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Memory issue?

Posted on 2008-10-31
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
We have a Dell PowerEdge 1950 running Windows Server 2003 Enterprise. It has dual quad core 3 Ghz intel porcessors with 32 GB RAM. It is running VMWare Virtual Center Server using Oracle as the database. Every morning between 4 AM and 4:15 AM the DBA has RMAN backup running and will receive the following error:
Errors in file c:\oracle\product\10.2.0\admin\vmw\udump\vmw_ora_5912.trc:
ORA-07445: exception encountered: core dump [ACCESS_VIOLATION] [unable_to_trans_pc] [PC:0xE93E370] [ADDR:0xE93E370] [UNABLE_TO_WRITE] []

Oracle says this is due to memory issues where either the memory is bad or there is not enough.

The system properties recognizes that there is 32 GB of RAM but task manager tells me that there is 30 GB of physical memory available but WinMSD says there is only 1.75 GB of available physical memory. The boot.ini files is as follows:

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Windows Server 2003, Enterprise" /NoExecute=OptOut /fastdetect /PAE

I added the /PAE switch even though the system recognized the memory without it.
I have downloaded Process Explorer to see if I could account for for the the slightly 1 + GB of physical memory that is seen in task Manager being in use but could not.

If anyone has any ideas as to what I can look at to try to solve the issue, I would appreciate it.
Thanks
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Question by:rledoux
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by:dfxdeimos
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I am not familiar with Oracle or your specific issue, but if it is feasable to bring the server down for a short while you could run a memory test.

http://www.memtest.org/#downiso

Also, you shouldn't need to enable the PAE switch, it wouldn't do anything if you had a 64 bit OS anyways.
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by:Mark Geerlings
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You have "Windows Server 2003 Enterprise" but is that 32-bit or 64-bit?  I think it is 32-bit, right?  32-bit OSes do not use 32GB of RAM directly or easily.

You could try adding the /3GB switch to the boot.ini file (on the line where you have the /PAE switch).  We used both of those switches when we ran Oracle on Windows Server 2003 Enterprise on a server with 8GB of RAM.  The /3GB switch allows individual programs (or processes) to use up to 3GB of RAM instead of the default limit of 2GB.

Just FYI, our boot.ini file looked like this:

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows Server 2003, Enterprise" /fastdetect /3GB /PAE /NoExecute=OptOut
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by:rledoux
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I have a 32 bit version of Server 2003 Enterprise. My boot.ini file did not have the /3GB switch but when I added it the system went from recognizing 32 GB of RAM down to 16 GB. I removed it and it once again saw 32 GB. WinMSD sees 32 GB physical RAM but only has 2.72 GB free. Task Manager says 30 GB available.
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by:Mark Geerlings
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What's the main problem you are trying to solve?  Is it the amount of memory that various utilities report or indicate?  Or, is it the "core dump" error that is happening in your Oracle RMAN process?
Remember, 32-bit OSes *DO NOT* efficiently, directly or easily use memory above 4GB.  Whatever values 32-bit utlities report in a system that has more than 4GB of RAM are somewhat suspect anyway.
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by:rledoux
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The main issue to resolve is the Oracle RMAN problem. I thought by trying to figure out where the rest of the memory is vaporizing then the RMAN issue would be solved.
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Mark Geerlings earned 250 total points
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If you want to use 32GB of RAM directly and easily, you need a 64-bit OS.  Another problem could be the combination of: VMWare Virtual Center Server, Oracle, and a 32-bit OS on a machine with lots of RAM.  Are you sure that combination is supported by Oracle?  Do you have a test server available with 4GB of RAM (or less) that does not have VMWare Virtual Center Server where you could test an Oracle database and RMAN?
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