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Low memory warning with plenty of free RAM left


Posts
43
#1
go_home_windows_you_are_drunk_.jpg

The picture says it all. Usually when I have as "low" as 4 gigabytes of free RAM remaining (25% of my total RAM), that's when Windows starts crashing programs all over the place (no blue screens, just application crashes), to the point where I have to restart my computer. I would really like to know why Windows is doing this, because essentially, right now I can only utilize up to 12 of my 16 GB of RAM, whereas I already get warnings at 10.

(Note: I know where each megabyte is going.)

Thanks for any insight in advance!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i3-6100
    Motherboard
    ASUS Z170I PRO GAMING
    Memory
    Kingston 1x8GB [email protected]
    Graphics Card(s)
    Sapphire HD7850 2GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LG 34UM68-P
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1080
    Hard Drives
    SAMSUNG 840 Pro 128GB SSD
    PSU
    Corsair TX650W (Seasonic OEM)
    Case
    Zalman M1
    Cooling
    Cooler Master Hyper 212X
    Keyboard
    Ozone Strike Battle MX Brown
    Mouse
    Roccat Nyth
    Internet Speed
    34 Mbit
    Browser
    Chrome, Cyberfox, Vivaldi
    Antivirus
    common sense upper-intermediate v3.0
    Other Info
    Some of the hardware might seem odd (PSU, SSD), but I'm not wasting money on replacing perfectly functional hardware only because a newer version is out. Nor am I willing to pay extortion money for replacements or intended upgrades (GPU, RAM), especially if that "upgrade" has a hardware design flaw (CPU).

Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp
Posts
23,160
#2
Hello Asagrim,

Usually this happens when you are either extremely low on free space on your C: drive, you disabled the paging file, or set the paging file to low.

Virtual Memory Paging File - Change

Hope this helps for now, :)
Shawn
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS Maximus X Code Z370
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    300 Mb/s Download and 30 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB6190 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone

LMiller7

Active Member
Pro User
Posts
704
#3
Out of memory errors are rarely ever caused by a shortage of RAM. It is highly unusual for such a condition to cause any problems other than poor performance. A too small pagefile could cause such an error but with 16 GB RAM that would seem unlikely.

Post a screenshot of Task Manager - Performance tab so we can see what is happening.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 7
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop

CountMike

Well-Known Member
VIP Member
Guru
Belgrade , Serbia

Posts
4,664
#4
It's pretty well a generic response when a particular program tries to access memory wrong way or in some protected area. Does it happen all the time or just with some program/s ?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Home made
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen7 2700x
    Motherboard
    Asus Prime x470 Pro
    Memory
    16GB Kingston 3600
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus strix 570 OC 4gb
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 960 evo 250GB
    Silicon Power V70 240GB SSD
    WD 1 TB Blue
    WD 2 TB Blue
    Bunch of backup HDDs.
    PSU
    Sharkoon, Silent Storm 660W
    Case
    Raidmax
    Cooling
    CCM Nepton 140xl
    Internet Speed
    40/2 Mbps
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    WD
Posts
43
#5
What I see this message with

It happens every time I reach 6-5 GB left, and pretty much 80% of my applications (including svchost) drop dead once I reach the 4 GB mark. Whenever I get low memory warnings, Windows suggests me to close the one software with the highest memory consumption, and that program could be anything, typically games, GIMP, Blender, Sketchup, video editing software, every other process uses up to 250 MB only. The more RAM consuming activities I do are 3D modeling, graphic design, video tutorials, remote computer assistance, and "gaming". Quite honestly I could get by using only 12 GB of RAM most of the time, but this issue needs to be dealt with nonetheless, because actually having 16, while only being able to use 12 GB of RAM is a compromise I won't accept.


Free space, Swap

The free space on C: never went so far below 27 gigabytes, and I really hate the idea of having a page file with 16 GB of RAM. My system drive is a Samsung 840 Pro, and I can get as high as 1 TB written a month, where Google Chrome is doing 80-90% of those writes.

Here's a screenshot to attest to this, though right now I'm only using 4-5 GB of memory:



I could easily install it elsewhere, but I won't, because with my browsing habits, it usually took me 10-20 seconds with Chrome on an HDD to get the save dialogue to pop up, it was so much disk intensive (I know for a fact that disk I/O activities were the cause, because I have a sysinfo bar always visible on the top of my screen, that I coded myself in rainmeter, where I - amongst other things - query perfmon once every 100 milliseconds to give a visual cue about I/O activities on each drive). We're speaking 250+ opened tabs and 6+ GB of memory consumption on a regular basis, and that is fairly easily reached, all I have to do for example is visit an image board like wallhaven.cc, and open a couple of hundred pictures in background tabs to save (but that's beside the point, I get a lot of disk writes, it's mostly Chrome, can't move it off the SSD, all the more important that I don't have anything else on the SSD degrading its life cycle.) I'm also having concerns that having a page file of "sufficient" size on an HDD would hog my overall system performance.


Performance, Other

I have used RAMmap and several other utilities in the past to diagnose any possible memory leaks, but I have none. I have no performance problems per se, it's only what you can expect from trying to utilize 16GB of RAM with an old Phenom II 955BE clocked to 3.8 GHz (in some applications I use day to day it performs on par with an FX8350 at base clock speeds, I tried that myself with a CPU I "borrowed" quickly for a couple of tests from a client build I did a year ago, so I elected not to waste money on an upgrade). I don't ever get so much as an unexpected crash or programs not responding for a couple of seconds, my system is completely stable ever since I reinstalled it two months ago, I wouldn't even need to restart my computer if things like Windows Update wouldn't prompt me to do so. This memory issue is literally the only persistent issue I have left to sort out that carried over to my new Windows install, that's why I'm asking for help only now.


Sorry if I got off topic here and there, I just wanted you to get the whole picture of how I use my computer, that might give you an idea why it has this memory management issue.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i3-6100
    Motherboard
    ASUS Z170I PRO GAMING
    Memory
    Kingston 1x8GB [email protected]
    Graphics Card(s)
    Sapphire HD7850 2GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LG 34UM68-P
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1080
    Hard Drives
    SAMSUNG 840 Pro 128GB SSD
    PSU
    Corsair TX650W (Seasonic OEM)
    Case
    Zalman M1
    Cooling
    Cooler Master Hyper 212X
    Keyboard
    Ozone Strike Battle MX Brown
    Mouse
    Roccat Nyth
    Internet Speed
    34 Mbit
    Browser
    Chrome, Cyberfox, Vivaldi
    Antivirus
    common sense upper-intermediate v3.0
    Other Info
    Some of the hardware might seem odd (PSU, SSD), but I'm not wasting money on replacing perfectly functional hardware only because a newer version is out. Nor am I willing to pay extortion money for replacements or intended upgrades (GPU, RAM), especially if that "upgrade" has a hardware design flaw (CPU).

theveterans

New Member
Member
Posts
179
#6
You don't have to worry so much with your ssd writes. Even with a terabyte per month you can still get decades of life out of it and by that time you'll definitely have a much faster storage with different I/O interface.

I'm pretty sure if you follow Shawn's post, your error should disappear.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64 with Media Center
    Computer type
    Tablet
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Surface Pro 3
    CPU
    Core i5 4300U @ 1.9 GHz
    Motherboard
    Surface Pro 3
    Memory
    8092 MB DDR3-L 1.35 V SDRAM @ 1600 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD 4400 @ 200 MHz
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Built-in 3:2 display
    Screen Resolution
    2160 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    256 GB SSD + 128 GB micro SD
    PSU
    36 Watt power brick
    Cooling
    Active
    Keyboard
    On Screen Keyboard
    Mouse
    Surface pen
    Internet Speed
    300 / 20 TWC
    Browser
    IE 11 Metro, IE 11 Desktop
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender

LMiller7

Active Member
Pro User
Posts
704
#7
Note that I asked for a screenshot of Performance tab, showing memory information of course. There is important information there not found anywhere else.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 7
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
Posts
43
#8
theveterans

I guess I have no other options, I consider this however a by-design fault of Windows, and a major inconvenience.


Shawn

Thanks Shawn, that was quite a read, and helped me to understand what's going on. :)

After reading pretty much everything in your links I've come to the realization, that the necessity of a swap file has nothing to do with any amount of RAM. If I understand this correctly, Windows commits more available RAM to each process than it's actually consuming (wish I knew why that's necessary), and when Windows runs out of free memory to commit, that's when instead of revising the amounts of already committed memory, it just starts crashing applications. I never learned programming, so it's not my place to judge the choices behind this approach, but it doesn't make any sense for me.

Basically what's happening is, that I have more than a hundred processes with minor to negligible memory usage, and Windows is reserving so much completely unnecessary memory for each of them (441 megabytes commit for a process that never used more than 11, really?), that it starts running out of memory to reserve for them, at as low as 62% actual memory consumption.

The only question that remains is:
Will Windows start using the page file instead of the gigabytes upon gigabytes of free memory left before it's actually full, or will I be able to use my computer without Windows bottlenecking my performance with the page file? Or should I just go offline where applicable, quit my browser, exit my Antivirus, firewall, and a dozen other programs before using a "big one", like I did back in 2010 when I had only 4GB of RAM? Or maybe I should upgrade to 32 GB so Windows will have more free RAM to waste.

Anyway, excuse the sarcastic undertone, I'm just getting more upset with each passing minute, I'm really not looking forward to microlags in 64-bit games, and ~20 GB less space on my 118 GB SSD.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i3-6100
    Motherboard
    ASUS Z170I PRO GAMING
    Memory
    Kingston 1x8GB [email protected]
    Graphics Card(s)
    Sapphire HD7850 2GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LG 34UM68-P
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1080
    Hard Drives
    SAMSUNG 840 Pro 128GB SSD
    PSU
    Corsair TX650W (Seasonic OEM)
    Case
    Zalman M1
    Cooling
    Cooler Master Hyper 212X
    Keyboard
    Ozone Strike Battle MX Brown
    Mouse
    Roccat Nyth
    Internet Speed
    34 Mbit
    Browser
    Chrome, Cyberfox, Vivaldi
    Antivirus
    common sense upper-intermediate v3.0
    Other Info
    Some of the hardware might seem odd (PSU, SSD), but I'm not wasting money on replacing perfectly functional hardware only because a newer version is out. Nor am I willing to pay extortion money for replacements or intended upgrades (GPU, RAM), especially if that "upgrade" has a hardware design flaw (CPU).
Posts
43
#9
Note that I asked for a screenshot of Performance tab, showing memory information of course. There is important information there not found anywhere else.
It wouldn't tell you much, since right now I have 12 GB free, but here it is:


 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i3-6100
    Motherboard
    ASUS Z170I PRO GAMING
    Memory
    Kingston 1x8GB [email protected]
    Graphics Card(s)
    Sapphire HD7850 2GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LG 34UM68-P
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1080
    Hard Drives
    SAMSUNG 840 Pro 128GB SSD
    PSU
    Corsair TX650W (Seasonic OEM)
    Case
    Zalman M1
    Cooling
    Cooler Master Hyper 212X
    Keyboard
    Ozone Strike Battle MX Brown
    Mouse
    Roccat Nyth
    Internet Speed
    34 Mbit
    Browser
    Chrome, Cyberfox, Vivaldi
    Antivirus
    common sense upper-intermediate v3.0
    Other Info
    Some of the hardware might seem odd (PSU, SSD), but I'm not wasting money on replacing perfectly functional hardware only because a newer version is out. Nor am I willing to pay extortion money for replacements or intended upgrades (GPU, RAM), especially if that "upgrade" has a hardware design flaw (CPU).

TairikuOkami

Be nice to all, please?!
Pro User
Trnava

Posts
683
#10
Basically what's happening is, that I have more than a hundred processes with minor to negligible memory usage, and Windows is reserving so much completely unnecessary memory for each of them (441 megabytes commit for a process that never used more than 11, really?), that it starts running out of memory to reserve for them, at as low as 62% actual memory consumption.
Try to use Cleanmem, it releases unused RAM, regardless of Windows complaints.
Additionally you might try to disable pagefile temporarily to see, what will happen.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8.1.1 Pro x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Lenovo E525
    CPU
    AMD A4-3300M @ 2,0GHz
    Memory
    6GB DDR3 1333MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    AMD Radeon HD 6480G 512MB shared
    Sound Card
    Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768
    Hard Drives
    WD 465GB
    Cooling
    Fusion Tweaker
    Keyboard
    Logitech K360
    Mouse
    Logitech M705
    Internet Speed
    50/50 MBps
    Browser
    Yandex
    Antivirus
    No AV & No Firewall
    Other Info
    Headphones: Sennheiser RS170

Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp
Posts
23,160
#11
Asagrim,

Windows will always use RAM over the paging file, but some applications require a paging file no matter how much RAM you have installed. I would turn on the paging file to see if it stops the low memory error afterwards.

While it's recommended to have the paging file set to be managed by the system, if it uses to much of your hard drive's space, then you could reduce the size of the paging file some. If you get the low memory error after reducing the size, then it just means that you need to increase the size until you don't.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS Maximus X Code Z370
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    300 Mb/s Download and 30 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB6190 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone

popeye

New Member
VIP Member
Guru
United States

Posts
3,090
#12
Don't know if the same issue but I would get this warning with some older games until running them in compatibility mode (Vista or 7) then the warning went away.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Acer V3 771G-6443
    CPU
    i5-3230m
    Motherboard
    Acer VA70_HC (U3E1)
    Memory
    8GB DDR3 PC3-12800 (800 MHz)
    Graphics Card(s)
    HD4000 + GeForce GT 730M
    Sound Card
    Realtek High Definition Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17" Generic PnP Display on Intel HD Graphics 4000
    Screen Resolution
    1600x900 pixels
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250 GB
    ADATA SSD SP900 128GB
    PSU
    90 watt brick
    Mouse
    Bluetooth
    Antivirus
    Comodo
    Other Info
    Asus RT-AC56R dual-band WRT router (Merlin firmware). Intel 7260.HMWWB.R dual-band ac wireless adapter.

CountMike

Well-Known Member
VIP Member
Guru
Belgrade , Serbia

Posts
4,664
#13
I'm using: Download MemInfo - MajorGeeks for few years now to keep track of RAM. It's small and can be accessed from taskbar at any time without opening cumbersome Performance info. Can defrag memory too.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Home made
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen7 2700x
    Motherboard
    Asus Prime x470 Pro
    Memory
    16GB Kingston 3600
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus strix 570 OC 4gb
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 960 evo 250GB
    Silicon Power V70 240GB SSD
    WD 1 TB Blue
    WD 2 TB Blue
    Bunch of backup HDDs.
    PSU
    Sharkoon, Silent Storm 660W
    Case
    Raidmax
    Cooling
    CCM Nepton 140xl
    Internet Speed
    40/2 Mbps
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    WD

LMiller7

Active Member
Pro User
Posts
704
#14
I would not recommend the use of cleanmem or any such products, free or otherwise. I consider them worse than useless.

Malware could be responsible. Unfortunately you can't rely on your AV product to always detect this.

Edit: All claims of defraging memory are completely bogus. Defragging of RAM (even if possible) has no benefits to applications. Defragging of a process private address space is impossible for any third party software.

I have nothing good to say about any software that claims to improve Windows memory management. What faults there are cannot be corrected by third party software.
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 7
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop