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Out of Memory Errors

Technical Support Bulletin for Microsoft Access 97

Microsoft has released a JET Engine update that resolves many Out of Memory conditions. Please be sure to download the latest update at the following URL: http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q191/7/43.asp

Even though your machine may have plenty of RAM, Microsoft Access may report an Out of Memory error. This error usually has nothing to do with a lack of memory. We have found four cases where this error occurs in Access:


Documentation of Linked Tables and Queries Based on Linked Tables

There is a known Access bug that can cause documentation programs, such as Total Access Analyzer and the built-in Access Database Documenter, to encounter Out of Memory errors. There seems to be a memory leak in Access that occurs when examining all the properties of fields in linked (attached) tables and queries that reference linked tables. In JET 3.50, this bug causes Access to terminate with an invalid page fault. On systems that have upgraded to JET version 3.51, the result is an Out of Memory error.

To determine if this is the cause of the problem, run the built-in Database Documenter on all your tables and queries. If the Database Documenter also triggers the Out of Memory error, the problem is in the Jet Engine and not our program. You should complain to Microsoft, but in the meantime, there are a few ways to work around this problem in Access 97:

Solution 1: Don't document tables and queries

Of course, you can avoid this problem if you don't select tables or queries for documentation. This is useful if you are only interested in things like module analysis, but not very helpful if you want information on your tables and queries. (You may still hit this problem if you are documenting forms and reports which reference linked tables and queries).

Solution 2: Disable the examination of your database's field properties

  • Start Total Access Analyzer and click Document from the main menu
  • On the first page of the Documentation Wizard, uncheck the "Table Field Properties" and "Table Record Counts" options.
  • This sometimes works, but may still cause an error, especially if you have a large number of tables (hundreds).

Solution 3: Remove the linked tables and import them into your database

To "convert" linked tables to native Access tables in your database:

  • Create a copy of your database
  • Delete the linked tables
  • From the File menu, select Get External Data | Import, select the database containing the tables that were previously linked, highlight them, and click OK.

This solution has worked in many situations, but may still fail on some databases. Since you can see the problem in the built-in Database Documenter and deep within Access itself, we at FMS have been unable to find a fix.


Corrupt Database

It is possible that your database is corrupt. Simply repair and compact the database. If that doesn't work, a more reliable process is to create a new database and import all objects from the original. However, if a form or report is corrupt, it may need to be recreated since it is irreparably damaged.


Lack of Disk Space for the Windows Swap File

If you do not having enough disk space for Microsoft Windows or Windows NT to manage its swap file, this error may occur. Having other applications open while running Access and a Total Access application can also cause this problem. If this is the case, close your other programs, reboot, and run the add-in again.

Alternatively, you should free up disk space on the drive used by Windows for the swap file and/or increase the size of the swap file. Taking these steps may cause potential problems and is not supported by FMS. Consult your Microsoft Windows documentation or Microsoft for details on adjusting your swap file. We recommend 100 MB of free disk space as a general rule to prevent this error.


System Configuration Issues

There are configuration issues that affect how a machine manages memory and may contribute to this error. The following are some temporary modifications you can make to your system and other things you can do to try to resolve or prevent this and other related problems (you will need to restart Windows after making any changes to the system configuration):

  • Remove any programs from the Programs | Startup folder (Windows 95).
  • Check the LOAD= and RUN= lines in WIN.INI. If they launch any utilities, comment these lines out with a semi-colon (';') at the start of the line.
  • Check for .TMP files on your hard drive. Use Explorer to search for *.TMP on the entire drive. Delete any .TMP files found (make sure you aren't running any Windows applications during this step).
  • Run the scandisk (SCANDSKW.EXE) and defrag (DEFRAG.EXE) utilities on a regular basis.

Other Known Problems

There may be other problems that are not listed here. Check the README.TXT file for your Total Access software contains the most up to date information for the product.

If you still have trouble, please contact our tech support department (support@fmsinc.com). We are very interested in resolving any outstanding issues. Some problems such as this Out of Memory error is beyond our control; however, we are committed to the quality of our products and will attempt to create a solution when possible. Thank you for your patience and understanding.