Virtual Memory

By | February 27, 2011
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Madeline asks about virtual memory
Twice now i have a popped up notice that says: “Windows low virtual memory”. Please explain to me what this means. Thank you, Madeline

Our answer
There are two main types of memory: Physical Memory – called RAM and Virtual memory which is memory that Windows creates from unused hard drive space. When you receive “Low virtual memory” warnings – it means you’re running low on free space on your main hard drive – and it also may indicate that you don’t have enough RAM installed or both.

If you’re running out of disk space you can take some measures that will give you more free space. Remove any programs you don’t use by uninstalling them with a program like Revo Uninstaller – the free version works just fine. Run Windows Disk Cleanup – you might be surprised how much junk has been stored on your computer. To run Disk Cleanup on Windows XP, Click Start, and then click Run. In the Open box, type cleanmgr, and then click OK. (Vista and Windows 7 users can run Disk Cleanup by clicking Start and typing Disk Cleanup in the start menu search.)

After you’ve run Disk Cleanup and removed all the programs you don’t use, click “My Computer” and right click on “C:\” drive and choose “Properties”. Windows needs a lot of free space to function well, if you have less than 500MB of disk space left after removing programs and running cleanup – then you’re going to have to look for other ways to free up free space. If you have a lot of digital photos or video files on your computer, you can buy a 4GB USB flash drive for around $20 and move all those files to the flash drive. If you fill a 4GB flash drive with photos, documents, video files and other things you want to save, you’ll have freed up 4GB of space on your hard drive and that is plenty of space for Windows to roam – and stop those virtual memory errors.

And, you should add more RAM to your computer. RAM is getting very inexpensive and it’s simple to install. It takes less than 5 minutes to install RAM and it’s the best way we know of to instantly increase your computer’s speed. If you have plenty of RAM installed, Windows won’t need to create as much virtual memory from the free space on your hard drive. So after you’ve done everything we’ve suggested above, do yourself and your computer a favor – install at least one GB of RAM. The best place to buy RAM is Crucial.com. Why? Becuase they’ll check your computer brand and model and tell you what kind of configuration your computer has how much RAM can be installed and sell you the correct RAM for you computer. Plus, when it arrives, you’ll get simple step-by-step instructions that make it snap to install new RAM to you computer.

Keep your hard drive free from unnecessary files, move your photos, videos, documents and other precious files to a USB flash drive, remove programs you seldom or never use – and install more RAM. That’s our advice for you.

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