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I think Linux can do this using ulimit, I'm looking for something similar in Win7 x64. The problem is some times a process doesn't know the physical memory is already exhausted and continues to allocate memory, which will slowdown the system to a crawl since system is allocating from pagefile. The only way to recover is hard reboot.


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There is the Windows System Resource Manager, but this only applies to Windows Server 2008.

In general, this is NOT a good idea--the page file is meant to be used. Most processes don't know the limit of their physical memory, nor should they be required to care. It sounds like you should clean up programs using the resources, or invest in more memory--4GB is pretty standard nowadays, and more is better.

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Yeah, I know this is unusual, but unfortunately in this case it's necessary since the process will consume all system resources and lock up the machine – jimjxr Nov 10 '10 at 16:00
If this is your application, debug it. If its someone else's application, file a bug. – Andrew M. Nov 11 '10 at 21:16
It isn't always a practical. Recently Firefox 64-bit has been burning the physical memory like it is going out of fashion. I have to exit Firefox now to run some business related processes. Having a memory quota on programs is a necessary thing in some cases. – will Sep 3 '15 at 7:44
This question isn't about poor programming and buying more RAM - in my opinion is is about a critical issue with operating system design. I run into the OP's scenario while performing interactive data analysis (MATLAB, R, IPython, etc.) You load a large data set and start working. Then you inadvertently (through a typo, api misunderstanding, whatever) call some function that squares your data. Instead of taking 8 GB, it now takes 64. Your computer hangs because it's trying to allocate 64GB and the operating system has nothing left. – Gordon Bean Oct 2 '15 at 18:23

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