Why doesn't my server doesn't recognise more than 4GB RAM even with Physical Address Extensions under Windows Server 2003 SP2? I thought PAE should enable the server to use more RAM than 4GB but having upgraded the machine so it has 7GB RAM, Windows only sees 4GB of it. The RAM modules are all recognised by the server administrator software (2 x 2GB, 2 x 1GB and 2 x 512MB). Is there anything I can do to get it to 'see' the extra 3GB?


  • Are you sure the server software is 64bit? May 16, 2012 at 10:18
  • 3
    @tomasmcguinness In 64 bits Windows, PAE is not required, nor is it an available option. Which edition of Server 2003 are you running? You need to use Enterprise or better to use more the 4GB RAM, 64bit/PAE or not. It's a built in limitation.
    – jscott
    May 16, 2012 at 10:26
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    "Designed for small organizations and departmental use, Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition supports new systems with up to 4 GB of RAM." May 16, 2012 at 10:32
  • Yeah but PAE gets around the 32bit limit. JScott is correct but Sašo posted that as an answer which I've now accepted.
    – NickG
    May 16, 2012 at 10:51

1 Answer 1


If you're running Windows Server 2003 x86 Standard edition, then the only thing you can do is upgrade to a different edition. If you're on x64, check the motherboard manual for any limitations or ram requirements.

Additionally, try to make sure that the added 3 GB work on their own. If they do, try running an x64 bootcd version of linux and see if it boots and works well.


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