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PAE in boot.ini doesnt make RAM available on Dell 2900/2950 Win2k3 Ent Server

Last Modified: 2013-11-10
I have 2x Dell Servers. A 2900 and a 2950 both running Windows 2003 Enterprise
The 2950 has 32GB RAM. The 2900 has 12GB RAM. For the purposes of this question i will use the 2950 as my example but both do exactly the same thing

If i run WINMSD it says Total Physical Memory is 32,768 MB but available is 3.6 GB
In Task manager (Performance tab) Total Physical memory is 33548936K, and available is 29087100 (or thereabouts).
If i run perfmon, the availabel memory never fluctuates from around 28GB which seems to tie in with winmsd in saying i only have 4 GB being used and 28 sitting there - potentially available - but not being used
This is an SQL server so we need to use all available memory (that was the point of getting 32GB RAM in the first place)
The 2900 server is an identical system that i use for testing. I have tried /PAE in boot ini with and without various other switches that turn on/off DEP (ie optin/optout). Have tried /MAXMEM.

I have now put a RAM soak tester on the test box and it never uses more than 3.6 GB of the 12 available physically.

This seems to me to be hardware related since i have done this on HP kit before and addition of /PAE gave me 16GB RAM availabel after a single reboot.

Are Dells capable of using RAM over 4GB in W2K3 R2 SP1 /2 ?? I'm stuck...... please help :-(

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