Is it possible to have TOO MUCH RAM? ~ Ask The Admin

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Is it possible to have TOO MUCH RAM?

You know the saying, "You can't have too much RAM or too much storage."

Well, there is at least one case where a lot of RAM can cause problems.

My current desktop had 1 Gig of RAM and I recently bought an additional 2 Gigs since the price was so low. (And of course I used The AdmiN's link to give a little back to AtA)

Wow, 3 Gigs of RAM what could possibly be bad about that? Well one night, I went to put the system into hibernate and it beeped and a balloon popped up from the system tray that said "Insufficient System Resources Exist to Complete the API." After that, the system would only go into standby, not into hibernate. In fact the hibernate tab of the Power Options settings was completely gone.

It turns out this is a known issue and Microsoft has a patch for it. The KB article describes the exact problem I was having and states "This problem typically occurs when the computer uses 1 gigabyte (GB) or more of RAM."

My favorite part of the article is

"This problem occurs because the Windows kernel power manager cannot obtain the memory resources that are required to prepare the computer to hibernate."
So basically, you have so much memory that we cannot obtain enough memory! The system had no problem obtaining enough memory resources when there was only 1 Gig of RAM, but with 3 Gigs there isn't enough.

I applied the patch offered in the article and haven't had any problem putting the system into hibernate since.

Who knew, it IS possible to have too much RAM!