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We have an old application for one of our customers which won't run on a system that has over 1GB of RAM. Is there a way of limiting how much memory this application can see without sticking it in a virtual machine or removing RAM from the computer?

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No there isn't a way to do that, without restricting the RAM available to every application.

But I'm suspicious that over 1 GB of RAM would cause an application to fail. Window's provides a virtual memory environment to applications - an application doesn't directly access physical memory. Every (32 bit) program sees 2GB of space, no matter what is physically in the machine.

It would seem more likely to me that the cause of your issues is something not directly related the amount of memory. Are the computers that won't run the software on Windows 7 or a 64 bit version of Windows?

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Yeah, that's why we're a bit stumped as to why 1GB of RAM seems to be the limit. As for the machines, we're currently rolling out a Windows XP 32bit build for the customer and this application is used frequently by them (they used to run a mix of old XP and 2000 machines). – StormPooper Oct 23 '10 at 11:16

The application will see as much memory as is in the computer.

The only way I know to reduce the RAM is by installing a RAM disk.
However, that will require a reboot in order to undo or redo.

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Thanks, but a RAM disk would reduce the memory of the whole computer - preferably I want to restrict just the one program to 1GB. – StormPooper Oct 21 '10 at 13:47
A virtual machine is then the only solution I can see. – harrymc Oct 21 '10 at 14:34
Thanks harrymc. What about a sandbox application like Sandboxie? Anyone know of any that limit the amount of memory the applications can see? – StormPooper Oct 23 '10 at 11:19
A sandbox just mirrors registry and disk updates elsewhere in a consistent manner. It doesn't hide anything and doesn't interfere with other system calls. – harrymc Oct 23 '10 at 12:43
up vote 0 down vote accepted

It turned out to be a java application, so we simply restricted the memory for that instance of the JVM, just in case anyone was watching the question.

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