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Virtual Memory is Low

by bglover51 / September 3, 2005 6:40 PM PDT

I scan for viruses/spyware daily on my older (2003) XP Emachines (1.79mgz processor/512k ram).

Whenever I've run a couple of scans the "low virtual memory" bubble pops up. A reboot takes care of the problem.

I don't really understand a lot about virtual memory and page files. I've tried reading up on this on the net, have located how to increase VM, etc. But, don't really (a) understand what it's all about or (b) whether it's even necessarily a problem in itself.

My PC's page-file usage is typically 275 when I call up task manager. Have no idea if that's a good or a bad thing. (Also, if this is helpful, my HD is 40gigs and my page file settings are 192 and 363 when I open properties).

I realize I may not even be giving the necessary information for help here, so please bear with me.

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larger hard drive
by linkit / September 3, 2005 8:53 PM PDT
In reply to: Virtual Memory is Low

Your actual memory (system memory or RAM) is 512MB. Whenever your computer needs to use more than 512MB of system memory, Windows XP uses some free space on your hard drive to act like extra system memory--that's Virtual Memory.

When your hard drive gets full, there is little free space for Windows XP to use as virtual memory, so you get a low virtual memory warning.

Because you stated that your paging file size changes, that tells me that that Windows controls the paging file size, which is good. If you set a paging file size yourself, Microsoft recommends that it be 1.5 times the size of your system memory.

BOTTOM LINE ADVICE: Set virtual memory to ''System Managed Size.'' Check your hard drive properties; if it is getting full, you need to get rid of a bunch of stuff or get a larger hard drive. This will improve system performance, in addition to getting rid of your virtual memory problem.

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Thanx
by bglover51 / September 3, 2005 10:33 PM PDT
In reply to: larger hard drive

My hard drive is still 20 gigs plus available. So, I changed the setting to system managed as you suggested. Shall see if that slows down the virtual memory alerts.

Thanks for your explanation.

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"Easy Tweaks For A Faster Computer"
by kingdomofjones / September 3, 2005 11:22 PM PDT
In reply to: Thanx

WinXP:Set your paging file(also called the swap file)to one fixed size.In WinXP the paging file is an area of your hard drive that swaps data to and from memory based on how frequently it is being used (with the more frequently used data staying in memory,and the less frequently used data moving to the hard drive)By Default Windows adjusts the size of this paging file between a minimum and maximum limit,but all that resizing slows things down.You can improve performance noticeably,if you set the paging file to a single,fixed size,somewhere between twice and three times the amount of RAM you have installed on your system.

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Version-Specific tweaks
by kingdomofjones / September 3, 2005 11:29 PM PDT

Right-click My Computer and choose Properties.Click the Advanced Tab,and under Performance click Settings.Again click the Advanced tab,and under Virtual Memory click the Change button.Under Drive select your hard drive.In the Initial size and Maximum size fields type the number that's two and a half times your RAM;For example,if you have 256MB of RAM,type 640.Click Set,and then OK three times to complete the change.

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Productivity Tips
by kingdomofjones / September 3, 2005 11:36 PM PDT

WinXP:Use the page file a little less.Even after you've set your paging file to stop expanding and contracting,you can improve performance a little more by convincing Windows to use it a little less-and to use your faster RAM a little more.Click Start,Choose Run,Type msconfig in the OPEN field and press Enter.Click the SYSTEM.INI tab.Click the plus sign in front of the {386enh} entry;then click the NEW button and type ConservativeSwapFileUsage=1.Click OK and then Restart your system.

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WinXP:Clean the prefetch folder
by kingdomofjones / September 3, 2005 11:48 PM PDT
In reply to: Productivity Tips

WinXP sets up a special folder,usually C:\WINDOWS\PREFETCH,in which it stores information that lets it load recently used applications more quickly.The problem is that the fuller this folder becomes,the less effectively it works;it can even slow application loading.So clean it out periodically,maybe once a month.On your Desktop,double-click the My Computer icon,then double-click the hard drive icon.Navigate to the C:\WINDOWS\PREFETCH folder:choose Edit,and Delete.Your applications may load more slowly the first time you load them after doing this,but afterward you should notice that they load faster than before.

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More Guts,More Glory
by kingdomofjones / September 3, 2005 11:55 PM PDT

Keep in mind that these techniques,although effective,are the very least you can do to improve your computer's performance.Slightly more complicated improvements that might yield greater results include adding more RAM,buying a faster hard drive or CD/DVD drive,and updating the drivers for all the devices on your system.Compliments by Mark Scapicchio

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