It's about memory (RAM) - not storage ...
Right, so it's a 64 bit system. In theory that could support many terabytes of memory (RAM) but in reality there is likely to be a hardware limit coming from the way this specifc laptop model has been designed. You say your RAM is already maxed out, but you don't tell us how much RAM there is. It should be between 4GB and 16GB is my guess. It wouldn't make sense to run a system with less than 4GB in 64 bit mode (although you can ...) But this doesn't matter too much in any event - we are looking at a problem that will hit you sooner if you have a small amunt of memory and later if you have lots. But it will eventually hit you. Back in the days of "old" Windows it wasn't such a big problem, because your system would crash about two or three times a day anyway. After a reboot all programs would have to allocate memory all over again.
Okay, I am getting ahead of myself here - let me first explain what is happening: We are starting from the assumption (according to Murphy) that there is essentially no bug-free software. In particular, all software that can run for extended periods of time and can allocate memory for its own use, can and most likely will - over time - allocate memory and forget to release it again when it is no longer needed. After a while most memory on the system will thus be allocated, even if it is no longer needed.
In many cases it is sufficient to close such a program to release the memory it holds. Unfortunately, there is a chance that the memory was allocated in such a way that cannot be associated with this program; thus it is not released at program termination. Such memory can only be reclaimed via a reboot.
So much for the pure theory. In practical terms we find that by far the most memory related problems come from browsers and from the way certain websites are configured. If you want to learn more about your specific situation, remember that Task Manager is your friend. It may take a bit of studying or just plain observation On the performance tab you can see overall memory use, on the processes tabs you can see which programs use most of the memory - you can even sort the table by memory (or any other column) simply by clicking on the column header. This works in many places in Windows nowadays.
On my computers it is almost alway the browser that uses up most of the memory. With multiple browser windows and tabs this got worse over time. The good news is that you can shut down all the browser windows and restart the ones you still need, which usually frees up a lot of memory. So, a reboot isn't always needed (although it is not such a bad idea to reboot from time to time, even if Windows no longer forces your hand ...)
What I haven't discussed yet is the virtual memory mechanism, which allows Windows to free up some memory by copying its contents to disk until it is needed again. This can be really useful - until the "swap-out" to disk starts monopolizing the system resources and there is hardly any time left for the actual processing.
Windows has a number of strategies to deal with a memory-tight situation. One would be to increase the size of the disk-based virtual memory pool, so that more memory can be freed by swapping its content out to disk. As long as swapping doesn't get out of hand this can be quite helpful. But clearly there are limits.
The Windows versions of today try to avoid what seemed to be the strategy in the past - if in doubt, just crash ...
This is why Windows will eventually decide that - short of a reboot - only the termination of one or more programs will resolve the issue. Since Windows can't guess which programs you could do without or which programs don't need to save their files first before shutting down it comes forward with the message you saw.
In my experience, when it comes to that point it is best to quickly work towards an orderly shutdown and reboot, because it is quite possible that the next surprise will be a crash, especially if the cause of the memory crunch is still active and chewing away.
What can you do to avoid this situation? Well, once again: Task Manager is your friend. Run it in the performance view for a while and watch when the memory curve (the bottom one) goes up and when it goes down. Use this and the processes view to identify your greatest memory hog. If it is not your browser consider running this program by itself for a while to better study its memory use patterns. You may also contact the vendor about the memory use or upgrade to a newer version or a competing program.
But most likely it is your browser, and most likely it is one specific web site. And, strictly following Murphy's Law, it will be the single most important web site in your life. Well, even so, make it a point to shut down your browswer once or twice a day just to reset the memory use.
If this helps, good. Otherwise - come back here with your results and let's all see what we can make of them.
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