I am a Windows power user and I always had, even with different PC and RAM
quantity, a problem recurring atleast one time a day: when I have opened
more than 20-30 programs, the opening of new windows/programs doesn't have
effect or gives progressively strange effects (i.e. windows without menu and
buttons) till it doesn't do anything anymore.
In this precise moment it's happening on my XP.
My strong suspect is that this has always been an internal software
limitation (connected to the limited size of resource heaps) of Windows
NT/2K/XP, as when in Windows 3.x/9x/ME one got the "insufficient memory"
My Task Manager is showing the following data and I can't open even little
applications without closing some application before:
Physical Memory (K):
System Cache: 230176
Commit Charge (K):
Kernel Memory (K):
Anyway I don't think there's a strict relation of this problem with the
total physical memory or the total physical+virtual memory. I think more
that it's an intrinsic Windows limitation. I think that it's a matter of
system resources/resource heaps instead of memory, as this article describes
(System Resources FAQ).
In the case I try to launch a graphic Win16 application I get the explicit
error: "The Win 16 Subsystem has insufficient resources to continue running.
Click on OK, close your applications, and restart your machine." Fortunately
it's normally sufficient to close some application, without restarting, to
come back to use the program.
Setting this application to "Run in separate memory space" or setting it in
Compatibility Mode 9x doesn't solve.
I'ld like to find a document with the "ultimate" explanation of how is this
limitation in Windows XP (NOT an old document regarding 3.x/9x/ME nor NT)
and to find the way to increase the number of application I can open
simultaneously or, if this is not possible, how and how much in the future
this limitation will be enhanced by Microsoft in future versions of Windows.
Does someone know something about all this?
I found this software that could help for win 16 programs but it's too old:
and I found this opinion on the net: "Ron M. replies: RAM Defrag programs
are totally useless and cannot perform any beneficial function for any
computer. Period. All RAM addresses are equally accessible and there is zero
difference in the time required to access addresses at the opposite ends of
the RAM address range as compared to adjacent addresses. Both are virtually
Also "system resources" as the term was used in Windows 95/98/Me are totally
irrelevant in Windows XP because XP uses 32 bit resource heaps exclusively."
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