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Data is corrupted when PAE is enabled on a Windows Server 2003-based computer

Support for Windows Server 2003 ended on July 14, 2015

Microsoft ended support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
When you run Microsoft SQL Server on a Microsoft Windows Server 2003-based computer, data that is saved to the SQL Server database may be corrupted.

When you view the transaction log file, one or more log entries in the file may be filled with a string of zeros. The string of zeros is exactly one record long and is not cache-aligned.
This problem may occur if you use the Intel Physical Addressing Extension (PAE) specification to support more than 4 gigabytes (GB) of installed memory in your computer. This problem occurs when a Page Table Entry (PTE) is in the process of having its physical address changed, and only the low-order word has been filled in when another processor begins using this page. To prevent a PTE from being used before its complete physical address has been assigned, the hotfix that is described in the "Resolution" section inserts a memory barrier instruction at the end of the PTE address update sequence.

Memory corruption is not specific to SQL Server, and it may occur when you run other memory-intensive programs on a PAE-enabled system that has more than 4 GB of memory installed.

Note This hotfix is only for the x86 platform.

Service pack information

To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows Server 2003. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
824721 Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 list of updates
889100 How to obtain the latest service pack for Windows Server 2003

Hotfix information

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site: Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.


No prerequisites are required.

Restart requirement

You must restart your computer after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix replacement information

This hotfix has been replaced by the RTMQFE version (5.2.3790.177) security update MS04-032. For more information about update MS04-032, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

File information

The English version of this hotfix has the file attributes (or later file attributes) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time item in Control Panel.
   Date         Time   Version            Size    File name   ----------------------------------------------------------------   09-Jan-2004  22:23  5.2.3790.118    2,064,384  Ntkrnlpa.exe   09-Jan-2004  22:23  5.2.3790.118    2,108,416  Ntkrpamp.exe   26-Dec-2003  19:52                        271  Branches.inf   12-Jan-2004  18:11                     10,119   12-Jan-2004  18:02                        354  Updatebr.inf   12-Jan-2004  18:02                      6,975  Update_rtmqfe.inf

To work around this problem, do not use the /PAE switch in the Boot.ini file.

Note When you remove the /PAE switch from the Boot.ini file, your computer cannot use all its available memory.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section. This problem was first corrected in Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1.
For more information about Physical Addressing Extensions and Page Table Entry, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
268363 Intel Physical Addressing Extensions (PAE) in Windows 2000
311901 The effects of 4GT tuning on system Page Table Entries
For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
824684 Description of the standard terminology that is used to describe Microsoft software updates
The third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.

Article ID: 834628 - Last Review: 12/08/2015 05:56:00 - Revision: 9.12

Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86), Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86)

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