BackingStore running out of memory in Windows XP

I’m running into a problem with page redraws in PowerPoint in Office 2007, running under Windows XP. It seems to be caused by Matlab. If I run matlab and open (and draw to) a number of figures, Matlab prints the following error message multiple times:
Out of Windows Resources: Allocation of bitmap failed. Disabling backingstore for current figure.

Once this happens, the main display of pages in PowerPoint won’t draw the page. It is either blank, or has whatever was shown in a window that had been over it. I can force a redraw of a single page by grabbing the Powerpoint window by the title bar, and sliding it off the monitor and then back into view. It still won’t change that image if I change to a different page or edit that page. If I close the Matlab session that gave the errors, PowerPoint starts to work normally again.

Matlab has only a little bit about it. As someone else wrote (the fourth reply), however, their solution is useless.

I have 4 GBytes of RAM (although My Computer -> Properties reports 3.25 GBytes), and adding the VM Size of all the processes in the Windows Task Manager is only about 1 GByte. I didn’t have this problem with the 2003 version of PowerPoint.

So my questions are, what exactly is the backing store? Is there some windows setting that will increase it? Is there some way to run Matlab so that it won’t affect PowerPoint? (I’m wondering if Matlab is completely disabling backing store for all processes, not just itself.) Any other ideas?

I’ve tried the /3GB switch to no effect. I’ve also tried opening Powerpoint with “powerpnt /safe” in Start -> Run, also to no effect.


It sounds like you have a runaway program leaking memory. Is it imperative that you run both Matlab and Powerpoint at the same time?

Something you might want to try:

Scroll down to Apply the Workaround.

Thanks, but the “Apply the Workaround” is the /3GB switch I mentioned in my OP. It doesn’t seem to be a general memory problem, but rather the backingstore memory. AFAICT, that’s memory set aside for storing a bitmap of what’s in a window, so that it can be used to redraw a window without regenerating the window, but by just pasting the bitmap back into place (I think).