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I have a Windows XP image, and I am using Sun VirtualBox.

Recently the host machine seems to be running out of memory all the time, I suspect that one of the applications in the image OS is bringing the host machine down by consuming too much memory, but this seems not possible because there is a specific memory constraint put on top of the virtual instance.

What do you think?

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No, the virtual machine will use what you give it. It's more likely you are just giving it too much, and your host environment is now resource-constrained.

There's probably an application in the host that's running down what's left.

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Use Task Manager to see whether some process is using too much memory.

There are 2 places to look at:

  1. The Performance tab will give you the whole picture, so check if the entire memory is used or not.

  2. In the Processes tab, you can use the menu entry View / Select Column. Place a check-mark next to Memory - Working Set and OK. Then click twice on this column to sort by descending order. This will tell you which process is the biggest memory-eater.

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