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Problem with RAM?


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#1 Bommelding

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 03:11 PM

Hello,

 

Since a few weeks, my computer is making more noise and the little led on the front, indicating memory-usage, is on for the majority of the time. Also, my computer has been considerably slower ever since this started.

At first, I thought maybe one of my RAM-memory sticks had broken down. However, I ran a memtest and the result was positive, everything was working fine... I've also removed them one by one to see if they were both really working.

 

When I look at my task manager, it tells me there are 75 processes running (Is that a lot?), the CPU-usage is about 10% and the physical memory-usage is 50-60%. This is when my computer is idling. When I'm running something like AVG virusscanner, the CPU-usage goes up to 60-70% and the physical memory-usage stays at about 60%.

 

My computer is an Acer aspire M1641. It's got 2x 2GB DDR2 (I guess..) RAM. It's running on Windows Vista 64-bit.

I'm running AVG antivirus and Malwarebytes anti-malware frequently, so I guess problem doesn't have anything to do with that.

 

PS: Excuse me for accidental grammar mistakes, english is not my native language :)


Edited by Bommelding, 12 June 2014 - 03:15 PM.


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#2 wpgwpg

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 03:44 PM

 The light you refer to is almost certainly for your hard drive and not RAM.  You used the term "memory" which usually means RAM, but in any event RAM doesn't make any noises because it's all solid state with no moving parts.  75 processes is not a lot.  I just checked mine, and I have 91 with no problem.  What these tasks are is much more important than how many they are.

 

 My guess is that you may have a number of things running that could be causing paging.  When I suspect that, I start MSCONFIG and click the Startup tab (note: avoid the other tabs - they can get you into trouble).  There you'll see a list of things that will be started whenever you power your computer on.  You can safely uncheck anything there except for your antivirus.  What happens over time is that when we install programs, they often put entries there to start them automatically.  This makes their app start faster at the expense of others.  

 

 You say you have 4 GB of RAM.  I looked to see if you could possibly add more, but I couldn't find anything on the subject.  If your system allows for it, that's one way to speed things up if need it.  You could go to the Crucial web site and run their memory tool to see.  They will examine your system and make recommendations.

 

Good luck.


Everyone with a computer should back his system up to an external hard drive regularly.  :thumbsup:

#3 Bommelding

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 04:36 AM

First of all, thank you for your reaction :)

 

I've unchecked everything but my antivirus in the MSCONFIG start-up tab now. I'll restart my computer after submitting this post and see how it works out.

My computer only has two RAM slots, so in order to expand my memory with 2 GB, I'll have to buy a 4GB stick, which is of course not very cost-friendly...

 

The crucial tool advises me to replace my 2GB RAM sticks with different RAM-sticks, which are 2 GB also..

It also recommends not to exceed the manufacturer supported memory, which is 4GB.

 

Would it also help to clean up / Defragment / Format my hard disks (2x 140GB)?

 

EDIT: There's still noise and a  fast blinking light after restarting :(

Memory usage went down to 40% though..


Edited by Bommelding, 13 June 2014 - 05:12 AM.


#4 Bommelding

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 03:04 AM

I'm still having trouble with this :(

Also, could it be that a cable inside my computer is connected in a wrong way? Last time I cleaned my computer from the inside, I accidentally pulled a cable out of my hard disk... I didn't notice it at the time, so when I tried to boot my computer afterwards, it didn't work.. So I opened it up again and found out that the cable was disconnected, could it be that I put it back in the wrong spot?



#5 SpeedyK

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 08:22 AM

Its probably not the cable, If you had put it in the wrong way, it wouldn't work at all. It does seem like there's a problem with your disk though, either hardware or possibly some process is continuously writing to it.

 

Here is a set of typical speeds for your PC:

http://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/27344

 

Run this:

http://www.userbenchmark.com/Software

 

and see if it identifies any health issues.

 

rgds.



#6 wpgwpg

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 08:35 AM

  To see what's making that hard drive so busy, do this.  Press C-A-D and start Task Manager, then click the Processes tab.  Click the CPU tab twice; that will list the busiest tasks at the top.  Let's see what the top 4 or 5 of these are.  


Everyone with a computer should back his system up to an external hard drive regularly.  :thumbsup:

#7 Bommelding

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 04:07 AM

2uog97b.jpg

 

This is when my computer is running with just this forum open.

 

I'm going to run the userbenchmark thing now, I'll edit my post when it's done.

 

EDIT: Did the benchmark test :)

It might be worth mentioning that I've put a different video card in my computer, so that's why it says ATI radeon HD5670 instead of the video card that's normally used in an Aspire M1641.

 

As you two both said, it seems to be a problem with the hard drive.. :(

 

k5037a.jpg

vqmtjd.jpg


Edited by Bommelding, 19 June 2014 - 04:19 AM.


#8 SpeedyK

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 06:29 AM

Based on those screens, it seems that your PC isn't in particularly bad condition. The disk is only performing a little worse than it should. If the lights on the front of the PC are still flashing that normally means that there is constant disk access. To track it down right click the column header in task manager and click select columns, then add I/O reads and I/O writes and send us another screenshot (whilst the lights on the front are still flashing).



#9 jonuk76

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 07:05 AM

Could you also publish a snapshot using Speccy (instructions on how to publish a snapshot are here).  This will give more information about the hardware in your system and any problems may be apparent.

 

And for good measure could you also download and run MiniToolBox

 

Checkmark the following checkboxes:

 
• List last 10 Event Viewer log
• List Installed Programs
• List devices (all)
• List Users, Partitions and Memory size.
• List Minidump Files

 

For the moment, there's really nothing in the above that looks unusual to me.  CPU use when idle is low (which it should be) and the memory use is not unusual either.

 

I ran that benchmark program and I personally think it's prone to some odd results...  (My results are here but originally when I ran it the graphics card was ranked at 150% and "the dogs bollocks" - since come down to just "good").  If you look at the hard drive results there's outliers (results either much better or worse than normal)  which are distorting the results.  Your hard drive (and mine) are in with the bulk of the results in the middle which suggests the disk performance is about what it should be.

 

I'm not sure what the "health" percentage relates to in the benchmark program relates to.  Is it just taking account of measured performance or is it interpreting SMART data from the drive?  I don't know.

 

Hard drives getting noisier can be a concern, and at about 7 years old it's entirely possible that it's coming to the end of its useful life (failure rates increase dramatically after about 5 years I believe).


7sbvuf-6.png


#10 Bommelding

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 08:00 AM

My computer is currently busy copying some backups to my USB-stick, so I'll try to run the tests when the copying is done.

If I decide to replace my hard disk, because it's so old, will I have to buy an MS Windows disk too? I don't have one at home, I guess this computer came with windows pre-installed...

If I'll have to buy both, it's gonna be pretty expensive.. I might be better off buying a new computer then.. :\



#11 jonuk76

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 08:16 AM

Hopefully the Speccy listing will include SMART data for your hard drive if it has that capability.  This should show if any failure is likely to be imminent..  But yes 7 years is "getting on a bit" in hard drive terms..

 

Anyway as long as the disk you have is still working and readable it can be cloned using special disk cloning software.  That's probably the easiest solution.  For example if you bought a Western Digital drive there's a free cloning application they make available for exactly the purpose of upgrading a system disk - here.

 

Also I believe Acer normally include software to create a backup DVD which will allow you to always restore the computer to it's factory condition if need be. Some instructions I found (hope they apply to your system)

 

 

Open the Acer eRecovery Management program
Click the burn disk button at the bottom
Click the create factory default disk button
Put a blank DVD in the drive when prompted and follow the remaining on screen instructions
Please keep your recovery disk safe as if something happens to your computer (for example you change the hard disk drive) you can boot your computer using this disk and restore the computer to its original settings.


Edited by jonuk76, 19 June 2014 - 08:17 AM.

7sbvuf-6.png


#12 Bommelding

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 08:20 AM

Of course! I totally forgot about the Acer recovery thing :)

Thank you for the reactions, I'll edit this post as soon as I've ran the tests.

 

EDIT: If I end up buying a new disk, would you advise me to buy a SSD or a normal HD?


Edited by Bommelding, 19 June 2014 - 08:23 AM.


#13 Netghost56

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 08:36 AM

Depends on how much space you need and how much you can afford.

 

1TB HDD - $60

256GB SSD - $120



#14 Bommelding

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 08:43 AM

Is it also possible to use an 128GB SSD for things I use frequently (MS office and some games for example) and a +-250-500GB HD for things like backups, photo's etc.?



#15 wpgwpg

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 08:51 AM

 Yes you can have an SSD and a hard drive as long as you have the space and cables inside your computer.   As jonuk76 says, 7 years is "getting on" for a hard drive, and that combined with the noise is not a good sign.  We'll see what the SMART data looks like, but you would be well advised to back up any data you don't want to lose while you still can.  

  Another good source of disk info is the diagnostic tools you can download from Seagate and Western Digital.  I've used Seagate's Seatools a good bit, and like them.

 

Good luck.


Everyone with a computer should back his system up to an external hard drive regularly.  :thumbsup:




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