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Windows XP/On screen box tells me that my XP system is low on virtual memory.

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QUESTION: On my Compaq desktop running XP Professional with Service Pack 3 several times during the past week I have tried to run the scan for the free version of Malwarebytes and each time the scan does not complete,the screen freezes up and a box comes on telling me the program is not responding and asking if I want to close it down.
  The last 2 times this happened, after the first box a second box appeared and informed me that my system was low on virtual memory and that Windows was trying to increase it.
  I went online and skimmed a selection of articles on virtual memory and while there were various instructions as to how to increase it there were also a variety of ads for various software programs which offered a free download which they claimed will correct virtual memory related errors. FixCleaner was the first one which I encountered but there are others which I am sure you are aware of.
   These ads all maintained that such error messages are often not the result of an actual deficiency of virtual memory but rather occur because of some error making the computer think that a deficiency exists which really may not be the case.
    This explaination sounds logical in my case as I have essentially nothing stored on my computer since I just use it as a gateway to get on the internet and run CCleaner regularly to clean out everything currant which may accumulate.
   I have never had this problem before so it seems likely that some mistake is now causing Windows to believe that I have a deficiency of virtual memory when I actually should have exactly the same amount which I had a month ago.
    Do you ever use any of these "fixer" type programs on your various computers? Would you suggest that I try one of them and if so which one would you recommend?

ANSWER: I've experienced this issue many years ago. The biggest cause for this issue you are having is a small amount of physical memory (RAM). Upon your online search, you may have encountered multiple articles stating that increasing the RAM in your computer will help greatly.

Now the "fixer" programs are something I never trust because most of them don't do their job, require you to pay to get the "found" issues fixed, and often are a cheap way for people to leash a virus into your computer if you choose the wrong one.

CCleaner is a program I do trust however, given the company it comes from. I use that program myself and have seen no problems. I suggest you continue using that and stick to only using that.

Now if you want to speed up your computer the right way, and give yourself more usable memory (without upgrading it physically), follow the steps below:

EITHER go here: http://www.netsquirrel.com/msconfig/msconfig_xp.html and follow the instructions given which doesn't use CCleaner to do it

OR read below my instructions since you have CCleaner installed (making it a little easier to work with (if my instructions are clear enough)

Open CCleaner, go to the tools tab on the side pane, then click "Startup" in the 4 options given from that menu right next to the side pane. You'll probably notice a decently large list of stuff on there that is enabled. In truth, most of the stuff on that list is useless and does nothing but take up more resources your computer needs to run efficiently. While on this menu, open up your Internet browser and look up each process in the list.

An example of such a process that you'll more than definitely find (I bet 2 million dollars on it) is "jusched" which is the background program that checks for updates for anything Java related (usually Java Run-time Environment [JRE]) It is a safe program, but doesn't need to be run. If something online requires a newer version of Java, it will simply let you know. On top of that, even if it requires a newer version, it usually runs fin on the current version, sometimes without even bothering you.

Guidelines to follow when disabling items in that list:
If something you search relates to a driver of any sort, leave it alone (unless it's just a tray icon, which can usually be disabled from visibility by right clicking the actual icon and clicking "Hide Icon" or "Tray Icon ---> Disable/Enable" [the "--->" showing a menu's submenu)


By clearing the list of non-needed items, then restarting your computer, you should notice better performance. You may also notice little to no messages about low virtual memory. If you do get messages still, you will need to upgrade the RAM either by having a tech savvy friend do so, or take it to a shop that can do it for you.

If you upgrade your RAM, you must use matching pairs as way too many people bring in their computers with non-matched RAM that someone else installed and wonder why the computer had a shorter life. Pay attention to that if possible and bring that subject up to whoever installs the RAM in the system so they can't sneak non-matching RAM in the system as a cheap method to make a sale and possible business in the future.

Hope this helps, have a great day!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Your answers to previous questions which I have asked have generally been helpful but I was quite disappointed in your reply to my currant one. My problem cannot have anything at all to do with a deficiency of RAM.
   First of all I am running 1GB of RAM. From reading on the subject recently I find that XP Professional can only support a maximum of 1.5 GB of RAM so there is not much more that I could cram into it without the system becoming overloaded. The reason it has so much is likely because I was told that before I received it my computer along with 12 others like it had spent 5 years in a busy law office and perhaps they ran so many programs on them that the owner decided to upgrade their RAM  at the time.
   Also as I had explained this problem is completely new. It began  suddenly less than 2 weeks ago. Before then my computer was running very fast, likely because as I had mentioned I have no files stored on it and only use it as a gateway to get to the internet. Therefore it is probable that because of the way I use it I have a large surplus of RAM, much more than I ever normally need to use.
   I never bothered to run MISCONFIG because after I first received this computer and did a number of things to speed it up which I read about on the internet it was running so fast that I didn't need to speed it up any more and I thought that if I did run it it conldn't possibly add more than a second or two to my already fast speed.
   In addition you mentioned that in my online research I may have encountered multiple articles stating that increasing my RAM will help greatly. But just the opposite, when I Googled in Windows XP + virtual memory just about every single article which I encountered in the first few pages said that the problem was likely to be with the interface between the virtual memory and the physical memory. The articles from both large and small sites were in almost universal agreement about this, though they gave various different suggestions as to how to solve the problem, none of which (except for one or two letters written in by people)involved increasing RAM.
   I was quite willing to try these various suggestions but was wondering if it might be better to just run one of the automated programs which claim that they can diagnose the problem and do the system adjustments for you. However it seems probable that I will be able to solve the problem myself by following some of these various suggestions as many other people seem to have corrected similar problems by using these techniques.

Answer
Kind of confused on the matter of your disappointment here. I service computers every day and using the MSCONFIG utility solves much of the issues. If you had only used the computer for gateway access to the Internet, then all the sudden put programs on it, those programs you put on it likely have background programs as well. It is advisable you check something before ratting off that what I speak of is incorrect. On that note, you'll find a decently large list of items in the MSCONFIG utility of applications running in the background that are taking up precious memory.

Virtual memory on a default setup of ANY operating system is double that of physical memory, so if you have 1GB of physical RAM, you have automatically have 2GB of virtual memory, unless you fiddled with the settings to make the virtual memory size different (also know as the Page file). Also, I'm not sure of where you got the information that Windows XP can only use 1.5GB of RAM. If the motherboard can only support 1.5GB of RAM, that is one thing, but Windows XP can use a maximum of 3.5GB of RAM, though some motherboards will try to limit that to 3.0GB of RAM and sometimes 8MB-256MB of RAM can be allocated to shared video memory. My current system is Windows XP Professional with 4GB of RAM installed. The operating system sees 3.0GB and is allowing 64MB of shared video memory to be used for graphics texture processing.

There is also a 64 bit version of Windows XP which wil support well more than 4GB of RAM, but assuming you are on 32 bit like most people, I won't go into that subject any further.

On a final note, I answered your initial question with what does work and guidelines to help your computer out. I will not sit here and lie to you. I have no use to do so. I joined Allexperts.com to help people, not disappoint people. So I'm sorry you didn't like my answer, but please follow what I've told you if you want results on your end.

Hope this helps, have a great day!

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