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Virtual Memory Error on Win XP

By lmcdonald ·
Am running a new Win XP (home) system.
P4 Proc,2.4GHz w/533MHz front side bus/512K L2 Cache. 256MB DDR SDRAM at 266MHz, 40GB Ultra ATA/100. This is not a networked computer.
The 3rd day of using this new computer I received the following error message:

Windows Virtual Memory Minimum too low. Your system is low on Virtual Memory. Windows is increasing the size of your virtual memory paging file. During this process, memory requests for some apps may be denied.

Why did this occurand how does it affect me?
Any help would be greatly appreciated...

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Virtual Memory Error on Win XP

by TheChas In reply to Virtual Memory Error on W ...

When you run out of real memory (RAM) Windows uses Virtual Memory (hard drive) to extend available memory to applications.

XP uses a quasi-fixed size paging (virtual memory) file. When your needs for memory exceed the size of the paging file, XPwarns you that it needs to enlarge the paging file.
While this is happening, your system may appear to freeze or stall.

You should have nothing to worry about, once your system and installed applications stabilizes, Windows should have no further need to change the size of the paging file.

I recommend for all my XP installations that the client install as much RAM as the system will hold / they can afford.
I've been running 768MB since day 1 on my XP box.


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Virtual Memory Error on Win XP

by saihib In reply to Virtual Memory Error on W ...

It sounds like the page file may be fragmented, and the Operating System cannot allocate a single contiguous chunk large enough for a particular operation.
Try deleting the page file(or setting it to 0 min and max).
To set the min and max page file open Control Panel -> System -> Advanced -> Performance Settings Advanced -> Virtual Memor, click the change button.
Now defragment the hard disk, and reset the page file to your preferred settings afterwards.

Here's why:
After you have defragged, all of your available free space will be a single contiguous chunk. If you create a fixed sized page file (min and max the same, it will sit as a single allocated file in the new defragmented space. If it is larger than your available physicalRAM, there will be plenty of space for all operations.

However (there's always a however), this could be down to resource-hungry applications not releasing resources once they've finished with them. Rebooting clears the swap file, hence the issue goes away. There's really not much that can be done about this except to track down which are the leaky apps and try to use alternatives, or else use these apps only when necessary.

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Virtual Memory Error on Win XP

by lmcdonald In reply to Virtual Memory Error on W ...

OK - So I am not getting the error anymore. The virtual memory had custom settings and I changed them to "System Managed Size." I did a defrag and I did notice 2 small contiguous file chunks in the middle of free space. But this didn't change after a defrag.

Anyway - the system just seems to really dog down. It only runs quick right after bootup. It doesn't seem to know how to allocate resources. The more I do, or the longer I am on, it bogs down. If I have an application that is being a hog, how can I narrow it down. Being a new computer, we have not migrated alot of normal activity onto it yet.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated...

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by lmcdonald In reply to Virtual Memory Error on W ...

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