Why does my Windows 7 system run out of memory and has issues at startup?

Akhil Sharma June 7, 2013

Please someone help me!!! My system has problems at start-up. Whenever I turn ON my PC, it stops on Windows screen where Windows four colour flashing.

I am using Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 with 2GB RAM and AMD Sempron processor. Yesterday, a windows notification shows me that “your system runs out of memory.” After that I uninstalled some applications, but start-up problem is still not solved. :(

Please help me! How to solve this???

  1. Oron Joffe
    June 10, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Plenty of good answers above, but I'll add my 2p worth. Since at present you can't actually start up, "Startup Repair" is a good place to start. This ought to make the machine bootable again.
    Next, from your description, it seems likely (although not 100% certain) that you have too many start up processes. You can use applications like MSConfig or CCleaner to fix this, but I'd recommend getting a Soluto account and letting Soluto help you with the diagnosis. It does a pretty good job of analysing the start up list and making recommendations to improve performance (or at least did some time ago when I last use it).
    Finally, after you fix the problem, consider getting a little more memory (e.g. 1GB) if you can. Windows 7 tends to use 1-1.5 GB RAM for just the OS and antivirus, which doesn't leave you with a whole lot for applications. Given that your processor is relatively slow, any help your system can get would be welcome, and having 3GB instead of 2 would probably make the biggest difference. Good luck!

  2. Leland Whitlock
    June 8, 2013 at 6:32 am
  3. Bruce Epper
    June 8, 2013 at 12:54 am

    Can you start your system in Safe Mode? If so, use the msconfig utility to remove any unnecessary components that are trying to load at startup. Initially, allow all Microsoft services to start, and keep your antivirus running. You can then start adding additional items (if you want/need them) one by one until you find the one that is causing the issues.

    Yoiu should also check the Event Log for Warning and Error messages as they can lead you directly to the problem child.

    You should probably do a full system scan with your antivirus software while you are at it and keep running the scan until it comes up clean. Then do the same thing with something like Malwarebytes. Using a boot CD like the Trinity Rescue Kit can do normally do the scans with fewer passes since it is booting a known clean environment and can more easily deal with any rootkits it finds (which is a strong possibility in your situation).

  4. DalSan M
    June 7, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Windows 7 Ultimate is a pretty demanding operating system with all of the features and services that run in the background. Deleting files or uninstalling programs will not help much in gaining more memory. Part of the issue may be from low virtual memory/paging file size. The other part may be from too many programs running in the background and background services taking the memory when it is not necessary.

    "To adjust page file settings:
    Press the Windows + Pause Break keys > in the left pane click on Advanced system settings > click on the Advanced tab > in the Performance section click the Settings... button > click on the Advanced tab . click on the Change... button. Highlight the drive you wish to work with." From http://www.tweakhound.com/windows7/tweaking/7.html Uncheck Automatically manage paging file size, then select Custom size. Change the paging file size to around 3072 MB or so for both the minimum and maximum. This will make sure you have plenty of virtual memory.

    If you do not have it installed already, download CCleaner from http://www.ccleaner.com Install it, run it and select Tools. From there, select Startup, then disable unnecessary or unwanted programs and processes from running (search Google for any processes that you do not know).

    Go to http://www.tweaking.com/content/page/simple_system_tweaker.html and download the Simple System Tweaker program. Install it, run it, then go through the settings to turn off unnecessary services and features from running and taking your memory. Make sure that you search the web for any service or feature you do not understand because you do not want to stop important services from running or disable a feature you actually want.

    Download this program http://www.majorgeeks.com/mg/getmirror/cleanmem,1.html to help reduce the memory load automatically every 15 minutes. It installs a task set to automatically run, then closes when done until 15 minutes later. After installation, go to the Start Menu, click on Cleanmem, then click on Cleanmem Settings in order to install the task. Just click Start, Next, Next, Next, then select Install CleanMem Task Schedule, then finish.

    If at all possible, I would purchase at least 1GB more RAM because 2GB for 7 Ultimate is too low. I used 7 Home Premium with only 2GB RAM and I would use up close to 4GB worth of RAM, which means the virtual memory was being heavily used and slowing performance dramatically. Hope this helps.

  5. ha14
    June 7, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    if you cannot boot to windows normally, use your windows 7 dvd, boot on it and choose startup repair, or use restore point to go back just before you started having problems.

    it can be faulty ram, remove them, clean from dust, replug and try to boot.

    You may receive an "Out of Memory" error message because of the desktop heap limitation in Windows Vista or in Windows 7

    1) Click Start - Control Panel - System
    2) click Advanced system settings. Iin System Properties box, select Advanced tab and under Performance, click Settings
    3) In Performance Options box, click the Advanced tab, under Virtual memory then select Change.
    4) un-check the check-box : Automatically manage paging file size for all drives
    5) Select Windows drive that contains the paging file and click on Custom size
    6) Here you can choose custom size or maximum size then click set then OK then click Apply followed by OK and resart Windows to apply effect.
    Change the size of virtual memory

    Q. What's the ideal page-file size?