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Virtualized Server 08 R2 not seeing all allocated RAM

Posted on 2011-09-14
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Having a RAM problem with a new server.  I installed vmware 4.1 on a new Dell R710 with 32 gigs of RAM.  I then created a new virtual machine using the defaults with the plan to change the ram later.  When I went to increase the RAM to 16 gigs VMware lets me do this but the Windows 2008 R2 server still shows only 4 gigs.  The BIOS is not set to mirror memory, which is one problem people have mentioned. It is on Advanced ECC mode.  Suggestions on how to get this 08 server to see all the allocated RAM?  Thanks.
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Question by:Herb-Avore
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7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 36537415
Silly question - have you rebooted the 2008 R2 VM?  I don't believe you can hot add virtual RAM on a VM (but I could be wrong).
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Expert Comment

by:Randy Downs
ID: 36537427
If it's the 32 bit version 4G is the max.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/markrussinovich/archive/2008/07/21/3092070.aspx

32-bit version of Windows Server 2008 Standard supports only 4GB
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Author Comment

by:Herb-Avore
ID: 36537430
Yup.  Rebooted several times after tinkering with it.  I have been told by one person that I can change RAM on the fly.  But maybe I will end up deleting the virtual machine and doing it over. Not a big deal this early in the game but I am hoping I just overlooked something.
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Author Comment

by:Herb-Avore
ID: 36537450
No this is R2, 64-bit.
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 36537481
@Number-1 - this is the 2008 R2 version - there is NO 32 bit version.
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Expert Comment

by:Randy Downs
ID: 36537566
Maybe it's something like this

http://communities.vmware.com/thread/326936?tstart=0

It's not ESXi, it's the guest OS (Windows) which allocates the needed memory and CPU resources. In your case, it may not make a difference whether you configure the VM with e.g. 2 vCPUs and 4 GB or 4 vCPUs and 24 GB. If Windows does not request more resources they won't be used.
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Accepted Solution

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louisreeves earned 500 total points
ID: 36540716
http://www.waldspurger.org/carl/papers/esx-mem-osdi02.pdf
So this questions is covered under the concepts of the Vmware ballon driver, Drs, and ha. Most unused ram is reclaimed (60%). I would say install Vmware tools . That helps Vmware lie to the OS in such a way as yi
To make it think it really has 8gb. Also all of your limits should be turned off for troubleshooting on this machine. Look at te PDF link I posted - there may be a memory technology I missed but the need to be understood.
I would try to install the Vmware tools for the ballon driver to work or turn of the feature. This will cause the memory to have to be reserved.

http://serverfault.com/questions/146452/understanding-esxi-and-memory-usage
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