How to Add Virtual Memory

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Virtual memory is handled by the Operating System. This system technique gives a program the impression that it still has a working memory when in reality; the memory may be fragmented or has overflowed in the hard drive. Virtual memory is an extension of the memory “hierarchy” that includes hard disk drives. By default, Windows allocates a portion of the hard drive for Virtual Memory space. The space is utilized in the event the RAM gets filled up or when the PC goes into hibernate mode where the RAM dumps data in the hard drive so the user can pick up where he left off.

Materials Needed:
- Microsoft Windows Operating System 98
- ME
- NT
- XP
- 2000
- 2003 Server
Step 1
Write down the original default settings before making any changes. This way, if you do not like the PC’s performance, you can always revert to the previous settings.
Step 2
Click 'Start' then click on 'Control Panel'.
Step 3
Choose 'System Maintenance' and select 'System'. Make sure you are logged in as Administrator to be able to make these changes. You can view the amount of RAM you have by clicking on the 'General' tab.
Step 4
Click 'Advanced System Settings' from the left panel. A window will appear showing the 'Advance' tab. Click that option then scroll down and choose the first 'Settings' button under 'Performance'.
Step 5
A window will appear showing the Performance Options. The first tab will show 'Visual Effects'. Uncheck all the boxes and just set it to 'Adjust for Performance'.
Step 6
Click on the 'Advance' tab then scroll down and look for the Virtual Memory portion. Click 'Change'.
Step 7
Uncheck the box for 'Automatically manage paging file size for all drives'.
Step 8
Select the drive that you want to modify under the 'Drive [Volume Label]' option. In computers with Microsoft Windows, it is usually found in the C Drive.
Step 9
Choose the 'Custom size' option then type in the amount of memory you wish to reserve for the Virtual Memory. Microsoft recommends setting the Initial size and the Maximum size in the same amount. As a rule of thumb, it is also recommended to set every value to about 1.5 times more than the RAM amount installed in the computer. Click 'Ok'.
Step 10
Microsoft Windows allocates some of the spaces in the hard drive to function as RAM. This increases the capability of a machine to use multiple applications. A quick way to free up space for 'Paging' (memory writes to the hard drive) in Microsoft Windows NT, 2000 or XP is to delete all the subfolders under this directory: C:\ Documents and Settings\ Your Profile\ Local Settings\ Temp. You can also open Internet Explorer (if this is the Web browser you are using) and go to 'Tools', then 'Internet Options', and then click on 'Delete Files'.
Step 11
Microsoft Windows may prompt you to reboot the PC so that changes may take affect.