Virtual Memory too low

By tamba1 · 13 replies
Nov 28, 2007
  1. Hi I am hoping someone can help

    My Syst is a a Dell D600 Lattitude - running Winxp Sp2
    1GB Memory (RAM)
    1.80GHz Processor

    I found several threads here and in otehr forums advising the following...

    1. My HD could be too full. This can't be the case as I haev a 60 GB HD and am monly using just under 10GB.

    2. I need minimum 15% free space for a PC to function properly.
    In Explorer, rightclick your C-drive and select Properties.
    That shows you how much free space is left.
    Mine has: 46.3 GB

    3. If there is enough space:
    Click on Start/Settings/Control Panel and double-click System.
    Go to the Advanced tab and click on Settings under Performance.
    On the next screen click Avanced tab again, and click on Change at the right bottom.

    Click on the button Custom Size.
    Set initial Size to 768
    Set Maximum Size to 1536
    Now click on the Set button, then OK it till you are out of System settings.
    You may need to reboot.

    My settings were already like this

    So I am at a loss as to what to do now please advise

    Many Thaks
  2. Po`Girl

    Po`Girl TS Rookie Posts: 595

    Try setting the virtual memory to "System managed".

    Check the running processes in the Task Manager.

    There must be something very big and/or buggy running.

    Do a clean boot - msconfig/start up tab and services.msc.

    (only disable non-Microsoft services,use google).
  3. Stick'o ram

    Stick'o ram TS Rookie Posts: 178

    maybe you intial size is to large I always set mine for 200mb to 1gb and it works great (although alot slower than normal ram), what do you need the extra V memory for?
  4. tamba1

    tamba1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    To be honest I have o idea what is causing this msg to pop up .. It happens when I am surfing with Firefox ..and sending/receiving emails

    I will try reducing the size see if that helps

    many thanks
  5. Cerberus

    Cerberus TS Rookie Posts: 56


    I recommend "system managed size" but 1.5 x your RAM is fine.
  6. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 923   +11

    or none if u have enough mem. installed.
  7. tamba1

    tamba1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Guys

    Thanks for your advice - am trying System managed

  8. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 923   +11

    that should fix your problem.
  9. tamba1

    tamba1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Nickc, Cerberus, Stickoram, Po'girl

    Thanks for allYyour help & advice , HOPEFULLY thiis is fixed now but will post here again if I get any more msgs re Virtual memory being low..

    Also having done a bit more searching and found tmany sources saying that Firefox can leak memory quite badly.. The problems with Firefox seem to arise with multiple tabs open and the browser open for many hours.

    So I will try to monitor that too and see how things go admittedly I am someone who often finds they have lots of tabs open ....

    Since getting these Virtual Memory Errors I have also installed Process Mngr 2 lite


    Thanks Again
  10. Shadowhawk

    Shadowhawk TS Rookie

    Hi tamba1... I use firefox as well, and have mine set for up to 36 tabs :). I keep the VM issue down by installing the NoScript, AdBlock Plus, FEBE and CLEO extensions primarily, which keeps the "background junk" from coming into the system... ~just a suggestion :D.
  11. tamba1

    tamba1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Shadowhawk hmm interesting point

    I am using noscript - and adblock plus have just installed FEBE but CLEO is new to me .. will check that out

    Thanks for the suggestion
  12. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    In addition to setting the Firefox options, consider a different position on the virtual memory issue. If you have lots of empty disk space (as you do) I think this approach will not only take care of your problem and but will improve your system's performance over time.

    To explain, remember that virtual memory is a large disk space that gives your computer the illusion of a large contiguous amount of memory. Your computer swaps sections of the large disk based memory image in and out of the more limited amount of physical memory you have installed.

    Your pagefile is just a disk file containing the virtual memory image. While a disk file also has the “illusion” of being one large contiguous chunk of data it is, in fact, multiple blocks of disk space that are allocated and “chained” together by the disk filesystem. The “chaining” of multiple blocks is invisible to the user's view of the file.

    So just as your regular NTFS or FAT file system can be fragmented, so can your pagefile because as it grows on demand from your min size upwards toward max size there’s no guarantee that those additional blocks of disk space needed to increase the file are all contiguous. (Almost certainly they won’t be contiguous) Think of what it means if your computer has to swap a chunk of virtual memory back and forth from memory into a contiguous disk space (quick single I/O) vs. fragmented blocks of disk space (an I/O operation required for each file fragment read or written)

    “But I run a defragment utility” you might say. Yes, but you probably just run a Windows based defrag tool. Those types of defrag tools that run after Windows starts can’t move the pagefile or any other files created prior to and needed at the time Windows starts up.

    So, in the case where you have plenty of disk space, I recommend just allocate the min at or near the max for pagefile size so you don’t have to worry about fragments occuring. Do you care that maybe 1GB extra disk space will be eaten up for good given the amount of disk space you have? Especially if it solves run-time problems growing vitual memory as well as potential performace issues. Do the following
    1. Download PageDefrag utility from Sysinternals. The link points you to the web page describing it and with a download link. You’ll use it shortly.
    2. Clear your internet cache and other junk files to free extra space (or just run a tool like CCleaner that deletes all the unneeded support files lying around on your system)
    3. Empty the Recycle Bin
    4. Now, run your Windows based defrag tool to defrag the disk area Windows has available after Windows starts up
    5. Now set a custom size where min is 1.5GB as well as max 1.5GB (for YOUR case. In general the rule is VM max equal 1.5x your physical memory size. Sometimes you might read 2x. i'd do 1.5x and see how that works for u. probably ok)
    6. Now run PageDefrag. It will show you the number of fragments in the pagefile and will then try to defrag it by first doing a reboot and then running its defrag function BEFORE Windows starts up
    7. Ideally you now have one large contigous, non-fragmented pagefile available for maximum performance. (But don’t be disappointed if there’s still a couple fragments in it)
    And to everyone, is good to run the PageDefrag tool as a normal maintenance tool periodically.
  13. Shadowhawk

    Shadowhawk TS Rookie

    I use CCleaner v2.03.532, and PerfectDisk v8.0, which are two outstanding tools.
  14. Shadowhawk

    Shadowhawk TS Rookie

    "My" system is running fine [HP Pavilion a1223w/P4 3.06 Ghz w/ 504MB ram] :),I put my appz in place before I started running firefox (I don't use IE @ all)...
    >>tamba1, is your system doin' alright now :)?
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