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Spreadsheet too big for computer's RAM?

  Asked By: Chloe    Date: Sep 05    Category: MS Office    Views: 1900

I'm approaching 8.5 MB on a spreadsheet and Excel routinely shuts down
on my edits. Question how much Paging File Size do you need on the
hard drive, ratio 1.5 to RAM, to build or operate let's say a 10 MB
spreadsheet? I have a 'feelin' Excel is labor intensive on the Paging
File Size. If this is the case I'd add RAM and increase Paging File
Size. But by how much at a minimum?



12 Answers Found

Answer #1    Answered By: Trae Thompson     Answered On: Sep 05

This may be a silly question, but have you turned off Auto Calculation?

Answer #2    Answered By: Rochelle Elliott     Answered On: Sep 05

Thank you for pointing me to on/off Auto Calculation. In this instance
turning off Auto Calc. helps ease the grind, to rescucitate a wkbk by
transferring data out into another wkbk. But since I posted to the group,
I've discovered something more insidious than possibly tight ram  which is
tearing up my Excel wkbks, it is the Smartdraw pgm which, after I uninstall
it as a program and then yank it as an office ad-in, has now made itself
into a System File and is still shutting down my Excel.

Answer #3    Answered By: Silvia Chapman     Answered On: Sep 05

Don't you Love those add-ins! NOT!

You can probably start Excel with the /a switch to make sure that it does
not load any add-ins, but I'm not for sure regarding the exact syntax.

Answer #4    Answered By: Ty Thompson     Answered On: Sep 05

Not knowing your machine specifications.

Page files can be adjusted manually if required. Additional RAM
will improve performance, Page files are placed on the Hard Drive
when memory needs to be freed up. Years ago Page Files were known as
Swap Files.

Before you do anything, try defragging your drive  or drives.
Defragging should improve your HD performance. If your drive or
drives are partitioned, defrag each partition.

Additionally, You might want to run the repair utility on your
office installation. Then visit the Office website for available

Answer #5    Answered By: Grady Stewart     Answered On: Sep 05

On the question  is Excel hard not on RAM, but on Page file  which is
RAM's space on the HD, I think I found something. Review it's an
8.5 MB Wkbk (lots of clip art, see my Mes.# 4475)in 750 MB space of
Page File and it kept crashing. I did another defrag like you said,
and it looks like Page File is the one single type of working file
that was fragmented. This raises a good question, how labor
intensive is Excel on the HD's Page File and how much RAM/Page File
ratio do you need to run big  (& showy?) Excel workbooks. X50-60 may
be crashing me. X100? X150-250?

(And note an Office repair utility won't help the situation.)

Here's a copy of my DEFRAG RPT and please look at it:

Volume (C:)
Volume size  = 93.15 GB
Cluster size = 4 KB
Used space = 6.99 GB
Free space = 86.16 GB
Percent free space = 92 %

Volume fragmentation
Total fragmentation = 0 %
File fragmentation = 0 %
Free space fragmentation = 0 %

File fragmentation
Total files = 52,490
Average file size = 200 KB
Total fragmented files = 0
Total excess fragments = 0
Average fragments per file = 1.00

Pagefile fragmentation
Pagefile size = 768 MB
Total fragments = 1

Folder fragmentation
Total folders = 2,280
Fragmented folders = 1
Excess folder fragments = 0

Master File Table (MFT) fragmentation
Total MFT size = 55 MB
MFT record count = 55,066
Percent MFT in use = 97 %
Total MFT fragments = 2

Answer #6    Answered By: Brendan Smith     Answered On: Sep 05

Your HD appears to be almost empty with plenty of free space.
Fragmentation would not seem to be an issue. Cluster size  4k, are
you using FAT or FAT32? Based on the size of the drive, I would
guess FAT32. There are limitations using FAT, FAT32 should work,
NTFS would be better.

What version of Windows, Excel, How much installed RAM?

Is it possible to duplicate the problem on a different machine?

I have followed some of your messages. You mention the use of png's.
Have you considered temporarily removing them? Or perhaps using a
different format for your graphics.

I am not an expert on Excel but have repaired many PC's.

Answer #7    Answered By: Faiza Mian     Answered On: Sep 05

There IS a lot of fragmentation going on in a tiny section of my
HD. In answer to your question  on my software, it's Windows XP 5.1
2002, Office 2003 SP-1, 500+ MB RAM. But it's not the real Windows
(ref. my newphew). In answer to your question on .png's--YES I've
removed them, and have removed every downloaded one from every place
in file  storage that I could do. I've replaced .png with .jpg.

The puzzle is, that the problem began it seems with download of lots
of .png (portable network graphics)clip art into successive sheets
of my workbooks (majority of clip art were directional arrows, &
it's a sane project) until everything crashed. Now after removal of
all .png, the crash problem continues only on my largest sheets as I
attempt hefty edits.

Answer #8    Answered By: Felix Gray     Answered On: Sep 05

I looked back at the previous entries on this thread, but I
didn't see anyone mention the issue of cleaning the code or the
registry activeX errors.
I don't know if that was something that you have already checked
or not, but I had some spreadsheets crash on me until I cleaned the
code from the VBE, which I used the freeware program from:
http://www.appspro.com/Utilities/CodeCleaner.htm. (be sure to back
up the program before you try that, though . . . it works, but have
had some weird results on occasion)

The other time that I kept having crashes like that for me was
corrected by running RegSeeker (I used the freeware version) and
cleaning out all the activeX errors in the registry.

All that is to say partially that the problem may have more to
do with a corruption in that specific file, rather than your Excel.

Answer #9    Answered By: Sultana Tabassum     Answered On: Sep 05

Am originator of this thread.

Yes, I'm having a problem with dirty code and activeX. Thank you and I'll
do what you suggest. ActiveX won't come onto my "version" of Windows so
that'll change. The code is simple, it's just macros that move you up/down
sheets but there's a lot, I didn't pull it off to completion, changed
computers, and surprising the couple of error messages lately. Have been
looking for someone to do the VBA code cleanup for me (Sunland, So.
California) but there's no one yet. (My little bit of schooling in VBA is 9
years old). Thank you for your advice.

Am also going to test the 1GB of RAM (expand the Page File space on HD)

If you all ARE waiting for a resolution to this dilemma, because you want to
safely produce commerciable spreadsheets (the dancing girls) or you are
protective of your HD (Page File), know it'll take me a couple of weeks at
least to conclude this. Am housebound caring for a sick person. But you'll
hear the end of this, I promise.

Answer #10    Answered By: Hollie Hughes     Answered On: Sep 05

I do hope you have been able to make some progress with
this . . . and can certainly understand that it takes a lot of time
in a homebound w/sick person situation. . . . just thought I'd check
in to let you know that we do hope you also get the result you need.

Answer #11    Answered By: Jackson Williams     Answered On: Sep 05

Sorry for the delay in replying. The problem isn't Page File/RAM--the
sheets respond to editing attempts same way on a 1 gb computer as on a 500
mb one. So next up is dirty code or other, and I won't have answers until
after the holidays. Am not going to attempt anything on my own. Thank you.

Answer #12    Answered By: Ethan Evans     Answered On: Sep 05

I have a
Precision 470 with two Gigs of RAM that I am working on.

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