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Increasing Virtual Memory

Windows PCs

Many XP and VISTA users have shared the problem of trying to run their computer with Microsoft’s default settings for Virtual memory.

  • You may be unable to open an application (or command prompt) while Windows is running. Attempts to do so may generate the following error message: "There is not enough memory available to run this program." (Quit one or more programs, and then try again.)
  • The computer may stop responding (hang) while Windows is starting, or halt and display the following error message: "Insufficient memory to initialize Windows," or "This application requires at least 3MB of free virtual memory to run."

Although it would seem to be impossible that your system can produce a low memory message, it derives from the way in which the computer uses and releases available resources. When some non-Microsoft programs are being used, the windows memory manager will not compensate for them, resulting in the memory being filled up. We have had success with a workaround for this situation, by increasing the virtual memory settings on the computer:

Increasing Virtual Memory in Windows XP

  1. Right click on the My Computer icon on your desktop or in your Start menu.
  2. Left click on Properties.
  3. Click on the Advanced tab.
  4. Under Performance, click the "Settings" button.
  5. Click on the Advanced tab.
  6. Under Virtual Memory, click the "Change" button.
  7. Under Drive [Volume Label], click the drive that contains the paging file you want to change (usually C:).
  8. Under Paging file size for selected drive, select the "Custom size" option.
  9. Type 4000 in the Initial size (MB) text box. Set the maximum size to 4000 as well.
  10. Click the "Set" button.
  11. Click the "OK" button.
  12. Close remaining dialogs.
  13. You may need to restart your system.

Increasing Virtual Memory in VISTA

  1. Right click on the Computer icon on your desktop or in your Start menu.
  2. Left click on Properties.
  3. Left click on "Advanced System Settings." (If a User Account Control box appears, click "Continue.")
  4. In the System Properties window, under the Performance section, click the "Settings" button.
  5. Click on the Advanced tab.
  6. Under Virtual Memory, click the "Change" button.
  7. Under Drive [Volume Label], click to highlight the drive that contains the paging file you want to change (usually C:).
  8. Click to uncheck "Automatically manage paging file size for all drives."
  9. Click the radio button next to "Custom size," then type 4000 into the Initial size (MB) text box AND into the maximum size text box.
  10. Click the "Set" button.
  11. Click the "OK" button.
  12. Close remaining dialogs.
  13. Restart your system.

Macintosh Computers

Increasing Virtual Memory in Macintosh Computers

In Macintosh® computers the virtual memory control is located in the "memory" section of "control panels" (found in the Apple menu). Click on the Apple in the upper-left side of the menu bar, and then click on "Control Panels" and go into "memory." Once the memory control panel appears (virtual memory will be the second section from the top), click the on/off button on the left to turn it on (if it is not already on), and then increase the size to the right (limited to the amount of hard drive space you have). Usually increasing the amount by 4M is enough to solve any memory problems in using our software. Restart your computer.




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