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Troubleshooting Windows low virtual memory problem

Last Updated: Dec 29, 2020

Disclaimer: This article may contain information about third-party products. Such information is for reference only. Alibaba Cloud does not make any guarantee, express or implied, with respect to the performance and reliability of third-party products, as well as potential impacts of operations on the products.

Problem description

Generally, a system that lacks virtual memory causes many problems, including but not limited to the following.

  • The operating system runs slowly, and even the crash occurs with a blue background.
  • After entering the user name and password in the local console, the user cannot log in to the operating system and is stuck on the welcome page.
  • Unable to Remote Desktop, prompt "the page file is too small to complete the operation".
  • Failed to install services, such as IIS, the. NET Framework, FTP prompt "insufficient resources", or the installation process is stuck.
  • Third-party services. For example, MySQL fails to be installed or cannot be started after installation.
  • Windows Update could not be updated.
  • The system throws an "out of virtual memory" error, and the application closes abnormally due to memory allocation.
  • Open the Server Manager and prompt "MMC has detected an error in a snap-in."
  • The Server Manager console closes automatically after it is opened.

For more information about the specific errors of the preceding questions, see more information.

Cause

The following possibilities can occur when the system virtual memory is exhausted.

  • The system is out of physical memory resources.
  • The paging file is not configured in the system or the paging file configuration is small.
  • There is a memory leak in the system, that is, there are various other possible core resource leaks.
    Note: in some cases, as shown in step 2 of Method 2: Check task manager, the system still displays available physical memory, but the system still prompts that the virtual memory is insufficient, which may be caused by the exhausted consumption of system Section resources. Microsoft's official Blog article checking the use of system page exchange files also mentions a similar situation.

Background

Alibaba Cloud reminds you that:

  • Before you perform operations that may cause risks, such as modifying instance configurations or data, we recommend that you check the disaster recovery and fault tolerance capabilities of the instances to ensure data security.
  • If you modify the configurations and data of instances including but not limited to ECS and RDS instances, we recommend that you create snapshots or enable RDS log backup.
  • If you have authorized or submitted security information such as the logon account and password in the Alibaba Cloud Management console, we recommend that you modify such information in a timely manner.

Note: This article is for reference only when you use Windows instances. The Microsoft official link referenced in this article belongs to Microsoft. Please note the scope of operating systems applicable to the article, as well as possible problems caused by Microsoft Windows product iteration or delayed document update. Alibaba Cloud is not officially responsible for the reference of Microsoft official links.

In the Windows operating system, the kernel and applications manage and use memory through virtual memory. The official Microsoft article briefly introduces the concept of virtual memory. The physical memory is limited in resources, so Windows Introduces Paging File to realize virtual memory. For example, in a 32-bit operating system, each process has its own 2GiB dedicated user-State virtual address space. When the memory being used by all existing processes exceeds the available physical memory, the operating system moves one or more virtual address spaces of pages (4KiB tablets) to the computer's hard disk, and then releases the physical memory for other purposes. In a Windows system, these paged out pages moved out of physical memory are stored in the root directory of one or more file (Pagefile.sys page files) partitions.

 

Compared to Linux Windows system due to the graphical interface operation is relatively easily by many users of all ages, in the purchase of ECS instance is required at least 1G memory to select Windows system, so most of the user selects the 1G memory that 1G memory for system operation is sufficient, but in the configuration environment, after installing more software, there will be insufficient memory.

Health check

Generally, when the operating system is out of virtual memory, there are two ways to check the problem.

Method 1: check the system log

  1. Open the run window and enter eventvwr.exe to open Event Viewer. 2004 error found in "Resource-Exhaustion-Detector" in the system log.
  2. Windows successfully diagnosed insufficient virtual memory. This parameter (2744) uses 336797696 bytes.

Method 2: Check the Task Manager

Open the Task Manager and click performance to view the ratio of committed memory to virtual memory. As shown in the following figure, the commit (MB) is equal to the committed virtual memory /virtual memory limit, which is the maximum of 3790/4093 in the figure, and has exceeded 80%. According to Microsoft's official document, the system is insufficient memory and more memory is required.

Solution

In this case, try the following solution to solve the problem.

References

For information about exceptions caused by insufficient virtual memory, see the following figure.

  • Remote login displays a blue screen.
  • The remote logon prompt page file is too small.
  • Consoleconnectionmanagement terminallog on to the server stuck on the welcome page.
  • Installing IIS prompts for insufficient resources.
  • Insufficient system resources are prompted when you install the. NET Framework or FTP.
  • An error occurred when you install the MySQL installation package on Windows 2008 and the MySQL failed to start after the installation is completed.
  • MySQL installation stuck in other ways.
  • After WAMP is installed, the wampmysqld service cannot be started.
  • When adding a role, you will be prompted that the page file is too small to complete the operation.
  • The Server Manager console closes automatically after it is opened.
  • Open the Server Manager and prompt "MMC has detected an error in a snap-in."
  • Insufficient virtual memory is prompted when you start Tomcat.
  • The error "your system is out of virtual memory" dialog box when connecting to the management terminal.
  • Installation SQL Server 2008 installation is stuck.

Application scope

  • ECS