I am losing memory like crazy all of a sudden.  I cannot run some programs becasue of not enough memory available.  When I log on I only open Explorer and my computer's performance is only at 40% available.  I have gone under msconfig and disabled some of the programs there but nothing seems to be working.  Any suggestions on why this might be happening would be great and any ideas on how to get some of my memory back .


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Luc FrankenEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
Hi devilsgurl,

Check for virusses and ad/spyware

Here's a list of tools: (list credits go to CrazyOne)

Online virus scan






Free AV software



Commercial AV software




Etrust EZ





SpyBot-S&D is an adware and spyware detection and removal tool. This includes removal of certain advertising components, that may gather statistics as well as detection of various keylogging and other spy utilities. In addition, it also securely removes PC and Internet usage tracks, including browser history, temporary pages, cookies (with option to keep selected) and more. The program offers an attractive outlook-style interface that is easy to use and multi-lingual. SpyBot-S&D allows you to exclude selected cookies, programs or extensions from being reported, allowing you to prevent false positive messages for items that you dont want to be alerted of every time. It can even scan your download directory for files that have been downloaded, but not yet installed, allowing you to detect unwanted programs before you even install them. SpyBot produces a detailed and easy to understand report before it deletes any files and allows you to deselect any item that you do not want to be processed. In addition, a recovery feature allows you to restore your settings if needed. Very nice tool, that exceeds the capabilities of the popular Ad-Aware application.


AdAware is a privacy tool, that scans your memory, registry, hard, removable and optical drives for known data-mining, aggressive advertising, and tracking components. It then lists the results and offers to remove or quarantine the components. The program detects a wide range of adware/spyware related issues and can be updated with the latest signatures via the built-in update utility. Please be advised that removing certain components may impact the functionality of effected software applications. You should fully read the included Ad-aware documentation before removing any files!


HijackThis is a tool, that lists all installed browser add-on, buttons, starup items and allows you to inspect them, and optionally remove selected items. The program can create a backup of your original settings and also ignore selected items. Additional features include a simple list of all startup items, default start page, online updates and more. Intended for advanced users.

Keylogger Hunter

Keylogger Hunter is a program that attempts to detect any keyloggers that may be running on your computer. It performs a system analysis, which takes about 3-5 minutes and then produces a list of suspicious files (if any). It detected 2 out of 3 running keyloggers in our test. Future versions are planned to be shareware.


KL-Detector is designed to provide a way to find out whether your activity is being recorded with a keylogger application. It uses the fact that most keyloggers create a hidden log file on your hard drive and therefore scans for any suspicious activity during a test period that you have to initiate. Basically, it asks you to use the keyboard for several minutes, type some text or do similar activities, while it is monitoring your system to check if it can detect any suspicious logging activity. KL-Detector is intended for occasional use and not as a permanently running program, as normal PC activity may cause false positives. During our test, it did detect changes in a keylogger log file (that we installed), but it did not find the activity suspicious enough to warn us. Advanced users may get value by inspecting the logged items, however novice users should not rely on the results.

X-Cleaner Free

XCleaner is a privacy tool suite that detects and removes installed spyware and adware components and includes tools to securely delete files, edit the registry, disable startup programs and more. Additional features include IE home page protection, cookie, cache and history cleaning, built-in password generator and more. This free version also contains some additional feature options, however they are disabled and require upgrade to a full version. The spyware and adware scanning as well as many cleaning features however can be used freely.


SpywareBlaster doesn`t scan and clean for so-called spyware, but prevents it from being installed in the first place. It achieves this by disabling the CLSIDs of popular spyware ActiveX controls, and also prevents the installation of any of them via a webpage. This allows you to run Internet Explorer with Active-X enabled, but it will never download or even prompt you for any of the known ActiveX controls. All other Active-X controls or plug-ins will work fine. The SpywareBlaster database contains information on these known spyware Active-X controls and can be updated with the click of a button. The application windows displays a list of all controls that it is able to detect (this is not a list of what was found on your computer). The program cannot detect if you have any of the known objects already installed, but if you do, they will be disabled. The program also allows you to take a snapshot of your computer (certain settings) in its clean state and later revert many changes made by spyware and browser hijackers.


SpywareGuard provides a real-time protection solution against so-called spyware. It works similar to an anti-virus program, by scanning EXE and CAB files on access and alerting you if known spyware is detected. If this is the case, it initially blocks access to the file and then allows the user to select an action. SpywareGuard provides a fast scanning engine, signature-based scanning, heuristic/generic scanning, a control panel, and an online-update utility for downloading of definition updates. It does not replace your anti-virus protection, but instead detects programs that may cause privacy concerns. The list of detected programs includes AdBreak, AdultLinks/LinkZZ, Brilliant Digital, CommonName, Cytron, FreeScratchAndWin, FriendGreetings, HighTraffic, HotBar, IEDisco, iGetNet,, MoneyTree Dialer and others.


SpySites allows you to manage the Internet Explorer Restricted Zone settings and easily add entries from a database of 1500+ sites that are known to use advertising tracking methods or attempt to install third party software. You can select the sites from the list, or optionally add all of them, or only the "worst offenders". The program then adds the URLs to the IE Restricted Zone settings. Once configured, there is no need to run the program again, unless you want to add additional sites. 


Use this RAM booster

OWASP: Forgery and Phishing

Learn the techniques to avoid forgery and phishing attacks and the types of attacks an application or network may face.

Luc FrankenEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
Check how big your virtual memmory is, and adjust it if neccesery. Also, if you're low on virtual memmory it's mostly because you're low on internal memmory, try upgrading.

Greetings, devilsgurl!

Is your virtual memory set to automatic?  How much RAM memory do you have?  How do you know you are losing memory like crazy?  Where are you seeing that you have only 40% memory available?

Check for virus and adware

Housecall Online Scan

SpyBot S&D searches your harddisk for so-called spy- or adbots;

Best wishes, war1
devilsgurlAuthor Commented:
War 1

I have 256mgs of ram, I go under computer performance and it states there that I have only 40% memory available.  I have a 30gig harddrive and have only 3% of it used so Iam not understanding why.


The 40% reference is to RAM, not hard disk usage.  40 to 50% memory availablity is normal.  Windows uses about that much RAM memory to run.
devilsgurlAuthor Commented:

so when it says not enough memory to run this program, what exactly is it refering to?
When do the "Not enough memory" message occur?  If after a period of usage, this is normal for a Windows 98/ME computer.  You just reboot and problem is taken care of.

Low Resources

System Resources FAQ
devilsgurlAuthor Commented:

it usually occurs when trying to run my graphics program, however i usually have explorer running at the same time.  Maybe i just have too many programs running at once.  And yes i usually reboot and it is taken care of as you said.

I am currently going to go to the links you have given me.  I am sorry i am not that educated on how everything about computers work.  Dont mean to be a nussance.

Thanks again War 1
Since you are running graphics programs, you may benefit from getting more RAM memory.  Graphics programs are memory hog.  Usually 256 MB is plenty for an ME machine, but you may need another 128 or 256 MB of RAM memory.

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devilsgurlAuthor Commented:
Will go and let you know how it turns out.  Thanks for all of your suggestions, i appreciate all of them and will definately look at all you have offered for suggestions.  Hopefully the more ram solution works.  It is still nice to know about the other things you have suggested.

Thanks a billion...

This is vewy vewy weird.....
Back In 00's when running WinME
My logon resources were 90% free with a huge 1152x864 wallpaper and some skin effects on windows
I used to open nearly 30 windows of IE
also a window of OE
plus winamp playing ramones, bouncing souls etc.
plus ICQ
plus IRC
plus ReGet download Manager
and all these with my tiny 96MB of RAM and a 128MB Swap-File

can you please send a report of all active applications plus a copy of system.ini and win.ini
and what services you are running as startup, runonce and resident...

also grab cacheman from the net
(It adjusts cache size to your needs (gamer, cd-burn, graphics, server etc), swap file and other performance Issues)

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