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Windows Memory Management

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  • Last Updated : 01 Feb, 2022

The memory management in the operating system is to control or maintain the main memory and transfer processes from the primary memory to disk during execution. Memory management keeps track of all memory locations, whether the process uses them or not. Determines how much memory should be allocated to each process. Specifies how much memory each process should be given. It decides which processes will be remembered and when. It tracks when memory is released or when it is shared and changes the status accordingly.

Windows Memory Management

Microsoft Windows has its own virtual address space for each 32-bit process, allowing up to 4 gigabytes of memory to be viewed. Each process has 8-terabyte address space on 64-bit Windows. All threads have access to the visible address space of the process. Threads, on the other hand, do not have access to the memory of another process, which protects one process from being damaged by another.

Architecture for 32-bit Windows: The automatic configuration of the 32-bit Windows Operating System (OS) allocates 4 GB (232) of accessible memory space to the kernel and user programs equally. With 4 GB physical memory available, the kernel will receive 2 GB and the app memory will receive 2 GB. Kernel-mode address space is shared by all processes, but application mode access space is provided for each user process.

Architecture for 64-bit Windows: The automatic configuration of the 64-bit Windows Operating System (OS) allocates up to 16 TB (254) of accessible memory space to the kernel and user programs equally. As 16 TB real memory is available, the kernel will have 8 TB of virtual address (VA) space and user application memory will have 8 TB of VA space. Visible address space in the kernel is allocated for all processes. Each 64-bit functionality gets its place, but each 32-bit system works on a 2 GB (Windows) virtual machine.

Virtual Address Space

The process’ visible address space is the range of memory addresses that you can use. The address area of ‚Äč‚Äčeach process is private, and can only be accessed through other processes if it is shared.

A virtual address does not reflect the actual location of an object in memory; instead, the system stores a table for each process, which is an internal data structure that converts visible addresses into local addresses. The program converts the virtual address into a local address every time the chain refers to it.

The virtual address area of Windows is divided into two parts: one for process use and the other for system usage.

Virtual Memory Functions

A process can alter or determine the state of pages in its virtual address space using virtual memory functions.

The width of the visible address space is reserved for the process. Although saving address space does not provide material storage, it prevents scope from using other sharing processes. It does not affect other active address spaces for other processes. Page storage reduces unnecessary use of virtual storage while allowing the process of setting aside part of its address space for the flexible data structure. As required, the procedure can provide a physical repository for this area.

Provide a set of cached pages in the address of the process so that only a shared process can access real storage (either RAM or disk).

For the most dedicated pages, specify read/write, read-only, or no access. This differs from the general distribution procedures, which often provide read/write access to the pages.

Release a set of saved pages, making the visible address set accessible for the following call process sharing actions.

We can withdraw a group of committed pages, freeing up portable storage that can be assigned to any process in the future.

To prevent the program from changing pages in the file, lock one or more memory pages bound to the virtual memory (RAM). Find information about a set of pages in a call process or the address space of a specific process. It may change the access protection of a set of pages bound to the physical address of the call process.

Heap Functions

The system provides a default heap for each process. Private heaps can help applications that make frequent allocations from the heap perform better. A private heap is a block of one or more pages in the caller process’s address space. After constructing the private heap, the process manages the memory in it via operations like HeapAlloc and HeapFree.

File Mapping

The association of file content with a piece of visible address space in the process is known as a file map. To track this relationship, the system creates a file map maker (also known as a category object). File view is the physical address area are used for the file content access process. The process may use both input and outgoing sequences (I/O) thanks to the file map. It also allows the process to work effectively with large data files, such as websites, without requiring the entire file to be mapped to memory. Files with a memory map can be used with many processes to exchange data.

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