Add the /3GB and /USERVA switches to the Boot.ini file

Find out how and why you should manually add a couple switches to your Boot.ini file.

When it comes to Microsoft products, most software installations are more or less a point-and-click operation. Thanks to some excellent deployment tools, Exchange Server 2003 guides you through the installation process better than many less-complex products. However, sometimes you still need to make a manual adjustment.

Here's an example: When you install Exchange Server 2003 on a Windows Server 2003 system that has 1 GB or more of RAM installed, you should add the /3GB switch to the Boot.ini file. This switch makes more memory available for user-mode applications, and it helps resolve memory fragmentation problems in the virtual address space.

Microsoft also recommends adding the /USERVA=3030 switch to the Boot.ini file for Exchange Server 2003. The /USERVA switch provides better granularity for splitting memory allocations between user mode and kernel mode. However, only use the /USERVA switch when an application vendor specifically recommends using it with its product.

To add the /3GB and /USERVA switches to your Boot.ini file, simply open Boot.ini in a text editor such as Notepad, add the /3GB and the /USERVA=3030 parameters to the startup line, and save your changes. The changes will not take effect until you reboot the system.

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