This article is not very long but deals with an important issue that directly affects the performance of Windows, games and all other software on your computer. I suggest you read the entire article before doing anything.

Adequate virtual memory is essential for smooth gaming (and other software) performance. If you’re running Windows 7 or later you might see an error similar to:

“Your system is running low on virtual memory”

In Windows XP the error is:

“The paging file is too small for this operation to complete”

 

Increase Virtual Memory

Virtual memory is a section of your hard drive set aside for Windows to use when it runs out of main memory. Windows always ends up using virtual memory. If your computer is a little low on virtual memory, your game and Windows will be slow to respond. If you have very little virtual memory, your game and possibly Windows will crash. The steps below are for Windows 7. The steps for XP, when different from Windows 7, are in brackets.

 

  1. Right-click “Computer” on the desktop (Click Start at bottom left. Right-click “My Computer”.) and select “Properties”.
  2. Click “Advanced system settings” on the left side (click “Advanced” tab) to load the “System Properties” window. The Advanced tab is displayed automatically.
  3. Click “Settings” in the “Performance” section to load the “Performance Options” window.
  4. Click the “Advanced” tab.
  5. Click “Change” in the “Virtual memory” section to load the “Virtual Memory” window shown on the right.
  6. From the list of drives, select the drive where Windows is installed. This is usually “C:”.
  7. Set “Initial size” and “Maximum size” to a number equal to twice the amount of main memory. So if you have 8 GB of memory, set both “Initial size” and “Maximum size” to 16 GB. The value must be specified in MB. To convert GB to MB, multiply the number of GB by 1024. For example, 16 GB is 16384 MB.
    .
    If you can’t enter the number you want in the two text boxes, it might be that you don’t have enough available space on your C: drive. Click Cancel to exit, perform a Disk Cleanup (see below) and then try again to increase virtual memory. If you still can’t set it to the correct size, make it as big as you can to improve performance as much as possible. You will then need to install an additional internal HDD or connect a USB HDD.
    .
  8. Click Ok all the way out to return to the desktop.

 

Disk Cleanup

The above steps will allow you to increase the size of virtual memory but only if you have available space on your C: drive. What if you have run out of space on your C: drive? If you have run out of space on drive C:, you need to delete unimportant files before following the above steps. This is only a temporary solution to improve your computer’s performance to a level where your computer is useable. The long term solution is to either install an additional internal HDD or connect a USB HDD. You then need to move some data from the drive where Windows is installed (drive C:) to the new HDD. You will then be able to increase the size of virtual memory to the amount you want.

The steps below will help you delete unimportant files so you can increase virtual memory and get your computer working a little better. There is no guarantee but hopefully this makes your computer useable until you install/connect a new HDD. This is called doing a disk cleanup. The steps below are for Windows 7. The steps for XP, when different from Windows 7, are in brackets.

 

  1. Click “Computer” on the desktop (Click Start at bottom left. Click “My Computer”.) to display all your drives.
  2. Right-click your C: drive and select “Properties”.
  3. A window loads showing the amount of used and available space on your C: drive. Click “Disk Cleanup” to the right of the pie chart to load the Disk Cleanup window shown on the right
  4. This window lists various categories of files most of which are unimportant and can be deleted. The list of categories might be slightly different if you’re running a version of Windows later than Windows 7. On the right of each category is the amount of space you will get back if you delete the files in that category. On the left of each category is a check-box. Click the check-boxes of categories containing files you wish to delete. The categories are listed below.
    1. “Downloaded Program Files” and “Temporary Internet Files” are files that are created when you surf the World Wide Web. You don’t need to keep these so check both boxes.
    2. “Offline webpages” are pages of websites that you visited. You saved copies of the pages to your HDD so you can look at them later. If you want to keep these, don’t click the check box.
    3. “Debug Dump Files” are files created by Windows. You have no use for these files so click the box.
    4. “Recycle Bin” is next. If you’re confident you don’t need anything back from the Recycle Bin, click the box.
    5. “Setup Log Files” are files created by Windows. You have no use for these files so click the box.
    6. “System error memory dump files” are files created by Windows. You have no use for these files so click the box.
    7. “Temporary files” are files created by Windows that are supposed to be deleted automatically but sometimes Windows forgets to delete them. You don’t need these files so click the box.
    8. “Thumbnails” are files created by Windows. You have no use for these files so click the box. Eventually, the files will be re-created.
    9. “Per user archived Windows Error Reporting files” are files created by Windows.You have no use for these files so click the box.
    10. “Per user queued Windows Error Reporting files” are files created by Windows. You have no use for these files so click the box.
    11. “System archived Windows Error Reporting files” are files created by Windows. You have no use for these files so click the box.
    12. “System queued Windows Error Reporting files” are files created by Windows.You have no use for these files so click the box.
  5. Click the “Clean up system files” button in the lower left corner of the window to delete files from all categories that are checked.
  6. When Disk Cleanup is finished, click Cancel to close the Disk Cleanup window.
  7. Click OK or Cancel to close the Properties window of your C: drive.
  8. Delete any data files (documents, spreadsheets, pictures, videos) you no longer need. Deleting a few documents will not help. Deleting a folder of many videos you no longer need would help because videos take up a lot of space.
  9. Try again to increase virtual memory.

 

 

Click here to go to the next troubleshooting page “”Please login with administrator privileges and try again””.

 

 

2 Responses

  1. Erick

    Wow, pretty awesome advice to get out of this issue, especially with old programming you might not figure it out easy at first so, thanks for taking time and troubleshooting and see what caused the problem in the old programmes like xp. I wonder if some of these tips actually work for windows 10?

    • admin

      Thank you for your comment. All of my tips apply to every version of Windows including Windows 10 but on a few pages I give instructions on how to do something and those instructions are for Windows 7. The instructions for Windows 10 should be similar.

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