Windows server 2003 standard edition memory upgrade over 4GB

I've upgraded the memory from 4GB to 8GB on a windows server 2003 standard edition server box which uses a intel Xeon quad core processor. The bios detects and shows memory as 8GB but windows doesnt recognise the added 4GB thus the memory is shown as 4GB. i've added the /PAE switch to the boot.ini file and rebooted but still the windows shows the memory as 4GB. Can you help?
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ananmananAsked:
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tharsternCommented:
Your server may well be able to recognise  the extra 4GB, but this is a limit in 32bit windows 2003 standard, see the article below.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366778.aspx#physical_memory_limits_windows_server_2003
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
As suggested... you are limited to 4 GB.

32 bit operating systems are limited to 4 GB for the most part... Server Standard x86 is limited to 4 GB of RAM.  Enterprise can go higher and you can upgrade it to Enterprise in-pace.  x64 (64bit) versions can go higher than 4 GB but you cannot upgrade in-place to a 64 bit OS - you would need to do a complete reinstall.
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ananmananAuthor Commented:
Hi,
Isn't because of that restriction why we should use the /PAE extension on the boot.ini file?This should allow a 32bit processor to recognize more than 4GB of RAM? without Windows detecting the added 4GB can the SQL server installed on that box detect 8GB? so that i can set AWE to allow SQL server to use the added 4GB?
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skca54Senior EngineerCommented:
If the OS cannot see the RAM then neither can any applications. The PAE switch will usually only allow a few hundred Mb extra to be seen above 3Gb.
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ananmananAuthor Commented:
Hi Leew,

So can i upgrade my existing 32bit Windows Standard Edition to Windows 2003 Enterprise edition straight away? or do i need to do a complete reinstall which will mean that SQL server will also need to be installed? The reason for the upgrade is the excessive usage of the processor by the sql server as well as the replication merger. (There are about 150 users who do updates / inserts to the sql DB) any idea on how i can over come this issue?
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
You have excessive processor usage so you upgrade RAM?  Why wouldn't you upgrade the CPU instead?

Yes, you can upgrade Standard 32 bit to Enterprise 32 bit.  Enterprise is NOT inexpensive; I believe it costs about $3,000.
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ananmananAuthor Commented:
Hi Leew,
No the memory upgrade was to over come the excessive paging on the server not to stop the processor from running hot i've just jumbled what i've written. it was another question all together. would the upgrade need the reinstallation of SQL server and other applications on the server?
Any idea why the processors might be running this hot can 150 users cause an issue for a SQL server to use excessive resources? there isnt any malware or viruses as i've scanned it through trend micro office scan system with the latest pattern file.
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ananmananAuthor Commented:
Hi All,
After a prolonged investigation i managed to find what i think was the issue and it was that the servers average disk queue length was running at 100%. one of the applications was writing a log file to an .xls document which had gone over 300mb. i've removed it and hoped that the performance came back but it didnt. i couldn't find any other reason why the queue length had gone that high and the performance of the server has gone down below bad. when the number of users reduce the queue length goes down. Is it because the database needs defragmenting as its been heavily used?can anyone help?
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ananmananAuthor Commented:
Dear All,

I've found the issue and the remady was that in the performance settings of the advance tab of the system properties i set the visual effects to let windows choose what is best for my computer option (it was set to adjust for best performance) and then also in the advanced tab of the same window set processor scheduling to background services. this had improved the performance really well.

thank you experts for your advice.
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Windows Server 2003

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