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Virtual Memory


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#1 computergeek522

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 05:39 PM

I'm hoping that someone here will be able to help me figure out what's going on with my computer lately....

Twice in the past two days, I've gotten a balloon warning in my status bar saying "Your system is low on virtual memory. Windows is increasing the size of your paging file." And then it says something about refusing access to programs or something like that.

But the point is, I have no idea what virtual memory is, or why it's acting up all of a sudden. I've had this computer for almost three years and this is the very first time I've ever gotten an error message like this. And it's not like I'm running any programs that I haven't run before....so I can't figure this out at all.

Anyway. I'd appreciate any advice you could provide.

Snoofie : Computer Geek Wannabe
 

Dell 15R
Intel Core i5-4200U CPU @ 1.60 GHz
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Windows 8.1, 64-bit

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#2 gunner

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 06:01 PM

Virtual memory is created using a special file called a swapfile or paging file.

Whenever the operating system has enough memory, it doesn't usually use virtual memory. But if it runs out of memory, the operating system will page out the least recently used data in the memory to the swapfile in the hard disk. This frees up some memory for your applications. The operating system will continuously do this as more and more data is loaded into the RAM.

However, when any data stored in the swapfile is needed, it is swapped with the least recently used data in the memory. This allows the swapfile to behave like RAM although programs cannot run directly off it. You will also note that because the operating system cannot directly run programs off the swapfile, some programs may not run even with a large swapfile if you have too little RAM.
I use 2 times my ram, and it is your choice.control panel>system>advanced.How much ram do you have?.
Spike's advice: Backup your data routinely.

#3 gunner

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 06:08 PM

Just noticed your ram in your post.Depending on what you are doing, 512mb will keep that balloon at bay. Barring that, a good temporary fix is a free ram booster.There are many opinions on the virtues of these, and mine is: I don't want to reboot all the time, so I use one.
Spike's advice: Backup your data routinely.

#4 computergeek522

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 07:09 PM

OK, so how do I change the amount of virtual memory used? In Control Panel-->System--->Advanced, what settings should I use? I assume that I'll need to click "Custom Size". What should I set as the initial size and maximum size?

Sorry I'm being a dolt, but like I said, this is the very first time I've encountered this....

Snoofie : Computer Geek Wannabe
 

Dell 15R
Intel Core i5-4200U CPU @ 1.60 GHz
8.00 GB RAM
Windows 8.1, 64-bit

#5 Rimmer

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 07:21 PM

computergeek522 - before you look at RAM 'boosters' boot in safe mode and do a scandisk (with Thorough and Fix checked) and defrag. It will take some time but at least you will know your hard drive is working correctly and tidied up.

How to start Windows in Safe Mode: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/How...Mode-tut61.html

How to find scandisk and defrag:
Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Scan Disk

How much free space do you have on your hard drive?
Assuming you run WindowsXP this is Start>My Computer click once on your C: drive and look in the Details box on the left.

Soltek QBIC, Pentium 4 3.0GHz, 512MB RAM, 200GB SATA HDD, ATI Radeon 9600XT 256MB, Netgear 54Mb/s WAP, ridiculously expensive Satellite Broadband
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#6 computergeek522

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 07:42 PM

I've already run defrag and scandisk --- no errors reported there.

I have 12.8 GB of space left on my hard drive.

Snoofie : Computer Geek Wannabe
 

Dell 15R
Intel Core i5-4200U CPU @ 1.60 GHz
8.00 GB RAM
Windows 8.1, 64-bit

#7 gunner

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 07:49 PM

With that amount, better leave the virtual memory to windows. Maybe some more ram and memory, or get rid of some stuff.
Spike's advice: Backup your data routinely.

#8 gunner

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 07:54 PM

I did it again. you did say gb not mb?.Plenty to change if you care to.You are correct on how to change, and 2xram is a good figure.More ram is a better option,however if you do change virtual memory windows will warn you that the sky is falling. It won't.
Spike's advice: Backup your data routinely.

#9 computergeek522

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 09:00 PM

*LOL* Yes, I said GB, not MB.

Anyway. Okay, so what should I change the initial size/maximum size to? I guess you mean that the maximum amount would be 512, but what about the initial size?

And as for Windows telling me the sky is falling, that's nothing new. Bah.

Snoofie : Computer Geek Wannabe
 

Dell 15R
Intel Core i5-4200U CPU @ 1.60 GHz
8.00 GB RAM
Windows 8.1, 64-bit

#10 gunner

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 09:31 PM

Make them both the same. the theory is it will keep the os from constantly resizing the file and give you better performance.
Spike's advice: Backup your data routinely.

#11 computergeek522

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 06:16 AM

Okay, done.

Now, another question. Theoretically, how much free RAM *should* I have? I have a program called "Free RAM" that, at the moment, is telling me I have 45 MB of free RAM. That's not a whole lot, is it?

I still don't understand why I'm getting this error message all of a sudden, after three years of never hearing about it.....

Snoofie : Computer Geek Wannabe
 

Dell 15R
Intel Core i5-4200U CPU @ 1.60 GHz
8.00 GB RAM
Windows 8.1, 64-bit

#12 gunner

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 09:01 PM

I don't know why either. At what point do you have your program set to free up more ram? About 50mb is a good number.I don't know how that program works, but you should be able to set it.You might want to take a look at what you have running (or what should not be) and see if that is the problem.Process explorer from sysinternals.com is a good one,and also registry monitor from the same place.
Spike's advice: Backup your data routinely.




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