We have two White Papers that will help you get a better understanding of Virtual Memory: CONSTRAINTS IN 32Bit WINDOWS and CONSTRAINTS IN 32Bit WINDOWS – An Update
The best single indicator of a real memory (RAM) shortage is Available Bytes. This Counter reports the current number of pages (in bytes – there are 4096 bytes in a page) in the Zero, Free, and Standby Lists that the Memory Manager maintains. This pool of available memory is used to resolve page faults quickly. [...]
A memory leak refers to a programming bug where an application program repeatedly allocates virtual memory, but never deletes it. Eventually, a program with a memory leak will cause something bad to happen. For example, the system or some of its applications might lock up because all the available virtual memory is allocated. Several aspects [...]
How can I tell how much RAM is being used by application processes and various operating system functions?
It is not possible to get a complete accounting of RAM usage on a Windows, but you can get reasonably close. RAM usage by various OS functions is measured by the following five Memory Object counters: Pool Nonpaged Bytes: these represent allocations directed to the nonpaged pool, which is a set virtual memory pages that [...]
I see a lot page faults on my system even though there appear to be plenty of Available Bytes. What is going on?
You are probably looking at the Page Faults/sec Counter and interpreting it as the rate of demand paging. Not entirely. In Windows Server, the Page Faults/sec counter includes both hard and soft page faults. (It also appears to include Cache faults/sec, which are application-related file cache read misses.) Instead of using the Page Faults/sec counter [...]
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