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Virtual Machine and RAM

Posted on 2009-07-09
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
If you have a machine that has 8GBs of RAM but is running a 32 Bit OS using only 3.7 GBs. Can a virtual Machine running on this box use all or any of the unused RAM or can it only be assigned RAM that the "Parent" OS has available?
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Question by:wdabbs
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13 Comments
 
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Andres Perales
ID: 24816847
Only RAM that the host os is supporting!
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:willettmeister
ID: 24816872
If I understand your question right then yes.  One of the points of Vmware is oversubscription so you don't have to have as much physical memory in the host as you have assigned to your guests.  If for some reason all of you guests begin using all of their memory then you will have problems but that is where DRS comes in to play.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:evan021702
ID: 24816877
The host machine must be able to view all of the RAM in order to share it out to the VM.  If you cannot see all of your ram and are using an intel processor you could add /PAE (Physical Address Extension) to be able to see the additional ram on server 2003.
example boot.ini:
[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 /PAE
 
 
 
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Author Comment

by:wdabbs
ID: 24816879
So.. in order to use the 8GBs in the machine.. the Host OS needs to be 64 Bit?
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Author Comment

by:wdabbs
ID: 24816887
Yeah.. about that lol.. They are running Server2008 Standard
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:evan021702
ID: 24816891
No just use PAE if it is an intel processor.  See more here:
 
http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/system/platform/server/PAE/PAEdrv.mspx  
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:evan021702
ID: 24816914
According to this yes, but let me see if any of the other admins are using PAE on 2008:
 
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366778(VS.85).aspx
 
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LVL 11

Assisted Solution

by:willettmeister
willettmeister earned 150 total points
ID: 24816929
Windows can see more than 4Gb RAM using a 32-bit os.  You need to enable PAE.
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LVL 17

Accepted Solution

by:
Andres Perales earned 200 total points
ID: 24816934
PAE is only 32 GB max on Enterprise OS, if Standard stuck on 4 GB
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LVL 6

Assisted Solution

by:evan021702
evan021702 earned 150 total points
ID: 24816946
I think you are going to have to upgrade to enterprise to be able to see the 8GB of ram... Sorry.
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Author Comment

by:wdabbs
ID: 24816985
Thank you all for the input!!
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Author Comment

by:wdabbs
ID: 24817037
To clarify: Windows sees 8 GB of RAM in the Server 2008 system summary window, but appears to only use 4 GB when you right-click on My Computer and look at Properties the old-fashioned way. So 8 GB are "seen" but only 4 GB are addressed. The question is, can the extra 4 that are "seen" be used by a virtual system like VMWare or Hyper-V?
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:evan021702
ID: 24818064
How much do you see when you open task manager and go to performance?
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