informa
/
Commentary

Vista Problem? Fill Out This Form

So let's say you're running Windows Vista and you copy some files. You get an error message: ""Out of memory There is not enough memory to complete this operation." So this is exactly why Microsoft created Windows Update and a fix is coming, right? Well, no. There's a hotfix, but you have to ask for it. What's wrong with this picture?
So let's say you're running Windows Vista and you copy some files. You get an error message: ""Out of memory There is not enough memory to complete this operation." So this is exactly why Microsoft created Windows Update and a fix is coming, right? Well, no. There's a hotfix, but you have to ask for it. What's wrong with this picture?How serious is the problem? Apparently you have to copy 16,400 files to cause the error. That may not sound like something you do very often, but it's cumulative, not all-at-once - it's 16,400 files between reboots. If you're like me, you reboot your PC as seldom as possible. If you move large numbers of image files or music files or backups, 16,400 is not an unreachable number.

The cause is apparently a memory leak in the Vista kernel, according to a story that has been reported by ZDNet and The Inquirer, among others.

A memory leak seems like something you'd want a fix for, and Microsoft would want to fix. This wouldn't be worth more than a couple of paragraphs in a news story, except that Microsoft has chosen to respond . . . oddly.

Given the company's penchant for throwing updates and fixes at us in Windows Update, you'd expect to see a fix listed in the next set of updates. But no, no automatic fix-and-forget. Apparently Microsoft has known about the problem for long enough to get a fix into Vista Service Pack 1, but didn't put a fix in there, either.

There is a fix. You just have to ask for it. There's an article in Microsoft's Help and Support Knowledge Base (go here) that describes the problem -- "This problem occurs because of a memory leak in the Windows OLE component. This memory leak is triggered by the way that Windows Explorer deals with the extended attributes of the files." The solution: "To resolve this problem, submit a request to Microsoft Online Customer Services to obtain the hotfix. To submit an online request to request the hotfix, go here." It's a generic request form that requires the Knowledge Base article number, which is not easy to spot, so I'll give it to you: 942435.

Or you could just start rebooting Vista every once in a while. Just in case. But wait, wasn't Vista supposed to fix that?