Do you have Clean My Mac installed and have you tried repairing permissions?
User at that link is running v10.6 but same error message.
The message means that a swapfile could not be created. It has nothing to do with file permissions. One of the first things you should learn about the Mac platform is that "repairing permissions" in Disk Utility, although hugely popular, is a waste of time unless you have a specific indication of a permission error involving system files -- which you don't, and probably never will. It spews bogus error messages that sometimes frighten inexperienced users into taking drastic and unnecessary actions.
The second thing you should learn is that with few exceptions, commercial "utility" software for the Mac is useless if you have adequate backups -- which you must have.
A VM size of 180 GB is perfectly normal. Mine is 324 GB right now.
Since you have plenty of space on your startup volume, the error message you saw was invalid. I've seen reports of similar errors, and they seem to represent a bug in Lion. I don't know what triggers it. A reboot seems to resolve the issue, at least temporarily.
I'll get Clean my Mac...
That brings up the next point you should learn. Most of the usability issues reported here are caused by defective or incompatible third-party software that users install; specifically, third-party system modifications like that one. If you want a usable computer, don't install such things unless absolutely necessary to get your work done. Above all, never install any third-party software unless you know how to uninstall it. There is no built-in uninstallation method as there is in Windows.
Thanks link... The 'Clen my Mac' did delete a few hundred MB of log files, etc, harmless I suppose but not hugely helpful as well.
And no 'uninstall' ability... ?? egads, I'm disliking OS X already!
Anyway, since I stopped uping Safari, the error message seems to have gone away. Chrome works just fine. I posted the Safari crash report over on that forum, maybe you can take a look to see if anything jumps out at you.
Thanks again ... btw, I ordered "The Missing Manual". Is that a useful book for wannabes like me or is there a better book on the market?
I do want to trouble shoot the problem.
- Originally there were no 'crash' problems. The system would just lock up and finally stop with the 'no application memory in statrtup disk message'
- Someone here suggested I switch Safari to 32-bit mode; I did that, and Safari would then crash every time I ran it.
- You then asked me to post the crash report, which I did, and then suggested I switch to 64-bit mode.
- So I am back in 64-bit mode, and the original behavior has returned. Safari grows to use about 2GB real memory and the the system stops, and I get the no application memory message.
Can you suggest anything else to look at ?