Scandisk and Defrag Report Out Of Memory Error?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Ken A. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

Whenever I try to run Scandisk (and Defrag), Scandisk gets 2/3 through the operation and reports an error message which reads: 'Not enough memory to continue. Close all programs to try again.' Even with all programs closed down still cannot run Scandisk. I have Windows 98SE (second edition). I hope you can help! PS: Love all newsletters -- they're great! "

My response:

Microsoft Knowledge Base article #229154 states that this error may occur if your hard drive's cluster size is less than 8k. To correct this error, you will need to backup your most important files and format your hard drive a special way so that it uses >8k cluster size, then reinstall Windows (more info below).

Side note: "In personal computer storage technology, a cluster is the logical unit of file storage on a hard disk; it's managed by the computer's operating system. Any file stored on a hard disk takes up one or more clusters of storage. A file's clusters can be scattered among different locations on the hard disk. The clusters associated with a file are kept track of in the hard disk's File Allocation Table (FAT). When you read a file, the entire file is obtained for you and you aren't aware of the clusters it is stored in. Since a cluster is a logical rather than a physical unit (it's not built into the hard disk itself), the size of a cluster can be varied." (Source / more info:

According to, you can use Ranish Partition Manager (freeware) to set the cluster size of your hard drive: " .... Partition Manager lets you see all those details in the partition table (cylinders', heads', and sectors' numbers) and you have to make all decisions yourself. I use Partition Manager for non-standard tasks, such as creating more than one primary (bootable) FAT partitions on the disk, and use Partition Magic to resize partitions or change their cluster size." (Source:

More info on the Scandisk / Defrag 'out of memory' error can be found from Microsoft's web site and

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