MSMQ: Insufficient resources to perform operation.

time to read 2 min | 330 words

I run into an annoyingly persistent error on a production server:

System.Messaging.MessageQueueException: Insufficient resources to perform operation.
at System.Messaging.MessageQueue.SendInternal(Object obj, MessageQueueTransaction internalTransaction, MessageQueueTransactionType transactionType)
at System.Messaging.MessageQueue.Send(Object obj)
at ConsoleApplication1.Program.Main(String[] args)

This was generated from the following code:

class Program
static void Main(string[] args)
var queue = new MessageQueue(@".\private$\MyQueue");
test msg");

catch (Exception e)

The error was happening on all queues, and persisted even after rebooting the machine. I should mention that we had a runaway message generation, and we have queues with lots of messages currently.  The queue that I was trying to send the message to was empty, however. And there was no reading/writing on the queues.

Nasty issue to figure out, I was pointed to this post, and indeed, suggestion #7 was it, we run over the machine quota for MSMQ, so it started rejecting messages.

No one really thought about it, because we never set the quota, but it seems that by default there is a 1GB quota for the entire machine. This is usually more than enough to handle things, I would assume, but when you run into a convoy situation, bad things will happen.