Thanks Again.

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