memory management bug (RAM + SWAP)

By jbaldec
Feb 25, 2004
  1. Hello dear All, Helly dear Support,

    I have a 1 GB RAM / 3.2 GHz P4C HT / 2x80 GB SATA HDD System, running wiht Win XP Pro SP1
    (I don't think describing the video, LAN, or sound subsystem will be useful here)

    My problem is here : when my computer is switched on, running properly, and having multiple applications already opened, although I still have plenty of RAM (physical memory) available, (and of course : more then plenty of PAGING FILE Space available), at a certain point, when I try to run an additionnal "heavy" application (like Photoshop CS), it displays various error message, which are obviously related to a problem of memory management (i.e : "unsuficient memory to complete operation" or "not enough memory to open windows" etc...

    here are the details :

    I usually open a lot of applications simultaneously (because I DO NEED THEM) : office software, (Word, Excel, Access, Outlook, etc...), SQL Server 2000 SGBD services running, Remedy ARS server processes, Visual Studio DEV Tool, many "IEXPLORE windows" opened, Paint Shop Pro 8, Photoshop 8, Minolta Dimage Viewer 2.2", Star Office 6, etc...

    All together, these applications (and services) do consume a lot of memory, but I can still (and always) see in the "taskman" windows, that there is plenty of memory (both physical and virutal) left. The total "Commit charge (K)" is always "under" the limit commit charge (i.e : my current commit charge is about 980 MB (RAM+SWAP), and is FAR below the "limit commit charge available fot the system (2.8 GB "total virtual memory availabl" = 1 GB RAM + 1.8 GB PAGING FILE in my case)

    why does Windows XP seem not to be able to correctly (I don't even speak about "efficienly"...) manage this amount of memory ?

    why does my computer (as described above) not seem able to open more applications then my laptop (which also have the same problems, but "only" have 512 MB of RAM) ?

    why does such a powerful computer (1 GB RAM) have problem with opening "many applications" at the same time, while windows (which is told to be very stable, very reliable, and which is told to be able to manage much more memory then that...) still reports available "physical" and "virtual" memory ?

    are there known bugs and issues about that ?

    what's the point of having 1 GB RAM (or more : I was planing to upgrade to 1.5 GB or 2 GB RAM) if the system sill can't do "more" than if I had only 512 MB RAM (which is already a lot) ???

    thanks for your very welcomed help !

    best regards,

    J Baldec
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Welcome to TechSpot!

    You have an impressive PC. I cannot give you the solution, but a helpful suggestion would be to try the Avant browser from
    It is an overlay over IE, but has unlimited tabbed windows, which use a lot less memory than several instances of IE the way you use them now.

    I am sure other people will come up with similar memory-saving suggestions, tricks and programs to clean up memory (MemTurbo seems to get positive comments).
    One way of cleaning your memory is, clicking on Start/shut Down and then canceling the shutdown. Then there are settings where you can say to free up memory by unloading DLLs when no longer needed. Don't know where at the moment, but do a search un Google to find the details.
    Best of luck.
  3. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,058

    Also with running that many programs in tandem (now this may NOT be related to your memory issues) you will build up a slew of .tmp files in your personal temp directory (under your userid in documents and settings). Those need to be cleaned out on a regular basis. As well a chkdsk and defrag once a week in your particular case would be well-advised.

    Just my $.02
  4. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    Great looking machine .Looks similar to my next build.
    Remember theCPU speed,onboard cache and mounds of ram still have to slow down for various bottlenecks in all systems .Also the HT is new and I doubt if many of your software titles are even written to take advantage of it .(Maybe Micrustsoft Office 2003.Adobe CS)The PCI bus ,SATA drives are still much slower and your software must still utilize everything.There is a way to prioritize your software(right click a program under the processes tab in Task manager) ,But it is a touchy adjustment that I think is more trouble than it is worth.
  5. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Now.. the topic, at least the way I understood it, wasn't about getting apps that use less memory, asking opinions about the hardware, tweaks about temp files, or system bottlenecks.

    The RAM is certainly there to be used, and if the software nags that there isn't enough free memory, it could mean
    1) a bug in memory management system
    2) a memory leak in an application
    3) poorly implemented memory management
    4) something else.

    If the hardware was faulty, you'd be more likely to get Blue Screens of Death about it rather than simple error messages.

    One way to start looking for answers could be Pageheap to check if there is memory corruption somewhere.

    With Task Manager, check not only the amount of memory the applications are using, but virtual memory sizes and page faults too, it'll tell you if it's really running out of RAM.
  6. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    This may be a long shot, but if your hard drive is going bad (ex. Bad sectors) and your pagefile is attempting to read or write to these sectors, then memory errors such as these COULD occur.

    I'm not aware of much else it can be. Reminds me of the days of Windows 98... ;)

    You should run a drive diagnostic on your hard disk. Check out the Storage Forum. There's a sticky thread with drive utilities.
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