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Windows 9x Resource Management

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Windows 9x Resource Management

Windows 9x Resource Management
Users of Windows 95, 98 or even ME (collectively referred to as Windows 9x in this paper) may have noticed an odd occurrence while using their systems. During normal operation, they may receive a notice that their system is low on system resources, despite having an abundance of memory installed on their machine and a large hard drive with enough free space for the virtual memory swap file. The perception is that the system has run out of available memory. This is because what Windows 9x refers to as memory and resources are different. Memory or Random Access Memory (RAM) is physical internal memory installed on a computer system. Resources are areas of memory used to track usage of objects in Windows. But there is more to it than just that. This paper explores resource implementation in Windows 9x operating systems.
The Windows 3.x legacy
Resources are lists of memory (called heaps) that point to where user elements and other objects are stored. Windows 3.x uses four 16-bit heaps; three for the user interface, and one for the Graphic Device Interface (GDI). The 16-bit addressing limits the size



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