How do you add more virtual memory or can you

September 6, 2010 at 15:18:59
Specs: Windows XP
I keep getting a popup box that says my virtual memory is low and it is being added to and that some of my programs may not be available while it is doing this..or something to that affect. What is virtual memory and can I add more myself? Thanks. Yep i'm a computer nerd lol.

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September 6, 2010 at 15:30:15
1.Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
2.Click Performance and Maintenance, and then click System.
3.On the Advanced tab, under Performance, click Settings.
4.On the Advanced tab, under Virtual memory, click Change.
5.Under Drive [Volume Label], click the drive that contains the paging file that you want to change.
6.Under Paging file size for selected drive, click to Custom size check box. You can enter the amount of memory you would like to reserve for Virtual memory by entering the initial and maximum size.
7.Click Set
When you are prompted to restart the computer, click Yes.
Special Note: You should choose the same amount for the initial size and maximum size. This will Stop your CPU from constantly changing the paging file.

HOT TIP: To stop your CPU from constantly changing the paging file, set the initial and maximum size to the same value. For example, 500 and 500. The value should be at least 1.5 times more than your physical RAM. If your computer has 512MB of RAM increase the virtual memory paging file to 1.5*512= 768

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September 6, 2010 at 16:34:00
To add to Mavis's description I would set virtual memory to System Managed. That way the system will add virtual memory as and when it is needed - not t0o big and not to small. The only time you are likely to run out of virtual memory is if you start getting short in disk space to store it.

Setting minimum and maximum was a good idea in Windows 98 but memory management in Windows XP is a whole lot better. There are a few rare instances in Windows XP where setting the virtual memory manually is beneficial but they are few and far between and you have to understand how virtual memory works and how you applications use virtual memory.


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September 7, 2010 at 06:42:42
By default the NT platform (at least since NT4) has used a semi-fixed pagefile. The pagefile has both an initial and maximum size. The idea is to set the initial size such that it will meet all normal needs. As long as the initial size is sufficient for the workload there will never be any resizing. Setting a maximum size larger than the initial size allows the pagefile to expand if this should ever be necessary. This would only be necessary if you set the initial size too small or you experienced an exceptional workload. This will not occur during normal usage. This offers you a completely free safety net that is never used unless it is needed. If there is no safety net you will experience an application or system failure.

The System Managed setting is often misunderstood. It is widely believed that this leads to continuous resizing and a fragmented pagefile. This is not the case. All this setting does is set the initial size based on the size of RAM. The formula used has changed over the years. The only difference between System Managed and a manual setting is that the former will track changes in RAM size.

For the large majority of cases the System Managed setting will be optimal, or as close as to make no difference. A larger than necessary pagefile has no negative impact on performance and only costs what is usually an insignificant amount of disk space.

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September 7, 2010 at 08:21:05
Without knowing the initial size of ram, just jumping to editing the pagefile size may not address the issue xstitchcher is having.

xstitchcher make sure your drive is chkdsk /f and defragged. Then set the pagefile or you may end up with a fragmented pagefile out of the gate.

How much ram do you have?

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