Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Error message in Notes 11.0.1: "Insufficient memory - local heap is full"

I recently (like last week) upgraded Notes on my main workstation from 10.0.1 to 11.0.1FP1. The installation went uneventfully. But when I ran Notes and tried to open my mail database, Notes locked up and presented me with an error I hadn't seen before:
 Insufficient memory - local heap is full
I immediately Googled the error, but got nothing very useful in return. So then I decided to run the standard array of Notes maintenance tasks: Fixup. Compact -c. Updall. Not much help there either. But I noticed that Notes wasn't failing until I clicked the Mail or Calendar links in either the Task Bar or the Open List. So I tried opening mail manually, via Ctrl+O. That did seem to have a positive effect. My mail opened! And I was able to work with it for awhile. But eventually the error message popped up again and I had to kill and restart Notes to get back to work again.

So, as a last resort, I decided to give HCL Support a try. And pretty quickly I had a positive result. I searched my error message in the KnowledgeBase and got a direct hit - KB0081067.. (I wonder why it didn't turn up in my Google search.)

The fix in the KBase article directed me to carry out what amounted to a fresh reconfiguraton of Notes. I carried it out. It worked in that, afterwards, Notes could open my mail without the lockup. But it was a problem for me because I lost all my Desktop folders and tiles and all my bookmarks.

And it seemed like more of a workaround than a solution to me. Yeah, it might get Notes to run and open my mail DB. But it didn't provide any clue as to why the error was occurring and it didn't reassure me at all that the error wouldn't occur again some day. And, for me, losing all my tiles and bookmarks was a painful solution. I sort of live and die by my Notes configuration.

So I opened a support ticket. A nice, knowledgeable support tech named Nic responded and agreed that, yes, my tiles and bookmarks would be wiped out. And, no, the fix in the KBase article was not a permanent fix.

I asked if increasing the size of the local heap would be a sensible thing to do. Nic said, yes it would, but the new, bigger heap would consume about 2 GB of RAM. My workstation has 16 GB of RAM, so I asked how to proceed. Nic provided me with a link to this additional KBase article that described the procedure. I followed it. Notes is running. Mail is opening. So far, so good.

I suggested to Nic that the first KBase article needs to be amended to: 1) add a caveat about losing one's Notes configuration if one follows the instructions; 2) add the fact that following the reconfiguration procedure isn't necessarily a permanent fix; 3) state that one should alternatively consider increasing the heap size if one has sufficient RAM; and 4) provide the link to the second article describing the procedure for increasing the heap size. Nic agreed that the article should be amended with those items.

By the way, my experience with HCL Tech Support has been generally positive so far. And, thanks, Nic, for your helpful support.