Exchange Server 2003 /3GB and /USERVA=3030 – Original Posted Jul 13, 2005

One more time…


I am sure it has been posted before, but it doesn’t seem to be getting out there to everyone. Hopefully this will hit at least one person that hasn’t read it.


There are many documents out there that say if your Exchange Server 2003 server has 1 GB of RAM or more, you should edit your boot.ini to include the /3GB and /USERVA=3030 switches in the boot configuration. What seems to get missed is that you should only do this if the Exchange server is a:

  • Mailbox Server

  • Public Folder Server

  • Connector Bridgehead (MTA, x.400, GroupWise, Notes, etc)

  • SMTP Gateway/Bridgehead (only when using Envelope Journaling – otherwise don’t use the switches)

You should NOT use these switches if the Exchange server is a:

  • Front End Server

  • SMTP Gateway/Bridgehead (see exception above)

What it really comes down to is that the store.exe benefits from these switches, and Front End and SMTP Gateway/Bridgehead servers don’t utilize the store.exe. The exception is when using Envelope Journaling because it does use the store.exe.


In all cases, you should NOT use these switches if your server has less than 1GB of RAM.


For more information on the /3GB and /USERVA switches, refer to KB 823440 and KB 810371.

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