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st: -set mem- allows allocating more memory only after a few trials

From   Duha Altindag <>
To   statalist <>
Subject   st: -set mem- allows allocating more memory only after a few trials
Date   Sun, 19 Sep 2010 16:04:07 -0500

I have a 64 bit Stata 11.1 SE and a 64 bit Win 7 OS with 2 processors
and 4 GB memory. Windows Task Manager tells me I have 3965 MB of total
physical memory.
This is not a complaint, I'm curious about why and how this following
situation can take place:
Currently, many programs are running including IE and another web
browser, Acrobat Reader, MS Word, Excel in addition to 4 separate
Stata windows with 50 MB memory allocated to each.
I start another Stata window and I can -set mem 5g-, no problem. (How come?)
Then I try doing -set mem 6g-. The first couple of times I receive
"op. sys. refuses to provide memory" error. At the third time, Stata
(or Windows) allows 6g. I can continue increasing the allocated memory
up to 15g with 1g increments at a time. If I receive a "op. sys.
refuses to provide memory" error for a specific memory level, mem, I
keep repeating the same command a few times, then it works.
Does anyone have an idea why and how?
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