Vista Running Short On Memory

Dennis Faas's picture

ZDNet is reporting that Windows Vista users have been receiving "out of memory" and other errors when copying and moving data, especially large numbers of files, making it difficult to track down the problem.

Windows Vista users running Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6 or 7 trying to copy a large number (16,400) of files, or smaller groups of files that in total exceed 16,400 files have received the "out of memory" error. Once the error occurs, a range of other errors can occur such as menus and tabs disappearing, reboots and Blue Screens of Death (BSOD) also occur.

The Kaspersky Anti-Virus isn't the only software causing problems, it just appears to be the software that causes the most problems. A leak in the Windows Vista kernel is the root of the problem which causes a spike in memory usage and doesn't release it until you reboot the computer (a problem that should have beeen fixed with Windows Vista).

Kaspersky and Microsoft have known about the problem for some months. It was reportedly due to be fixed with the release of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1), but the current beta of SP1 doesn't contain the patch.

Hotfix available from Microsoft

Interestingly enough, there is a hotfix available from Microsoft, but you have to ask for it. When installed, the patch cures the "out of memory" problem, unless you try to install it on a machine running Vista SP1 beta.

An article from the Microsoft Help and Support Knowledge Base describes the problem as the result of a memory leak in the Windows OLE component that is triggered by the way that Windows Explorer deals with the extended attributes of the files. To resolve the problem you need to submit a request to Microsoft Online Customer Services for the hotfix. When requesting the hotfix you'll need the Knowledge Base article which is 942435.

Why you need to jump through such strange hoops with Microsoft to patch the memory leak is unknown. The links for the original article, the Microsoft knowledge base article and the site to request the fix can also be found below.

  • Vista "Out of Memory" Errors article from ZDNet
  • Error message when you try to copy files from a Windows Vista-based computer to another computer by using Windows Explorer: "Out of memory There is not enough memory to complete this operation" (KB 942435)
  • Hotfix Request Web Submission Form to request the patch for KB 942435

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