The computer has the /3GB switch set but has less than 1 GB of memory

The information in this article applies to:

  • Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010

  • Windows Server 2003 

  • Application-tier server

  • Data-tier server

  • Health check

For this rule, the Best Practices Analyzer tool for Team Foundation Server queries two Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) classes. This query determines the amount of physical memory in the computer and the amount of virtual address space that is allocated to user mode processes. The following table describes the classes and the keys that the tool evaluates:






Maximum number of kilobytes (KB) of memory that can be allocated to a process.



Installed and licensed system product additions to the operating system.



Number of bytes of random access memory (RAM) that is installed in the computer.


This rule is checked only on target computers running Windows Server 2003.

A warning appears if the computer has fewer than 950 megabytes (MB) of RAM or the value of MaxProcessMemorySize is larger than 2097024 but smaller than 3104640. This warning indicates that the computer is not configured correctly for optimal memory usage in one or both of these areas:

  • The /USERVA=3030 startup switch has been set. This switch is necessary only on computers that have 1 gigabyte (GB) or more of memory and that are running Windows Server 2003.

  • The /3GB startup switch has been set. This switch should be used only on computers that have 1 GB or more of memory and that are running one of the following operating systems:

    • Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition

    • Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition

    • Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition


      You must have 1 GB or more of physical memory installed on your computer to support the /3GB switch on the operating systems in the previous list.

If this warning appears for a computer that has more than 1 GB of physical memory installed, some of that memory might be allocated to another installed component, such as a video adapter, at the hardware level. Therefore, allocated physical memory might not be available to the operating system. In these cases, Windows reports the amount of memory that is physically installed as less than what is actually installed. If this situation occurs, you should compare the amount of installed memory that the BIOS reports to the amount that Windows reports.

To resolve this issue, you must disable the /3GB and /USERVA switches in the Boot.ini file.

Required Permissions

To perform these procedures, you must be a member of the Administrators security group on the computer where you will manage the boot settings.

To disable the /3GB and /USERVA switches in the Boot.ini file

  1. Log on to the computer that is specified in the error message.

  2. Open the Start menu, right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.

    The System Properties dialog box appears.

  3. Click Advanced.

  4. Under Startup and Recovery, click Settings.

    The Startup and Recovery dialog box appears.

  5. Under System startup, click Edit.

    The Windows Boot.ini file opens in Notepad.

  6. In the [Operating Systems] section, delete /3GB and /USERVA=3030 from all startup lines.

  7. Save the changes, and close Notepad.

  8. Click OK twice, and restart the computer.

See Also

Other Resources

Nonpaged Pool memory is over the warning threshold

Paged pool memory is over the warning threshold

Hardware and Platform Issues