Win98 System Goes Low on Memory
Posted on 2000-04-28
Within the past 2 months something has happened to my system that makes it run out of memory. The 'Windows is dangerously low on memory. Close applications to free up memory' message pops in the middle of applications when they are the only one running. I close the app and check the System Performance. System Resources shows about 12% free. This is with nothing running except the System Performance screen and normal background utilities.
I reboot and, with all normal background utilities, System Resources shows about 87% free. I can launch several regular apps, use them for a while and exit. System Resources will have dropped slightly - to maybe just under 80% free. But, hours later the low memory message will begin to appear. If I don't exit the application immediately it is likely to freeze. Sometimes I don't get a chance to exit before it freezes. Sometimes Alt-Ctrl-Del ==> End Task will kill the app, sometimes the system locks-up and a raw reboot is required to get out.
The problems may have started with the installation of Office 2000, but shortly before that I had installed the Service Pack for W98, and shortly before that FrontPage. Best I can remember that's all the changes before this problem started. The system had run for about 16 months without this problem. The only Office components I installed were Word, Excel and Publisher.
During these events Kernel Processor use is minimal. Allocated memory, Kernel threads and Locked memory are roughly the same as when System Resources show 80% free.
96 meg ram memory
W98 v4.10.1998 Shell32.dll version 4.72.3612.1700
60+ applications plus utilities
STB Velocity 128 video card
Zoom 56K modem
Alcatel 1000 ADSL modem
11 gig disk space 5 free
NEC 870 printer
Sound card & dual speakers
13X CD drive
APC 400watt power supply
1 NIC card for LAN & 1 for DSL
This is a wonderful service and, the people here are great but, I've encountered differences of opinion in the past over whether the problem was solved. So, I now try to define what I consider a qualifying solution. In this case I will consider the problem solved if the problem is fixed, or cause is identified specifically enough that I know which software (utility or application) is causing it, or that it is caused by a specific Windows feature/file. Or, the answer includes a definitive way to demonstrate the problem is with my computer hardware. This definition is vaguer that I generally have but, I can't think of a better one.
I will resist tests that require significant amounts of time or major or irreversible changes to my Windows installation.
Thanks for your help