Topic Last Modified: 2005-11-18

The Microsoft® Exchange Server Analyzer Tool queries the Win32_OperatingSystem Microsoft Windows® Management Instrumentation (WMI) class to determine the amount of virtual address space allocated to user mode processes (MaxProcessMemorySize) on the Exchange Server computer.

The Exchange Server Analyzer also examines the Exchange_Server WMI class in the root\MicrosoftExchangeV2 namespace to determine the value for the IsFrontEndServer key. A value of False indicates that the Exchange Server computer is not a front-end server. A value of True indicates that the Exchange Server computer is a front-end server.

The Exchange Server Analyzer also queries the Win32_Service WMI class to determine if the Cluster service (ClusSvc) is present and started.

Finally, the Exchange Server Analyzer queries the Active Directory® directory service to determine the count for the homeMDBBL attribute of the mailbox store object (msExchPrivateMDB). The resulting count is the number of mailboxes found on the Exchange Server computer.

If the Exchange Server Analyzer determines that the value for the MaxProcessMemorySize key is not equal to 2097024, that the IsFrontEndServer key is set to False, that the Cluster service is not running, that the Exchange Server mailbox store contains fewer than 20 mailboxes, and that Exchange is not running on Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003, a warning is displayed.

This warning indicates that the directory server is not properly configured for optimal memory usage because the /3GB startup switch has been set in the Boot.ini file. This switch should only be used on Exchange servers with 1 gigabyte (GB) or more of memory that are running any of the following operating systems:

The /3GB switch should not be used on Windows 2000 Server because it is unsupported and can cause application or operating system crashes. Furthermore, the /3GB switch is only supported on the operating systems listed previously when 1 GB or more of physical memory is installed.

When the /3GB parameter is included in the Boot.ini file of a supported operating system, Windows allocates 3 GB out of a maximum of 4 GB of virtual address space to the user process and 1 GB to the kernel. Normally (when the /3GB parameter is not used), Windows allocates 2 GB to the user process and 2 GB to the kernel. Therefore, with the /3GB switch, memory-intensive applications have a larger virtual memory address space to operate in and performance is improved.

Using the /3GB switch primarily helps memory-intensive applications like the Store.exe process on an Exchange server that hosts user mailboxes. A front-end server does not host user mailboxes and, therefore, there is no benefit derived from using the /3GB switch on a front-end server.

To correct this warning

  1. In Windows Explorer, navigate to the system partition.

  2. If you are unable to see the Boot.ini file, it could be because the Folder Options are set to Hide protected operating system files. If this is the case, in the Windows Explorer window, click Tools, clickFolder Options, and then click the View tab. Clear the Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) check box. When prompted with the warning box, click Yes.

  3. When the Boot.ini file is visible in Windows Explorer, right-click the file, click Open With, and choose Notepad to open the file.

  4. In the [Operating Systems] section, delete the following switches from all startup lines: /3GB

  5. Save the changes and close Notepad.

  6. Restart the computer for the change to take effect.

For more information about the use of the /3GB switch, see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base articles: