server 2008 enterprise 32-bit & more than 4gb of ram

Forums General General Discussion server 2008 enterprise 32-bit & more than 4gb of ram

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    • #43454

      hey everyone, (first time poster)

      so im using Windows Server 2008 Enterprise 32-bit on a Lenovo U330 notebook (core2duo 2ghz 2gbs of ddr3 ram)

      my question is,

      with server 2008 enterprise 32-bit OS, it supports up to 64gbs of ram. or so microsoft & wikipedia claim. i was just wondering if i actually do put in say 6gb or 8gbs of ram (anything above 4gb really) will i be able to use all of it?

      my concern is that are there any other aspects that i have to take into consideration first, (ex. my hardware does support 64bit so it would support the limits on ram it would have to offer as well) but is there anything else?

      i read that (PAE) physical address extension is by default disabled on 32bit OS. in order to enable it you have to use some /BCDEdit command and something with the boot.ini? im not sure exactly where do i go to do that, and what more has to be done besides typing that cmd that M$ said.

      i want to be able to use the full amount of ram im going to instal and not just have the OS recognize it, b/c what would be the point right? im planning to use the same OS on a desktop im making as well, so this is a question that i want to have addressed for that matter too.

      (just so there isnt any confusion, on the link provided above, microsoft specifically states that 32-bit server2008 enterprise can support 64gb of memory despite the general 32bit limitation of 3gbs of memory on regular versions of windows and server2008 standard.)

      just wonderinf if anyone is using more than 4gb on server 2008 enterprise here. im sure there are. and if so, how exactly do i do it?


    • #47612

        If I were you I’d go for the x64 Edition of Windows Server 2008. This because it supports more than 3GB of ram without enabling workarounds like PAE to be able to address the memory locations above the 32bit limit. Also, this just remembered me of what forum-member Bink says:

        While x86 can see the 8GB of RAM, it and most applications will not be able to use most of it. As a result, you must install x64 to use all 8GB.

        However if you want to use the x86 (32bit) Edition of Server 2008, you can force Windows to use PAE using the bcdedit /set pae ForceEnable command. The BCDEdit tool is a replacement for editing parameters in the boot.ini file used in 2000/XP/2003 Windows versions.

        Hope everything is now clear! 😉


      • #47613

        Just to clarify what I said, enabling Physical Address Extensions (PAE) allows Windows to see the RAM beyond 4GB, and expose it to applications, but the only applications that will be able to use that extra RAM are those that are specifically written to leverage PAE, like Microsoft SQL Server—so most x86 applications will not be able to see that extra RAM. However, if you have or 4 or more GB of RAM, you will still benefit from PAE on x86, but x64 removes all the tricks required for PAE and gives your OS a lot more headroom. With the planned Windows 2008 R2 being x64-only, and no simple upgrade path from x86 to x64, unless you have reasons against setting up a new x64 server today, I’d consider x64 the standard.

      • #47614

          Didn’t know that, thanks for your clarification! 🙂

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