User-mode Programs Cannot Allocate Blocks of Virtual Memory

This article was previously published under Q216540
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
Symptoms
User-mode programs are unable to allocate blocks of virtual memory (calls to VirtualAlloc() do not succeed). This may result in the inability to create threads, mutexes, critical sections, and so on.
Cause
This problem occurs when a VirtualAlloc() critical section object is being called to initialize part of the structure (DebugInfo). VirtualAlloc() reserves virtual memory on a 64 KB boundary. However, this structure only allocates 4 KB (reserve and commit) blocks of virtual memory, thereby leaving 60 KB unused. Over time, this results in fragmentation of virtual memory and may reduce the size of contiguous blocks available to user-mode programs.
Resolution
To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows NT 4.0 or the individual software update. For information on obtaining the latest service pack, please go to:
For information on obtaining the individual software update, contact Microsoft Product Support Services. For a complete list of Microsoft Product Support Services phone numbers and information on support costs, please go to the following address on the World Wide Web:
Status
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in Windows NT 4.0. This problem was first corrected in Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 5.
critsec
Properties

Article ID: 216540 - Last Review: 11/02/2013 22:47:00 - Revision: 3.0

  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • kbnosurvey kbarchive kbhotfixserver kbqfe kbbug kbfix KB216540
Feedback