laptop (memory)

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Zoe105 | 21:24 Mon 24th Aug 2009 | Technology
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my laptop is running really slow, mainly whilst using the internet. a pop up keeps appearing telling me that my virtual memory is full, i havent a clue what this means or how to sort the problem. can any one help? thanks.


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Google "low virtual memory" you'll find your answer there
Your virtual memory is what your laptop uses when your actual memory (RAM) is being fully utilised. You can increase the amount of virtual memory your laptop allocates. How you do this exactly will depend on what operating system you're using (XP, Vista).

Let us know which it is and either I or someone else will be able to give you step by step instructions on how to increase your virtual memory. Also, let us know how much RAM you have (commonly 512MB-2GB) as this will help us decide what the optimal amount of virtual memory you should have.
If you are using a lot of virtual memory then you have not got a lot of real memory (RAM).

You need to increase the amount of RAM in your computer.
The 2 above are misleading..

Virtual memory is what is addressible by your operating system it is the same regardless of physical memory... But the more physical memory you have the faster your machine will be because it spends less time "thrashing" ie swapping pages from memory to to the swap file on your hard disk. So more actual memory always helps but it will not change the amount of addressible memory.

if your machine is slow and is complaining about lack of virtual memory then it probably means that too many applications are running at once hogging resources.

I'll bet a pound to a penny that you have got a lot of [email protected] you don't need running because it is run at start up.

What OS is it? Look into your start up folders, there are mutiple places and remove anything you don't need.
Increasing the swap file size will, however, stop the "virtual memory low/full" message from appearing. Quite often, the system managed swap file size is not set optimally, which is something that I would have advised, my intention was not to mislead.

My explanation was relevant to the user level that I suspected this person operates at. If they do not know what virtual memory is, explaining the intricacies of addressable memory probably isn't going make them any the wiser.

Also, I agree with your point about there probably being a lot of unnecessary processes and background applications running, but how to your propose this user is going to be able to discern between what is needed and what isn't? It stands to reason that if it's there to begin with, then such accumulation has gone unnoticed.
yes I take your point mobius. With the start scenario there will be a lot of things that the user won't know if they are needed a lot but there should also be things they do recognise, they can go.
I beg to disagree virtual memory is linked directly to the amount of ram fitted ... and the type of software used on that machine

this lappy - xpsp3, 1Gb ram
virtual memory = 1524
max = 3048
recommended = 1520

Microsoft say the formula for virtual mem is 1 - 3 times RAM
default 1.5x - if you had 100000Gb of ram - windows would still create a 3Gb swapfile(the max allowed)

my personal method is to ceate a swapfile in it's own partition - so I have a x:\ which is 5Gb
(MS say that if possible the swapfile should be on a seperate physical disc - on a single disc system my method just does away with fragmentation)

so I'd say zoe should increase the swapfile to either the maximum figure shown in the setup tab ... or three Gb whichever works best

the tradeoff is that on a slow disk - it's self defeating

To configure the Virtual Memory settings:

From the Start Menu, right-click on My Computer and select Properties
Click the Advanced tab, and press the Settings button in the Performance section.
Click on the Advanced tab again, then press the Change button.
The swap file can shrink or grow automatically turn off by setting the 'Initial size' and 'Maximum size' to equal values in the VM dialog. This will prevent the system from wasting time by trying to manage the size of the swap file.
-- answer removed --
who said physical memory and virtual memory are not linked? The figures you quote are microsoft recomendations. Guess what the concep[t of virtual memory has been around longer than Microsoft. Yes of course you have to balance the swap fil and the actual memory.
Unless I'm reading this wrongly

>>Virtual memory is what is addressible by your
>>operating system it is the same regardless of
>>physical memory...

you did

>>The figures you quote are microsoft recomendations.
>> Guess what the concep[t of virtual memory has been
>> around longer than Microsoft
I agree - but almost certainly we are talking about windows - which is a microsoft operating system ... thus their's are the paramiters quoted

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