We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

My Windows Server only shows 3.87GB after installing 4.0GB of RAM?

My Windows Server only shows 3.87GB after installing 4.0GB of RAM?  Do I need to change anything?  I read some articles on a /pae switch but don't know if I should enable it.

REF: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/283037

This specific article talks about more than 4GB, so does that include 4GB?  LOL

Let me know what you think,
Thanks,
John
Comment
Watch Question

Ahmed Abdel SalamPh.D. Candidate
Commented:
I think it's fine, may be you have a VGA card which using shared memory..
Amit BhatnagarSystems Development Principal - Security and Infrastructure
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Commented:
One more article..:) It talks about the same issue.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/888137
Commented:
32-bit Windows computing joys. In that 32-bit address space, the OS has to work with everything in your computer, not just the RAM, so memory can never hit exactly 4GB. 3.87 is actually pretty cranked up compared to what I see on most of our Windows 2003 Standard boxes with 4GB RAM in them.

We experimented with the /PAE switch a while back on some 6GB and 8GB test boxes and it does work, but we experienced performance hits on every test machine that we tried it with and a couple of configurations experienced crashes due to driver issues.

Since you're right at 4GB I'd say not to even bother since it wouldn't benefit you in any way and could only cause problems but if you do decide to throw even more RAM in for whatever reason and find that you are having sufficient memory issues then give the /PAE switch a try. In the meantime, abide by the 4GB limit for Windows Server 2003 Standard.

Author

Commented:
Thank you for all of the input.  We have this server cranked to the max.  From everything that I have read the /pae will only create more problems than it's worth.  Time to start looking to add another server to share in the load.

Thanks again!
--John

Explore More ContentExplore courses, solutions, and other research materials related to this topic.