Virtual Memory low

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

What does this mean, exactly? My computer just let me know this, but not sure what to do about it.

Dewitt, MI(Zone 5b)

How much unused hard disk space do you have? If your hard disk is filling up there isnít sufficient space for your paging file size. Virtual memory is space on your hard disk that is used to store frequently accessed files that are not stored in RAM. Open My Computer and right click on C: then select properties to see how much hard disk space is being used. If it almost full this is your problem and you have to delete programs or data or add a drive to your computer.

To see what your virtual memory is set for, go to Control Panel/Performance and Maintenance/System/Advanced/Performance/Settings/Advanced/Virtual Memory/Change. It should be set to System Managed Size for average users.

This problem could also be caused by a virus.

Mark

Washington, MO(Zone 6a)

palmbob,
What were you doing, when you got the message?

How much RAM is on your system? What operating system do you have? WinXP is a resource hog, especially if you have all of the "bells and whistles" turned on. It really needs *at least* 256MB of physical RAM, just to boot. If you start adding a lot of programs loading at startup, your RAM gets quickly "eaten". Windows tries to compensate for this fact, by allocating hard drive space to act as RAM.

By default, Windows offers to manage your virtual memory for you, by allocating ALL available hard drive space as virtual RAM. (Unfortunately, Windows is a horrible manager of just about everything.) This quickly leads to fragmentation of your hard drive (not as much of a problem on an NT-based system, but a problem nonetheless).

If you have less than 512MB of physical RAM, your best bet is to get more. It's cheap, and readily available now. You should also set your virtual memory to a specific size. A good rule of thumb would be:

If you have 512MB of RAM, set your swap file to 1024MB, again for both the initial and max sizes.

Even better, would be to have your swap file on it's own drive. Keeping a small (1-2GB), second hard drive on your machine, for only the swap file, is the most efficient way for it to work. If you don't have a small hard drive available, a separate partition will be a good, in-between solution.

HTH

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

Well, no way do I understand most of what you are telling me, but I will get an external hard drive... why a small second hard drive? Wouldn't it be better to have a big one... I have tens of thousands of photos that I really should put somewhere else, and just got a new printer (which is when all this started happening).

Belfield, ND(Zone 4a)

I bought one of those little jump drives that plug into the USB port for putting photos on. A one gig will run around 50 -60 bucks. Here's a link to some information on them. http://www.usbflashdrive.org/usbfd_overview.html

I don't know how many photos you could get on a one gig flash drive, but I have a much smaller 256 MB one with all my photos on, with room to spare. I'm guessing I must have at least a 1000 photos on it, plus some other files, and I've only used 42 MB of that space. And my little 256 MB drive is only about a fourth of the capacity of a one gig drive.

Dewitt, MI(Zone 5b)

Tens of thousands of photos aren't going to fit on a one gig "jump drive" if they are in high resolution. You can buy an 80 gig external USB hard disk drive for just over $100.00. Get one and store your photos there. Defrag our internal hard disk when you move the photos to your new photo repository that you can take with you.

Belfield, ND(Zone 4a)

It was just a thought. I didn't realize that he had so many photos saved.

Pine City, MN(Zone 4a)

Joan, speaking of 1 gb jump drives, WalMart will have one Friday a.m. for about $15.00 or so. What a great deal.

Belfield, ND(Zone 4a)

Oh, I'm gonna try to get to Walmart Saturday morning and stock up. Thanks!

Washington, MO(Zone 6a)

palmbob, you said:

Quoting:
Well, no way do I understand most of what you are telling me, but I will get an external hard drive... why a small second hard drive?


I was speaking about using a second, small drive for a swap file. Nothing else on it. Dedicated to virtual memory, not for storage of data. With current machines, unless you're doing HEAVY graphic or video editing, or CAD, then you should never need more than 2GB of virtual memory. Hence, the smaller drive recommendation.

Quoting:
Wouldn't it be better to have a big one... I have tens of thousands of photos that I really should put somewhere else, and just got a new printer (which is when all this started happening).


It sounds as though your hard drive is full, not leaving enough room for swapping. The "thousands of photos" would definately be part of the problem. Temp files are also suspect to me. Without knowing your Operating System, I can't really specifically tell you where all of the temp files are located. Knowing how much memory your system has, would also help. If you don't know where to find this info, reply with at least your OS, and I'll walk you through it.

Bluffton, SC(Zone 9a)

With that many photos get yourself another hardrive and I would get a big external drive. Put just pictures on the external drive. It's safer to save the pics on an external drive anyways. DVD backup's of the pics wouldn't be a bad idea either.

I my case I have one internal hard disk that I keep pics on and as a backup I have an UBS external drive. That way if something happens to either drive I should have a backup. I use to backup pics on DVD but it became a pain in the a##. Also burned DVD's will give out after 5 years or so. I was surprised but the dye they use degrades over time so a DVD isn't real a safe backup.

Here's a good deal http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=203021014&loc=101&sp=1

But look around, hard drives are pretty cheap.

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

Well, I did the usual dumb thing I do... I went to Best Buy and just bought a hard drive... 500GB. Hope that's enough room to store photos on. Well, of course, the device comes with no information on how to use it (all things seem like that these days)- just a web site to reach. And of course all questions are answered on the web site EXCEPT the most basic one- how to find and use this thing! The device installed automatically onto my computer... but where it is? How do I use it? Questions on a web site are never asked/answered in 'english'.. only computerese, which I sadly do not speak. What ever happened to the good old days when a paper manual came with a product, and a phone number was available to call someone for support (I eventually found a phone number on the web site- took forever... but of course all agents were busy helping other poor confused customers like me and asked I call back later). I hate computers!!!!!!!!!!

Dewitt, MI(Zone 5b)

If it installed then it is given a drive letter. Look for D:, E:, F: . . . Seek and ye shall find! Use "My Computer" and it will be there. You can drag and drop files to it and free up space on your internal drive. Just make sure that you MOVE the files and not just COPY them. If you REALLY need help let me know and I'll spend some quality phone time with you.

Mark

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

OK.. not sure how I can tell if I moved files versus copying them. I dragged their little icons to the hard drive icon (found it where you said it would be), and it spent 3-10 minutes putting the stuff from one place and into the other... but sure looked like it copied them, not moved them. But when looking at them, they sure looked like the originals. So then I put the ones left on my desk top in recycle bin and tossed them into space... does that mean I have room on my computer now?

Dewitt, MI(Zone 5b)

You should have more room now. The method that you used only added two steps to the process and should have accomplished the same task as a simple move. To see how much space that you now have on your local drive (C:) open My Computer, right click on C: and select Properties. Keep moving files until you have a decent amount of free disk space.

Acton, CA(Zone 8b)

Thanks... according to that I have 97GB of free space and 14 GB of used space... sounds like most of my space is available, doesn't it?

I sometimes will see that message when there is lots of disk space, lots of swap space...but, just some incompatibility with two or more of the programs I might have open at the time. Just reboot, and go back to work. Note which programs are open when you see the message come up, and watch for a pattern. Eventually you will see which program combinations cause this to happen. Then, avoid that combination. You might be able to pin it down to one single program causing the problem; then you can open and use that program only when you need it, and otherwise keep it shut down.

Dewitt, MI(Zone 5b)

palmbob,

YEP! You did it! I bet that you are all set. Now you can fill that HUGE external drive up with pictures and keep your local drive for new programs and such. Good job! You just needed a few tips.

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

This thread is 12 years old. I wonder if anyone still uses computers and software from that era?

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7a)

hcmcdole -- I wondered the same thing! ;-)

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