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I'm using a machine running Windows XP SP3 to develop .NET applications. I use VS2010 with SQL Server 2008 and Office Professional 2007. The machine has 2GB of RAM.

After I work for a short period of time, VS 2010 becomes resource-hungry. It starts consuming 500-700MB of memory, and SQL Management Studio uses between 1-2GB of memory. Then Windows becomes sluggish and crashes, or I need to restart. I'm also using Trend Micro Office Scan client. It's not possible for me to have viruses or threats as the admins check for threats every night. The issue happens when VS 2010, SQL Management Studio and Office (Outlook) are open at a same time.

Also, if I leave VS minimized for 10-15 minutes, it hangs. All copies of software are licensed and genuine. What's going wrong, and how can I fix it?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I used to have a similar setup, and it ran just fine. I'd have multiple management studio and visual studio windows open for days at a time with just 2GB of RAM on Windows XP. The differences I see here are that I rarely used office (though Outlook was always running), and that our IT department at the time really wanted us turning our computers off every night (though I rarely complied; they were lucky when I even did that over the weekends). The other difference is that we used Forefront client security vs TrendMicro (and, btw: the idea that you can't have viruses just because they check every night is laughable).

I think the most likely culprit here are visual studio extensions (we really didn't use any there, aside from a source control plug-in).

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Sounds suspiciously like a plug-in with a memory leak. I have had no problems running such a configuration in XP SP3 with 2 GB RAM and multiple VS, multiple SSMS, a local instance of Sql Server 2008, and multiple Excel instances running simultaneously with Outlook, virus scan, numerous services and other corporate desktop applications running. –  BBlake Mar 11 '11 at 21:02
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The simple answer is you've not got enough RAM to run all three at once adequately. Add another 2GB of RAM and it should behave a bit better.

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