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LuLu

Low RAM Message

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(Wasn't sure if this should be here or in Software so please move to appropriate area if need be) A friend of mine is running Windows 7 and has recently started getting a low RAM/temporary paging file message on her system. She has 1 GIG of RAM, a 1.67 ghz Intel Core Duo processor and about 10 GIGs free on her hard drive. Malware/spyware/virus stuff has been done and came back clean, disk cleanup and defrag have been done. Any ideas what could be causing the issue??

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Hello LuLu - How have you been? It's been a while since I last visited this forum.

 

Having just 1GB of system memory installed is the absolute minimum for Windows 7, and that only applies if the machine is running a 32 bit version of Windows 7, like Windows 7 Starter for instance. (With a 64 bit system, you need 2GB of system memory as a minimum.) The solution is to install more memory, if that's possible. Do you know the brand and model of your friend's machine? A quick Google search of the machines specs should give you an idea of the maximum memory that can be installed. Having 2GB of memory would certainly help out a 32 bit system, and having 4GB would be ideal for either a 32bit or a 64 bit system running Windows 7.

 

Also, you stated that your friend had 10GB free on her hard drive, and that might be a problem as well. The Windows operating system gets cranky when the Windows C:\ system partition gets filled to 90% or more of it's capacity. For example, if the Windows C:\ partition is 100GB in size, and you have 90GB of data on it and have 10GB of free space, you're right at the limit an should think about removing some data files and storing them on some other media, such as a USB flash drive or an external USB hard drive. An even worse example: If she has a 250GB hard drive with just 10GB of free space available, that would be a very serious issue. She would find it impossible to defragment the drive, be unable to store any more files, and would probably experience system crashes (the dreaded BSOD) as well.   

 

Now in your friends case, if she is allowing Windows to manage the size of the paging file, and the Windows C:\ partition is at or near full, the Windows operating system might be trying to expand the paging file in low memory situations and finding there's just not enough extra room to do so. This could be the problem behind the error messages she's receiving. 

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For most computers the Crucial Memory Scanner will give a good assessment of memory needs.  Not sure if it is OK for netbooks.

I just used it here on this win xp box and it gave 100 percent accurate readings. 

http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/systemscanner

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Perhaps it's a Windows 7 starter netbook?

 

That could very well be the case, a lot of netbooks shipped with Win7 Starter and just 1GB of system memory installed. My brother and I both own HP Mini netbooks and can attest to the fact that installing 2GB of memory made quite a difference in the overall performance of Win7 Starter. Hopefully LuLu's friend can do likewise if the manufacturer's specs permit doing so.

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It's clearly a case of "low free HDD space". In combination with only 1 GB of memory means that Windows needs to access the HD VERY often.

 

Suggestions:

    - As mentioned before install more memory. E.g.  2 GB.

    - Install PcWinTech's Cleanmem. It reduces memory usage and that improves overall system performance (i.e. less disk I/O).

 

LOTS can be done before buying a new & larger HDD:

With each monthly Windows Update the amount of free space shrinks. Solution:

       - Run the build-in "Disk Cleanup" tool with all boxes ticked, including "Remove system files". This last one will remove obsolete archived systemfiles (we're talking possibly about GBs !!!!).

       - Remove "C:\SoftwareDistribution" (This folder is NOT covered by the "Disk Cleanup" tool or Ccleaner by default).

       - Remove with Ccleaner one or more System Restore Points (SRP). Each SRP can be anywhere from 1 to 5 GBs in size.

 

 

- Run the build-in Windows Defragmentation program & defragment the pagefile (Piriform's Defraggler).

- If you're using Internet Explorer then this can be configured to delete the temporary internet files when IE is closed.

 

Let me know if this was helpful.

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LuLu,

get the PC to go into Control Panel, View By: Small Icons, click on System, Advanced System Settings, in the Performance area, click Settings, then the Advanced tab, then the Change button and report back what Virtual Memory is set at.

 

Personally I set all my PC's to Custom size with the Initial Size at 512MB and the Maximum size at 8192MB

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I recommed switching to windows 8.1 if you are able. I have tested it on 1GB RAM notebooks and it leaves almost 50% free memory in comparison to Win 7.

 

2 GB RAM is the minimum for Win7 in my opinion. That, or running without antivirus and no other browser than IE.

 

Of course, you should remove all unnecessary programs from startup, etc first. And install only what you need, nothing else.

 

Swapping the HDD for a SSD could also do wonders for a netbook, which are, implicitly slow.

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Thank you all for the replies! I do think it's a Netbook that she has, but I'm not positive. I know it's small. I will pass all of this info on to her and let her determine her next move with it. She did tell me she freed up more disk space and now has about 15-16 gigs free, so hopefully that is helping her problem. Again, I thank you all for your expertise!!

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I'm not. lol 

 

Side note: since freeing up the disk space, both the low RAM and paging file messages have stopped. She says her plan is to just wipe the drive after she buys her new laptop and just keep the bare minimum on it. 

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