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Low memory on Windows Vista

R
#1
I am using an Acer Aspire 5290G laptop running Windows Vista Home Premium.
The laptop has 2GB RAM but I have been getting Low Memory warnings after
which I have had to reload Windows. At the time the only not automatic
applications running are Norton Internet Security, Messenger, iTunes and
iPlayer from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

I've tried increasing the virtual memory size to min 4096Mb, max 6144Mb so
I'm hoping the problem will go away but it would be useful to know whether
this is some kind of known fault or if it is just that Vista is so demanding!
I had been running a similar or greater load quite happily under XP Pro on
another laptop with only 512Mb RAM. The only intentional difference is that
this laptop is running Norton Internet Security whereas the old one was
running F-Secure.

If the problem persists, is it worth me adding more physical RAM and/or
trying a further increase in virtual memory?

I'd be grateful for any advice - thanks.

PS. Ive found somebody else with exactly the same problem discussed on this
forum http://forums.pcw.co.uk/thread.jspa?...27138&tstart=0 but they have not
yet reached a solution either.
 

My Computer

A
#2
Warnings are not related to lack of RAM or page file setting (default size
is 1.5 times RAM) - warning uusallly due to a process/program which is not
releasing resources during idle or shutdown.


"Rob" <Rob@xxxxxx> wrote in message
news:E5CFE171-CA05-479B-AA9C-6993396015C1@xxxxxx

>I am using an Acer Aspire 5290G laptop running Windows Vista Home Premium.
> The laptop has 2GB RAM but I have been getting Low Memory warnings after
> which I have had to reload Windows. At the time the only not automatic
> applications running are Norton Internet Security, Messenger, iTunes and
> iPlayer from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
>
> I've tried increasing the virtual memory size to min 4096Mb, max 6144Mb so
> I'm hoping the problem will go away but it would be useful to know whether
> this is some kind of known fault or if it is just that Vista is so
> demanding!
> I had been running a similar or greater load quite happily under XP Pro on
> another laptop with only 512Mb RAM. The only intentional difference is
> that
> this laptop is running Norton Internet Security whereas the old one was
> running F-Secure.
>
> If the problem persists, is it worth me adding more physical RAM and/or
> trying a further increase in virtual memory?
>
> I'd be grateful for any advice - thanks.
>
> PS. Ive found somebody else with exactly the same problem discussed on
> this
> forum http://forums.pcw.co.uk/thread.jspa?...27138&tstart=0 but they have
> not
> yet reached a solution either.
 

My Computer

R
#3
"CB" wrote:

>
>
> "Rob" wrote:
>

> > I am using an Acer Aspire 5290G laptop running Windows Vista Home Premium.
> > The laptop has 2GB RAM but I have been getting Low Memory warnings after
> > which I have had to reload Windows. At the time the only not automatic
> > applications running are Norton Internet Security, Messenger, iTunes and
> > iPlayer from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
> >
> > I've tried increasing the virtual memory size to min 4096Mb, max 6144Mb so
> > I'm hoping the problem will go away but it would be useful to know whether
> > this is some kind of known fault or if it is just that Vista is so demanding!
> > I had been running a similar or greater load quite happily under XP Pro on
> > another laptop with only 512Mb RAM. The only intentional difference is that
> > this laptop is running Norton Internet Security whereas the old one was
> > running F-Secure.
> >
> > If the problem persists, is it worth me adding more physical RAM and/or
> > trying a further increase in virtual memory?
> >
> > I'd be grateful for any advice - thanks.
> >
> > PS. Ive found somebody else with exactly the same problem discussed on this
> > forum http://forums.pcw.co.uk/thread.jspa?...27138&tstart=0 but they have not
> > yet reached a solution either.
>
>
> Rob,
>
> The first thing you need to do is uninstall NIS, although you'll
> probably never be able to remove all remnants. Norton/Symantec, McAfee and
> ZoneAlarm are all resource hogs and tend to lock up resources for their own
> use.
>
> I would recommend the free AV applications Avast or AVG, or better yet,
> the paid AV application NOD32. I know of many people who swear by Kaspersky
> AV also but I don't have any experience with it. I would stay away from
> "security suites" as they are loaded with unnecessary applications.
>
> Have a nice day.
>
> C.B.
Thanks CB,

I've been corresponding with some other people with the same computer who
are also getting the same problem and at least one of them does not have
Norton so I don't think that is the root cause. However, once we have sorted
this out I may well do as you suggest to reduce the overheads.

At the moment setting the virtual memory to initial 4096 and max 6144 seems
to have avoided the problem but that seems rather high and I would have
expected values that big to be slowing the laptop down? Hopefully we/I will
be able to identify a rogue process with a memory leak but I have not got
access to the laptop for a few days (it is my daughter's) so will have to
wait until I next get a chance to investigate.
 

My Computer

R
#4
OK, I've had a chance to experiment a bit today with the 5920 and I think I'm
beginning to understand what is going on.

I reduced the initial virtual memory cache to 2500 and left the max at 6144.

I then loaded in lots of different tasks and kept a careful eye on Task
Manager, Resource Manager and Process Explorer.

I monitored physical RAM usage in Resource Monitor and that stayed fairly
constant between 65% and 71% even with lots of very large tasks loaded.

However, after I'd been doing this for a while I checked the virtual memory
allocation again (via the system option in the control panel) and the
allocated virtual memory had gone up from its initial 2500MB to 5830MB - i.e.
almost reaching its limit.

A little while later the low memory error appeared. When it did, the
physical memory on the Task Manager performance tab showed that a chache of
1313MB was still available which Windows could have discarded to release
memory if it was running out of physical RAM.

This seems to imply that the low memory error refers only to Virtual Memory
and not physical RAM.

If that is correct then presumably it means that either something is using
up too much virtual memory or something is not releasing it properly?

When I checked a little before the low memory error appeared, the top VM
using process was Messenger which had a virtual size of 333,688K and a
working set of 43,184K. It also had page faults of 24,620,790 which seems
very high!

The next largest memory user was shown as ccSvcHst.exe but is actually part
of the Norton Internet Suite. This had a virtual size of 300,912K and a
working set of 7,452K. Page faults were at 602,814.

Are these sort of sizes normal or do they indicate a problem? Is there
anything else that I should be monitoring to try and diagnose the problem
more effectively?
 

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#5
In case it helps anyone else it looks as though the cure for this problem is
to apply the vista patch KB940105. I've not yet had any recurrences since
applying the patch a few days ago.
 

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murtibing

New Member
Messages
1
#6
I had problems with the acer 5920G, it came with 2GB RAM but clearly had memory problems as it would spend forever swapping data off the disk. I only ran the obvious stuff. Outlook, Explorer, Word and iTunes. Programs would hang in midair for up to 15 or more seconds while the processor was working on something else at 100%, with the Disk flat out and umpteen page faults. I looked into all sorts of things, being new to vista I spent ages on the problem. I gave up and bought 4GB of RAM. After swopping the RAM I checked and it only uses 3GB as I'm running Home Premium. But WOW that extra 1GB of RAM has made an enormous difference it now runs "normally".
 

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R
#7
Thanks - that is really helpful as the 5920 is still suffering - MSN seems
to be the worst culprit. I may well try the extra RAM.
 

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K

Ken Blake, MVP

#8
On Tue, 4 Mar 2008 10:39:42 -0600, murtibing
<murtibing.35rbl2@xxxxxx-mx.forums.net> wrote:

>
> I had problems with the acer 5920G, it came with 2GB RAM but clearly had
> memory problems as it would spend forever swapping data off the disk. I
> only ran the obvious stuff. Outlook, Explorer, Word and iTunes. Programs
> would hang in midair for up to 15 or more seconds while the processor
> was working on something else at 100%, with the Disk flat out and
> umpteen page faults. I looked into all sorts of things, being new to
> vista I spent ages on the problem. I gave up and bought 4GB of RAM.
> After swopping the RAM I checked and it only uses 3GB as I'm running
> Home Premium. But WOW that extra 1GB of RAM has made an enormous
> difference it now runs "normally".


Glad to hear that the extra RAM improved your performance.

But a word about "it only uses 3GB as I'm running Home Premium." It
has nothing to do with its being Home Premium.

Even though you have a 4GB address space, all 32-bit versions of
Windows can only use *around* 3.1GB of RAM. That's because some of
that space is used by hardware and not available to the operating
system and applications. The amount you can use varies, depending on
what hardware you have installed, but is usually around 3.1GB.

Note that the hardware is using the address *space*, not the actual
RAM itself. The rest of the RAM goes unused because there is no
address space to map it too.


--
Ken Blake, Microsoft MVP - Windows Desktop Experience
Please Reply to the Newsgroup
 

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R
#9
"Rob" wrote:

>
> Thanks - that is really helpful as the 5920 is still suffering - MSN seems
> to be the worst culprit. I may well try the extra RAM.
Actually I should have said the main culprit is Windows Live Messenger, I
was beiny lazy when I said MSN. I don't suppose anyone knows if there is a
known problem with Messenger using too much virtual memory on Vista?
 

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Messages
1
#10
On Tue, 4 Mar 2008 10:39:42 -0600, murtibing
<murtibing.35rbl2@xxxxxx-mx.forums.net> wrote:
>
> I had problems with the acer 5920G, it came with 2GB RAM but clearly had
> memory problems as it would spend forever swapping data off the disk. I
> only ran the obvious stuff. Outlook, Explorer, Word and iTunes. Programs
> would hang in midair for up to 15 or more seconds while the processor
> was working on something else at 100%, with the Disk flat out and
> umpteen page faults. I looked into all sorts of things, being new to
> vista I spent ages on the problem. I gave up and bought 4GB of RAM.
> After swopping the RAM I checked and it only uses 3GB as I'm running
> Home Premium. But WOW that extra 1GB of RAM has made an enormous
> difference it now runs "normally".


Glad to hear that the extra RAM improved your performance.

But a word about "it only uses 3GB as I'm running Home Premium." It
has nothing to do with its being Home Premium.

Even though you have a 4GB address space, all 32-bit versions of
Windows can only use *around* 3.1GB of RAM. That's because some of
that space is used by hardware and not available to the operating
system and applications. The amount you can use varies, depending on
what hardware you have installed, but is usually around 3.1GB.

Note that the hardware is using the address *space*, not the actual
RAM itself. The rest of the RAM goes unused because there is no
address space to map it too.


--
Ken Blake, Microsoft MVP - Windows Desktop Experience
Please Reply to the Newsgroup

i have a dell xps m1530 with 8 gig ram and 500gig, 5200 hd and a core2 duo processor
ive also been getting this error after ariving back from standby..
so what youre saying is even if i have 8 gig ram it still doesnt matter, ill still get the error?
is there a way to allocate windows vista x64 home premium to find the additional memory or is it just wasted memory?
 

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