Virtual Memory

:frowning: Currently i am having some issues setting my Virtual Memory to a good level. i know most people say to let it manage itself my computer wont do that. and also there is the rule about 2.5x the ram? not enough for my comp…

my computers is/has:

Dell Dimension 4600
256MB of ram
space available on c: 54673

i use to be able to have multiple things running at once ( like aim, game,and music) now im having trouble doing anything with something else running. has also said low on virtual memory at times and sometimes will shut down and say to low virtual memory. so would be the best level to set it at? … what would be to high?
Please and thank you

WHY don’t you add additional ram to your computer -I saw an add at tiger direct for a gig of ram for 40 dollars plus shipping . Bestbuy matched the price but added shipping and tax to about$50.00. Its easy to install but you may have to take out a 128mb and replace it with a gig. Kingston memory is usually works in dell computers. You computer will be faster.

Yep, you need more RAM (physical memory) - more virtual memory in the form of bigger page-file won’t help your performance.

In the early days of Windows XP you could run a machine on 256 MB of RAM, but those days are over. You can just barely run basic stuff with 512 MB but 1 GB (1024 MB) or more is highly recommended.

Some sites will help you figure out which kind of memory is appropriate for your computer and how much you will be able to fit. www.crucial.com is one example [link]

DDR2 and DDR3 memory is relatively inexpensive these days but the older DDR(1) memory for your Dell Dimension 4600 is a bit more expensive.

Welcome to CDFreaks! :slight_smile:

well i really dont think this computer will handle it its pretty old and i have had to reinstall windows a few times on it, ( i dont have the money to get extra ram for it ) and if i do im going to be purchashin a laptop ( which will have alot because of graphic and multimedia design… and i wnat this computer too keep my older stuff one and run some older games. what should the virtal memory be around at least? i have it set ad min 800 and max 2500 and it seems to be ok but could be better as it use to be…

[QUOTE=SomeChickx;2307482]well i really dont think this computer will handle it its pretty old[/QUOTE]Your computer will handle up to 4 GB memory (according to the Crucial website).

( i dont have the money to get extra ram for it )
That’s too bad. You can’t just replace physical memory with more page-file, however, since your hard-drive performs 100,000 times slower than RAM.

Setting your page-file to a large size compared to RAM will in theory let you run more programs, but in practice your whole system will run intolerably slow if you try to use all that virtual memory.

No money? That’s really bad. 256 is quite the minimum for Windows XP.

But you can do a lot to speed it up, at the cost of visual style by using these tips.

[QUOTE=SomeChickx;2307482]well i really dont think this computer will handle it its pretty old and i have had to reinstall windows a few times on it, ( i dont have the money to get extra ram for it ) and if i do im going to be purchashin a laptop ( which will have alot because of graphic and multimedia design… and i wnat this computer too keep my older stuff one and run some older games. what should the virtal memory be around at least? i have it set ad min 800 and max 2500 and it seems to be ok but could be better as it use to be…[/QUOTE]

  1. Ebay for some Ram. I’d throw away ram Dimms with less than 256MB, and probably PC’s too :stuck_out_tongue:
  2. I’d recommend that you start in safe mode & defrag your HDD with something decent like DIRMS.
  3. Set both your min & max Virtual memory to 4095MB’s - This will make a constant size page file … which in theory means you won’t end up with constant resizing of the page file, and constant fragmenting.
  4. Check your installed programs list & uninstall anything you don’t use.
  5. Start->Run-> MSCONFIG, disable everything that is not essential.

You have your Virtual memory set too high for 256 MB RAM.Specially since I bet that is more than one stick(module).
Try this 16MB for the minimum & 640MB for them max.If that performs OK try upping the max to 800MB.If you get an increase in performance there try 1000MB max.I wouldn’t go over that.
If your computer can use 4GB as DrageMester posted the best price I was able to find on RAM was from a company named kahlon.I purchased two 2GB modules for $52.00 US free shipping if USPS is fast enough.Of course price depends on the RAM specific to your computer but they had the best price for me.
If you get more RAM then you need to up the max accordingly.

[QUOTE=cholla;2307709]Try this 16MB for the minimum & 640MB for them max.If that performs OK try upping the max to 800MB.If you get an increase in performance there try 1000MB max.[/QUOTE]Setting the minimum that low will only degrade performance, since the system will then have to dynamically expand the page-file, which will most likely also fragment the page-file. I suggest setting the minimum and maximum to the same size.

If your computer can use 4GB as DrageMester posted the best price I was able to find on RAM was from a company named kahlon.I purchased two 2GB modules for $52.00 US free shipping if USPS is fast enough.
According to Crucial, the Dell Dimension 4600 has four RAM slots which will each take modules up to 1 GB.

[QUOTE=DrageMester;2307716]Setting the minimum that low will only degrade performance, since the system will then have to dynamically expand the page-file, which will most likely also fragment the page-file. I suggest setting the minimum and maximum to the same size.
[/QUOTE]
If the same size works best for someone then that is OK.You will see every way you can think of suggested .
With 4GB on my OS the paging file always stays at the minimum 16MB.At least every time I’ve checked it.
That will not be the case with only 256 MB though.
I have a program that erases the page file with overwrite on reboot.
This can be done with XP also by doing this:

Start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).
Change the data value of the ClearPageFileAtShutdown value in the following registry key to a value of 1:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management
If the value does not exist, add the following value:
Value Name: ClearPageFileAtShutdown
Value Type: REG_DWORD
Value: 1
This does slow down shutdown time but should prevent fragmentation.
I still suggest trying the min & max I posted.Then see how your OS performs.
Give this link a read:
http://www.aumha.org/win5/a/xpvm.php
It does recommend a larger min than I posted but use what works best for your OS.
It is a good explanation of how the paging file works.

If interested link to kahlon for the RAM for your computer(based on what is in your post)
http://kahlon.com/rn36497_Dell_Dimension_4600.html

[QUOTE=SomeChickx;2307445]:frowning: Currently i am having some issues setting my Virtual Memory to a good level. i know most people say to let it manage itself my computer wont do that. and also there is the rule about 2.5x the ram? not enough for my comp…

my computers is/has:

Dell Dimension 4600
256MB of ram
space available on c: 54673
[/QUOTE]

What makes you think that Windows won’t manage the virtual memory on your PC? I use XP SP2 on an old laptop with 128MB memory and it works just fine. You might want to try something like Autoruns, just google it, and get rid of any unnecessary start up prorams, if your’re using IE, try one of the lighter browsers like Opera or Safari.

[QUOTE=cholla;2307727]With 4GB on my OS the paging file always stays at the minimum 16MB.At least every time I’ve checked it.
That will not be the case with only 256 MB though.[/QUOTE]
Some programs, games or Microsoft office in particular, make huge memory requests, and windows immediately pages out a huge chunk of it.

Given that the system is already quite low spec, and the HDD is likely older also, it’s a good idea to minimise disk thrashing, and set a fixed page file size.