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Strange XP instability

Last response: in Windows XP
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June 25, 2009 1:53:20 PM

I am having strange issues with my XP machine. It has run perfectly for months with no problems. However, over the last two weeks it has become relatively unstable. I am getting frequent errors indicating that I am low on resources or system memory. I have gotten errors such as "Application failed to initialize properly" when trying to start the Task Manager, or "The paging file is too small for this application to complete", or "Failed to create empty document (when trying to start the Event Viewer", or "Insufficient resources to complete the requested service", or quota exceeded. The problem is, I have 4GB of memory and and using about 2GB (at most)! I don't have any quotas defined, and I have a 4GB page file should I ever need it.

I have run a virus scan, malware check, rootkit check and memory test and they all passed. I have checked the programs that are started at bootup and the services running and they all appear legit.

My machine is a quad-core with 4GB of RAM running XP SP2.

My impression is that these problems started occurring after I installed the latest Microsoft updates around June 16th. After that, I had some strange occurrences where it seemed like some system/program preferences were lost. About once or twice a day my display will begin acting strange where the top bar on a window is not painted, but the minimize/close buttons on the top-right will appear if I hover over where they should be. The contents of the windows aren't painted properly either. At this time I can't open the Task Manager ("Application failed to initialize properly"). If I look at my memory usage on my status indicator, it appears that I am under 2GB (of the 4GB).

Any ideas of what I can do or (even better) what could be causing this would be greatly appreciated!

Many thanks.

Jim

More about : strange instability

June 25, 2009 4:37:48 PM

You'll never be able to use all 4GB of RAM anyway... not with 32-bit XP. The most RAM Windows will be able to address is 4GB minus the amount of RAM on your video card (rough estimate). My best guess given the current information is that you need to update your video drivers... it sounds like there might be an issue with your current driver. (Corruption, missing files, etc). Give that a try first and see if you notice any improvement.
June 26, 2009 12:08:14 PM

Zoron said:
You'll never be able to use all 4GB of RAM anyway... not with 32-bit XP. The most RAM Windows will be able to address is 4GB minus the amount of RAM on your video card (rough estimate). My best guess given the current information is that you need to update your video drivers... it sounds like there might be an issue with your current driver. (Corruption, missing files, etc). Give that a try first and see if you notice any improvement.


Sorry, I forgot to include the fact that I had updated the video drivers too. It hadn't helped.
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