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virtual memory


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#1 Victoria

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 04:54 PM

I am operating windows xp and sometimes I will get a pop up that says virtual memory is low? What the heck does that mean? I have done disk clean up, defrag, gotten rid of old files but it still pops up. Any ideas as to what is wrong?

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#2 t3s

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 05:47 PM

That means your RAM is running low. Which basically just means that you are running too many applications at one time.

One way to take care of this problem is using a startup manager such as Autoruns.

Here's BC's list of startup programs so you can get an idea of what you are looking at. http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/startups/.

If there is anything else I can help you with just let me know.

Hope this helps! :thumbsup:

Edited by Newb4Life, 19 May 2009 - 05:48 PM.


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#3 fairjoeblue

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 06:23 PM

When you start your computer a "swap file , AKA "virtual memory" is used to hold needed stuff that your system doesn't have the actual memory to hold.

MS recommends that your virtual memory have a minimum of 1 1\2 your actul system memory & 2X for the maximum .

Go to the Control Panel
Double click the System icon
When the System Properties box opens on the General page you will find how much system memory you actually have
It will be listed as "XXX" RAM .

Your virtual memory is set in "Megabytes" [MB]

Your memory may be listed as GB [Gigabyte]
You will need to convert the GB to MB to figure out the values for the Virtual Memory.

1GB = 1024MB

Once you determine how much memory you have add 50% to the number for the minimum value

Double the number for the maximum value

Once you have the numbers click on the Advanced tab in the System Properties.
Where it says Performance click Settings

When the Performance Options box opens click on the Advanced tab
Where it says Virtual memory click Change
Put a dot in the circle by Custom size
Hilte the number in the box for Minimum size (MB) & use the backspace key to clear the number
Type in the minimumu nuber you figured out
Repeat for Maximum size (MB)
Click Set
Click Apply
Click OK
Close out to the desktop & restart the unit.
OCZ StealthXstream 700W,Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R , E8500, Arctic Freezer Pro 7, 3GB G.Skill PC8500,Gigabyte Radeon HD 4850 OC [1GB ], Seagate 250GB SATA II X2 in RAID 0, Samsung SATA DVD burner.

#4 Victoria

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 07:33 PM

my system properties says
1.79 GHz and 248 MB of ram. I'm still at a loss.

#5 hamluis

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 09:26 PM

You need to add more RAM to that system.

Louis

#6 fairjoeblue

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 09:50 PM

What you more then likely have is 256MB of memory.
The "missing" 8MB would be for onboard video .

Your virtual memory should be set to,

Minimum 38

Maximum 512

As has been mentioned you wo8uld benifit grately from more memory.

In the mean time set your virtual memory properly.
Then click on the link that was provided & stop as much from starting with Windows as possible.
OCZ StealthXstream 700W,Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R , E8500, Arctic Freezer Pro 7, 3GB G.Skill PC8500,Gigabyte Radeon HD 4850 OC [1GB ], Seagate 250GB SATA II X2 in RAID 0, Samsung SATA DVD burner.

#7 Stang777

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 11:30 PM

I get that every now and then but only when I have gone a very long time between restarting my computer and have played certain games or visited certain websites while having many other programs open. Usually I can go a week or two between restarting my computer and never have that pop up but once in a while it pops up which lets me know that it is time to reboot my computer soon.

I have never worried about it, just rebooted and went on as normal.

Edited by Stang777, 19 May 2009 - 11:31 PM.


#8 Victoria

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 10:48 AM

I'm looking into upgrading my RAM as suggested but I've read that I should upgrade to the lastest BIOS revision. Again being completely ignorant in this area how is that done? I appreciate everyones help. Oh and does anyone have a good place to buy the RAM? I'm a bargain shopper.

#9 Romeo29

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 10:56 AM

256 MB is low amount of RAM with today's standards. A WinXP system runs good with atleast 512 MB RAM.

Victoria,
Your CPU is 1.7 GHz which is good but it can give better performance with more RAM.
You should add more RAM. 1GB or more is recommended.

EDIT: First look up your motherboard and see how much RAM it supports. To do this, you can read your motherboard's manual. Or google your motherboard's make and model to find out how much maximum RAM it supports.

A good place to find RAM is PriceWatch : http://www.pricewatch.com/system_memory/

Edited by Romeo29, 20 May 2009 - 10:59 AM.


#10 Victoria

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 10:59 AM

does it matter that my computer is old. would I just be wasting money or will the increased RAM let me use it for more years?

#11 fairjoeblue

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 11:15 AM

That depends on how old it is.

If it's running XP more memory would definatly speed things up .

If you post the brand & model of the unit we can make better suggestions as far as memory goes.
OCZ StealthXstream 700W,Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R , E8500, Arctic Freezer Pro 7, 3GB G.Skill PC8500,Gigabyte Radeon HD 4850 OC [1GB ], Seagate 250GB SATA II X2 in RAID 0, Samsung SATA DVD burner.

#12 Stang777

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 02:02 PM

I have always been told that one should not upgrade the bios unless the upgrade will fix a specific problem you are having

#13 fairjoeblue

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 03:00 PM

"I have always been told that one should not upgrade the bios unless the upgrade will fix a specific problem you are having"

VERY sage advice.
OCZ StealthXstream 700W,Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R , E8500, Arctic Freezer Pro 7, 3GB G.Skill PC8500,Gigabyte Radeon HD 4850 OC [1GB ], Seagate 250GB SATA II X2 in RAID 0, Samsung SATA DVD burner.

#14 Victoria

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 05:33 PM

I have an HP pavilion 513w. It's probably about 6 years old AT LEAST. I really just use the computer for surfing the web and now online classes. Oh and I want to be able to use a web cam. So should I get a new computer or do you think this is worth upgrading?

#15 Animal

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 05:57 PM

I was able to determine the following about your machine: Specifications
Banks: 2
Chipset: Intel 845E
Fixed RAM: 0MB
Maximum RAM: 2GB
Sockets: 2
Speed: PC-2100
Standard RAM: 256MB

Which translates to, you have two slots to install RAM, and you are only able to install the maximum of 1 GB of RAM per slot. The type of RAM you need is PC-2100 DDR DIMM. Which comes in 128, 256, and 512MB sizes, as well as 1GB sticks. With your current size of 256 MB of RAM. That tells me you have a pair of 128 sticks. So to get 1 GB you will need 2 sticks of 512MB RAM. Always buy in pairs, just FYI. I just saw one website that had the 512's for $24.00 each. I didn't bargain hunt so thats an idea of what it would cost. So for about 50 bucks you could have 4 times the RAM.

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