Tips & Tricks

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Virtual memory low error solution

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Introduction

When all of your computer's real physical memory (RAM) is in use, Windows

will try to create virtual memory by grabbing a chunk of

hard drive space and treating it like real memory.
Your software can't tell the difference between real and virtual memory, but you might because virtual memory access is much slower, due to the hard drive activity it requires.
If you encounter the low virtual memory error message, then you have used the maximum amount of real plus virtual memory that is supported on your system. Sometimes programs that crash or ones that are poorly designed will not return their working memory space to the operating system when they're done using it.
Other programs that need a large amount of memory to run may fail because Windows cannot "see" the available memory. In most cases, a shutdown and restart will resolve this problem.
If you still see the dreaded "Your system is low on virtual memory" message then the first thing to do is make sure your computer is configured to allow Windows to automatically manage the virtual memory.

Windows 2000

  1. Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
  2. In the System Properties dialog box, click Advanced
  3. Click Performance Options.
  4. In the Virtual memory pane, click Change to increase the paging file.

    Windows 2000 requires an Initial value of 126 MB for debugging.
  5. After you change the setting, click Set, and then click OK.
  6. In the System Control Panel Applet dialog box, click OK to the following message:
    The changes you have made require you to restart your computer before they can take effect.
  7. Click OK to close the Performance Options dialog box, and then click OK to close the System Properties dialog box.
  8. When you are prompted to restart your computer, click Yes.

Windows XP

  1. Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
  2. In the System Properties dialog box, click the Advanced tab.
  3. In the Performance pane, click Settings.
  4. In the Performance Options dialog box, click the Advanced tab.
  5. In the Virtual memory pane, click Change.
  6. Change the Initial size value and the Maximum size value to a higher value, clickSet, and then click OK.
  7. Click OK to close the Performance Options dialog box, and then click OK to close the System Properties dialog box.

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