Windows – Memory issues with VirtualBox and Windows 7

64-bitmemoryvirtualboxwindows 7

I'm having a ton of memory issues with VirtualBox (4.3.14) running Windows 7. These include:

  • On startup, I get the following error: "Windows created a temporary paging file on your computer because of a a problem that occurred with your paging file configuration when you started your computer. The total paging file size for all disk drives may be somewhat larger than the size you specified."
  • Excel (2013) runs out of memory a lot. Example: Try to save file (~5 MB max) and get "Disk is full" error.
  • I can't upgrade or uninstall Skype because: "An error occurred while writing installation information to disk. Check to make sure enough disk space is available and click Retry or Cancel the Install."

I've fooled with the VM settings a little bit (experimenting with "nested paging"), but otherwise haven't done much.

Native machine:

  • Mac OSX 10.9.4
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 500 GB hard drive

VM specs

  • VirtualBox (just upgraded, 4.3.14)
  • Windows 7 (64 bit)
  • Office 2013 (64 bit)
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 50 GB dedicated

Not to detract from Throium's excellent response below, but this reference gives a step-by-step how-to:

Best Answer

Confirm that you have enough free disk space on your computer.

If you created the virtual disk as a dynamic size hard disk, VirtualBox does not allocate all tehe 50GB upfront, but will allocate it when needed. If your computer runs out of space, VirtualBox will not be able to enlarge the disk, and those errors can occur.

This is one downsize of dynamic sized disk. The other is that the performance is worse than fixed size: every time your disk grows, there's a sensible performance penalty, as you may try to create a 10MB file, and VirtualBox ends up allocating several times more because it have to grow the disk.

To change from a dynamic disk to a fixed one, run vboxmanage clonehd olddisk.vdi newdisk.vdi --variant fixed and change the primary disk from your VM from olddisk to newdisk. If you want to use the GUI, access the Virtual Media Manager on VirtualBox, and copy the old disk to the new one, and select "Fixed size" on the destination.