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My computer's addicted to Clearmem.exe!

I'm using a Pentium 4 1.5GHz with 256MB RAMB-US PC800 memory and Windows 2000 Professional (Service Pack 3). I have set Virtual Memory to 800 MB due to available drive space. I recently added a second hard drive, reformatted both drives and reinstalled all my software. Since then I have frequently run out of available physical memory and have had to run Clearmem.exe numerous times each day. It almost seems that once I began to use Clearmem.exe the computer seems addicted to it. Is this a sign of faulty memory modules or something else?

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As a general rule, forcing the amount of swap space in Windows 2000 or XP doesn't always work too well. Your best bet is to set the second hard drive -- whichever drive doesn't contain your system partition -- to contain the swap space and set Windows to automatically manage the amount of space used on it. You can also set a swap partition on the system drive -- in fact, you need to have at least some swap space on the boot drive in order to have proper support for crash logging, but if you're not taking advantage of this, you can turn the swap file off on your system partition.

This was first published in February 2003

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