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Memory & Windows 2003

Serge Theriault
Occasional Contributor

Memory & Windows 2003


I have a DL380 G3 with Windows 2003 installed. I have 5GB in the server, but when Windows 2003 is loaded I only see 3GB. The post sees 4GB but not windows 2003. I've added the /PAE & /3GB switch in the Boot.ini with no success. Does anybody have any ideas?
Basil Vizgin
Honored Contributor

Re: Memory & Windows 2003

If you have 5GB in the server than POST must see it all, not only 4GB. May be something with memory? Use tests from SmartStart to check it.
Windows standart does not supports more than 4 GB of memory, /PAE and /3GB switch also did not work with standart edition of Windows.
There is issue with current chipsets, with support of PCI-E, that reserves large amount of memory for internal purposes in 4GB> configurations.
Old servers also do such reservation (limitations of PC architecture) but not so excessive...
What additional cards installed in your server?
kris rombauts
Honored Contributor

Re: Memory & Windows 2003

Hi Serge,

if you say you have 5 Gbyte total RAM installed and the POST only shows 4 Gbyte then start to check why that is i.e.

- do you have ONLINE spare memory
configured maybe ?
- what combinaton of DIMMs are you using
to get to 5 GByte ? DIMMs should be added
per pair.

(see page 70 here: )

If the H/W is ok then have a look here for the correct usage of the boot.ini switches, you should first try with the /PAE only and check again.
PAE is a function of the Windows 2000/2003 memory managers that provides more physical memory to a program that requests memory. The program is not aware that any of the memory that it uses resides in the range greater than 4 GB, just as a program is not aware that the memory it has requested is actually in the page file or not.;en-us;283037



Miika T
Valued Contributor

Re: Memory & Windows 2003

Are you using an Enterprise version of server 2003? Std version won't show more than 3+Gb of ram, and 4Gb is the limit. If you had 4Gb of ram on 2003 std, it would show up like 3,2 - 3,7Gb.