If there is no video (graphics) card with its own memory, any graphics draws memory from system ram.
See if it does have a separate graphics card and what it is. Everest home can be downloaded from oldversion.com. Get version 1.51 which is the last freeware full feature version and see what it is.
If there is no separate graphics card and the system has onboard graphics, go into the bios and see what the graphics aperture is. That tells you how much ram can be drawn by the graphics card over any memory it might have on its own or above that the separate card might have.
Change settings to minimize high graphics usage in display in the control panel - no complex, high graphics screen saver if you even have to have one at all, hi color 16bit or 256 color instead of the true color 32 bit, no full color icons. etc.
256megs of ram is really a minimum for XP and most users have at least 512, and that's with a separate graphics card with its own 64megs or more. Onboard graphics have none and draw from system ram.
The paging file should be 1 1/2 times the amount of RAM but without a graphics card with its own memory make it somewhat higher. The system will be slow with only 256 no matter what else you do.
Keep the system clean and set IE's temp settings not to store humongous amounts of temp files.
The best thing would be to at least double the ram if not quadruple it.
Edited by Enthusiast, 07 March 2006 - 11:24 PM.