Why am I getting a message about not enough ram when upgrading to Vista?

by on December 10, 2008

Q: I currently have Windows XP Home Edition and I am trying to upgrade to Windows Vista but I get a message saying I have 248 MB of RAM and need 548 MB of RAM. What does this mean?

5 Responses to “Why am I getting a message about not enough ram when upgrading to Vista?”

    Windows XP requires less system resources to run than Windows Vista does.

    Your computer currently has about 256MB of RAM but Windows Vista actually requires at least 512MB RAM. It is actually rather silly to run Windows Vista with less than 1GB and you should really use at least 2GB in my opinion.


    I would like to add one observation.

    I notice that your computer currently reports 248 MB of RAM. What this means is that your computer probably has 256 MB of RAM, but 8 MB of that has been reserved to send video from your computer to your monitor. To be honest, you will probably be dissatisfied with 8 MB of video memory in Windows Vista.

    You can buy a graphics card to add more video memory to your computer. Nevertheless, if your computer is more than two or three years old, I strongly recommend that you consider purchasing a new computer.

    Does this help?


    Thank-you very much for your reply!
    A while back I had to reinstall windows xp on my computer and it wouldn’t reconize the video card (vga compatible) the sound card, or the ethernet. I found some drivers on the internet that seemed to work and put another ethernet in my computer. I know this might have something to do with whats wrong. My computer didn’t come with a disk so I did the best I could. Here is some info about my computer maybe you could tell me if I just need to buy more ram or if I need to fix video problem?
    System Model HP d220 MT (DS942A)
    OS Name Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
    Version 5.1.2600 Service Pack 2 Build 2600
    OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation

    System Manufacturer Hewlett-Packard
    System Model HP d220 MT (DS942A)
    System Type X86-based PC
    Processor x86 Family 15 Model 2 Stepping 9 GenuineIntel ~2666 Mhz
    BIOS Version/Date American Megatrends Inc. 1.14, 4/14/2005
    SMBIOS Version 2.3
    Windows Directory C:\WINDOWS
    System Directory C:\WINDOWS\system32
    Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume1
    Locale United States
    Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = “5.1.2600.2180 (xpsp_sp2_rtm.040803-2158)”
    User Name HOME-ECCB5155C4\Owner
    Time Zone Pacific Standard Time
    Total Physical Memory 256.00 MB
    Available Physical Memory 37.99 MB
    Total Virtual Memory 2.00 GB
    Available Virtual Memory 1.96 GB
    Page File Space 605.87 MB
    Page File C:\pagefile.sys
    Thanks again for your info!

    Picked as best answer

    Hi mdmsweetm,

    Thanks for the detailed information. I seriously doubt that the drivers you installed in XP are causing your Vista upgrade problems.

    As Matt and I both suspected, your computer does not have enough RAM (total physical memory) to run Windows Vista. The Vista installer knows this, and thus refuses to install. The minimum system requirements for Vista can be found at: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-vista/get/system-requirements.aspx

    My research indicates that your current computer was likely made sometime between 2003 and 2005. The hardware in your computer is not very powerful by today’s standards. And in my experience, very few computers last longer than five years.

    The smartest move, in my opinion, is for you to purchase a new computer. Today, a decent desktop computer will have 4 GB or more of RAM and a respectable laptop comes with at least 2 GB of RAM.

    Let me know if this advice is helpful.

    PS: If you decide to purchase a new computer, you may wish to consider switching from Microsoft Windows to Mac OS X or Linux.


    Thank you for your help! Happy Holidays!
    I’ve been pretty good this year so hopefully santa will bring me a new computer.