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Reducing memory usage


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#1 lti

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 09:32 PM

I need to improve the performance of Windows 98 First Edition. I discovered that the computer's chipset has a flaw that causes reduced performance if more than 128MB of RAM is installed. However, Windows and all of the background processes use so much memory that programs take a long time to open. Once they have loaded, they run much faster than they did before. I need to reduce the memory usage when the system is idle so there is more RAM available.

Here are the running processes:
BackWeb Agent
Explorer
Bttnserv
Cpqeaui
Reminder
Osa
Em_exec
Sxgdsenu
Systray
Imgicon

Are there any changes I can make to Windows to optimize it for 128MB of RAM? The computer originaly had 256MB of RAM installed. Obviously, I can get rid of BackWeb. I frequently use the keyboard's multimedia functions, so I can't stop any processes related to the Compaq Easy Access software.

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#2 Eyesee

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 10:32 PM

Hello again Iti!

What is the system performance? Boot the system from a cold start and make note of it.
If I remember, right click on My computer click on properties and somewhere there it will tell you. I dont remember exactly now.

The only start up required to run Windows 98 is explorer.
Nothing else truly is necessary, not even systray.

Given that, be careful as I said that is all "required"!
You might disable a necessary driver for a device.

OSA is Office startup. it loads from the start items list. User choice (not necessary)
Reminder is probably from Microsoft calendar reminder or another program that does similar. (not necessary)

BackWebAgent. Not good. CWShredder, although old, should take care of that.

Thats a few

I will have to research the rest when I have more time.

Edited by Eyesee, 07 June 2011 - 10:35 PM.

In the beginning there was the command line.

#3 Platypus

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 04:04 AM

Given that the main symptom is the time it takes programs to load, have you confirmed in Device Manager that the hard drive hasn't dropped back to PIO mode? Motherboards that cannot cache more than 128MB of RAM will indeed run Windows slower with 256MB fitted, but dropping back to 128MB should not cramp Win98 unduly - I used 98 on a 16MB system at my work with modest lagging. The programs running acceptably once loaded suggests to me it's not lack of memory, but slow hard drive transfer that is causing the problem.

Top 5 things that never get done:

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#4 lti

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 12:18 PM

Where do I look to see if the drive is in PIO mode? I don't see anything that lists the transfer mode in the properties for the drive controller or the hard drive.

#5 lti

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 12:50 PM

I found out that I can get rid of BackWeb and Reminder. Reminder is used by Microsoft Money, which I have never used.
I am not sure about Sxgdsenu. It is used by Yamaha sound cards, but I have ESS onboard audio. It could be used by the Yamaha S-YXG MIDI player that is installed on the computer.
All other processes seem to be required.

#6 lti

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 03:42 PM

There sure is a lot of junk on this computer. I disabled Reminder and AIM (I didn't know AIM was installed) startup tasks in msconfig and uninstalled BackWeb and system resources are now 88% free instead of 71% free. That was surprising.

There are a lot of startup items in msconfig. I want to know how many of these can be disabled, but I don't know how to post the list here.

#7 Platypus

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 04:54 PM

Where do I look to see if the drive is in PIO mode? I don't see anything that lists the transfer mode in the properties for the drive controller or the hard drive.

Been a while since I used Win98, I don't think it mentions PIO like XP does, but rather enables or disables DMA. In the Properties of the Hard Drive, on the Settings tab you should find this in the Options section, a check box labelled DMA. If this isn't there, or doesn't seem to work (drive transfer speed should be significantly different between enabled and not), you may need to (re)install the motherboard drivers or a UDMA driver. Also check if there is any BIOS option to enable & disable UDMA or force PIO mode for the IDE controller, if so make sure PIO mode isn't selected there, and UDMA is enabled (assuming the hard drive is UDMA capable).

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#8 Eyesee

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 05:04 PM

"and system resources are now 88% free instead of 71% free"
Thats a good thing. You made good progress!

If you do ctrl-alt-del to bring up task list post the most recent list.
You might not be able to get better than 88% but thats a good improvement!

Download & run CWShredder. byt Trend Micro.
CWShredder is an older program that I still use every once in a great while.
Its a stand alone program. No installation required.

You might want to get SpyBot Search and Destroy as well. Scan with both & see what they find & remove.
Spybot might take a while so be patient with it.

Edited by Eyesee, 08 June 2011 - 05:05 PM.

In the beginning there was the command line.

#9 lti

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 05:54 PM

DMA is enabled.

CWShredder found nothing. BackWeb is actually used by Compaq to send notices about software updates. Since this computer is never connected to the Internet, this program is not needed. When this computer was connected to the Internet (when it was new), this program would crash the computer every time it received a message. The computer would freeze with the message "Please wait while Windows prepares your computer for standby" on the screen.

Spybot is running now, but system resources are down to 32% and I don't know how much malware from 1998 it will still have in its database. Windows was recently reinstalled on this computer, and I installed generic USB mass storage drivers and a few games. I did notice that the "service pack" the drivers required installed some files that may be related to malware.

#10 lti

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 06:23 PM

Spybot found CoolWWWSearch.Leftovers in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Code Store Database\Distribution. Is this real? CWShredder found nothing.

I wonder if the scan will complete. It wouldn't on my laptop.

#11 Eyesee

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 06:52 PM

What is left in the task list?

Spybot is good at finding old stuff. That is why I asked you to run it.
If it asks you when it is done if you want to run a scan on the next start up tell it no. Unless you want to do it over night. That scan can take hours!!
In the beginning there was the command line.

#12 lti

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 07:08 PM

Everything except BackWeb Agent and Reminder remain in the task list.
Spybot is still running. It is currently looking for Virtumonde variants.

#13 lti

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 08:52 PM

Spybot finished scanning. It only found the registry entry. Its full location is HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Code Store Database\Distribution Units\Win32 Classes. I didn't see anything obviously malware-related in this location when I looked at it in Regedit. Should I delete this entry?

#14 Eyesee

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 09:23 PM

Yes

With the system resources now at 88% how does the system run?
That's pretty much as good as you can get it.

One thing that will help would be to delete and recreate the swap file.
I will send you instructions on how to to that in 98 tomorrow when I can boot a 98 system.

After you do that you want to defragment the hard drive.
Get a copy of Windows ME defrag.
98 defrag is terribly slow. The ME defrag is really fast.
That will help too.
In the beginning there was the command line.

#15 lti

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 09:50 PM

The Windows 98 defragmenter runs quickly enough on this computer that I never used the ME defragmenter. I am using it on my laptop because the 98 defragmenter takes all day to run. However, that computer is slower every time I defragment. The defragmenter used to restart after about ten minutes as well. When it restarted, all of the fragmented portions of the drive were in the exact same location.

I didn't try to see how well the computer runs now. Spybot used a lot of RAM and added background processes. I want to keep the free system resources as high as possible. Should I keep Spybot installed, uninstall it, or uninstall and reinstall without TeaTimer? I chose not to install TeaTimer during installation, but it added TeaTimer.exe to the startup list.

Edited by lti, 08 June 2011 - 09:51 PM.





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