The Memory bug was reported in the first week of CS4 released (about 18 months ago) However, Adobe refuses to fix or provide a patch or update for Illustrator. The last update was over 4 years ago.
You are not alone:
This is a very small list of user complaining and trying to find a work around because Adobe does not care to helps us.
What do you think about setting up an external hard drive for example: Western Digital 650 GB 800 firewire for a scratch disk usage? Do you think that might help?
The bug is in the software, nothing to do with your computer. You can be doing a simple shape or complex illustration and you will still get the same error. One thing about this bug is very random.
So increasing the hard drive space or buying more memory wont help. Sorry!
You can try this steps: http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/326/326405.html
I hope this helps!
Here is the problem as I see it they have 2GB of RAM and are running a system that uses about 1 GB of RAM so if they run a browser and e-mail client they are straining their system.
The application requires 2GB to run well by itself if you open another application that will really strain everything. The minimum requirement is 1 GB of RAM. Also there is a requirement to run the screen at certain resolution probably the same as CS 5 which is 1024x768 display (1280x800 recommended) with 16-bit video card but that might not be the case
She will do well to add as much additional RAM as her book takes and an external drive as a scratch is a fine idea.
You have to keep in mind that Illustrator has unlimited undos that requires a good scratch disk with continuous free space.
Using the on drive on the MacBook depending on the size and how many files she saves and deletes and how much it is fragmented makes a big difference. Do you Know how much space she has free on her hard disk?
She might want to only keep current projects on her internal drive anyway or at least have an external drive to back up everything she does.
Let us know about the amount of RAM she is capable of loading and the amount of free space she has oner drive.
Well her MacBook is early 2008 and it can take up to 4 GB ram. We are going to purchase additional ram. Also, she only has about 8 -10 GB hard drive space left. You were right about the memory taking up a lot of resources for other programs and trying to share out what's left for Illustrator. She usually has Microsoft Office 2008 open, all of CS4 Design Premium open and we use Suitcase Fusion 2. I-Tunes running and Safari. Wow that was really an eye opener for me how much you really need just for MS Office too!. Just another hint, I turned off the MS Office updater and decided we can choose when we want it to check for updates. That made a huge difference as well for freeing up resources on her MacBook. We are also going to purchase a Western Digital Passport 650 GB hard drive and set that up for her scratch disk. Thanks again for all your help everyone! Now for a side note: Why would we want to ever upgrade to CS5 if Adobe is not going to fix CS4 known critical memory bug? From a business stand point our ROI doesn't make any sense.
Considering your last post it i obvious that this has nothing to do with Adobe lack of support for memory or nay thing resembling a bug but clearly a user issue. She simply does not have the resources to do anything.
-810 GB of spaces is constraining the use of any space for virtual memory and the RAM cannot handle what she is running.
If she is going to use the computer they way she does the problem will return next year she needs more resources and a newer version of the MacPro
which will take more RAM and offer her a faster processor.
As you can see from Skullmaker's (Hans) post he is clearly wrong there is something wrong the computer unit and that is a lack of resources.
If I were her I would upgrade the computer before purchasing CS5.
But this is clearly a hardware issue.