Low Virtual Memory Startup Error and Lockup


Out of the blue, a XP/PRO box started to popup:

Your system is low on virtual memory. Windows is increasing
the size of your virtual memory paging file. During this
process, memory requests for some applications may be denied.
For more information, see Help.

Clicking OK, does nothing. Nothing can be started. Mouse was active.

By lockup, I mean, nothing is happening, although the mouse is active and I mode the error dialog box around.

After rebooting, the XP logo appears, you get the clear blue screen as it appears to begin the desktop (or login page) then it popups the error again. Clicking OK, nothing happens even after repeating the reboot and waiting hours.

We tried other the following:

1) Ran XP CD install -> Repair

Same thing

2) Tried under SAFE mode, here you get to the special black screen safe screen with indicators in all four corners of the screen, when the popup appears and locks up.

3) Using a BART PE CD, I ran CHKDSK /F on the two partitions C: and D: (Windows is on C) and it all came back very quickly with no errors.

4) Under BART, I explored all the temporary files, cleared up, and even deleted the C:\PAGEFILE.SYS after speaking with a friend is the IT manager of a major franchise corporation (AKA, he knows Windows administration). He indicated this happens all the time and he suggested to delete page file and also provided a Registry option to delete the page file at startup. However, since we couldn't get to the registry "hive" from BART, that operation was not possible.

But the deleting of the pagefile.sys should of worked according to my friend. On startup, windows does recreate the pagefile.sys, but then the same popup error and lockup occurs.

That is where I am at with this.

All web references to this show help but that assumes that you can get past the popup error to the desktop. Here, nothing happens.

Short of a complete re-installation of Windows, is there any other solution I can try?

Thanks in Advance

PS: Some details:

- BOX is a P4, 2.0 ghz, 256 MB ram
- 80 GIG Seagate Drive, evenly split partition as C:, D:
- Windows XP/Pro purchased at Office Max.
- Installed earlier this year.
- Windows installed on Drive C:
- Windows XP/PRO, SP3, Genuine Activated.