large memory / page file

My problem is that i have 8GB RAM on windows 2003 enterprise (32bit). I can see full 8GB in operating system however it is only utilizing 2GB out of 8GB of memory and 6GB is free and on the other hand it is using 60% of page file as i have set page file to 2GB but wondering why it is utilizing more page file even plenty of physical memory available.

How can i force it to use full phsyical memory instaed of page file? thanks
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Juan OcasioApplication DeveloperCommented:
You could reduce the pagefile to see it that'll help.  reduce it to 1gb.
Miguel Angel Perez MuñozCommented:
32 bit operating systems can use only 4Gb. Try to remove 4 Gb.
Windows will always use the page file whether the RAM is large or not. This is automatic and you shouldn't worry about this.
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If you upgrade the system to 64bit you can use the full 8GB, else there is a hardware limit on 4GB, bur if you use windows 32bit this limit is even lower (3GB)
Server  2003 enterprise and above can access up to 32 GB even if it is a 32 bit OS by using the /PAE switch in the bootup string. Check the wikipedia link below, it will also show you how much RAM each windows 2003 version can access:
tech2010Author Commented:
Rindi, yes i am using /PAE switch in boot.ini and OS is showing me 8GB RAM in windows however it does not appear to be using more than 2GB
tech2010Author Commented:
but windows will only use pagefile if there is no enough space available in physical RAM but in my case plenty of physical RAM is available which is 8GB in my server but windows still using 60% of pagefile? not sure why and how can i force it. may be i should reduce pagefile size to 1GB
For one thing, the apps running on the server would have to be aware of PAE enabled RAM in order to be able to use it. That means it has to have been written for that option. The server OS itself doesn't have a too large memory footprint, so that will not use much RAM.
No, Windows always uses the pagefile, even when there is plenty of RAM.
tech2010Author Commented:
but why windows always uses pagefile even if plenty of RAM available? i thought the idea of pagefile is if no RAM is available?
I have answered you question in this thread:

Please do not double post.

There is nothing wrong with the way the system is managing memory and no problem to correct.
Ask the M$ developers, that's how they designed the NT based Windows versions.
"but why windows always uses pagefile even if plenty of RAM available? i thought the idea of pagefile is if no RAM is available?"


The NT family was never designed to work that way, neither does any other modern operating system. That would actually lead to very poor performance. The pagefile is not simply a cheap but slow alternate to RAM when it runs out. The pagefile is used to optimize the use of RAM by freeing it from the burden of storing rarely used data that may not even be accessed again. This is done on an ongoing process and will often begin shortly after bootup. The process is very complex and is the result of an enormous amount of research and testing. It usually works very well.

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Windows Server 2003

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