Error Message: Your System Has No Paging File, or the Paging File Is Too Small

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Article ID: 315270 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q315270
For a Microsoft Windows 2000 version of this article, see 259151.
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SYMPTOMS

Your computer may seem to stop responding (hang) while Windows is loading your personal settings, or you may receive the following error message after you log on to Windows:
Limited Virtual Memory
Your system has no paging file, or the paging file is too small.

To fix this problem, go to System in Control Panel, click the Advanced tab, and under Performance, click Settings. On the Advanced tab, click Change. Click 'Custom size,' and then type an initial or maximum paging file size.
If you view the configuration settings for the paging file by following the instructions in the error message, you may receive the following message:
Windows created a temporary paging file on your computer because of a problem that occurred with your paging file configuration when you started your computer. The total paging file size for all disk drives may be somewhat larger than the size you specified.
After you click OK, the settings for your paging file may seem to be correct.

CAUSE

This error message may occur if Windows tries to create a paging file on an NTFS volume, but the System and Administrators accounts do not have the correct NTFS permissions on the volume.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this issue, give the System and Administrators accounts full control of the NTFS volume on which the paging file is configured. To do this:
  1. If you are running Windows XP Home Edition, or you are running Windows XP Professional but you do not log on to a domain, start your computer in Safe mode.For additional information about starting your computer in Safe mode, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    315222 A Description of the Safe Boot Mode Options in Windows XP
    NOTE: If your computer seems to stop responding while Windows is loading your personal settings, press ALT+TAB to switch to the Limited Virtual Memory dialog box, and then click OK.

  2. Click Start, point to Programs (or All Programs), point to Accessories, and then click Windows Explorer.
  3. In the left pane, expand My Computer, and then click a drive that is configured to use a paging file.

    To determine if a drive is configured to use a paging file:
    1. Click Start, click Run, type control sysdm.cpl, and then click OK.
    2. On the Advanced tab, click Settings under Performance.
    3. On the Advanced tab, click Change under Virtual Memory.
    4. Click a drive in the list, and then note the options that are selected under Paging file size for selected drive. A drive is configured to use a paging file unless No paging file is selected for that drive. If more than one drive is configured to use a paging file, click the first drive in the list the first time that you follow these steps. Click the second drive in the list the second time that you follow these steps, and so on.
    5. Click Cancel, and then click Cancel to return to the System Properties dialog box.
    6. On the Computer Name tab, note the name before the first period in the Full computer name box. This is your computer name. You will need this information in steps 5 and 6.
  4. On the File menu, click Properties. Click the Security tab to view the current permissions.
  5. Click Add, type computer name\system, and then click OK.
  6. Click Add, type computer name\Administrators, click OK, and then click OK. Note that you must type Administrators, not Administrator.
  7. Click System, and then click to select the Full Control check box. This automatically selects the other check boxes.
  8. Click Administrators, and then click to select the Full Control check box. This automatically selects the other check boxes.
  9. Click OK.
  10. If you want to make changes to your paging file options, click Start, click Run, type control sysdm.cpl, and then click OK.
  11. On the Advanced tab, click Settings under Performance.
  12. On the Advanced tab, click Change under Virtual Memory, and then set the paging file options that you want.For additional information about configuring paging file options, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    308417 HOW TO: Set Performance Options in Windows XP
  13. Close the System Properties dialog box, quit any running programs, and then restart the computer.

MORE INFORMATION

The paging file (Pagefile.sys) is a hidden operating system file. If you modify the NTFS permissions on a volume in Windows, the System account may be inadvertently removed from the partition. If this occurs, the System account cannot manage some system resources such as the paging file.

By default, the Everyone group has Full Control permissions on an NTFS volume. This permission might have been removed to provide additional security. Individual accounts, such as the Administrator account, may have been added. However, the Everyone group includes the System account. Removing the Everyone group without adding the System account as an individual account renders the paging file unusable.

Properties

Article ID: 315270 - Last Review: December 1, 2007 - Revision: 1.4
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
Keywords: 
kbenv kberrmsg kbprb KB315270

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