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Unable To Add More Than 3 GB RAM To A Running Hot Add Enabled Virtual Machine

Unable To Add More Than 3 GB RAM To A Running Hot Add Enabled Virtual Machine

We encountered this restriction in one of the running Linux 64 bit Virtual Machines in a VMware environment and issue raised as unable to add more than 3 GB RAM to the Virtual Machine even though “hot add” feature is enabled. Our deployment engineers were confused and I thought to share this article in my blog to the followers. I hope this article will help them to understand and guide to the correct path to understand the situation. This Article applies to the Virtual Machines with Linux 64 bit and Windows 7 Operating Systems.

Also, I need to tell you that Virtual Machine was configured with 2 GB of RAM and engineer wanted to upgrade it to a higher value, and Virtual Machine was configured with Virtual Machine Hardware version 13 which is the latest version at the time of writing this article. When the setting up to the 3 GB from 2 GB Virtual Machine froze and had to restart to recover it.

Virtual Machine settings were like this

Unable To Add More Than 3 GB RAM : Virtual Machine Settings

VMware has published a Knowledge Base article (2008405) with relates to this restriction.

This vSphere restriction ensures that you do not trigger this issue in the guest operating system” This was updated in the article and if your Virtual Machine is configured with less than 3 GB of RAM capacity and below conditions can occur :

  • If the powered-on virtual machine has less than 3 GB of memory, you cannot hot add memory in excess of 3 GB
  • If the virtual machine has 1 GB of memory, you can add 2 GB
  • If the virtual machine has 2 GB of memory, you can add 1 GB
  • If the virtual machine has 3444 MB of memory, you can add 128 MB
  • If the powered-on virtual machine has exactly 3 GB memory, you cannot hot add any memory
Workaround: To find a solution to the situation Power Down the Virtual Machine and increase the RAM capacity to greater than 3 GB (3072 MB) and then you can leverage the hot add feature to increase the RAM 16 times in the current Value limiting to the relevant hardware version of your Virtual Machine.

Please find the below reference from VMware Knowledge Base.

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Unable To Add More Than 3 GB RAM To A Running Hot Add Enabled Virtual Machine
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Aruna Lakmal

Senior Virtualization Engineer at Pearson, Sri Lanka. Technology junky, enthusiast, a VMware vExpert and a blogger with more than 6 years of Experience in Information Technology more focusing on VMware Virtualization, Microsoft and Datacenter Technologies.

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