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NousDefionsDoc
07-28-2006, 18:55
What is this? Sometimes I get a little yellow yeild sign in the tool bar and a message saying the virtual memory is too low and Windows is increasing the size of the page.

aricbcool
07-28-2006, 19:01
From my experience it's caused by a program taking up too much memory. For instance, if you try to open up a 2GB file when you only have 1GB of RAM, you'll get that error. Usually a reboot does the trick. Of course if you wanted to save whatever you're doing, it's hit and miss.

--Aric

jfhiller
07-28-2006, 19:14
In a lot of cases you get that error because applications are not using RAM (memory) efficiently. The paging file (also called "virtual memory") is a file that Windows creates on your hard drive to supplement RAM. RAM is much faster, but is also more expensive. When your operating system (Windows) runs out of RAM and runs low on "virtual memory" it has to bump up the paging file to compensate. If you're getting that message a lot with normal applications, it's probably a good idea to increase the amount of physical RAM in your machine.

For lots more info on paging file, you can click here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paging_file

NousDefionsDoc
07-28-2006, 19:37
Neither computer is over half full.

The Reaper
07-28-2006, 19:42
Neither computer is over half full.

If I understand your comment correctly, it has nothing to do with the amount of storage on the hard drive.

TR

NousDefionsDoc
07-28-2006, 19:49
Maybe I misunderstood about the RAM?

jfhiller
07-28-2006, 19:58
If I understand your comment correctly, it has nothing to do with the amount of storage on the hard drive.

TR

That's correct. The RAM is the little memory sticks inside your computer. Most computers these days have 256 MB to 2 GB of RAM. Your hard drive would be anywhere from around 20-300GB.

You can get additional RAM for low prices these days depending on the type of computer you have and the type of RAM it takes. If you want to post or PM more detail, I'd be happy to advise. Or you can ask your local geek :)

To find out how much physical RAM you have (in Windows), right click on your "My Computer" icon and select "Properties". It should list the amount of RAM near the bottom. If you're running Windows XP on 256 MB or less of RAM, it's a good idea to upgrade if you do anything more than basic web browsing and emailing.

Bravo1-3
07-28-2006, 20:09
I keep getting this message:

NousDefionsDoc
07-28-2006, 20:11
This one has 512 - it's only done it once. I'll check the laptop Sunday.

NousDefionsDoc
07-28-2006, 20:12
I keep getting this message:
LOL - IT'S GOING TO GET THE HOSE IF IT ISN'T CAREFUL!

aricbcool
07-28-2006, 20:17
This one has 512 - it's only done it once. I'll check the laptop Sunday.

If it's only done it once, I'd reboot and not worry about it.

--Aric

NousDefionsDoc
07-28-2006, 20:47
Roger. Laptop does it more often - usually when I've got a bunch of por...I mean A&P vids and pics open.

Thanks for the help.

aricbcool
07-28-2006, 21:10
Roger. Laptop does it more often - usually when I've got a bunch of por...I mean A&P vids and pics open.

Thanks for the help.

No problem. :D

--Aric

Martin
07-29-2006, 05:50
Probably the biggest bottleneck in computers today is the memory latency and bandwith. It takes time to transfer data from one place to another, and to store it in between being worked upon. While distance has an effect on the speed of this during operations on data, the bigger issue is the technology for storing the information. Alas, you have a number of different storage area on your computer of varying size and speed. Normal (non-CF) hard drives are not fast enough to feed the processor, hence you have RAM. RAM works for programs in general, but for operations currently underway or too be revisited, it is too slow, and you thus have a number of CPU level caches.

This goes both ways. As have been said, your RAM can only hold so much data. When it has been used up, it shifts the data over to the next level of working memory storage. In this case from RAM to hard drive swap file. That is why a reboot helps, because it clears the memory.

Another way to fix it would be to increase the size of your swap. Start the Control Panel, open System. A window pops up with a number of tabs, click Advanced and then under the Performance heading, click settings for "Visual effects, [...] virtual memory". Once more click on Advanced, but in the new window named Performance Options that has popped up. Click on Change under Virtual Memory. Either set a bigger Custom size, or switch to System Managed Size.

HTH

Martin

Para
07-29-2006, 07:10
There is a cool little utility that can help opitmizer RAM in the background on your machine. Free Ram XP Pro (http://www.download.com/3000-2086-10070530.html) I started using about 2 years ago after reading the reviews on CNET and have not had any problems with it.

Solid
07-29-2006, 09:17
In the system tools tray, the disk defragmenter can re-organize your drive so that if you're accessing many different programs at once, the computer can do so more efficiently and need less virtual memory.

I like to think of Vmemory as a 'buffer' that is created so that your computer can run more quickly than it would if it was actually writing and rewriting all the information necessary to run whatever programs you have open.

If you plan to be simultaneously using several programs at once, I would recommend right clicking on your 'my computer', going into 'properties >advanced >performance>settings>advanced>virtual memory and upping the amount. The computer will tell you the max your CPU can handle, but it isn't necessary to over-do it. I'd also definetely do the disk defrag first, if you don't already to this, as it may solve the problem. Be warned- it can take a few hours during which you don't want to be using your computer.

Hope that helps,

Solid

CommoGeek
07-29-2006, 09:25
Your RAM can only hold so much data. When it has been used up, it shifts the data over to the next level of working memory storage. In this case from RAM to hard drive swap file. That is why a reboot helps, because it clears the memory.

NDD, Martin has your answer as to what it is.

Also, changing the size of your page file will require a reboot to be effective. It isn't something that you can do on the fly and expect to work. Honestly, I always let Windows manage this except in a server. I've never really seen the benefit in the average home user altering the default page file settings.

Martin
07-29-2006, 11:27
The computer will tell you the max your CPU can handle, but it isn't necessary to over-do it.
The CPU is not a limiting factor, software is. Since we are talking about quantities, however, it is true that there is an upper-limit where you do not gain anything going beyond. A good while ago, a general pointer would be to use double amount of swap that you have as RAM. Now that the RAM has increased in size, that may not be entirely necessary.

As for disc defragmentation. The hard drive is a stack of discs that spins at a few thousand rpms and which a head hovers over for reading and writing. Depending on where on the disc you are accessing, there is a noticeable difference in speed. Add to that, it is quicker to read data sequentially rather than jumping to different sectors of the drive, so that is often how data will be written. Data is moved and removed during the life span of your computer, sectors will become available to be written to again. This results in data on your drive being "fragmented", located in different sectors of the drive. The disc defragmenter moves them to a sequential order and thus makes reading and writing faster. It has no effect on how much virtual memory is needed.

M

Kyobanim
07-29-2006, 11:54
NDD,

To answer your question;

Memory is something you have when you're young, Virtual memory is what you have when you're old.

So, when you get a virtual memory error it means you're old and your memory is failing.

Hope this helps.

lksteve
07-29-2006, 12:06
NDD...So, when you get a virtual memory error it means you're old and your memory is failing.no slack...gotta love it...:D

aricbcool
07-29-2006, 14:45
As for disc defragmentation. The hard drive is a stack of discs that spins at a few thousand rpms and which a head hovers over for reading and writing. Depending on where on the disc you are accessing, there is a noticeable difference in speed. Add to that, it is quicker to read data sequentially rather than jumping to different sectors of the drive, so that is often how data will be written. Data is moved and removed during the life span of your computer, sectors will become available to be written to again. This results in data on your drive being "fragmented", located in different sectors of the drive. The disc defragmenter moves them to a sequential order and thus makes reading and writing faster.

You know it's time to run defrag when your computer starts shaking like an old washing machine every time it accesses the hard drive. ;)

--Aric

Solid
07-29-2006, 20:43
I've got to stop listening to my friends about computer issues and just come here instead-- thanks for the clear up Martin!

Solid

mconrad
07-30-2006, 00:43
I find that if you let the programs that run automatically get out of control you have a lot of RAM problems. Check which programs start automatically at startup and then decide if you really need them to start automatically. The press Ctrl-Alt-Del and click on the applications tab to check there what might be running unnecessarily. A program called Process Explorer, available at http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/ProcessExplorer.html can tell you what you need and don't need to be running.

12B4S
07-30-2006, 04:26
NDD,

To answer your question;

Memory is something you have when you're young, Virtual memory is what you have when you're old.

So, when you get a virtual memory error it means you're old and your memory is failing.

Hope this helps.

LOLOLOL... Ain't that the truth.

x SF med
07-31-2006, 11:11
I found that upgrading my memory recently really helped - my home desktop only had 256Mb - so I ran it up to he max, 2Gb - now it runs like it should - except that my webmail program from my ISP has started telling me that IE is configured wrong - I think it's a Microsnot error - because I've been having issues with my web access since before I upraded the RAM.

As to Virtual Memory - I've found a good rule of thumb is 1.5 times the amount of RAM until you reach 1GB - sfter that - use whatever you are comfortable with - I tend to stay in the 1.5x RAM area - but I create a lot of pretty detailed formula driven spreadsheets and databases.