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Upgrade Windows 2003 Standard Memory or Windows Version

Posted on 2014-09-25
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I have a Windows 2003 Server Standard  32 bit -  I need it to have 16gb Ram.

Can I upgrade it with out affecting the operation of the server?  Does upgrading to Enterprise give the ability to utilize 16gb ram and can this be done easily?   Can the server be upgraded to Windows 2008 with affecting the programs and operation of the server?
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Question by:nrsolution
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 40344773
Enterprise can "use" more than 4GB of RAM using some clever software tricks, but 32-bit operating systems are hard-limited to 4GB.  Otherwise, you cannot upgrade a 32-bit install to a 64-bit install - it requires a clean installation of Windows 64-bit.
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by:Saschao
ID: 40346258
Install a new Server version!

If you have to buy a new server OS license i would not go to 2008 R2 but 2012 R2 because of support cycle. Just if need the older version otherwise not.

>Can the server be upgraded to Windows 2008 with affecting the programs and operation of the server?

You mean without affecting programs, or? No its not possible. You cant upgrade from 2003 32bit to 2008/2012 64bit.
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Accepted Solution

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Ratnesh Mishra earned 2000 total points
ID: 40346613
Honestly your answer is NO , you can't use more than 4GB RAM on Standard Windows 2003/2003SP1/2003SP2/2003R2  32-bit architecture machine this is by-design.
In short , If you had 64-bit OS you could have increased it up to 32GB.
In Windows 2003 ,32 Bit Architecture Following are the limitation with respect to the RAM
Windows 2003/2003SP1/2003SP2/2003R2
Standard   = 4GB
Enterprise and DataCenter =64GB

In Windows 2003 ,64 Bit Architecture Following are the limitation with respect to the RAM
Windows 2003/2003SP1/2003SP2/2003R2
Standard   = 32GB
Enterprise and DataCenter =1024 GB (1TB)

Reference : http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa366778(v=vs.85).aspx
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