Ram retention - prognosis please.

  Karma_Train 11:56 02 Sep 2003

Hello everyone. My system spec is as follows.
I`m running WinME on an Athlon 2000+XP processor, 512mb of DDR memory from two 256 sticks, my mainboard is a Micro Star KT3V with VIA KT333 chip set and I have an 80gb hard drive.
Should go well that lot?..Oh if only!
My problem, for which I crave your considered opinion is this.
Let`s take an application, say; Nero 6.
If I`m compiling a CD, this requires me to open a series of files in the Audio editor.
Keeping track of my memory usage via AIDA 32 (sysinfo tool) I notice that with every file opened and closed the % utilization rises and rises until it reaches 100% whereupon my swapfile and virtual memory begin to be consumed.
Closing Nero has no effect, the ram is not released back into the system.
For Nero substitute any other application, they all behave in pretty much the same way.
I`ve tidied up my PC to the best of my limited abilities, I`ve removed all bar the un-removable from my desktop, I`ve reduced my systray to just two applications and on the advice of the local PC shop, I`ve set my virtual memory at 1024 for both min and max categories but still this situation persists. I`ve tried a multitude of RamCleaners but they all cause my PC to abreact in some way.
Totally by accident I did discover one thing that worked. I have MAME32 the arcade games emulator on my machine, merely opening and closing this program would clear my memory out a treat, reducing usage to a healthy 20%ish every time.
Most people I`ve asked about this blame ME, calling it rubbish at doing anything, especially releasing memory but I`d really like to avoid upgrading if at all possible.
I myself was wondering if I could have a physical memory problem and whether exchanging my two 256 sticks for a new 512 would make any difference. AIDA tells me that one stick is a PC2100 while the other is a PC2700, I don`t have a clue what this means but it looks a bit awkward!
Anyway, there you have it, I`m sorry this post is so protracted but I felt that anyone kind enough to offer any advice should at least be in possession of all the pertinent details.
Thanks so much for your time in reading all of this, I`ve only owned a PC for just over a year so be gentle with me.
All the best. Charlie.

my advice is to 'blame ME' but you dont want to hear that. but things will work better if you remve half of your memory as ME will struggle to manage 512MB. having two different sticks could cause problems but i dont see how it would cause this one.i suggest you remove the pc2100 and see if it helps, if your machine doesnt actually crash dont worry about it so much. and try a different memory viewer,

  leo49 13:23 02 Sep 2003

"ME will struggle to manage 512MB"

Total balderdash

  1514 13:37 02 Sep 2003

click here and download "cacheman" which should sort out your memory problems including if you have too much.

  beeuuem 13:42 02 Sep 2003

You could try Cacheman to manage and free up Ram from click here

  plankton 13:46 02 Sep 2003

I had this trouble with XP, put it down to XP, but at the weekend, following all the tosh with viruses etc, I downloaded Spybot and Ad-aware, which removed a total of 37 files.

My PC (which has 768Mb memory) now Whizzes - there must have been some spy software in the background which ate my reserves?! Also loads of other stuff which had stopped working (like Autologoff, and even connecting to the internet from the desktop icon) started up again.

Just a thought. :o)

  flecc 10:53 03 Sep 2003

I've answered this by email in response to a direct communication and have also advised Cacheman.

In addition I sent the following three as attachments to give some background to this problem:-


Windows ME memory problems are the last progression of the 9x memory problems which started with Windows 95 although it was less apparent then. Although Windows 95 can address up to 4Gb of physical RAM, it can access and use no more than 2Gb. Having said that, the 2Gb limitation is theoretical, according to Microsoft. It was discovered that if you have 1Gb or more of RAM Windows 95 may actually not be able to start.

I?m not sure how repeatable this error is but, funnily enough, you might well get a warning message indicating that there is, in fact, insufficient memory to get Windows going. In Win.95 you can get around this by adding a line to the [386Enh] section of system.ini:

This apparently limits the amount of physical RAM to a mere 768Mb, although I?ve no idea how anyone came up with that figure. Perhaps that?s the actual limit but I?ve never tried it.

Windows 98/98SE can't realistically use more than 512mb of RAM without the aid of a third party memory manager like Cacheman (click here) and both OS's exhibit the memory leak which plagues ME users, albeit to a much lesser degree.

This shows when memory that was used when an application was brought into play is not released when the application is closed. With time and continuing operations, eventually all the available RAM gets used up, sometimes leading to the computer crashing.

Restarting the computer corrects this situation and is also a good preventative measure to stop the problem arising in the first place.

  flecc 10:54 03 Sep 2003

The RAM memory is supplemented using a Swap File (Disc Cache) written to the hard drive, and the memory "leak" results from the way in which Windows manages the two.

Basically, Windows looks at three criteria to help it decide when to change the disc cache size, which it does dynamically when it perceives the need. It?s actually working out the disk cache size requirements every second, and makes its adjustments based on:-

How fast your system is actually running now

How fast your system would run if it made the cache larger

How fast your system would run if it made the cache smaller

and that's the weakness, only the fastest speed is being looked for without regard to other system requirements. If a program is shut down, the perception is that the previous speed option is no longer necessary and the disc cache is reduced rather than the usage of RAM, which is still hogged by Windows.

Third party programs like Cacheman by contrast endeavour to free RAM, so the disk cache has a lower priority and is likely to stay larger. If you select Conservative Swap File Usage in one of those third party programs, there's a slight conflict of interest, since as you see, that's in opposition to their basic purpose. For this and other reasons, a third party memory manager will not be suitable in every case of memory usage problems.

  flecc 10:55 03 Sep 2003

If you're suffering apparent lack of memory in Windows 9x/ME, first make sure there is adequate space free on the C:\ drive for the Windows Swap File to operate, several hundred megabytes of space can be necessary at times.

Then check for applications which are draining memory (memory leak), since some don't readily release memory after using it, and if you repeatedly open a guilty application, all the memory can easily be taken up, with it not released until the computer is rebooted.

To do this, go to Start, programs, Accessories, System Tools and open the System Monitor. Make it more useable by selecting View, Numeric Charts, and View, Always on Top, then resize the window down to a small rectangle. Then select Edit, Add Item, then select the Memory Manager.

Now hold down Ctrl and select the following in the Item List:-

Unused Physical Memory (Free Memory in Windows 95)

Swapfile in Use

Swapfile Size

Leave this small monitor in the corner of the Desktop, and watch the statistics as you open and close different applications. You could also use Kernel, Threads monitoring in System Monitor, which should show a drop when applications are closed.

In this way, you will soon locate which are the applications most likely to cause you problems. Armed with that knowledge, you may sometimes be able to use alternatives, or modify your usage of those programs to make memory drain less of a problem. For example, if you have several things to do on the computer, you can leave the memory drain item until last, as the subsequent shutdown clears the problem.

Be aware though, that Windows ME has been acknowledged by Microsoft to have a more severe memory leak problem than the rest of the 9x family, for which there is as yet no fix.

A third party memory manager like Cacheman can help with otherwise intractable memory leak problems, free from:-

click here

  Karma_Train 02:38 05 Sep 2003

Just to bring this one to a conclusion and in the process whole-heartedly thank all the contributers to my thread.
After a fatal flirtation with Cacheman 5.50, the latest version of the program which thought it would be fun to make my PC grind to a complete halt I exchanged a number of e-mails with Flecc.
He very kindly mailed me the version of Cacheman he was familiar with, v4.1.
I installed it and have for two days have been sat at a splendidly behaved PC.
Although having said that everything will probably implode again, at the moment memory obediently releases itself back to the system when an application is closed and my average ram usage is rock steady at 19-20%, far better than it ever was before. WOO HOO!
As Flecc says 'new is not by definition better'
I followed the instructions faithfully on Cacheman 5.50, all I did was run the wizards and accept the suggested settings, result; destroyed computer. Version 4.1 has far fewer features and simply does it`s job. For anyone with a memory leak issue on 9x or ME, this prog is a must have.
Once again, thanks everyone for your time and your help and Horiz5.....It was only 'worrying' about this problem that led to a solution, yes ME does have a fault but all it really needed was a little understanding and a helping hand, as indeed we all do sometimes!
Peace out, Charlie.

  wawadave 05:30 05 Sep 2003

how to run m.e well verion 5
click here

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