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More Memory Or New Computer?


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#1 marymary770

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 09:18 AM

Hi, I've debating for awhile what, where and how to post about my computer. I'm not to computer savy about all the interior parts on my computer. But I will try my best to describe everything I can. As I think I have more than 1 problem, I didn't want to post them all seperately in different topics. I've been thinking about getting a new computer altogether, but would rather wait, financial reasons. But if it was more practical to just get a new one, than I probably would. My computer is 7 years old and was built at a localy owned computer store. As far as I know, to the best of my knowledge, this is the information about my computer:
Operating System: Windows XP
Antivirus Software: Norton
Firewall: Norton & Windows
Computer: Custom
CPU: AMD 750 Duron
Motherboard: Gigabyte MB-7ZX-1-GBT
Ram: 128 MB 133 Mhz Micron
Storage: Western Digital 20.5 GB
Video Card: ATI Expert 98 8MB AGP
Soundcard: Integrated VT696 3D Sound
Power Supply: Case Edge
Case: Case Edge

I also have Cox highspeed internet. I use IE and OE for mail. When I first had my computer I had PC Cillin. I guess it ran out and I didn't know it. My comp crashed. I went back to where I bought it. He had to put a new hard drive in. But he left the old drive in. Was that supposed to be left in? I transferred everything over to my new drive and deleted everything in my old drive. But it is still there. Like I said, not savy about this internal stuff. LOL. It seems like in the past year or so, my computer is slower than it's ever been. I seemed to notice that after I renewed Norton last July, it got slower. I do remember uninstalling the old Norton and installing the new one. I get a low on virtual memory notice all the time. At least once a day. I've cleaned out my personal files, which I do often anyway. I also bought a 2GB Sandisk Cruzer and transferred all the audio and video to that and deleted it all of my comp. The only thing I have on my comp are pics, which I'm always going through and deleting anyway. And I always resize them to way under 1MB. I try to defrag, disk cleanup and run the anti virus scan at least once a week. I also bought several other programs to see if it would help. I also have and run Spybot, Speedup My PC 3, Ad-Aware2007, Regcure and ARO. It seems after I run all these it will run better for awhile, but then gets slow again. Sometimes when I start my comp, I sort of have to let it "run" for awhile. LOL. Kind of reminds me of an old car that has to warm up. LOL. I don't have a lot of programs installed either. I just mainly use it for browsing and I like to play games on Pogo. Sometimes when I play games on Pogo, especially if I have OE open, it will get jammed up. All my windows will close. Then I get an error message icon from Java on my desktop. It usually says out of memory. Even when I go to defrag it will say there is not enough memory to do so. So when I play on Pogo I close OE. Sometimes even when I'm browsing the web, or trying to post on a message board, if I have incoming mail, IE will slow down and even jam up sometimes. And sometimes it will say "not responding". A lot of times I have to do alt-delete, to close the windows and sometimes it will beep at me. I don't IM either, never run them even though I have them. Right now my tower is quiet. Sometimes it sounds like there is something running loudly and that is when it is slow. Could be some of the cleaning programs I have set to run about once week, even though I do it manually also. OK, this is weird, and this happens now and then, I was just trying to type on here, froze a little, my volume adjuster came up for no apparant reason. And almost everyday we clean out the files in IE. It's freezing up on me right now as I try to type this. :flowers: Eventually, if I look into a new comp, I'd like to get one with DVD/CD burners and more memory. If I got more memory for this comp, would it help? Or should I just look into a new one. Also my monitor, I think, is on it's way out. It's very dark. And I think I have all the settings set properly. I know the brightness is on 100%. But everytime I open that adjuster using the nob in the front, I have a hard time with it. LOL. I don't really know what all the other things are for other than the brightness and window size. Is there something else I need to adjust? I think that just about covers everything. LOL. If there's any other info you need, I can do my best to post it. Or tell me what and how to do it, and I will. Thanks for all your help! :trumpet:

PS - my sister had bought her comp at the same place I got mine, she got hers first. She had to get hers fixed awhile back. I'm not sure where she went, I don't think it was back at the same place. But where she went, oh, I think it was a friend of hers in the comp biz, he told her it was basically junk. Now I'm wondering if mine is basically junk too. LOL. :thumbsup:
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#2 dc3

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 09:39 AM

Hi Marymary770, and welcome to BleepingComputer.

The first thing that I would do would be to upgrade your RAM, XP will run on 128MB of RAM, but very poorly. There are those that say that you need at least 512MB to get it running, and those that say that you need 1GB to get it running well. I tend to agree with the later.

I tried to find information on the motherboard that you have listed so that I could provide you with some specific information on the number of expansion slots, that maximum amount of RAM per slot, and the type of RAM you will need. The information that you have provided for this motherboard doesn't produce any results when it is google, and isn't listed as any of the gigabyte motherboards at Crucial who usually has all of the current board.

Please download SIW, this is a free utility which will list very specific information about your computer. Please open this and look under Hardware and find Motherboard. There are two column titles, Property and Value, under Property you will find Model, please post back here what is listed under the Value for the model.

Edited by dc3, 02 June 2008 - 09:53 AM.

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#3 marymary770

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 02:36 PM

Thank you for your reply. Sorry for taking so long to reply back. After I read your reply, I went and tried to download that program. Was finally able to get it downloaded on the second try. I'm not sure I downloaded the right program, but I think I did. I tried scanning my computer several times. It asked to scan the computer and network. I think I did both. But nothing came up. The only thing it found was 4 uknown files. Which I looked at them and I think it's my IP because I seen Cox in the title. I've been at this all day. And I'm ready to pull my hair out and throw my comp out the window! :flowers: :thumbsup: LOL. This program was incredibly slow on my comp. I had to keep closing it and openeing it. I even tried restarting my comp. I was just going to go uninstall it and try re-installing it. I can't even do that. I get this message:

The installer you are trying to use is corrupt or incomplete. This could be a result of a damaged disk, failed download or virus.

Do you think I could just try to download it again? Maybe give me the direct link to the exact download? After I read your post, I got to thinking. When my comp crashed about 3 years ago, when he put the new drive in, he said he installed XP. I had ME at the time. I was thinking, why would he do that, if he knew I didn't have enough memory to support it? And the list I gave in my first post is all the original parts. If he put a new drive in, I don't know what he put in. I didn't keep the receipt, I can't find it. So it may not even be the same type of drive, or does it have to be? Frustrated. :trumpet:
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#4 smurfgod

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 03:47 PM

The guy probably thought he was doing you a favor with all the problems ME had, i would have thrown on 98se if the comp is that old but that's neither here nor there. To cure the low virtual memory popup you can go to control panel>System>Advanced>Performance/settings>Advanced>Virtual memory/Change> Click Custom Size and put in the numbers, higher than what its using now. I've got mine set to 4096MB right now, tho i know that is excessive. The number you want to use depends on the harddrive space you have, it will allocate the space that you tell it to to use as backup RAM. Set it to what you need to to stop the popup, I would suggest starting at 1024MB if you have the space. But whatever you set it to you MUST set the min and max to the same number. It won't blow it up if you don't but it won't run as well.

The original question, is how much extra cash do you have right now? Even a basic Dell or eMachine that's on the shelves right now would blow you away compared. If its satisfying what you need it to do, aside from the slowness then yea pick up some RAM and you will see a lot of improvement. There is a time tho when its not really cost effective to upgrade anymore, I learned that lesson the hard way a long time ago.

#5 marymary770

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 04:39 PM

Thanks for your reply. I've adjusted the virtual memory before. It says it reccomends 190. I have 2986 available. I did have it set at 350. So I just reset it to 1000.

I know, I was thinking more cost effective too. I really don't want to spend more than $800. Even keeping it around $6-700 would be good. Since we got that money from the gov. I figure my monitor is on it's way out, more memory and eventually I'd like to get the burners. I can wait on the burners. And I can get by with my monitor. Though if it's a dark background, I have to highlight everything so I can read it. And pictures, if they're not bright, I can't see them at all. And there's certain games on Pogo I just can't play because I can't see them. I was looking at some comps at Walmart awhile back. I think they had a few Dells that had a lot of memory and burners. Though I can't remember the exact numbers right now. I think it was priced at around $800 or so. So I guess it's up to me if I want to buy more memory and put up with everything else for a few more years and then buy a new comp. I figure this comp is 7 years old. In another 3 it will be 10. Even my 17 year old nephew said my comp was ancient the other day. LOL. :flowers: And I just tried adjusting the monitor again, still the same. I think something is burning out inside. It looks like one side is a little brighter than the other. Actually the top left corner is a little brighter than the rest of the screen. Is it hard to install more memory? Or should a professional do it? I don't know if my fiance or I could do it. And I don't know what kind of memory to get. I just don't want to start spending all kinds of crazy money if it's not worth it in the long run. :thumbsup:
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#6 marymary770

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Posted 02 June 2008 - 06:32 PM

Hi Marymary770, and welcome to BleepingComputer.

The first thing that I would do would be to upgrade your RAM, XP will run on 128MB of RAM, but very poorly. There are those that say that you need at least 512MB to get it running, and those that say that you need 1GB to get it running well. I tend to agree with the later.

I tried to find information on the motherboard that you have listed so that I could provide you with some specific information on the number of expansion slots, that maximum amount of RAM per slot, and the type of RAM you will need. The information that you have provided for this motherboard doesn't produce any results when it is google, and isn't listed as any of the gigabyte motherboards at Crucial who usually has all of the current board.

Please download SIW, this is a free utility which will list very specific information about your computer. Please open this and look under Hardware and find Motherboard. There are two column titles, Property and Value, under Property you will find Model, please post back here what is listed under the Value for the model.


Well, I couldn't find the hardware property. But I managed to find this information. Couldn't find the two columns you were talking about either. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, or what I need to do. But here is some info.

Name: mary-3p5ukiyq48 IP Address: 68.109.31.131
Manufacturer: Gigabyte Technology Co
Model:
Owner: Mary F
Serial Number: CE5C8E007
Purchase Price: Asset Tag: 00000000
Purchase Date: Location:
Rating: Missing Model

Edited by marymary770, 02 June 2008 - 06:37 PM.

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#7 marymary770

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 08:52 PM

Anybody else have any other input, ideas or suggestions? They would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much! :thumbsup:
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#8 usasma

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 06:36 AM

Go to Start...Search and search for the file "siw.exe" (without the quotes) on your system. When you find it, double click on it and let it install.

Here's a link to it in case you don't find it: http://www.gtopala.net/download.php?file=3
When it downloads, pay attention to the dialogs so you can see where it downloads to.
Then double click on it and let it run.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

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#9 dc3

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 10:56 AM

This is my turn to apologize for not getting back to you sooner. :thumbsup:

If you go to this SIW site, click on the SIW Standalone option, this is the version that you will want to download. Sorry for the confusion, I will make the distinction clear in future posts, thanks for bringing this to my attention.

Dan

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#10 marymary770

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 04:25 PM

Go to Start...Search and search for the file "siw.exe" (without the quotes) on your system. When you find it, double click on it and let it install.

Here's a link to it in case you don't find it: http://www.gtopala.net/download.php?file=3
When it downloads, pay attention to the dialogs so you can see where it downloads to.
Then double click on it and let it run.


Thanks for your reply. I did a search and it came up with 2 files. But first I would like to know exactly what it is? I would like to know what it is I'm downloading, before I do it. I clicked on the first one and I got a message that said - Wrong OS or OS version for application. Then the second one I clicked on, a message came up with some really strange writing on it. It wasn't English. But it had two buttons for yes or no. I didn't click yes because I didn't know what it was. Both files are titled instmsiw.exe. One of them says it's the installer for the windows installer. But it keeps giving me that OS message. And the other one says it's the set up files. :thumbsup: What does all that mean?? :flowers:
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#11 marymary770

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 05:03 PM

This is my turn to apologize for not getting back to you sooner. :thumbsup:

If you go to this SIW site, click on the SIW Standalone option, this is the version that you will want to download. Sorry for the confusion, I will make the distinction clear in future posts, thanks for bringing this to my attention.

Dan


No problem. Thanks for clearing the confusion up. I was finally able to uninstall the other Spiceworks program I had downloaded. I guess you and usasma are on the same page. After I went to the site you gave me, I seen what it is you're talking about. So I went ahead and downloaded it. Now I see the two columns! LOL. I went under motherboard and here is the info you wanted before:

Property Value
Manufacturer Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
Model 7ZX
Version 1.0

North Bridge VIA Apollo Pro Revision 03
South Bridge VIA VT82C686 Revision 03

CPU AMD Athlon™ Processor
Cpu Socket Socket A (462)

System Slots 5 PCI, 1 AGP

Memory Summary

Warning! Accuracy of DMI data cannot be guaranteed

If there's any other info anyone would like me to post now, I can. What can I do with this program? Can I use it to keep track of what's in my comp and clean it out? Thanks a bunch! :flowers:
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#12 dc3

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 11:56 PM

Hi Mary, That motherboard has three RAM slots, and each slot will take a maximum amount of 512MB of RAM. So you could add more RAM which would increase its performance. But you are looking at almost sixty dollars for one 512MB module from Crucial.

Another consideration is how much free space do you have on your hard drive? 20GB is pretty small by standards now, and out of that 20GB you will need to have at least 3GB of free space for swap space in the hard drive. If the hard drive gets too full it will start lagging your computer down, especially with the small amount of RAM that you have. When you run applications that are demanding of the RAM there are times that the hard drive will try to take up the slack, and if the hard drive is too full it will bog down. This could be where the virtual memory message came into play.

Personally, I wouldn't invest anymore money in this machine. Just about any computer that you purchase new is going to run so much faster than yours it will take your breath away.

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#13 marymary770

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 03:57 PM

Wow, 512 isn't a lot of space for one unit. I don't think it would be worth the money to spend on it for that little space. Do I have 3 open RAM slots now? Or is one of them being used? Would my old drive, which is still in my comp, effect it in anyway? I don't know about the space on my hard drive. But here is some more info, if it helps. Thanks! :thumbsup:

Property Value
Manufacturer Gigabyte Technology Co. Ltd.
Machine Type AT/AT COMPATIBLE
Infrared (IR) Supported No
DMI System UUID FFFFFFFF-FFFFFFFF-FFFFFFFF-FFFFFFFF
UUID FFFFFFFF-FFFF-FFFF-FFFF-FFFFFFFFFFFF

Disk Space Disk C: 2380 MB Available, 19085 MB Total, 2380 MB Free

Physical Memory 128 MB Total, 19 MB Free
Memory Load 85%

Virtual Memory 1116 MB Total, 718 MB Free

PageFile Name \??\C:\pagefile.sys
PageFile Size 1000 MB
In use 270 MB
Max used 271 MB
Registry Size 6 MB (current), 34 MB (maximum)

Profile GUID {f7c5b0c0-c9c8-11d8-8561-806d6172696f}

The system clock interval 10 ms
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