QUESTION Whenever I try to connect to the internet I get the error message ‘C:\Program files\Internet Explorer.exe. Insufficient system resources exist to complete the requested service’. I’m using Windows XP and Internet Explorer 8.0. How do I fix this, please? Kirsty

HELPROOM ANSWER As the error suggests, Windows is struggling to run IE. This could be due to a lack of disk space, RAM or processing power.

If you’ve previously been able to run IE without problems, try a little housekeeping using CCleaner. This will remove any temporary files from your browser, as it’s possible that you’ve filled up the web cache. It will also delete other temporary files and your Recycle Bin contents, and clean up other parts of the operating system where clutter accumulates.

If this doesn’t help, use Task Manager to identify what’s hogging system resources. Right-click the Taskbar and select Task Manager. Click the Performance tab for an indication of how hard your computer is working. Have a look at the CPU usage graph. Ideally, your CPU usage should be low when your system is idling (not running any programs). In the ‘Physical Memory’ section you’ll see how much memory (RAM) you have and how much is being used by your computer. You ought to have at least 1GB installed. If you have only 512MB, lack of RAM may be the cause of your problem.

If you have plenty of RAM but the CPU usage is high, click on the Processes tab. This will show you the programs and system operations running on your computer.

The CPU and ‘Memory Usage’ columns indicate the programs and services using the most system resources. Use a search engine to find out which program each service belongs to.

Winword.exe is clearly a part of Microsoft Word, for example, but crss.exe isn’t obviously a Windows system file.

If you find that a process is taking up an inordinate amount of system resources and it’s a program that you installed yourself, either close it within Task Manager (simply right-click the program icon and select ‘End Process’) or uninstall it. It’s wise to reboot your PC first, however, since it may simply be a task the program is completing at that moment that’s causing it to hog resources.

If you still can’t get IE to start, try using an alternative web browser, such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Apple Safari.

See all: How-to tutorials