Your system is low on virtual memory. Windows is increasing the size of your virtual memory paging file.

Posted on 2004-08-03
Last Modified: 2013-11-15
I have been asked about this message quite a bit lately.

Your system is low on virtual memory. Windows is increasing the size of your virtual memory paging file.

This balloon message seems to be poping up allot with in the last month on many different computers all running windows xp does any body know the cause of this. Could it be a recent update for windows that is causing it or is there another simple solution as it seems very strange that it is turning up all of a sudden on lots of different systems which have been running fine previously. There has been no new programs or upgrades done on the majority of these systems.
Question by:grahampe
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What are some of the specs on an average system?
such as
RAM memory
and paging file size
hard drive storage...

if this is coming in on multiple systems, you may have a virus spreading around or spyware wrecking havoc on your network.
check here for some cleanup tools.

monitor the actual usage of the paging file on a system or two.  Try setting them manually and see the results.
Check the available storage space on the partition holding the paging file... is it close to max out?
hope this helps
good luck
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sirbounty earned 500 total points
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I believe there are several 'causes' for this...
Typically an memory-hoarding application or a memory leak in a service/process somewhere...
What do you have installed on these systems?  What's the page file set to now?  Try setting the min & max values both to the recommended value.

As an example, if running Norton Internet Security, see:

Also check this PAQ: http:Q_21039217.html

Try disabling unneeded services:

You might also try running the System File Checker (read more here:
 To do so,
   Click Start->Run->SFC /Purgecache
   Start->Run->SFC /Scannow

   *You may need your installation source (CD) as this process will replace missing/corrupted drivers on your system.

Failing that, you can try the following method to eliminate items from startup:
  Click Start->Run->MSCONFIG

  In the Startup tab, start out by disabling everything you're unfamiliar with (or everything if you're unsure).
  Optionally, you can also disable non-Microsoft services from the Services tab.
  If the problem no longer exists after a reboot, then you can narrow it down as one of the items in your
  startup.  To permanently remove these item(s), proceed as follows...

  Click Start->Run->Regedit
  *Be careful when editing the registry as an accidental deletion can render your system inoperable.
  First navigate to the following key in the registry:
   *You might also find RunOnce, RunOnceEx, RunServices, RunServiceOnce or any of these with a trailing dash (-)

  Once found, click File, Export to save a copy of the key before you delete any items (if necessary).
  After the file has been saved, delete items as needed from the right pane.
  Now find the next startup key:
   *You might also find RunOnce, RunServices, RunServiceOnce or any of these with a trailing dash (-)
  Follow the previous procedures to export a copy before deleting items from the right pane.

You might also clear out your TEMP folders...
  Click Start->Run->%TEMP% <ENTER>
  This is your profile's temporary folder location.  All files can be deleted here, but not the containing
  folder.  Some files may be in use, so an error may be generated but can be ignored.
  Repeat the process with %SYSTEMROOT%\TEMP as well.

Also see: How to optimize Windows XP for the best performance.

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Ok the systems ramge from Pentium 3 700 with 512Mb ram , Celeron 2.4Gb with 512Mb ram - Pentium 4 2.8Gb with 512Mb ram etc. most have a minimum of 80Gb hard drive. Some have on board video and sound others 128Mb 3D Graphics. The computers are not all on network there is a few on our large network and other reports are from people not even related to work just individuals from their homes.

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The funny thing about this balloon message is that most of these systems are not doing anything different to what they normally do all are running up to date virus software and many are aware of adaware and spyware. There is plenty of space on the hard drives. I have checked other settings and all are at default none of these people know how to change things like paging file size etc.

I understand all the concepts listed in your answers and thank you for the quick responses, I am not new to computers and have all ready checked most normal causes for this type of error. The problem being is that this is turning up all of a sudden on a large variety of PC's with no real cause. That is why I was hoping someone would have some insight into a new glitch or problem newly found / caused by a recent xp update or similar.

If not I will pay the dues where earned and accept your answers. I will sit back for two days just in case someone comes up with something we have missed and then I will end the question and issue the points.
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I would suggest checking what's loading in startup then, with the Msconfig steps above or posting the log file from one of the machines using this:
  HijackThis -->

Something's taking up system resources and it sounds like it's something 'new' (i.e. suspicious) if it hasn't been doing this and it's just started on several systems.

Check your email sent items folders on a couple of these for any mass mailings as well...

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Could be a corrupt a corrupt paging file, try setting the size to min 0 and max 0 and rebooting then setting the size to what you want it to be.  

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I, too, recently started experiencing this very frequently.  It may be in conjuntion with a very persistent browser hijacking problem I've struggled with for literally a few months now.  I've even had the low virtual memory message show up with just the login screen!  Clearly something's up, but Ad-aware, Spybot, Norton Systemworks, etc. don't show any problems other than the recurrent browser hijacker.  I've used Merijn's CWS tool, as well.

One thing I noticed was that when I recently went in through Control Panel and looked at the settings, much to my surprise, the virtual memory setting wasn't set to "let the system decide" but rather had a boundary in there that *I* didn't set.  Mystifying.

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Hey guys I been here reading on this forum for a little wile, and like a lot others I been here looking for solution (BTW great site and great people)

I had the same error message on a win2K machine, after I try all the Spy ware, Virus Scanner, Microsoft search and the rest that most of you guys already know as a solution to this problem, I decided to read the error message one more time and look at this 2(this might sound S**u**p**D but I try it and it works)

If you read slowly what the error says (at least in my case)

Application popup: Windows -"""Virtual Memory Minimum Too Low""": Your system is low on virtual memory. Windows is increasing the size of your virtual memory paging file.  During this process, memory requests for some applications may be denied. For more information, see Help.

I add the ""  ""to make that part stand.

I increase the minimum not the maximum
Default Minimum initial size = 2 I increase it to 100

And it works, no more Popup after that.

As a test I put the minimum back to default (2) and as soon as I reboot I got the same message again

Hope this help some else, now please some one let me know if I did something wrong by increasing this.


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