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Memory in Server 2008 Enterprise 32 bit quesiton

Posted on 2011-05-03
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
We have a 32 bit server that we installed Windows Server 2008 Enterprise on. There is 8 gigs of RAM in the system, but in MSInfo32 it is only showing 3.5 gigs of total physical memory (it says 8 gigs of installed memory, so it's there - it just can't use it!).

Is there something that needs to be done to get this server to see the entire 8 gigs of RAM? Microsoft's site says we can have up to 64 gigs of RAM in this system.  
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Question by:Sspada1028
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by:Chris Millard
ID: 35514350
The problem is that you are using a 32-BIT version of the Operating system, which can only use a maximum of 4GB RAM.

In order to be able to utilise the extra memory, your server needs to have a 64-BIT CPU and be running the 64-BIT version of the operating system
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by:Sspada1028
ID: 35514400
According to Microsoft's site, it says that the enterprise version can support 64 gigs of RAM.
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Chris Millard earned 1000 total points
ID: 35514416
I stand corrected - but it does state that for x86 32-BIT systems using more than 4GB RAM assumes you have PAE enabled:-

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366796(v=vs.85).aspx
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 35514486
Which should be enabled by default on "Enterprise" ... I would double-check it however.

Which system do you have?  Many systems have a BIOS memory feature that "mirrors" the memory - for redundancy.  Make sure memory mirroring is not enabled.  Some systems may have this mistakenly enabled from the manufacturer.  I know one Dell machine that used to have only one 8GB memory option and that was with memory mirroring enabled.  It can easily be disabled in the BIOS.
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by:Svet Paperov
ID: 35514644
I cannot find it right now, but I remember I have read somewhere that the support of more of 4GB on 32-bit server depends also on the application, for example certain versions of SQL server can take advantages of it, and that this is done by an API called Address Windowing Extensions (AWE). Of course, PAE needs to be supported by the processor.

The best solution will be to migration toward 64-bit version of the OS. If you decide to stay with 2008 (not R2), you could use the same key to activate the server but, unfortunately, you cannot just run an upgrade – the server needs to be reinstalled.
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by:LMiller7
LMiller7 earned 1000 total points
ID: 35517890
Assuming that hardware & BIOS configuration is appropriate, all you need to access 8 GB RAM is to set PAE in boot.ini. Most modern processors support PAE. All applications can take advantage of this memory and they don't have to do anything special. AWE is a separate feature with a completely different purpose.
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by:Sspada1028
ID: 35689860
When you say 'modern processor', would the processor in a HP Proliant G3 server be included in there?
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by:LMiller7
ID: 35692430
PAE was first introduced with the Pentium Pro in 1995. Most processors produced since then have supported it.
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by:Sspada1028
ID: 35706022
I set the PAE switch last night and rebooted the server and it can now see 8 gigs! So, that is great!!

However, I now see a process called dih.exe that I don't remember seeing before that is taking up anywhere from 25-50% of the CPU. Any ideas what this could be?
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by:Chris Millard
ID: 35706121
Good news about the 8GB now :-) As for DIH.EXE Can you right click on the file (I think it's in c:\windows) and view any of the version information for it?
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by:Sspada1028
ID: 35706724
Skip that last question! I have found the file and it is part of the application running on the server. My apologies!!

Thanks to all for your help!!
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