Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


paging while still 24GB available RAM

  1. #1


    Posts : 10
    Windows 8.1 Enterprise, Ubuntu 14.04 Desktop + Server

    paging while still 24GB available RAM


    Lately I've been having these annoying popups telling me I'm running out of memory, but I really don't understand it. I have 32GB of RAM and I'm currently using a little less than 8GB of it.
    The popups don't indicate that I'm running out of virtual memory (paging file), but I do get system events saying e.g.
    Windows successfully diagnosed a low virtual memory condition. The following programs consumed the most virtual memory: Watch_Dogs_3dm.exe (8104) consumed 3199815680 bytes, uTorrent.exe (4380) consumed 237621248 bytes, and explorer.exe (3992) consumed 148795392 bytes.

    Does anybody know how to fix this? My pagefile is managed automatically and is about 4GB in size currently. With so much spare RAM, I really don't get why Windows is using my slow disk (3 disk stripe, not that slow, but still). I put in enough so I can run games without closing my virtual machines, browsers, etc. I barely ever use over 24GB so I still have plenty room for the occasional spike.

    Does anybody know a solution for this problem? I know I can manually set my pagefile to 64GB if need be, but I bought RAM to be used. My disks should only be used for storage, not for paging.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails memory.issues.jpg  

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  2. #2


    Most likely you have a 32bit application running that has a memory leak and is consuming the 2GB of memory which is usually made available to 32bit applications and thus throwing that error message.

    Here is some reading from MS in case you think I'm crazy about the 2GB limits
    Memory Limits for Windows and Windows Server Releases (Windows)
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  3. #3


    Southern California
    Posts : 788
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center x64


    You should be able to tell by looking in Task manager, yes? See anything out of the ordinary?
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  4. #4


    Forever West
    Posts : 591
    WinVista, Win7, Win8.1, Win10, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17.1


    Years ago it was found that large amounts of RAM could indeed negate the need for the swapfile [Win95/98/ME] or Paging File [WinNT4/2000 and later] but some programs looked for it when trying to install programs, needed some 'room' for decompressing files/holding temporary files while installing. Don't think that has changed much unless the folks writing programs made changes. It was found with large amounts of RAM that a small Paging File/swapfile was sufficient for the purpose.
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  5. #5


    I would tend to agree with pparks1.

    Unfortunately that error dialog is more than a little vague and the recommendation to close programs isn't always useful. It appears to be an attempt to make something complex understandable and in the process it has been dumbed down to the point that it looses all meaning.

    When most people think of "memory" in Windows they usually mean RAM. But a shortage of RAM rarely causes errors and issues are usually confined to poor performance. And with 24.5 GB available we can pretty much rule that out. The value for "free" memory as displayed in Windows 7 Task Manager isn't relevant either.

    The error more often refers to hitting the commit limit. Unfortunately this is quite difficult to describe and I will not attempt to do so. But with a commit charge of 7.7 GB and a limit of 36.4 GB that hardly seems likely, or even possible.

    That leaves exhaustion of the 2 GB virtual address space of each 32 bit process. This is a very real possibility. As this is a private address space closing other processes will avail nothing.

    A screenshot of Resource Monitor showing the memory tab sorted by Commit would be more useful. The disk level activity shown is really quite low. But because the graphs are scaled the limited usage tends to be emphasized.
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  6. #6


    Southern California
    Posts : 788
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center x64


    Come to think of it, I used to get a similar error purely from windows XP Mode, from allocating memory incorrectly. Do you have any virtual Desktop Software or the like installed?

    Duh, I knew I read that you had Virtual machines...
    Check there for your memory consumption problem
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  7. #7


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    In addition to the above, I suggest you download: Process Lasso Portable Edition (No installation needed). This program will give you a broader view of what's going on and make it easier to find the culprit.

    Click image for larger version
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  8. #8


    Posts : 10
    Windows 8.1 Enterprise, Ubuntu 14.04 Desktop + Server


    Quote Originally Posted by DustSailor View Post
    Come to think of it, I used to get a similar error purely from windows XP Mode, from allocating memory incorrectly. Do you have any virtual Desktop Software or the like installed?

    Duh, I knew I read that you had Virtual machines...
    Check there for your memory consumption problem
    Yeah, I figured that much ... but I never have any problems with my VM software (VirtualBox), I've been running it for months without any error. Even when I shut them down completely, I'm still getting the errors on other applications. I tend to believe the 32-bit application problem more that is mentioned below.
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  9. #9


    Posts : 10
    Windows 8.1 Enterprise, Ubuntu 14.04 Desktop + Server


    Quote Originally Posted by topgundcp View Post
    In addition to the above, I suggest you download: Process Lasso Portable Edition (No installation needed). This program will give you a broader view of what's going on and make it easier to find the culprit.

    Click image for larger version
    I'm running out of time to test at the moment, but I'm going to investigate this later today. Thanks for the tip.
    In my original request, I did post the error message in the eventlog. Both Watchdogs and utorrent are both 32-bit applications, so it does make sense what you say.
    I've doubled the size of my pagefile yesterday (8GB) and I still got the error. The thing is, even if I do get the popup, I can generally keep using the applications without trouble, although utorrent sometimes stops responding (after days of continuous use).
    I do think my next step will be to try and disable the pagefile. However, I've read that some applications try to write to it no matter what, so that may cause even more problems. The other concern I have, is that if I'm working with a memory leak in an application, that it's going to consume all my RAM and actually cause problems for other software that can continue to run for now.

    Anyways, I'll send an update later today to see how it goes. Thanks again for all your ideas.
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  10. #10


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    1. If you get a kernel panic/BSOD you need the pagefile or you can't see the log. Not a big deal.
    2. Some programs are built assuming you have one. Older programs, some old games, photoshop.

      I have 16GB of RAM and I know I won't do anything drastic to take the whole 16GB. Most of the time I see it max out to 3, 4 GB and 8,9GB if I am running both my virtual machine. However, as mentioned above, I set my pagefile 1023-1024MB.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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paging while still 24GB available RAM
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