XP Memory Usage

  L_Driver 13:37 24 Nov 2009

Have XP on both my Laptop and Desktop. Have taken all available updates for both over the years.
Just noticed on both systems that XP is using a heck of a lot of available memory .. around 0.5 GB in both cases. I have 768MB on desk and 1GB on laptop.As you can imagine this is quite performance degrading especially on desktop machine. Is there anything I can do about this ? Can I stop some memory intensive XP component from running without causing any major hassle ?
Ta for any and all input on this. Cheers.

  MAT ALAN 13:43 24 Nov 2009

Is there anything I can do about this ?

Add more memory!!
click here
run the advisor tool from the link it will tell you exactly what you can upgrade to...

you could also reduce the mumber of progs, press CTRL ALT DEL to bring up task manager and have a look under the processes tab to see what is using your memory...

  L_Driver 15:37 24 Nov 2009

Cannot add more memory to my Lap. Could replace 1 256 Module with a 512MB on desktop but not willing to incur that expense ! Lots of processes listed. As per original posting the OS alone is using around 0.5GB of mem ie I have no programs running except processes related to the OS. Is there some sort of registry checker that will do a clear-out for unrequired guff ?

  L_Driver 17:29 24 Nov 2009

Researched a bit on this and what I probably need is a good, free Registry cleaner. Any advice ?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:50 24 Nov 2009

1. Software

a) Clear out all temporay files and folders -- use Crap Cleaner click here

b) Scan for malware spyware and viruses --Free Anti Spyware :-
Superantispyware click here
Malware removal tool click here

Free Antivirus software
Avast4 click here
AVG antivirus click here

c) Clean the registry -- Use the tool in Crap Cleaner its very safe and also allows you to back up the registry first.

d) Pagefile (Virtual Memory) -- Rght click MY Computer - select propeties - Advanced tab - Performance - advanced tab - Virtual memory click change, you can put the page file on a differnt drive (if you have one), click custom size and set Initial size to one and a half times the amount of memory you have fitted i.e. 512MB memory = set to 768MB, set maximum to double your memory amount i.e. 512MB memory = 1024MB click ok.
If your hard drive is full and there is not enough room for the pagefile this can slow down, freeze or even cause the PC to crash (restart).

e) Cut down on the programs that load at startup -- Start - Run type msconfig - startup tab- untick everything except for firewall, antivirus and antispyware

and the services that run in the background. click here

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:51 24 Nov 2009

2. Hardware

a) Hard drives /

i) IDE Channels:
Check the transfer rate, you need to have the transfer mode set to DMA not PIO.
Right click My Computer - Properties - Hardware - Device Manager - Expand (click the + ) IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers right click Primary Channel - Advanced Settings Tab -
If transfer Mode is PIO then follow the instructions at click here to change.

ii) Check for errors and defrag your hard drives -- My Computer - select drive - properties - tool tab - Error checking / Defragmentation.

ii) If you are using Windows XP or Vista, it's a good idea to convert your system drive to the NTFS file system if you have not already. In addition to providing numerous security and data recovery improvements over FAT32 (the file system of choice for Windows 9x/ME and XP Home) it can also speed up your system slightly.

In fact, the only real reason for sticking with the FAT32 file system for any of your data is if you have more than one operating system on your PC and the other OS's can only see FAT32 partitions (as would be the case with Windows 98, for example, which is incapable of reading NTFS data).

To convert your drives to NTFS:
Right click on 'my computer' and select 'manage'
From the computer management window, expand storage and select 'disk management.'
Using the 'file system' column of the upper pane of this window, you can easily check what file system each of your logical drives is using. Make a note of this information.
Now open a command prompt window by going to 'start\run' and typing 'cmd'
To convert a disk to NTFS, type 'convert (drive letter): /fs:ntfs'
So for example, if you were going to convert your C: drive, you would type 'Convert c: /fs:ntfs' at the prompt.

b) Drivers
Obtain the newest drivers for your hardware
This may seem a bit obvious, but keeping your system's drivers up to date can give both your performance and stability a boost. Video card manufacturers release updates especially often, and these can often give "significant boosts" to gaming performance as video card in question is "optimized."

Don't neglect the other components of your system either. Your motherboard manufacturer may have released newer versions of its Input/output drivers for your board, and sound cards and other peripherals can also benefit from newer software.

c) Memory
Add more physical memory, this of course means opening the "box" and fitting a memory module, make sure you buy one that is suitable for your PC. Crucial .com click here will guide you through the process of slecting the correct memory. click here for a guide to fitting memory.

Memory is very cheap nowadays.

  DieSse 18:28 24 Nov 2009

Also - be aware that Windows doesn't use a fixed amount of RAM. However much memory you put in, Windows will use up a large part of it in order to run faster and do less paging to the hard drive. Applications will replace some Windows functions when they run (those functions will be paged out to the hard drive).

That's entirely normal, and the way Windows is supposed to work.

1GB is a good "sweet-spot" for RAM for WinXP. More may be faster in some circumstances - less will definitely be slower.

However, do Fruitbats suggested cleanups first. Be very careful with any registry cleaners - many knowledgeable people avoid them altogether and claim they will make little difference. Personally I use one occasionally and make sure I backup the registry first

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:57 24 Nov 2009

You will see I have stop recommending registry cleaners and suggest the use of the one in CCleaner as this is very safe to run.


  L_Driver 12:29 25 Nov 2009

Ta very much for all comments. Extremely useful.
Have used Ccleaner and that alone has speeded things up.

  L_Driver 12:53 26 Nov 2009

Ta again all.

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