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Best protection for least memory usage?


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6 replies to this topic

#1 wordforger

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 02:15 PM

I have an older laptop that runs on Windows XP and after I got a nasty rogue anti-spyware installed on it, I found this site to help me remove it, and found some of the programs that are supposed to help keep my computer clean and running at its best. I installed Avast! and ZoneAlarm to protect my computer, along with the WOT, Adblock Plus, and NoScript add-ons to Firefox to alert me of a site's reputation, block annoying/malicious ads, and block possible drive-by downloads (and other annoying scripts).

The problem I now have, though, is that even with memory optimizers I constantly run out of memory when running my computer. I would like to see if there is a free replacement for what these tools do that takes up less memory. I have access to a free version of McAffee through my school, but otherwise must rely on normal freeware.

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#2 Didier Stevens

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 02:22 PM

The problem I now have, though, is that even with memory optimizers I constantly run out of memory when running my computer.


Can you please tell us how you know you "run out of memory"?
Is it because said memory optimizers tell you you've run out of memory?
Or do you get a Windows warning (which one exactly)?
Or does your computer get really slow, and you explain this by "running out of memory"?

Edited by Didier Stevens, 20 January 2011 - 02:23 PM.

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#3 wordforger

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 03:23 PM

I get a windows warning that says "Virtual Memory Minimum Too Low" then something like "please wait while we increase the size of your paging file. While this is happening some applications may be denied".

And then I have to wait because my programs won't do anything while that's happening. Once it's done, I tend to have data disappear on internet pages I'm viewing, like pictures and icons disappearing, which also happens on my web browser too. (I mean that I'll switch to a different tab and part of the background of the browser will disappear along with the icon pictures for the back button, reload, etc. even if they are still clickable, and on the page itself, peoples' user pics, the background, comic pages, and other stuff like that disappears as well).

If it gets REALLY bad, I restart my computer.

Edited by wordforger, 20 January 2011 - 03:33 PM.


#4 Didier Stevens

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 03:38 PM

I see, you describe many of the symptoms of low (virtual) memory.

If you start Task Manager and go to the Processes tab, and sort the processes by Memory Usage, you'll probably see that Firefox is on top. With all its tabs and add-ons, Firefox can eat up a lot of memory, much more than your security tools.

So reducing the memory footprint of your security tools won't probably help, as FF is using the most memory.
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#5 ThunderZ

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 03:51 PM

IMO. Most memory optimizers are "snake oil". Meaning they do nothing but add another process that only eats up more memory.

While some will argue as to the effectiveness of Zone Alarm it can be a bit of a resource hog. Firefox as well.

The simplest though not cheapest fix would be adding more RAM (memory) if your system supports it. Doing this would also reduce the wear and tear on your hard drive where your Virtual Memory resides.
But that would be another topic for the System Building and Upgrade forum.

#6 Didier Stevens

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 04:09 PM

IMO. Most memory optimizers are "snake oil". Meaning they do nothing but add another process that only eats up more memory.

I second that. And most importantly, Mark Russinovich says the same.
That's why I asked about the symptoms.

The simplest though not cheapest fix would be adding more RAM (memory) if your system supports it.

In this case, adding memory is certainly the solution, but when I read "old laptop", I fear it won't be easy.
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#7 ichito

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 08:17 AM

@wordforger
Maybe this thread helps you http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=291332
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