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virtual memory


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#1 bobbies

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 10:15 AM

i keep getting a message saying my virtual memory is low. can i create more memory. is it anything to do with space on my hard drive. than you.

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#2 petewills

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 10:41 AM

Make sure your drive isn't too full.
In Windows Explorer, right-click the drive icon and choose Properties.
If the amount of free space is under about 10 percent, you'll need to free up some space.
You can use the Disk Cleanup button right next to the free space indicator,
or manually move some files to off-line storage, or uninstall unnecessary applications,
whatever it takes to get more free space.

If low drive space isn't the problem, the virtual-memory settings may need adjusting.
Right-click My Computer and choose Properties.
Click the Advanced tab.
Click the Settings button in the Performance panel.
Click the Advanced tab in the Performance dialog.
Click the Change button in the Virtual memory panel.
Look for the System managed size option,
select it if it isn't already selected, and then click OK, OK, OK.
Reboot.

Windows is pretty good at managing virtual memory for most users.

#3 rosiesdad

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 10:45 AM

How much RAM do you have in the computer, and are you using a heavy duty processing program when you get the message? (like doing Videos or processing Pictures?)

#4 Papakid

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 11:20 AM

Yes, RAM is your actual memory--virtual memory is on your hard drive. You will get that message when you are performing tasks that the amount of RAM on your system can't handle. Windows will switch to the slower virtual memory to handle the overflow. If the virtual memory becomes overloaded, you will get that message that it's too small and windows will then increase the amount of space on your hard drive allocated for virtual memory. If you were running short of hard drive space I believe Windows would alert you to that as well.

So there is really no need to increase virtual memory manually. As stated before, Windows XP manages memory pretty well on its own.

To find out how much RAM you have installed, right click My Computer and choose Properties. Under the General tab, the amount of RAM should show toward the bottom.

We always did feel the same

We just started from a different point of view

Tangled up in blue--Bob Dylan


#5 joseibarra

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 11:33 AM

That is an informational message that XP is doing it's job, not an error. Unless you know more about managing memory than XP, you should let XP handle things. More information will yield the best advice.

You should see where your memory is going and see if you can run things more efficiently.

Click Start, Run and in the box enter:

msinfo32

Click OK, and when the System Summary info appears, click Edit, Select All, Copy and then paste the info back here.

There will be some personal information (like System Name and User Name), and whatever appears to be private information to you, just delete from the pasted information.

Next figure out what is using your VM and how much.

Right click the Taskbar, choose to open Task Manager.

Click View, Select Columns, check the box that says: Virtual Memory Size. Expand the width of the Task Manager box so you can see all the columns.

Make a screen shot (if you need help say so) and post it here and we'll help you see what might be done to help your situation.

Something like:

Edited by joseibarra, 10 January 2010 - 11:36 AM.

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates.


#6 bobbies

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 01:08 PM

Thanks, here is the info. When i go into task manager, i cant see anything about columns. Hope i have done every thing right.

OS Name Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Version 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3 Build 2600
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Name BOBBYS
System Manufacturer Packard Bell Computers International
System Model Packard Bell EasyNo
System Type X86-based PC
Processor x86 Family 6 Model 13 Stepping 8 GenuineIntel ~1293 Mhz
BIOS Version/Date Insyde Software Corporation R1.04, 14/06/2006
SMBIOS Version 2.3
Windows Directory C:\WINDOWS
System Directory C:\WINDOWS\system32
Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume2
Locale United Kingdom
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "5.1.2600.5512 (xpsp.080413-2111)"
User Name BOBBYS\bob
Time Zone GMT Standard Time
Total Physical Memory 512.00 MB
Available Physical Memory 78.92 MB
Total Virtual Memory 2.00 GB
Available Virtual Memory 1.96 GB
Page File Space 1.03 GB
Page File C:\pagefile.sys

#7 joseibarra

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 01:22 PM

Thanks - That looks quite reasonable and saves a lot of questions.

When you are in TM, do you see a line across the top - File, View... like my example which I thoughtfully posted twice :thumbsup: ?

Click View, Select Columns, check the box that says: Virtual Memory Size. Expand the width of the Task Manager box so you can see all the columns.

If you don't have the menu across the top of TM, it may be running in small footprint mode. Double click on the side margin of the TM window to toggle back and forth between regular and small footprint mode.

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#8 joseibarra

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 01:46 PM

Bleeping Computer (BC) has a tutorial about how to upload screenshots here:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/how-to-take-and-share-a-screen-shot-in-windows/

You can also attach files to your posts using the Attachment system (under this window) once they are saved on your HDD.


Or you can read this and decide which is easier for you:

To create and post a screenshot:

Press the Print Scrn button to copy your entire screen to the Windows clipboard.

Press Alt Print Scrn to copy just the active window to the Windows clipboard.

Open MS Paint:

Start, Program Accessories, Paint

When Paint opens, press CTRL-V to paste the clipboard, save the new Paint file to your desktop or someplace you can remember. JPG files take up less hard disk space than BMP files and just as readable.

Make as many screenshots as you need. Practice makes perfect. Be careful your screenshot does not contain any personal information. Practice viewing your images before you upload them to be sure they are okay.

Some sites will let you attach a file (like a screenshot JPG file) to your post and some sites will not. If the site has some kind of attachment/upload function it is usually easiest just to use it. If there is no such function then use a free third party image hosting WWW site.

Create a free account on some free picture hosting web site. You can always remove your account later if you want. Here are some free image hosting sites:

http://www.imageshack.us/
http://photobucket.com/

Using your free account, upload your screenshot(s) (the JPG or BMP files) to the site and it will return to you a URL web address (a link) for your new image(s) that you can paste in a message post, email, etc.

When you are done, what you post for others to use should look something like this:

http://img109.imageshack.us/img109/2246/85575968.jpg

Post that URL web address back here in your response and we can click on the address and see your screenshot. Post as many as you need - the sites are free.

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates.


#9 Papakid

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 01:34 AM

Screenshots are great but they can be a bit time consuming to set up. In this case it would probably be quicker to get the same information in text form instead of posting images--besides, if you have a lot of processes they might not all fit in the TM window and so you would need more than one. Besides many times screenshots are too small to make out for those of us with eyes over the age of forty.

You would have to install Process Explorer from SysInternals--which is an enhanced Task Manager processes tab, but the rest of it would be pretty easy.

Download and install Process Explorer from here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinte...s/bb896653.aspx

Once installed, open PE and click on View/Select Columns.
Select the Process Memory tab then put a check next to Virtual Size then click OK.
Now go to File then Save. Save the file to your desktop or wherever is convenient for you. By default the name of the Notepad file will be Procexp.txt. You can open that file and then copy the entire contents and then paste it into your next reply or attach it--altho I'm not sure attachments are allowed here in the XP forum.

I have an idea where Jose is going with this--altho not exactly sure--and not sure if it's worth the trouble. In simplest terms, when you keep getting that message gradually more often--as you add and use more and more programs, it means you need to install more RAM. As rosiesdad was asking, if you are using very resource intensive programs when you get the message, more RAM is needed. Even so, 512 MB that you have is usually adequate, altho more is better.

If your system has started experiencing a sudden general slowdown and you get the messages about virtual memory then it's possible you could have a serious infection--or there is another misbehaving program present. Do full system scans by your antivirus come up clean? You might get an idea of what is going on from running processes, but much of today's malware is hidden from Task manager. Some of the recent malware is very resource intensive and one common now is causing people to get that virtual memory message.

But we can't come to any conclusions until we get more info, including what Jose is asking for.

We always did feel the same

We just started from a different point of view

Tangled up in blue--Bob Dylan


#10 bobbies

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 03:56 AM

Thank you. You must be patient with me as i am 69 years old and it's all very facinating but you nice people allways think everyone knows what you are talking about. I have allready said, when i click view, nothing comes up with columns. this is what comes up. refresh now. update speed. large icons small icons and details. The message i was getting has only come up a couple of times so maybe i don't have to bother with all your sugestions right now. Thanks once again.

#11 joseibarra

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 07:04 AM

Here is the issue:

When you open Task Manager, you have 4 tabs across the top:

Applications
Processes
Performance
Networking

You have the Applications tab selected on top, and you need to click the Processes tab, then you will see what I am talking about under the View list. It sounds like you are clicking View on the Applications tab, so my instructions were not clear (but they are now). :thumbsup:

I changed my instructions so this confusion does not happen again.

I am just trying to eliminate as many upload download steps as possible and get the information in the most efficient method I can think of that does not involve downloading and running a third party application for something you can already do with what you have.

I use PE all the time, but it is not necessary for this - at least right now. It can also sometimes be intimidating with all the information. For this issue, TM is easier to understand than PE

If my process for taking a screen shot of TM is not quick and easy to understand, I will change it.

Edited by joseibarra, 11 January 2010 - 02:49 PM.

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates.


#12 Papakid

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 02:33 PM

Thank you. You must be patient with me as i am 69 years old and it's all very facinating but you nice people allways think everyone knows what you are talking about. I have allready said, when i click view, nothing comes up with columns. this is what comes up. refresh now. update speed. large icons small icons and details. The message i was getting has only come up a couple of times so maybe i don't have to bother with all your sugestions right now. Thanks once again.

bobbies, I understand your frustration. Jose and I have different ideas of what is simple and easy to do and what's not and I apologize that you are caught in the middle of that. I would ask that you have some patience with us as well. If you don't want to bother with any of our suggestions, that is your prerogative. But if you have some patience with us I think you can work thru this as it may be important that you find out what is going on. It may be a small thing, but if it is because of an infection you really should deal with it. Malware out there now that could cause that is pretty dangerous. I would hate for someone who has been around as long as you become a victim of something like identity theft.

So if you do nothing else, please answer these few simple questions:

1. What antivirus do you have installed?
2. Have you done a full system scan with it recently and if so has it found anything to remove?
3. When you got the messages before, do you remember if you had a lot of programs open and running at the same time? Or one particular program?

Just so you know, RAM is hardware--a set of computer chips. If you did need to replace it or install more, you would have to open your computer's case. It is fairly easy to do with a little help but if you aren't comfortable with it I would suggest you get help from someone in person who knows a bit about computers.

As I mentioned before, you have 512 MB of RAM installed now--which is usually enough if you aren't overtaxing your computer. So we aren't to the recommending that you install more RAM just yet.

Let's stick with these questions for now, taking it in baby steps. If you feel you have the patience for it, try following the instructions I posted in Post #9. It isn't very hard and won't take much time, but please do take as much time as you need. The more information we get the fewer questions we need to ask, as Jose has mentioned.

Forgive me, but I have just a bit more to contribute to the debate:

I am just trying to eliminate as many upload download steps as possible and get the information in the most efficient method I can think of that does not involve downloading and running a third party application for something you can already do with what you have.

I agree about not downloading third party apps when it isn't necessary, but it is precisely because what one already has (Task Manager) doesn't give you the ability to export a readout of the information is why I suggested it.

I use PE all the time, but it is not necessary for this - at least right now. It can also sometimes intimidating with all the information. For this issue, TM is easier to understand than PE

It's not a matter of bobbies needing to understand the PE data, I suggest it soley as an easier way for the information to be posted here so you, me or anyone else interested in helping can look at and understand it. As a newbie I am much more intimidated by setting up an image hosting provider and then trying to figure out how it works. Don't get me wrong, I think most people who need help should learn how to make and post screenshots but in this particular case I think it is much easier and quicker for us to get the information we want from a PE readout. bobbies can always uninstall it if it's unwanted. Personally, I learned more about my computer and how processes work from running PE than I did from TM, but I expect that's not the same for everybody.

We always did feel the same

We just started from a different point of view

Tangled up in blue--Bob Dylan





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