How to Enable PAE in Windows Server 2008

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PAE (Physical Address Extension) is an Intel-provided memory address extension that enables support of greater than 4 GB of physical memory for most 32-bit (IA-32) Intel Pentium Pro and later platforms.

In  Windows Server 2008, /PAE change cannot be done directly in boot.ini file. It has to be done using the BCDEDIT /SET command. In order to enable PAE, the following needs to be done.

  1. Open Command Prompt with elevated privileges (Run as Administrator)
  2. Execute the following command

BCDEDIT /SET PAE ForceEnable

PAE will be enabled after the server reboot. To disable PAE  /NOPAE keyword needs to be used instead of PAE in the above command.

Maximum memory support with PAE

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

More Information about PAE and  BCDEdit /set


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SQL Server 2008 Maximum Hardware support
Physical Memory Limits – Windows Server 2008 R2
Physical Memory Limit – Windows Server 2008
Physical Memory Limit – Windows Server 2003
SQL Server 2005 memory configuration
SQL Server 2008 Hot Add CPU

Note: In Windows Server 2003, PAE is automatically enabled only if the server is using hot-add memory devices. In this case, you do not have to use the /PAE switch on a system that is configured to use hot-add memory devices. In all other cases, you must use the /PAE switch in the Boot.ini file to take advantage of memory over 4GB.

Tags : BCDEDIT /SET PAE ForceEnable, Enable PAE in Windows Server 2008,Maximum memory support with PAE,Enable PAE in Windows Server 2008 R2, how to configure memory in windows 2008, configure memory in windows 2008 R2

EOF - How to Enable PAE in Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2012 , 2008 R2 , 2008 , 2005 , 2000

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