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Server only showing 3.5gb of RAM when it has eight installed

Posted on 2011-02-24
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
We have a server that has 8GB of RAM installed, but when looking in task managers performance tab it is only showing 3.5GB. I have checked the server properties and it shows that there is 7GB installed. Why does task manager not see theb full 7GB of RAM?

The servers OS is Windows 2008 server 32 bit SP2. The server is also running MS SQL Server 2008.

Any help in resolving this issue would be greatly appreciated
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Question by:MartynLawson
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9 Comments
 
LVL 52

Expert Comment

by:Carl Tawn
ID: 34968952
It's due to the limitation of 32-bit systems. A 32-bit system can only access 4Gb of RAM, because that is the upper limit of the number of address spaces that can be referenced.
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:Krzysztof Pytko
ID: 34969037
Use 64 bit OS or Enterprise Edition to be able to use more than 4 GB of RAM

Regards,
Krzysztof
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:aboo_s
ID: 34969077
Well there are work arounds for such an issue like this one:

http://en.kioskea.net/forum/affich-23993-more-then-3gb-ram-on-a-32bit-os

But still in task manager you will see 4GB top although you will using more actually!

For really handling more than 4GB 64bit systems are a must!
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:Alpesh Patel
ID: 34970009
Please make sure both have same frequency. If Mother board not support one of them then I does not recognize other one.
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LVL 59

Accepted Solution

by:
Darius Ghassem earned 2000 total points
ID: 34970099
Well you can have more the 4Gb in a 32-bit system if you run Enterprise Edition

http://www.sgvulcan.com/memory-limits-of-various-windows-versions/

You can put the PAE switch in but you will still see only 4GB of memory.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929580
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:MartynLawson
ID: 34997956
I've upgraded the server to Enterprise Edition and it was only showing 3.5GB, so I've run the BCDEdit /set PAE forceenable command and now it is showing just short of 7GB which is about correct, but when the server is running SQL it is still running slow and the resources do not appear to rise above 4GB.

Does anyone know why the server would not be using the additional resources even though they server recognises them?
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:aboo_s
ID: 35000324
Check out  the swap file and make sure it is set to 11 GB !
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:MartynLawson
ID: 35004962
Thw sway file is currently configured to be spaced over two drives. The total file size is just short of 13GB
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Author Closing Comment

by:MartynLawson
ID: 35008069
PAE switched worked and now all installed RAM is showing in task manager
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