"The virtual machine could not be started because there was not enough memory available on the host" error message when you try to start a virtual machine in Virtual PC 2004

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Article ID: 835355 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

When you try to start a virtual machine in Microsoft Virtual PC 2004, you receive the following error message:
The virtual machine could not be started because there was not enough memory available on the host.
This issue occurs even when you have allocated less random access memory (RAM) to the virtual machine than is installed in the host computer.

CAUSE

This issue may occur if other programs are running on the host computer when you try to start the virtual machine. Some programs that you run on the host computer may consume a lot of physical memory. When you start a virtual machine, Virtual PC verifies that sufficient physical memory is available to allocate to the virtual machine. If sufficient physical memory is not available, the virtual machine cannot start and you receive the error message that is described in the "Symptoms" section of this article.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this issue, determine the program or the process that consumes a lot of memory, and then disable or remove that program or process. To determine memory usage of running processes, use the System Information tool (Msinfo32.exe). To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type msinfo32 in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. Expand Software Environment, and then click Running Tasks.
  3. View the values in the Min Working Set and the Max Working Set columns for each process to determine the process that uses a lot of physical memory.

    Note The values in these columns are listed in bytes.
Alternatively, you can also use the "clean boot" troubleshooting method to determine the program that causes this issue. For more information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
310560 How to troubleshoot configuration errors by using the System Configuration utility in Windows XP
281770 How to perform clean-boot troubleshooting for Windows 2000

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Article ID: 835355 - Last Review: September 10, 2011 - Revision: 2.0
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