On desktop computers, a common part of most operating systems is Virtual Memory. It is beneficial in terms of being economic and increasing RAM.
Memory available with most of computers for CPU usage is something 32 or 64 MB, which is not enough to serve your needs. With his amount of RAM, while running programs, you are likely to get warning messages saying you have low virtual memory. At low memory, Windows make some settings by setting initial minimum size of paging file at 30MB plus Random Access Memory installed on your system; and the maximum size at thrice the amount of RAM on the system. A user wants to run many programs at the same time, like e-mail, word processor, media player etc. If you get error messages at this settings also, then you need to enhance your paging file’s size.
The computer creates this virtual RAM by first looking for those areas of RAM that has not been brought into use lately and copy these areas onto the hard disk. This creates free space on RAM that can be used to load new applications. The copy process is automatic and occurs at backend giving you no clue on when and how is it happening. This gives an illusion that your computer has unlimited RAM space, actually which is not. And since hard disk space is a lot cheaper than RAM, this gives an economic gain.
Now you must be wondering, how to increase your virtual memory!
How to Install Virtual RAM
- Launch control panel from start menu, click System and Maintenance and then click System.
- Click Advanced System Settings link in the left pane. If you are not logged in as administrator you will be prompted for password or confirmation, continue with it.
- The next window that opens, in the advanced tab, under performance, click the settings button.
- Now, click advanced tab and under Virtual Memory, click Change button.
- Uncheck the box for ‘Automatically manage paging file size for all drives’.
- Select the Volume drive whose paging file you want to change.
- Now select the Custom Size radio button; this enables the text boxes for initial and maximum size.
- In these text boxes, enter the value in Megabytes (MB) for Initial size or Maximum size.
- Click on the set button and then hit OK.
With this your virtual RAM is installed or you can say that, this increases the size of your virtual memory. You can follow the same steps if you want to decrease the virtual memory. Increasing the size takes effect automatically, i.e. no restart is required; however if you performed decreasing of Virtual Memory you will have to restart your computer so that the changes can come into effect. It is recommended that while playing with the settings, the paging file is not deleted or disabled, even by mistake.