Memory shortage causing problems????

  Faffingwaste 08:10 17 Aug 2008

My five year old Dell desktop arrived with "double the memory" in a Dell promotion at that time. Even so: it doubled only from 256 to 512. It's running XP SP2 with a 60g hard disk that's now half full.

I've just ordered another 512Mb from Crucial.

Coincidentally, these past few days the Dell has been behaving strangely. It fires up quickly (I only let it load the stuff I need) and "looks" stable. But whatever I then click on, nothing happens except the eggtimer appears. And stays. And stays. And that's it.

In task manager, no processes are running and CPU demand is around 4%. 'System Idle Process' reads 90% - 95% but I don't think that's literally the case because the performance graph doesn't show a continuing high peak -- in fact, apart from the odd medium spike, the graph line is at the bottom and flat.

The desktop is clean of crap and is spyware / malware / virus free.

After waiting an age for the eggtimer to vanish (it doesn't) I try to shut down / re-start, but clicking on that only returns the screen to its original view. There's no shut down at all.

So. . . I crash out, wait a few moments (I've even disconnected the power lead and hit the power on button at that stage) and then turn on again. The PC boots up quickly, settles down, and everything is accessible: all the icons in the tray are 'live' and link to whatever I need.

And at session end, there are no problems there either.

Yet I'm now having to do this every time: boot up, crash out, re-boot.

Is this a memory problem (which the additional 512 Crucial will solve) or is something else going on / not going on here?


  sinbads 08:26 17 Aug 2008

Could be quite a few things try your pc in safe mode see if it happens then?

  Faffingwaste 09:33 18 Aug 2008

Thanks sinbads. Will give it a go.

  Technotiger 09:40 18 Aug 2008

It is normal for System Idle Process to show in the region of 95%+, this is a good sign.

In addition to running your anti-everything programs, have you run something like click here there could be a glitch in the registry somewhere.

You System would undoubtably benefit from an increase in RAM, as much as you can afford.

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