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Our SQL Server was moving along nicely with 4 Pentium 4 CPUs, 1GB RAM and 100GB free disk space. As a planned upgrade, 3GB of additional RAM was added.
And then, disaster struck -- system performance totally tanked. Jobs that normally took 5 minutes were taking 3-4 hours to complete. Days of evaluation and testing found absolutely nothing -- we were desperate!
The Windows task manager showed 1.8GB of available physical RAM at all times, so that was thought to be no problem. Then a friend mentioned that SQL Server 2000 had trouble with memory management beyond 2GB.
So, using Enterprise Manager I checked memory use: Server >> Properties >> Memory tab. It was set to dynamically configure SQL Server memory, with a minimum value of 0MB and a maximum value of 4GB. I changed the maximum value to 2GB, stopped the server and then re-started it.
All performance problems were solved!