Just got in a Lenovo ThinkServer TS130 1105 (Xeon E3-1225V1) and a (new, sealed, holographed, looks legit) copy of Windows Server 2008 32/64 (standard) to run on it for a pretty lightweight job (currently handled, adequately, by a terrifyingly old Optima P4 running Windows 2000 server - really lightweight, but long-past-due for replacement, without any particular need or excuse for server 2012...)

The 64 bit disc sits there and does nothing.

The 32 bit disc boots.

I haven't spotted any mention of this in the TS130 Manual (I have now combed it, and find no mention of a need to populate in pairs - a preferred order to populate in, yes, but no mention of pairs being required) but I begin to wonder if it's due to the fact that the 4GB RAM suppled with it was a single DIMM, rather than a pair. Better for upgrading, but perhaps requiring an upgrade (or sidegrade) right away to install the x64 version??

To clarify the question: does this hardware run in 32 bit mode when only one DIMM slot is populated, and require two slots populated (presumably matching) to run 64 bit, or does it run 64 bit regardless of RAM configuration? I've looked, but could there be something in the BIOS I've overlooked that would cause this problem?

Anyone know? I tried the 64-bit DVD on a desktop with an AMD Athlon II X4 635 processor which normally runs Windows7 in 64 bit, and it booted up just fine.

  • Unless the machine has specific requirements, RAM configuration shouldn't dictate what the system should run in, be it 32-bit or 64-bit. You should be able to populate the remaining banks (obviously making sure they're compatible) and run both versions of Windows just fine. – happy_soil Oct 23 '13 at 22:23
  • "Does this machine have specific requirements?" is most of my question. I have no particular need for more memory (the task is lightweight, as stated in the question) nor a handy stash of the specific memory it uses, or I'd just try it. The fact that it boots the 32 bit disc, but not the 64 bit disc, and another computer boots the 64 bit disc leads to the appearance that it's somehow "stuck in 32 bits" - how or why that might happen is what I am trying to figure out. – Ecnerwal Oct 24 '13 at 0:41

Windows Server 2008 requires 512 MB of RAM and recommends 2 GB of RAM. That's probably... low... but it means that your 4 GB of RAM has nothing to do with x64 not working.

  • Quantity is plenty (job runs on SQL Server Express, so it can't even use more memory if I buy it, and is the only job this does), just wondering if (for instance) 2 2GB would make a difference as far as the machine playing 64 rather than 32, .vs. the single 4GB. Job can run in 32 bit server, but I'm resistant to crippling the thing for no good reason. – Ecnerwal Oct 23 '13 at 21:19

The answer to my question is: it works just fine in 64 bit mode with 1 stick of RAM.

The cause (somewhat subtly) of my problems was a defective DVD-ROM drive. I began to suspect this when I opted to try installing the 32 bit version of the OS and that failed, even though that particular disk booted OK. I confirmed it by swapping in a different DVD drive and successfully installing the 64-bit version of the OS.

  • Just as background information. One DIMM is already 64 bits. Two DIMMs would have been 2x64bits (and not 1x128). And it shoud have depended on the CPU setup, not the memory which can be less (e.g. a 386SX running in 32 bit mode with 16 bit wide memory installed). – Hennes Feb 20 '16 at 23:24

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