I have an older Dell desktop that is running Windows XP. All of a sudden, I keep getting messages that my "virtual" memory is being used up, and to shut down and restart. It seems to freeze everytime I try to do something on it. I run AVG free on it. I have also run Malaware Bytes Malware on it, along with Spybot and Ad-Aware. It even seems to freeze when I try to do a defrag. Is this computer on it's way out?

Thank you!

5 Years
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Last Post by tigerbright

Press CTRL-ALT-DEL and look at your processes tree, list by CPU usage and see what is using the most resources first.


It could also be a memory shortage problem. When the computer runs out of live memory it tries to use the hard disk as virtual memory. Windows normally controls itself how much is allocated but have a look and see what size the virtual memory is and it may be worth making it larger. however the hard disk is slow compared to live memory and thus gives the impression of slowing down.
I hope you have used a cleaning up program like 'advanced system care' as it may also be slowing down through having a lot of temporary files and rubbish lying about!



I agree with mjdodd about it being a physical memory issue. It could one of several things.
1. You have added an application that uses more memory than you used to use.

2. One of your memory chips has failed.

3. You have added memory to the computer and not let the system change the virtual memory file size.

4. But most likely is that the computer has it set to a custom page file size and not managed by the system.

To check or change the virtual memory page file size do the following:
1. Open System in Control Panel.

2. On the Advanced tab, under Performance, click Settings.

3. On the Advanced tab, under Virtual memory, click Change.

4. Under Drive [Volume Label], click the drive that contains the paging file you want to change. ( Probably C: )

5. Under Paging file size for selected drive, click Custom size, and type a new paging file size in megabytes in the Initial size (MB) or Maximum size (MB) box, and then click Set. Or To have Windows choose the best paging file size, click System managed size.


hi, i suggest run memtest86 to test the ram memory, as others have noted could be a memory module failure
If one module fails the test , i recommend replacing all modules as if original will be from the same batch
Run cpu-z real-time sytem spec utility to determine module model number and google or auction site search as per for exact replacement, if same capacity is desired.
You can eliminate page file configuration as the issue by setting a custom setting of 2700MB min, 2700MB max - not technically ideal but overkill reduces uncertainty (good or bad is what i personally use on my computers on a dedicated remote drive)
The problem with old computers using default windows page file settings is low capacity original ram memory - say 256MB , Windows default page file uses a generic different min/max calculation and can be less than 1GB (owner added ram memory needs manual reconfiguration of page file - although windows reinstallation will do this - unless set as system managed , which is not Windows default)
Then over time higher resource programs are run which means higher memory usage
(XP sp3 + services can use 400MB of ram memory itself)
Now while XP will over-ride settings (unlike win9x) , low page file config can still become a memory management issue , as virtual memory as configured is exhausted

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