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Memory Question in Server 2008 Enterprise Edition (32-bt)

Posted on 2011-03-09
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
We have SQL running on the box and it is continuously experiencing memory exhaustion. I enabled AWE config and when I did system info it is showing as follows. And this server has Memory (RAM) of 16.0GB.

Total Physical Memory:     3,325 MB
Available Physical Memory: 145 MB

Any thoughts on how to fix this issue?

Thank you.
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Question by:mmoya
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by:IWillHelp
ID: 35084592
The limits of memory available and used by Server 2008 Enterprise 32 bit systems are dependant on the boot Physical Address Extension.

Windows automatically enables PAE if DEP is enabled on a computer that supports hardware-enabled DEP, or if the computer is configured for hot-add memory devices in memory ranges beyond 4 GB. If the computer does not support hardware-enabled DEP or is not configured for hot-add memory devices in memory ranges beyond 4 GB, PAE must be explicitly enabled.

To explicitly enable PAE, use the following BCDEdit /set command to set the pae boot entry option:

bcdedit /set [{ID}] pae ForceEnable
IF DEP is enabled, PAE cannot be disabled. Use the following BCDEdit /set commands to disable both DEP and PAE:

bcdedit /set [{ID}] nx AlwaysOff
bcdedit /set [{ID}] pae ForceDisable

Once PAE is enabled properly and rebooted, 32 bit Enterprise systems should see all of your 16Gig of memory installed.
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by:mmoya
ID: 35084620
bcdedit is not a builtin tool. Where can I get that from? Appreciate your help!
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by:mmoya
ID: 35084631
And how would I check if DEP is enabled?
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by:Darius Ghassem
ID: 35084659
IWillHelp is correct PAE is the switch that allows for more memory to be allocated to the server OS.
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by:IWillHelp
ID: 35084892
BCDEdit is a command line tool that is included in Server 2008.  It is located within the System32 folder.

If you goto your CMD, and simply type "BCDEdit" you should get your Boot Loader and Boot Manager Properties.  If it returns as unknown command, then check on Microsoft for the proper install.  I believe it was on the original install, but it may have been brought in during a SP install since it is only available in Vista and above.

Hope that helps!
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by:IWillHelp
ID: 35085133
DEP (Data Execution Prevention) is an automatically enabled security feature that can assist in preventing many virus and other attacks within the server/computer.  When some viruses or other programs attempt to execute commands from within the RAM that is reserved for Windows processes, DEP will automatically close the program and error out on the screen with DEP Stop Error, or simular.

The #1 way that DEP is halted is if it is manually stopped or turned off using the BCDEdit command.  So the likelyhood of it being not enabled is near null.
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by:mmoya
ID: 35085761
Got it...so what will be the actual command that I have to run? What should be the value I should use for the variable ID?

bcdedit /set <ID> pae ForceEnable
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IWillHelp earned 500 total points
ID: 35086720
Since you stated you are running Server 2008, you shouldn't have to enter any variable ID at all.  So the command WHEN RUN WITH ADMINISTRATOR RIGHTS should be "bcdedit/set PAE ForceEnable and then reboot.

And just to make clear, you run this by selecting Start - All Programs - Accessories - (right click on) Command Prompt - Run As... (Administrator)

Sorry for any confusion.
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