Windows Desktop Heap Tweak Guide Posted!

Discussion in 'Reviews & Articles' started by Dashken, Jul 17, 2005.

  1. Dashken

    Dashken Administrator!

    Ever had problems opening or running applications even when your system has a LOT of free memory? Isn't it puzzling to get "Out Of Memory" errors when you evidently have a lot of free memory??

    What you are actually facing is a lack of desktop heap! Today, we will show you just how to fix this annoying problem once and for all!


    Link : Windows Desktop Heap Tweak Guide!

    SAMSAMHA Newbie

    nice article, very informative.
  3. GarPhreak

    GarPhreak Newbie

    Yup, informative, never even heard of the desktop heap before this! :lol:

    A couple of questions:

    1. What does it mean to "create more desktops" [point #5. in the Solution]? Isn't there only one desktop i.e. the one on the screen? :shifty:

    2. Why would there be an additional number in the SharedSection values? Opened up regedit on this college PC and found the values to be 1024,3072,512,512. :eh:
  4. peaz

    peaz ARP Webmaster Staff Member

    2. I think the fourth value is actually invalid. THere's no reference of a fourth value anywhere at all. i think it got there by an installation of an application that added a ",512" to that value which already had a thrid value.
  5. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    1. What they mean by creating more desktops is referring to interactive desktops. For example, screensaver or a user login. Yes, even a screensaver is considered as a separate desktop. :mrgreen:

    For each user, Windows will create a separate desktop. Therefore, if you increase the amount of desktop heap, then fewer user logins can be created. This is because the total desktop heap must fit within the fixed 48MB system-wide buffer.

    2. Yeah, I think that fourth value is invalid. As far as I can tell, only the first 3 values have any purpose. :think:
  6. GarPhreak

    GarPhreak Newbie

    Thanx for the replies. :mrgreen:

    Still don't really understand the desktop thingy though. :oops:

    Do screensavers only count as desktops while they're running? What other forms of interactive desktops are there? Isn't a larger desktop heap at the expense of creating fewer user logins not such a big deal? I mean, how many people are usually logged in to one PC anyway? :shifty:
  7. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Yes, I suppose the screensaver is only counted as a desktop when it runs. :think:

    There are three kinds of interactive desktops. You can check them out here -;EN-US;184802

    Well, it's not a big deal for end-user machines. But remember, this is not a problem only for Windows XP. This problem affects Windows NT, Windows 2000 and even Windows Server 2003! So, increasing the desktop heap may not be a desirable option if you are running a server that needs to service many clients.
  8. Bestia(ry)

    Bestia(ry) Mac'ster

    True, true.
    Modified the heap but it's still not enough to run 3DSMax, SolidWorks and SoftImage at the same time. :haha:
    But that's not the guides fault, it looks like it's just not possible. ^^
  9. peaz

    peaz ARP Webmaster Staff Member

    think of desktops as user sessions :) each user logins will have their own desktop/sessions.
  10. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    How much more did you add to the desktop heap? :think:

    Are you sure it's not due to the lack of memory?? :wicked: :haha:
  11. Bestia(ry)

    Bestia(ry) Mac'ster

    :shifty: :shhh: .. I thought so as well .. :haha:
  12. NTGEEK

    NTGEEK Newbie

    Using Terminal services or remote desktop? That 48 mb number goes down to 20!
    The fourth parameter is for terminal services.
    Want to increase the size of the heap?
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management \SessionViewSize
    Desktop heap has been a passion of mine for 6 years now.
    What was Microsoft thinking? Why isn't this stuff published except for in obscure Q articles that don't seem related to heap in general????

    Correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding of the SharedSection parameters was:

    SystemHeap,InteractiveDesktopHeap,Non-interactiveDesktopHeap,Terminal Services

    Also, Want to let a service in the noninteractive heap space have access to the interactive? The checkbox "allow service to interact with desktop" Let's the services share space with the interactive.

    Have fun, and remember, if your system won't boot after making changes, "Last Known good configuration" actually works on XP and 2003.
  13. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Hmm.. There's a fourth number for Terminal Services?? :think:

    Do you have any link to Microsoft's Q articles that covers this?

  14. NTGEEK

    NTGEEK Newbie

    kb article shows that the first value is obsolete (search for the word obsolete) has a thread where somone from microsoft includes this information about the fourth parameter. Nothing official on that fourth parameter is anywhere. Its a shame really because it says something (bad) about their support organization in not getting this information out to the general public.
    As far as setting the actual global heap size :
    There is an interesting article here:;en-us;840342

    I am glad to see this information being compiled somewhere by someone with as good a reputation as yourself. Maybe for the fourth parameter you could word it "There is some mystery surrounding the fourth parameter. While there is strong circumstancial evidence that this is related to terminal services, microsoft remains silent" ;)
  15. peaz

    peaz ARP Webmaster Staff Member

    Hmmm interesting... tell you what I'll go and investigate that fourth value to see what happens. At my workplace, I use teminal services quite often to several servers and some of them have so many services running, that sometimes when i term in, i can't open many apps... will check it out...
  16. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Thanks for the links! :thumb:

    Will definitely make an update to the guide, as soon as peaz gets back to me with his findings!
  17. Elkdad

    Elkdad Newbie


    OK, I just adjusted from 3072 to 4096KB of interactive desktop heap with no ill effects. I don't think this is my problem, but I didn't see why I shouldn't be able to try it.

    Could you possibly link me to a forum in which I could discuss my system lockup problem? Thanks.

    BTW, I hadn't planned that the shipper would have had the box I sent the ZM80C in dragged behind a submarine.

  18. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Hehe.. Yup, no real harm increasing the desktop heap. :mrgreen:

    Sure. You can post it in the Technical Support forum -

    Yeah, I didn't expect them to do so either. :wall:
  19. sri

    sri Newbie

    Monitoring desktop heap size

    Very interesting and informative article.:clap:
    Is it possible to monitor or programatically find the remaining
    desktop heap size and shared desktop heap size :?:

    Cheers :)
  20. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Hmm.. sorry, I have no idea how you can do that. :think:

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