Insufficient Memory

September 15, 2005 at 17:33:13
Specs: Win 3.1, 166/64

Just began happening late yesterday. Opened up M.S. Excell 4 and get error message that there is not sufficient memory to run the program. Shut down something else, and it can be run then.

Afterwards, I ran MEMMAKER. It really did not change anything. I minimizes every Program box until the one with Excel was only operating one. The little drive was getting to within 20MB of full, but I moved several data files to the D: drive. Still error message.

Last time I used Excell 4 was a good week ago. Did not need to use it until yesterday, but have been running many other Windows programs about every day.

Where do I need to check to see what may be wrong?


See More: Insufficient Memory

Report •

September 15, 2005 at 19:36:58

I would guess, considering you only have 20
megs of hardrive space left, that your
swapfile is getting a little cramped..Maybe
Excel needs a bigger one?, and seeing as
your harddrive is getting too full, it could
be the reason.Windows generally wants a
swapfile (virtual memory ) of double your
RAM..which would be, in your case, about 128
megs (2 x 64).
Try clearing about 100 megs of stuff you
don't need off your drive and see if it

Report •

September 16, 2005 at 17:31:29


The drive is only 200 meg. For to get rid of 128 meg of that, would more than clean off not only Windows, but several other currently running softwares. It ran good two weeks ago when it had only 15 meg of left over space. As of today it has a bit more at 25 meg. Used to run good when the hard drive was connected up to the old 486 with 8 Meg of RAM.

I have the contents of the whole drive on a tape back up and may have to reload it as it was better than a month ago, unless I can figure out what is causing this little problem shortly.


Report •

September 17, 2005 at 09:25:40

Hi Wm.:
Maybe you have corrupted file(s) or your hard drive or bad sectors. Another thing might be a problem is if you use disk compression where files might need to be de-compressed to work. Last thing is to make sure you defrag hard dive to make reading data easier & try scandisk to check for bad sectors.

My 2 cents opinion, good luck.

Report •

Related Solutions

September 22, 2005 at 16:37:36

First check the swap file, but with 64mb ram in Windows 3.11 I do not think it is the cause. The problem is probably related to MS-DOS conventional memory. Windows 3.11 programs, dlls and some disk operations use the DOS memory below 1mb and if this memory is full, you'll get that message.
To fix this you may try Fix1MB, which prevents programs from using this low memory unless necessary. Notice that it may case some problems with WordPerfect (refuses to start saying that there is not enough memory, because Fix1MB doesn't think the program really needs the low mem and does not allow WP to get it). Also have a look at SysHook, because it is not as agressive as the other one (no problems with WP)
How to find them? Here is a page with lots of Win311 tips and contains instructions for these two progs:

Report •

October 12, 2005 at 13:51:36

Some other things you could try are to move the swap file to the D: drive if it has more space (BTW windows wants a swap file 4x the ammount of RAM that you have, but this can be change with a setting in SYSTEM.INI called PageOverCommit or something like that , for example to get it to want twice as much you would put in PageOverCommit=2, the number on the end is what windows multiplies your memory by) (also there is a fail-safe in windows that won't let it use more than 1/2 of the free space on a hard drive for a swap file), some other programs to try are RAM Doubler ( under the Memory Utilites section, and Memory Valet ( at this site there are lots of other performance tweaks for win 3.1x).

Report •

October 23, 2005 at 15:45:22

I was gonna suggest using RamDoubler but i see Souta beat me to it! If you say this started suddenly and everything was fine before, it may be that your physical ram is failing (either because your chips are getting dusty or vibration made a connection go bad in the socket, or one of your chips may be going bad internally). I suggest you try DocMemory to test your ram and see if your chips are responding as they should.

DocMemory and RamDoubler can be found in my

Lightspeed's reference page -> Memory Utilites


The Oldfiles Network

Report •

Ask Question