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Help- Slow Pc - Virtual Memory Problems ?

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#1 wyrdsister


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Posted 06 November 2007 - 03:13 PM

Hi there,

My PC seems particularly slow lately - especially with internet - I was sure I had some kind of infestation but nothing has reared it's head. Basic tasks are taking longer to accomplish and simply having more than one program running can make it excruciatingly slow. For example - even flicking from one browser window to another can take a minute or two. I have started to get the "virtual memory low" error message frequently though I have 256 Mb RAM which, although not a huge amount, has always been sufficient.

Info about my PC:
Acer Veriton 3500
P4 2Ghz
256 RAM
40Gb HDD with 17.2G free
2nd 40Gb HDD with 24.6Gb free Running Windows XP with AVG antivirus (free version) and Comodo Firewall.

I have scanned with Ad-aware and Spybot S&D - ran Housecall and Mcafee Stinger - no major problems found - PC still slow after cleanup - have run scandisk and disk cleanup. Have checked startup programs - CPU usage is generally low.

This problem is mainly occurring only when I am on the internet - I use Mozilla - but problem occurs with IE as well.

I haven't made any system changes that seemed to correspond with the PC slowing down.

If anyone has any ideas I would be most appreciative - is it perhaps a hardware issue?



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#2 Albert Frankenstein

Albert Frankenstein

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 03:19 PM

256 MB of RAM used to be enough, but not after adding XP updates and pretective software such as AntiVirus and AntiSpyware. And certainly not enough if you have resource hogs such as AOL software for instance.

512 is really a minimum for a correctly working XP machine.

Of course an infection is still a possibilty, causing this issue, but more likely is just that you have too many programs running at once for the small amount of RAM installed on your computer. You can adjust the programs that autostart on your computer by following these instructions:

Start > Run

type "msconfig" (without the quotes) Click OK

Click on the Startup tab. Here you will find a list of programs that start when you boot your computer. Uncheck any you don't want to start when you boot up. (You still will be able to start programs through their shortcuts or by going to Start > All Programs. Unchecked programs just won't start automatically at bootup and won't be running in the background.)

You can Google entries or use the Bleeping Computer Startup Database HERE to research the various startup entries, as sometimes they can be a bit cryptic.

Currently home chillin' with the fam and my two dogs!

#3 1101doc


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Posted 06 November 2007 - 10:30 PM

And with but 256 RAM, I feel that you will get the best performance by allowing XP to manage the page file.

With a 2.0 processor and 256 RAM, you've got a V8 mustang with a 2bbl. carb. Just won't perform. Crucial offers free tools to determine the RAM you need: http://www.crucial.com/ Best to get matched pairs.

In the mean time, I suggest Checkdisk: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315265
(Easiest when run from "My Computer.")

A good clean-out of junk files: http://www.atribune.org/content/view/19/2/

A thorough defrag: http://www.kessels.com/JkDefrag/

And a check of the IDE controllers in Device Manager to be sure that they are set to DMA:
Neurons that fire together, wire together.
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