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Every morning I come into work and fire up excel and get greeted by a lovely "There is not enough memory to run excel." error. There are no other applications running and it is fixed by a reboot.

It's excel 2003 standard fully patched running on Windows XP Service pack 2?

Does anyone have any idea what is causing this problem?

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Memory leak? Have you checked if there actually is free memory? –  Torandi Jul 24 '09 at 1:15
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3 Answers

Here are a couple of troubleshooting steps you can take:

  1. Make sure your HD is not completely full. You can get out of memory errors if you don't have enough available HD space. (Eric Lippert has a nice blog post on this, if a bit technical).

  2. Get ProcessExplorer. Run it and sort the processes by Working Set and then by Virtual Size to see if any background processes are taking up too much memory. I know you said no applications are running, but since it happens in the morning and a reboot fixes it, it might be the case that something that is running in the background (service for example) is taking up a large amount of memory.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Solved ... The problem is a memory leak in Visual Studio 2008 (or some add-in), it was consuming ~500MB of memory from running unit tests. Closing and re-opening it does the trick.

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Switch to Excel 2010 version, which can probably give you faster performance. Also consider using PowerPivot to work with a lot more data than normal pivot table

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