Question Getting low memory warnings suddenly

Stg-Flame

Diamond Member
Mar 10, 2007
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First off, my PC is pretty damn old and still running Windows 7 64. Yes, I'm waiting for GPU prices to drop before I build a new PC so I'm just making due with what I have at the moment.

So, a few weeks ago I looked into my paging file and noticed I had it set pretty high (can't remember the numbers) and reset it back down to the recommended and everything was fine up until a few days ago when I launched Fallout 4 on Steam. I got the warning that my PC was low on memory and I needed to close some programs but all I was running was Fallout 4 with nothing else in the background. I tabbed back into the game and it instantly crashed so I just assumed it was a weird glitch with Steam or the game as I relaunched it and everything ran fine for the next few days. Today I just loaded up Escape From Tarkov which is notoriously filled with memory leaks and consumes more performance than Chrome and I'm now getting the low memory warnings and BSODs when trying to play. I've played both Fallout 4 since it came out in 2015 and Tarkov since 2017 without ever seeing this warning before.

I recently tried bumping my paging file back up but it's still crashing. I checked the BIOS to see if a stick had died and everything is showing fine so I'm kinda at a loss as to why my PC suddenly can't run games that it has ran perfectly fine for years.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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I can only think, maybe something to do with a Win7 update that changed video RAM shadowing in main RAM, or something otherwise to deal with the memory-management.

Or maybe you need to get another unfragmented block of storage, and set your VM pagefile extents manually again.
 
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DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator and Elite Member
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Aug 22, 2001
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How much free space is left on the drive with the swap file? Eliminated the possibility of malware? How old is the windows install? (Software rot is possible) Drive health is good? Memtest or other diagnostic was used? Questions I'd start with then go from there.

Hopefully the IMC or board isn't starting to fail.
 

Stg-Flame

Diamond Member
Mar 10, 2007
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Does Event Viewer have any more info about what is happening before the crashes?
Not that I saw.

How much free space is left on the drive with the swap file?
Well, this has been one of my biggest issues over the past few years with this PC. My free space will fluctuate between 4GB and 35GB of free space. I've made a few posts on here in the past as to what could be causing the drive to shrink and grow in size seemingly at random, but I could never figure it out. Every now and then I'll find out that Discord or Nvidia has hoarded a large amount of old update files that consumes a ton of space and I'll clear it out, but the free space on my drive won't stay consistent. I thought about doing a fresh install, but it's honestly so close to me building a new PC that I can't be bothered to spend a few days reinstalling everything back to where it was.

I made the mistake of installing my OS on a rather small SSD because I had planned on using it only for the OS and integral software. I have a 2TB HDD that I use for older games, music, movies, etc. and a 1TB SSD that I use for Steam and other digital clients. I learned a few years ago that some games simply won't run without being installed on the main drive and after a decade, I've accumulated a lot of other files that I've been transferring to an external so I don't lose them (mainly things like bills, mortgage statements, etc.) when I build a new PC. Due to my work schedule for the past five or six years, maintenance for my PC fell on the backburner since I was rarely home.

Eliminated the possibility of malware?
I did a full scan after I relaunched Fallout 4 just in case it wasn't a weird glitch. Everything came up fine.

How old is the windows install? (Software rot is possible)
Very

Drive health is good?
Debatable, but no other major issues. This PC has ran flawlessly for over a decade with only a few minor hardware issues.

Memtest or other diagnostic was used?
Negative, unless you count the task manager and BIOS just to make sure nothing was devouring my RAM and to make sure a stick didn't die.
 
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mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
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Check that Chrome and Edge aren't allowed to run in the background. If they are, then usually there's a Chrome/Edge icon in the system tray.

What's the baseline memory usage without any apps running?
 

Stg-Flame

Diamond Member
Mar 10, 2007
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Check that Chrome and Edge aren't allowed to run in the background. If they are, then usually there's a Chrome/Edge icon in the system tray.

What's the baseline memory usage without any apps running?
I don't let Chrome run unless I absolutely have to and if I'm playing a game and need to look something up on a wiki, I always use my phone. Historically speaking, Chrome has caused me to lose thousands of hours of progress because it doesn't like to play nice and share resources with anything else on my PC.

Baseline is 3GB.

Also check your A/V RAM usage.
Last I checked everything looked normal. I honestly think this has something to do with the paging file since that's the only thing I changed recently other than downloading a game or two on Steam. I was able to play Tarkov for about an hour and while I did get the warning pop up, it didn't crash this time. I did notice the last time I got the warning, I checked the paging file and it said I only had 2GB of virtual memory available whereas I recall seeing 15GB or more in the past. It's been so long since I modified it in the first place, I can't honestly remember why I took it off the default "Let Windows decide what's best" setting, but this is the only thing that was changed.
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
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Part of the problem is likely to be software, but it is also not a good thing to have so little space left on a drive. If I were you, I would either build the new PC sooner rather than later, or start by cloning the current OS drive to a larger SSD. If you still have issues on the larger SSD, then it might be time for a fresh install.
 

igor_kavinski

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2020
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RidNacs: Free Disk Space Usage Tool for Windows – SplashSoft

Lovely piece of German software. Download the portable version and run the EXE without extracting. Double-click message saying select folder and choose your C: Drive. Then marvel at the magic as it shows you what's taking up space. Get out your external backup drive and move the unnecessary stuff to it, freeing up at least 50GB.

My disk usage report:

1663835296054.png

There's this powershell script you could use to remove accumulated Windows cruft: PowerShell: Windows Automated Disk Cleanup - KimConnect.com
 
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Stg-Flame

Diamond Member
Mar 10, 2007
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Part of the problem is likely to be software, but it is also not a good thing to have so little space left on a drive. If I were you, I would either build the new PC sooner rather than later, or start by cloning the current OS drive to a larger SSD. If you still have issues on the larger SSD, then it might be time for a fresh install.
This PC has been falling apart for quite some time and it's been held together with hopes and dreams for the last year or so. I've been waiting for GPU prices to drop but considering how many issues have been cropping up lately, I think you may be right. I do have a few spare 512GB SSDs lying around so I can try to clone it, but at this point I feel like it's slapping a band-aid on a missing limb. I'd rather not wait to see this thing brick itself because I still have a lot of files that need to be transferred over to a secure drive, so I might use my next days off to start looking at hardware.
 
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