Can having a dual-boot system cause one of the systems to run out of memory?

Dr.sunil V June 14, 2014

Can dual booting Windows 8 and Windows 7 cause insufficient memory prompts on Windows 7?

  1. Dalsan M
    June 14, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    As mentioned, they are interdependent of each other. You can multi-boot 30+ operating systems on one machine, but they will almost never have anything to do with another operating system as far as memory, only virtual memory space should one operating system happen to overwrite that space (which rarely happens) or run out of disc space and the paging file needs to increase.

    • Drsunil V
      June 17, 2014 at 10:23 am

      Thank you. Can you tell how to increase virtual memory with RAM constant?

    • Bruce E
      June 17, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      For Windows 7, select Computer -> Properties. Select the link for Advanced system settings. Click on the Settings... button in the Performance section of the Advanced tab of the System Properties dialog. Select the Advanced tab of the Performance Options dialog. Click the Change... button for Virtual Memory. You may need to deselect the checkbox for Automatically manage paging file size for all drives. You can then set your own sizes for all connected drives. You should not put paging files on external drives since they may not always be present. If you have a second, less used internal drive in the system, putting the paging file there can improve performance. You will also see performance benefits of having a statically sized paging file (same minimum and maximum size values).

    • Dr.sunil V
      June 17, 2014 at 5:16 pm

      I understand , albeit partially

  2. Bryan S
    June 14, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Generally, No. However is your Windows 7 system is out of space it could theoretically run low on memory if there isn't enough room for the swap file (virtual memory), to expand. Check on the amount of free space on your Windows 7 partition.

    • Dr.sunil V
      June 15, 2014 at 5:15 pm

      Thanks. you answered nicely

  3. Alan W
    June 14, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    No, you are deciding which OS you want to boot to, so obviously the other isnt loaded.

  4. Oron J
    June 14, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    The quick answer is no. Dual booting means booting into one system or the other. Once a system boots up, it "owns" the whole computer and has allits resources at its disposal. The only resource affected by dual booting is disk space, as each OS uses some, but that wouldn't account for "out of memory" errors.

    • Dr.sunil V
      June 15, 2014 at 5:14 pm

      Thanks, how would you justify your point vis-a-vis Mr.Bryan's point?

    • Bruce E
      June 15, 2014 at 9:26 pm

      In every case I have seen, if there is not enough room to expand the swap file the error message will clearly indicate it is a problem with swap. The normal 'out of memory' errors are solely due to insufficient RAM available for the machine to use. Many times this will happen on RAM starved systems that are running programs that have memory segments marked as non-swappable so they cannot be transferred out of memory to the swap file no matter how much the system desires more RAM even if there is sufficient space in the swap file for it.

    • Drsunil V
      June 17, 2014 at 10:22 am

      Nice point. Please tell which programs fail to swap memory to release free RAM? Does Virtual Router , Recycle bin un-deleted files , Chrome browser and it's extensions and tray alerts notifications app fail to swap memory to release free RAM?

    • Bruce E
      June 17, 2014 at 3:20 pm

      In theory, non-swappable code should be the majority of the kernel and device drivers and their critical data. Most third-party applications should not have a need to be non-swappable. Tools such as SysInternal's RAMMap can provide some indication of what is going on but still does not indicate all non-pageable memory.

    • Dr.sunil V
      June 17, 2014 at 5:16 pm

      Thanks for tool

    • Oron J
      June 17, 2014 at 10:53 pm

      Virtual Memory is under system control, not under direct control of individual applications. Applications use "memory", and, depending on available resource, the system decides whether that's virtual memory or "actual" memory. As Bruce says, some things are prevented from getting swapped to disk, but otherwise, anything can go.

      It should be emphasised that this is a highly theoretical situation. You should never get to a stage where your disk is so full that it can't handle yoru virtual memory (usually about one and half times the size of your RAM). For example, if you have a reasonably modern PC with 4GB RAM, I'd expect you to have (much) more than 6GB free on the disk drive. If you don't, then your hard drive is probably too small (or too full) anyway, and performance will suffer because of that (high file fragmentation, not enough space for temp files etc).

    • Drsunil V
      June 25, 2014 at 10:01 am

      Thanks. The hard drive has a lot of space , atleast greater that what you specified as 6 GB. RAM is 2GB and has worked fine since years.
      I noticed that when I closed Virtual router client ( which occupied a significant chunk of randome member ) , via task manager , the error did not come on again

  5. Hovsep A
    June 14, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Dual boot installation just places the other OS on free space on your hard disk, so it will use that hard disk space , since in a dual boot only one OS will run at one time, then it should not cause problem because no RAM or CPU is being used by the other OS.

    The situation is different on Virtual machine (VM), because you are using both OS at the same time.

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