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Slow - Not Using All RAM?


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18 replies to this topic

#1 GaryGranath

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 10:37 AM

I have a slow XP Home system. Someone on the malware forum helped me remove a rootkit bug, but the system is still slow. The page file seems to be thrashing and seems to be directly related to the slowdown.

We happened to discover that My Computer|Properties indicates that I have 384 MB RAM, not the 512 MB that's really installed. If something is preventing 128 MB from being usable, I would suspect more paging activity than usual. I have the page file on a different logical disk from the O/S. (I have both the C: drive and a D: drive defined, but only one physical HDD so I think the HDD must be partitioned into two logical drives, although I don't know how to confirm that). The system is managing page file size. Can someone provide help in finding out why this RAM is missing?

I just discovered something else interesting. Running sysinfo shows that Total Physical Memory is 512.00 MB but Available Physical Memory is only 96.96 MB. What's up with that? No applications are running. Who's using all the RAM?
Thanks, GG

EDIT: Moved from Internal Hardware to XP forum ~ Hamluis.

Edited by hamluis, 19 August 2010 - 05:10 PM.


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#2 dc3

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 11:19 AM

If you right click on My Computer and then Properties to see how much RAM you have the figure that you see doesn't represent the total physical amount. The amount shown under Properties represents the amount available. In order to see this you need to go to Start> All Programs> Accessories> System Tools> System Information. Scroll down to Total physical Memory, this is the total RAM install.

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#3 CohenTheBarbarian

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 10:14 PM

Well, the My Computer > Properties shows the amount that the OS sees. Do you have onboard video? Onboard video shares the system RAM. Your video card is probably sharing 128mb of it. You can lower it in the BIOS, if you so desire, but it probably won't boost system performance. A better idea would be to just add more memory.

#4 trappermike

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 01:57 PM

I know this may sound silly but have you tried one of the"Ram Booster" tools available? I don't know how they work,but my friend's computer has almost no extra ram available when running,and this helped. I use the SmartRam tool available with Advanced Windows Care Free,when you activate it it shows you your system total ram and free ram,Page file total and Page file free,and virtual ram total and virtual ram free,and it will somehow increase your free ram,it's quite useful. Also I followed some advice on how to increase virtual ram safely,and that helps too.
I know what you really want to know is where some of your ram went,but maybe this will help,costs nothing to try,you make make a restore point so you can undo anything you try...

#5 hamluis

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 02:31 PM

http://lifehacker.com/5033518/debunking-co...-tweaking-myths

Following quote from http://tweakhound.com/xp/xptweaks/supertweaks11.htm...

"Memory Optimizers
I've long railed against these things. The only thing that these programs can do is harm real system performance. My advice, stay away from any "memory optimizer" programs. Don't believe me? How about taking renowned Windows guru Mark Russinovich's word for it? In his article entitled The Memory-Optimization Hoax, RAM optimizers make false promises he lays out the argument better than I ever could. (I can't reprint the article because of copyright.) His conclusion is that these programs are "fraudware" and he has "yet to see a RAM optimizer that lives up to any of its claims." Nuff said!
"

Louis

#6 Barajiqal

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 02:52 PM

Good find interesting article to read it's funny to think that even in the computer world there are still things like the miracle gas mileage machines. Just plug this in and you'll get 30% more mpg.
"I am Become Death, Destroyer of Worlds" - (Verse 32 Chapter 11 of the Bhagavad Gita) Robert J Oppenheimer

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#7 hamluis

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 03:26 PM

These things are carryovers from the days when Win 95/98 first became popular...and users didn't really know much about how to take care of their systems. Hard drives were tiny...RAM was small in amount...and any new application which promised "better performance" was subject to be tried by knowing and unknowing users.

This is a totally different era...and there is really no reason for people to get taken in by hoaxes that originated in the 90s, under totally different circumstances.

But...I guess there are still some persons who think that...one falls off the planet when going "over the horizon" :thumbsup:. There's room for all types of beliefs on this planet but I don't see any reason to shell out money for products and promises which are not even fool's gold when looked at under scrutiny.

Louis

#8 abauw

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 03:41 PM

I just discovered something else interesting. Running sysinfo shows that Total Physical Memory is 512.00 MB but Available Physical Memory is only 96.96 MB. What's up with that? No applications are running. Who's using all the RAM?
Thanks, GG


this mean 415,04 MB is being used...simple answer...
who using all the RAM...this depends abouts "WHO" that you talking too...if you open task manager you will a see lots process and they are took some memory from from RAM...

about memory optimizer...
its only a temporary usage...not for long time usage...first time you use it and you will get some speed but after that maybe your computer will be slower...so for what using software while you could tweak your windows to make it much faster...

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#9 trappermike

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 03:58 PM

Ok,i get your point,that's why I said "I don't know how they work",I was just noting that the info given by the tool was usefull,ram,page file,virtual ram,etc.,for a guy like me who isn't sure where to find all that data. I don't use the SmartRam myself because I've got 2GB ram and most is free.
It was recommended that I increase my virtual ram for a game I had that was a hog,and it helped,when my old computer only had 256 ram,then I added another 512 ram and that was much better. I used to get a Windows pop-up sometimes that said "Virtual Ram is low"...
I kinda' figured the "Free Ram" might be hokey,that's why I mentioned it ,to find out from you folks. :flowers:
I dont clame to be a genie-us with cumpewtrrs... :thumbsup:

#10 hamluis

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 04:54 PM

<<I dont clame to be a genie-us with cumpewtrrs...>>

None of us are :thumbsup:, but we can all learn if we open our eyes and our minds to the information that is readily available.

Louis

#11 GaryGranath

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 08:31 PM

We can put to bed the idea that I'm short of RAM. My Computer|Properties says I really have 512 MB so we can forget that avenue of diagnosis.

The system has run just fine until recently. Someone on the malware forum found a rootkit problem on it and I thought the slowdown was fixed. But the hard drive periodically goes berserk. It "appears" that the page file is WAY overactive. With NO applications running, I can hear the hard drive hammering away and the activity LED is on solid. And the Memory graph in task manager indicates that memory activity is near the top of the scale. I'm fairly sure something is wrong there, but what is it? That's the question.

Could be another malware infection. I think that's most likely because the system ran fine until a couple of weeks ago and there've been no hardware or software changes. This memory thing was only a suspect but he's not guilty. Thanks for the help. I may be back if we can't find any infection.
Thanks, Gary

#12 hamluis

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 08:46 PM

It probably would not hurt...to run the appropriate diagnostic on the hard drive, if you are going to use drive activity as a key for action.

Hard Drive Installation and Diagnostic Tools - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/28744/hard-drive-installation-and-diagnostic-tools/

Louis

#13 DaChew

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 04:32 AM

We can put to bed the idea that I'm short of RAM. My Computer|Properties says I really have 512 MB so we can forget that avenue of diagnosis.

The system has run just fine until recently. Someone on the malware forum found a rootkit problem on it and I thought the slowdown was fixed. But the hard drive periodically goes berserk. It "appears" that the page file is WAY overactive. With NO applications running, I can hear the hard drive hammering away and the activity LED is on solid. And the Memory graph in task manager indicates that memory activity is near the top of the scale. I'm fairly sure something is wrong there, but what is it? That's the question.

Could be another malware infection. I think that's most likely because the system ran fine until a couple of weeks ago and there've been no hardware or software changes. This memory thing was only a suspect but he's not guilty. Thanks for the help. I may be back if we can't find any infection.
Thanks, Gary



Reading over both of your active threads I would have to disagree with your analysis. It's obvious the computer is setup to share 128 megs of system ram with the onboard video, leaving only 384 megs to run windows and all your resident programs. AV and other modern security programs need more ram. Just because windows is holding 70 or 80 megs in reserve doesn't mean you have enough ram. Your page file is so large because windows is using it a frequently, that leads to hard drive thrashing.

Here's a healthy computer with enough ram using a small page file and no thrashing.

Attached Files


Chewy

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#14 GaryGranath

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 12:48 PM

Chewy-

Please don't think for a moment that I'm disagreeing with you, but before I take what would seem to be a reasonable action based on your analysis (buy more RAM), I want to feel more confident that I've accurately described my problem. I am not an expert in this area and may have omitted something in describing the symptoms that would take us in a wrong direction. First, I'll take a screenshot of the Performance tab and the Processes tab of task manager when the thrashing is occurring and post them. And I'll run the hard drive diagnostic. In any case, something happened abruptly about two weeks ago when this problem started. It's a serious slowdown. It can sometimes take 5 - 6 minutes just for Outlook Express to open!

I realize I lied about software changes. I've just replaced Zonealarm Extreme Security with ESET Smart Security, which is advertised as using very little system resources. If true, system performance should have improved, not degraded.

Is there something we can do to confirm your conclusion? For example, could we allow the system to temporarily have exclusive use of the RAM being shared (by changing a setting)? If not, do I understand correctly that you're saying the graphics card doesn't have enough memory on it so the system is sharing system RAM with it for video usage? I may have an extra graphics card that has more memory on it. I could swap it in. On the other hand, my wife doesn't do any gaming so I wouldn't think the graphics card has so little memory that this problem would occur. And the thrashing occurs when the system is idle - no applications running and unusual video activity is occurring.

Or could I temporarily disable ESET during thrashing and see if anything changes?

Or could I change the size of the page file up or down and see if anything changes?

Gary

#15 DaChew

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Posted 14 August 2010 - 01:26 PM

Use Process Explorer to investigate that ram use further

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic337963-15.html

Also

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/44694/slow-computer/

http://www.malwareremoval.com/tutorials/runningslowly.php

Edited by DaChew, 14 August 2010 - 01:29 PM.

Chewy

No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try.




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