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Old 11-29-2006, 08:04 AM   #1
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Computer Memory Lapse

I have a fairly new Dell Inspiron 6000 lap top. There is 512 MB of memory installed but now I only have 160MB left. This computer is basically a word processing machine, no games. The only programs I have loaded are The Rand Mcnally Trip Maker and Street Finder, Microsoft Word, and Word-perfect (Yes, I use both of them.) When I received the machine I took off all of the Dell advertising programs and games which were preloaded. There is Norton Security which is set at high levels for everything. My old computer had 256 MB of memory with the same programs and I never had a problem with memory. I ran the disk cleanup and frag utilities but still have not gained any memory back. Spy-bot says I have nothing to clean. The computer has slowed down to turtle status. Do any of you gurus have an idea of what could be happening?
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Old 11-29-2006, 08:21 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaplain Kent
I have a fairly new Dell Inspiron 6000 lap top. There is 512 MB of memory installed but now I only have 160MB left. This computer is basically a word processing machine, no games. The only programs I have loaded are The Rand Mcnally Trip Maker and Street Finder, Microsoft Word, and Word-perfect (Yes, I use both of them.) When I received the machine I took off all of the Dell advertising programs and games which were preloaded. There is Norton Security which is set at high levels for everything. My old computer had 256 MB of memory with the same programs and I never had a problem with memory. I ran the disk cleanup and frag utilities but still have not gained any memory back. Spy-bot says I have nothing to clean. The computer has slowed down to turtle status. Do any of you gurus have an idea of what could be happening?
Your memory chip may be failing. Is it showing that much memory being used, or only that much total?
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Old 11-29-2006, 08:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaplain Kent
. There is 512 MB of memory installed but now I only have 160MB left.
can you explain this a little more thoroughly to me? what does that mean, "160mb left". what is telling you this?

xp runs "ok" with 512...really wants a gig, imo...

Norton is a real pig, resource-wise. makes everything run slow. The only thing that doesn't cause too much trouble is the anti-virus portion...the other stuff, I'm not convinced is worth the hassle.
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Old 11-29-2006, 08:48 AM   #4
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Since you mentioned it's fairly new, contact Dell.
Sounds like to many programs are running in background. That uses up much of your memory. With 512mb you should never have a problem with what your running.
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Old 11-29-2006, 09:08 AM   #5
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Hit control, alt and delete all at the same time (to bring up the task manager) then go to the processes tab and see what is running. You may be surprised.

If you are unsure about what the items are that are open, move the task manager window over and open IE - go to gooogle and google the tasks in question. You may find it very interesting.
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Old 11-29-2006, 09:28 AM   #6
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I have an Inspirion too, but it's 3 years old. Dell preloads a lot of stuff on there you probably aren't using. Janet's right about using the task manager to find out what. I spent a lot of time hunting down things that were auto-loading from various places, and uninstalling software I did't need. This year I bumped it up to a gig of memory, and installed a bigger harddrive that was faster, which really perked it up. There was a time when it was horribly slow, but it's better than new now.
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Old 11-29-2006, 10:03 AM   #7
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I also have a 3 year old Insprion, it originally had 256 of memory, and I added another 512, it did make a big difference. It still would be interesting to find out if the amount of memory is all that is available, or all that is left after all processes are running.
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Old 11-29-2006, 10:13 AM   #8
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Our desk top is a Dell tower and is about three years old and has some issues right now about running slow. We just updated our Norton Security (Firewall, Anti-virus, yada yada) and it is running super slow. I only use it for Word and occassionally Excel. My wife uses it for Word and Excel and occassionally Power Point (she stores her files on a thumb drive). We have XP Home with Office Suite and a number of educational software for our kids (Zoo Tycone, Marine Mania, multiple upgrades to Endangered Species, etc.). It has 80 gigs of hard drive, 2.1 Mhz processer, and 768 MB ram. Countless gigs of digital images currently stored on the hard drive. After running the defrag utility, we only have 7.6% of hard drive available. The computer is loading as slow as Christmas. We use DSL and it takes forever to open Outlook and sometimes IE. I know, something has to go...the digital photos have got to be archived!

The computer came with a CD burner/DVD reader. I added a DVD burner in the open bay about a year or two ago, but the CD burner became tempermental. The DVD burner has started making funny noises and giving error messages when the kids play their games (they have to have the game on the computer but disk in a drive to run the game to prevent pirating).

My wife bought two Pioneer DVD burners this weekend and I have installed them every way from sun down and the computer won't recognize the "D" drive (first in the cable loop). The original CD burner had the jumper set to "cable select" so that is what I set both DVD burners to. "D" drive wasn't recognized, but "E" drive was. Changed "D" drive to master and "E" drive to slave and neither drive is recognized. I tried setting the jumper on both to slave, no good, setting both to master no good. I tried "D" to cable select and "E" to slave, no good. I swithched the two drives in the bays and "D" was recognized but not "E", so I returned that DVD burner and got a new one. Had the same problems so I switched them again. This time the "D" drive was still not recognized, but "E" drive was so this time it's not the drive.

I don't know what to do now. Any suggestions?

BTW, Chaplain Kent, I appologize for hijacking your thread but would appreciate any help before this thread is returned to its rightful owner.
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Old 11-29-2006, 10:17 AM   #9
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OK - both of you.....

Do you store photo files on your hard drives? Image files are usually huge and may take up valuable head room. Find them - reduce the fuile sizes or store them else where. Todays digital acmeras take very high res pictures. - mine defaults to high res making each picture almost 1 meg. TOO BIG!

just a thought...
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Old 11-29-2006, 10:30 AM   #10
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Minnie: windoze requires at a MINIMUM, 20% free disk space to run efficiently. more is better. So, we must clean off that drive.

delete the games. just get rid of 'em.

the disks:
if both devices are on the secondary ide controller, one must be set to "master"; the other, set to "slave". (cable select is a crap shoot). easiest thing to do would be to just install one. set it to master. confirm that its working properly. then monkey with the other.

you gotta get those pics off of there. if that is their only existance, then they are not long for this world. the hard drive will fail. when it does, all your data (pics) goes "bye-bye".

once you free up space, there'll be more work to do to get the disk in shape...
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Old 11-29-2006, 10:40 AM   #11
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At the risk of being flamed, I would like to suggest to all who have myriad dissatisfactions with Windows-based computers that there is a viable alternative. Indeed, this solution might actually be fun to use. Trot on down to an Apple store and check out the offerings. You might be pleasantly surprised.
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Old 11-29-2006, 11:01 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
Minnie: windoze requires at a MINIMUM, 20% free disk space to run efficiently. more is better. So, we must clean off that drive.

you gotta get those pics off of there. if that is their only existance, then they are not long for this world. the hard drive will fail. when it does, all your data (pics) goes "bye-bye".
Backup, backup, backup. My Thanksgiving project was to load audio CDs into my new iPod. I've got a 45 gig hard drive (5 year old Dell Inspiron laptop) and had 10 gig unused when it slowed to a crawl. I transferred photo files to 8 CDs and was back in business -- and still have at least as many photos to remove when I have more time.
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Old 11-29-2006, 11:19 AM   #13
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Sometimes XP, and 2000 did this too, loads and runs a lot of different system services by default. Sometimes going in and determining what you don't need running and disabling it will help free up some resources. Norton also launches a lot of extra modules that you probably won't need - like Lotus Notes protection and so forth, that you can turn off. If you have a 100-base NIC in your computer, and your routers, hubs, etc. are 100-base capable, you can sometimes pick up a small amount of speed by setting your NIC to 100-full-duplex, instead of "auto negotiate". The key is that everything else on your network will need to be switched 100 as well to continue to be able to access them from your computer.

And chuck is definitely right >%80 full and you're asking for trouble. FireWire external drives are really becoming affordable now, if you're wanting large occasional storage that's readily available, it isn't a bad way to go. If your machine supports the FW800 standard, that's even better.
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Old 11-29-2006, 11:54 AM   #14
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Notebook computers with stand-alone video cards are high end PC's, those that 'share' system memory are much more common. Often the graphics adapter will commit 16, 32 or up to 128MB depending on which flavor happens to be installed. So find the info from OEM literature and subtract that from base memory and then let the tweaking begin.

Note: If you have all the essential updates installed from Microsoft a lot of machines will lose a lot of pep since the code bloat has jumped way up w/ the introduction of duo & quad CPU cores in personal computers.

You want to run REGEDIT; from the start button --> run... then navigate to
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Curr entVersion\Run

That will show you everything windows has been commanded to start. Be vigilant not to play whack-a-mole with right-click dialouges in REGEDIT. You can ruin the windows install so just use the list you find under CurrentVersion\Run to assure any hidden programs are observed.

McAffee website has a free stand alone anti-trojan etc applet called Stinger, Grisoft has one called Vcleaner and Microsoft has their Mal-Ware cleaner - all good insurance. Run them after booting in safe-mode for best results if something is found. Spy-Bot is not perfect, the free grisoft full install anti-virus tests highest of all the OTC versions.

Anyhow, another free program is a memory manager from a company thats been around a while; I've used their stuff for 5+ years. You might try this:
http://www.outertech.com/index.php?_...e=product&id=7

Good luck, And as with internet advice - no warranty implied or otherwise
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