How to Enable PAE in x86 32-bit Windows Server 2003 and 2000 to Use More than 4GB RAM

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In some scenario, you will need to upgrade the windows operating system RAM to more than 4GB. But, in normal circumstances, Windows 2000 (Datacenter Server or Advanced Server) or Windows 2003 server operating system, wont be able to use more than 4GB RAM event though more RAM modules have been installed. To enable

In 32-bit Windows operating system, there is one method to access memory above 4 GB and this method has been widely implemented which called Physical Address Extension (PAE). PAE is the added ability of the IA32 processor to address more than 4 GB of physical memory. The following operating systems can use PAE to take advantage of physical memory beyond 4 GB:

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Microsoft supports Physical Address Extension (PAE) memory in Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 products:

Operating system Maximum memory support with PAE
Windows 2000 Advanced Server 8 GB of physical RAM
Windows 2000 Datacenter Server 32 GB of physical RAM
Windows XP (all versions) 4 GB of physical RAM*
Windows Server 2003 (and SP1), Standard Edition 4 GB of physical RAM*
Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition 32 GB of physical RAM
Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition 64 GB of physical RAM
Windows Server 2003 SP1, Enterprise Edition 64 GB of physical RAM
Windows Server 2003 SP1, Datacenter Edition 128 GB of physical RAM
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To enable PAE in Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 (and Windows XP), append the /PAE switch to the end of the line of operating system in the Boot.ini file. To disable PAE, use the /NOPAE switch. The Boot.ini normally located in the root folder (i.e. C:\) with Read-Only and Hidden attributes, which are required to be removed before the file can be edited.

For example,

Original Boot.ini:

    [boot loader]
    timeout=0
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT=”Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server”
    /fastdetect
    

Change the Boot.ini to become:

    [boot loader]
    timeout=0
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT=”Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server”
    /fastdetect /PAE
    

Resources
1. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/283037
2. http://problemandsolutions.blogspot.com


One Response

  1. Shabab Tariq

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