Low Virtual Memory

The purpose of the article is to provide the computer user with the methodology for setting the page file to a fixed size.


Problem:  The computer virtual memory is set to Auto, but fails to Auto resize.

Solution:  Set the Virtual Memory to a custom size.


  • Click Start, click Run, type sysdm.cpl in the Open box, and then press ENTER.
  •  Click the Advanced tab, and then under Performance click Settings.
  • Click the Advanced tab, and then under Virtual memory click Change.
  • Under Drive [Volume Label] pane, click/highlight the drive that withs the paging file.
  • Next under Paging file size for selected drive, click Custom size
  • Enter 2 in the Initial size and 1150 in the Maximum size fields. 
  • Then click Set.  (See Note Below)
  • Click OK to close the dialog box and Apply changes.
  •  –

    Additional Information

    Note: You may receive a message citing the value for the minimal value.  But ignore it by clicking OK and continue.

    Tip 1:   It is unlikely that your system will ever need more than 1152 megs of virtual memory.  However, if the computer advises you again about low virtual memory you can then increase the size to the maximum value recommended by your system located at the bottom of the virtual memory control panel. 


    Tip 2: There is a direct correlation between the physical ram memory installed on your motherboard and the virtual memory page file, aka page file, swap file.  


    Tip 3:  Try to avoid having a paging file on the same drive as the system files, usually drive C.


    References:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308417  – Section: Step 2.





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