WinXP “out of memory”?

If you manage to get past the “insufficient system resources” issue discussed earlier, at least on WinXP systems running with 2GB of RAM you may run into a further memory-related issue: the “out of memory” error.

According to Microsoft, this is typically caused when large numbers of programs [or IE tabs] are open at the same time: “Windows NT uses a special memory heap for all Windows-based programs running on the desktop. The desktop heap is used for all objects (windows, menus, pens, icons, etc.). When a large number of Windows-based programs are running, this heap may run out of memory.”

Fixing this problem – presumably to allow users to make use of all that RAM they bought – requires some more tinkering with the Memory Management section of our trusty registry:

HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager

This “desktop heap” size is specified in the “Windows” value of the Session Manager\Subsystems key.

For normal 32-bit systems, the default value is:

   %SystemRoot%\system32\csrss.exe
   ObjectDirectory=\Windows
   SharedSection=1024,3072,512
   Windows=On
   SubSystemType=Windows
   ServerDll=basesrv,1
   ServerDll=winsrv:GdiServerDllInitialization,4
   ServerDll=winsrv:UserServerDllInitialization,3
   ServerDll=winsrv:ConServerDllInitialization,2
   ProfileControl=Off
   MaxRequestThreads=16

To eliminate (or reduce?) the out of memory issue, Microsoft recommends replacing the above with the following updated value:

   %SystemRoot%\system32\csrss.exe
   ObjectDirectory=\Windows
   SharedSection=1024,12288,1024
   Windows=On
   SubSystemType=Windows
   ServerDll=basesrv,1
   ServerDll=winsrv:GdiServerDllInitialization,4
   ServerDll=winsrv:UserServerDllInitialization,3
   ServerDll=winsrv:ConServerDllInitialization,2
   ProfileControl=Off
   MaxRequestThreads=16

We’ll see if that does the trick.

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One Response to WinXP “out of memory”?

  1. Pingback: “Insufficient System Resources” in WinXP | Aha Moments

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