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Windows 2008 32 OS not Supporting 6 GB Ram

sudhirgoogle
sudhirgoogle used Ask the Experts™
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Hello,

I have installed windows 2008 32 bit on Dell r710 that has 6GB ram but my OS utilizes only 4GB ram out it. I am looking for the workaround so that my os can utilize the full 6gb RAM. Please find the snapshot for clear picture.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
Do a clean install using the 64 bit version of Windows Server 2008 or upgrade to Windows Server 2008 Enterprise.  Or waste the other 2 GB.  There is no workaround.
Adam BrownSenior Systems Admin
Top Expert 2010
Commented:
32 bit Operating systems cannot address more than 4gb of RAM. You need to install 2008 x64 to get all your RAM available. Unless you're using the Datacenter or Enterprise versions. See: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366778%28VS.85%29.aspx
Commented:
32 BIT OS doesn't support more than 4GB you will need to install a 64BIT OS

Author

Commented:
Its is the client requirement, Client is specific about the OS edition i.e windows 2008 32 bit without hyper V, so i cannot go for other versions.

Using PAE we can make it right ??
Adam BrownSenior Systems Admin
Top Expert 2010
Commented:
No. As Leew said, there is no possible work around in this situation. Using PAE will work on Datacenter and Enterprise 2008, and on most newer systems it is enabled by default.
Technology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Commented:
I'll repeat what I said and the others confirmed - NO.  It is a limitation of 32 bit versions of Windows Server Standard.  You cannot access more than 4 GB.  Any attempt to do so would be considered hacking the product - we cannot help you do that.  Your options are as I've laid out - upgrade to Server 2008 Enterprise (32 bit) or let it be wasted RAM (unless you can convince the client to use the 64 bit version, in which case you need to do a clean install).

I suppose if you're willing to pay Microsoft tens of thousands .... or more ... they might find a way to reprogram standard into enterprise without actually upgrading to enterprise... but at that point you're getting a bit ridiculous.  
Kailash AgheraTeam Lead

Commented:
Refer the following URL, that will help you to enable PAE:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366796.aspx

Section "Enabling PAE".

- Kailash

Author

Commented:
Hello,

I gave the command bcdedit /set pae ForceEnable in powershell cmd prompt, and i get operation completed successful message and rebooted the server. but no luck still shows 4 gb.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Commented:
I'll repeat... You cannot access more than 4 GB of RAM using any version of Windows Server Standard 32 bit.  PAE - as you've seen - does NOTHING for this.
Your own headline is the answer you are searching for. Windows 2008 32 bit is not able to handle more than 4 GB of memory because of physical specifications. Out of this they did 64 versions. I would suggest to contact your client and tell him the problem. Maybe 4 GB are also suitable, otherwise he has to use another OS or the 64 bit version auf Server 2008.

Commented:
Are you sure you need 6GB? You are only using just under 1GB currently.

I want to reinforce what everyone else has said. 32bit windows can only use at most 4GB of RAM

Operating system Maximum memory support with PAE
Windows 2000 Advanced Server
 8 GB of physical RAM
 
Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
 32 GB of physical RAM
 
Windows XP (all versions)
 4 GB of physical RAM*
 
Windows Server 2003 (and SP1), Standard Edition
 4 GB of physical RAM*
 
Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition
 32 GB of physical RAM
 
Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition
 64 GB of physical RAM
 
Windows Server 2003 SP1, Enterprise Edition
 64 GB of physical RAM
 
Windows Server 2003 SP1, Datacenter Edition
 128 GB of physical RAM
 

* Total physical address space is limited to 4 GB on these versions of Windows.

Commented:
Check the following documents as this will hopefully explain the differences with RAM limits between the different version of Windows
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366778(VS.85).aspx

Also check the following document for reasons why certain 32 bit OS will only see a maximum of 4 Gb's of RAM
http://www.brianmadden.com/blogs/brianmadden/archive/2004/02/19/the-4gb-windows-memory-limit-what-does-it-really-mean.aspx

Commented:
if the client is looking for a windows 2008 operating system without Hyper-V, they they ought to have bought the windows 2008 standard x64 without hyper-v, not the 32bit one.

waste of money and effort.

no one can get this working as it cannot be done. (unless someone gets a x64 windows 2008, hacks the version label to say 32 bit and hands over that dvd to you)
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
>Its is the client requirement, Client is specific about the OS edition i.e windows 2008 32 bit without hyper V, so i cannot go for other versions.

That's fine; you're using a 5500 or 5600 series CPU which has 3 memory channels, to achieve the best interleaving you should have all 3 channels populated which means 3 * 2GB sticks installed giving 6GB physical RAM. Installing Windows 32 on it gives 4GB usable but you're still benefiting on performance by having those three sticks rather than two.

Take a look at page 26 of http://h20195.www2.hp.com/v2/GetPDF.aspx/c01952610.pdf for example, makes no difference that it's a HP whitepaper rather than a Dell one since they're both using the same CPUs.
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
Oh, and PAE isn't going to be much use even though it lets you see 4GB rather than 3.75GB or whatever without it since that just relocates RAM from the PCI hole to above 4GB which their application probably can't use anyway.