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Low Memory Crashes when only 1/6th of RAM is in use?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
My fairly old and on-its-last-legs laptop (3rd sig rig) is having all sorts of issues, but one in particular is a big problem. Although the laptop has 3GB of RAM installed, and seems to recognise it, it suffers greatly as soon as 500MB to 1GB is in use. This is a real problem which I have not encountered in the past, as this machine has been put through tough media-editing and rendering ordeals using 2.5GB memory without too much fuss in the past. For example, I will attempt to load a javascript-y webpage (such as these forums), whilst steam downloads in the background, and 90% of the time this will result in a windows message telling me to close the page as the system is low on memory...of course task manager indicates that not even a quarter of the memory is in use. Often this will result in one or more applications crashing 2-5 minutes later, with no chance to save work. Can anyone recommend a reason or solution? I should mention that the machine is running 100% off mains power as the battery has been needing replacement for months. Additionally, a message regarding the paging file always pops up on system start, though it doesn't seem to be a big deal. It just seems to notify me of the current paging file size and asks if I want to change it (I just have it set so windows allocates it automatically), but since it pertains to the issue of memory I thought I'd mention it. smile.gif Thanks!
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post #2 of 8
I'd do a format/reinstall first and see if you still have problems. How long has it been since the last?
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post #3 of 8
Page file is on the HDD. That happens because system RAM is being wrote to the HDD in a 'page file'. The page file keeps running out of room on the drive. I experienced this early on in my build when I was at 2GB of RAM. I got another HDD to allow a separate drive for PF, and increased my RAM to 4GB (was on AM2+ platform).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nudeood View Post

This is a real problem which I have not encountered in the past, as this machine has been put through tough media-editing and rendering ordeals using 2.5GB memory without too much fuss in the past. - snip-
and 90% of the time this will result in a windows message telling me to close the page as the system is low on memory...of course task manager indicates that not even a quarter of the memory is in use.
Running programs will force Windows to load it's vital file on the drive, and may not move the data back to RAM causing this issue - even with the RAM at a low usage.
Edited by AcEsSalvation - 9/13/13 at 8:16am
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post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcEsSalvation View Post

Page file is on the HDD. That happens because system RAM is being wrote to the HDD in a 'page file'. The page file keeps running out of room on the drive. I experienced this early on in my build when I was at 2GB of RAM. I got another HDD to allow a separate drive for PF, and increased my RAM to 4GB (was on AM2+ platform).
Running programs will force Windows to load it's vital file on the drive, and may not move the data back to RAM causing this issue - even with the RAM at a low usage.

Thanks, this makes a lot of sense. I knew my HDD was running low but didn't actually check, turned out it had a pathetic 200MB free space, which wasn't enough for the page file to operate properly and it wasn't moving back to the RAM. I did a clean-up and defragmentation of the Drive to free up 30GB, and everything is running fine again! +rep and Thank you smile.gif
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post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nudeood View Post

Thanks, this makes a lot of sense. I knew my HDD was running low but didn't actually check, turned out it had a pathetic 200MB free space, which wasn't enough for the page file to operate properly and it wasn't moving back to the RAM. I did a clean-up and defragmentation of the Drive to free up 30GB, and everything is running fine again! +rep and Thank you smile.gif
Wait, the drive itself only had 200MB left on it? Or that only 200MB was allocated for the RAM?

If it's the first, upgrade the drive (how big anyway?), if it's the second, it's easy to change that. I would allow up to 16GB if necessary.
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post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcEsSalvation View Post

Wait, the drive itself only had 200MB left on it? Or that only 200MB was allocated for the RAM?

If it's the first, upgrade the drive (how big anyway?), if it's the second, it's easy to change that. I would allow up to 16GB if necessary.

The HDD only had 200MB left, it's only 320GB in total (it's also plugged into a 250GB external all the time). Bear in mind this is my old laptop so no need to upgrade, it still gets used occasionally so wondered what was up with it is all... Windows was only allocating a page file size of around 50MB which was clearly the reason for the problems. tongue.gif
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post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nudeood View Post

The HDD only had 200MB left, it's only 320GB in total (it's also plugged into a 250GB external all the time). Bear in mind this is my old laptop so no need to upgrade, it still gets used occasionally so wondered what was up with it is all... Windows was only allocating a page file size of around 50MB which was clearly the reason for the problems. tongue.gif
Ah. Well at least you got it figured out tongue.gif
If you do end up wanting to upgrade here's a suggestion

EDIT: I think you can even assign some page file on the external. Might cause an issue if you unplug it while it has some data cached...
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcEsSalvation View Post

Ah. Well at least you got it figured out tongue.gif
If you do end up wanting to upgrade here's a suggestion
Thanks! smile.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcEsSalvation View Post

EDIT: I think you can even assign some page file on the external. Might cause an issue if you unplug it while it has some data cached...

Think I might have to try it just for fun..it's always plugged in anyway wink.gif
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