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Author Topic: Why does my PC keep running out of memory and how can I increase this, please?  (Read 19410 times)

Offline OldDragon

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I frequently get a message to say that my PC is running out of memory and that it is increasing the amount available. It often runs rather slowly, much to my frustration. Is there any way that I can make more memory available in advance, please?

I often have up to 30 windows/message boxes open at any one time, and five or six programmes running at once, which probably accounts for things.

Also, I cannot get the sound to work, even though I am using a TV as a monitor at present, and with integral speakers that I know are not faulty. Any clues?


 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Do you mean hard drive memory or RAM? What are the specs of your computer
 

Offline OldDragon

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I think I mean RAM, but you are talking with a person they wrote that Idiots guide for and yet who can't even follow that! Lol It's whatever type of memory it needs to keep going with numerous programmes, windows and also some large image downloads and opened via msn. :)

There are two partitioned HDs in this PC, plus an external HD, and, I think, that adds up to 5 HDs?

My operating system is Windows XP Home Edition. AMD Sempron (tm) (whatever that means) and it says 1.4GHz, 224MB of RAM.

If you need any other specs, please can you let me know how to find and access those? :D (Either that, or perhaps the fellow member who introduced me to this forum, can come to the rescue and have a look?)
« Last Edit: 15/06/2008 05:03:46 by OldDragon »
 

Offline Poetic-Justice

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I guess you need more RAM. If your running "30 windows/message boxes open at any one time, and five or six programmes running at once" then the best option would be to close them when you aren't using them. You could always just upgrade your RAM. If you have so many applications open at once, your computer will naturally run slower.

edit:\ Yer, the message you get is natural if you open too many programs. If you hold down the WIN key and the "e" key, your computer will keep opening "my computer". Depending on how good your RAM is, you will get the error message after a couple or loads of opened explorers.
« Last Edit: 15/06/2008 08:33:13 by Poetic-Justice »
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Yeah you need more RAM. 224MB is not a lot to run on. I'd recommend at least 512, but you probably won't need more than 1 gig.
 

Offline LeeE

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Windows XP Home uses around 800MB of memory but as you've only got 224MB of RAM it needs to 'swap' some of that 800MB out as it all won't fit.  What this means is that it looks through that 800MB of memory that it has allocated and decides what it's going to use immediately and writes the rest of it out to your hard disk.  Then later, if it needs to use something in the memory that it put on your HD, it first has to swap some of the memory it's currently holding in RAM out to the HD before it can then read the other bit that it needs from the HD back into your RAM.  This is a very slow process.

For example, if you have a lot of programs open at the same time, the ones that you aren't actually using at the moment will probably have been swapped out to disk but this means that when you switch from using one prog to another, it'll have to be swapped in before it starts responding.

The message you're seeing about Windows needing to increase the amount of memory available refers to the amount of disk space it has allocated for this swapping in and out, and with so many programs open and so little RAM I'm not at all surprised.

The simple answer is to increase the amount of RAM inside your computer - as it's a Sempron based system (which gives me an idea of it's age) you should be able to increase the total ram to 1GB.  (You've almost certainly got 256MB of RAM in there but it's saying you've only got 224MB because your computer has probably got integrated graphics which is using main RAM for it's framestore.  Don't worry about any of this though, if you're happy with your graphics performance - it'll just mean that when you put 1GB in there it'll show a slightly lower figure again).
 

Offline OldDragon

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Totally fried brain here now! (As if it wasn't already so...?)

Simple questions... Do I just buy a bit of hardware with a gig of RAM on and ask someone who knows what they are doing to fit it?

If so, does that mean wiping the HD and reinstalling the operating system? (OMG - NO! Please say NO!)
 

Offline LeeE

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Either take it to a shop and let them fit the extra RAM or get someone who knows what they're doing to fit it for you.  It won't mean having to wipe your disk or reinstall anything although Windows will probably notice and ask you to confirm that it's ok.

It's actually trivial to fit new RAM but you have to make sure you get the right stuff for your computer - there are different speeds and types of RAM but only the right speed and type will work in your system.  There's nothing mystical about any of this - it's just like making sure you don't put diesel in a gasoline engine, but it's down to you to decide whether you want to learn about it or not, like doing your own automobile maintenance or just taking it to the shop.

Before you actually do anything, back up your data i.e. copy it to a memory stick or burn it to CD/DVD (better still make two copies), and then make a note of your internet settings - you can screen print these or just write them down on paper.

Then you can decide if you want to take it to a shop and get them to do all the work, get someone you know to do it, or learn about it yourself.

If you do take it to a shop, they should make sure that they put the correct speed and type of RAM in there and check that it all works, but of course, it'll be more expensive.
 

Offline OldDragon

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Thanks. I feel somewhat reassured now. :)

It may not be mystical to you, but my brain appears to work on both sides and the mystical at once and can confuse itself, as well as me in the process, without me attempting to add to the mental overload. lol

I can't take it to a shop though, so will have to get a PC engineer in or put up with it on a go slow, I guess. My brain needs to slow down anyway, and now that a certain person's blown up the PC he was using, I might get a chance to sleep it all off anyway. :D

Thanks again for you help. 

 

Offline SIMike

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Marry me and I'll buy you the biggest computer I can find - and have all your HDs wired into it.

Does this count as a second proposal in 24 hours? Do I get a prize for this?

Turnipsock, be a mate and act as my best man for a cyber wedding if that's the only way the darned woman will accept me? Having bared my soul to you via msn just a few hours ago - yes, damn it, and confessed much else that put me on my knees, there's no one else I can ask.

Spell check can't even tell what a HD is now! Hods???
 

Offline Poetic-Justice

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If your unsure about things such like fitting RAM modules, you may want to become more acustomed to the hardware inside computers. Just switch your computer off and stop the power supply (unplug it basically) (if your feeling scared).

Just try and label parts inside the case, maybe try taking out the ram you have at the moment and then putting it in again.

I personally don't really think there is any need to back-up your files, its most unlikely that anything will happen if you only fit the RAM modules in. It's when you start fiddling that things go wrong.

It would be better to slot it in yourself, than to pay $50 just for a guy to slot something in, in less than a minute... unless your case is screwed together like anything!
 

Offline LeeE

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I personally don't really think there is any need to back-up your files, its most unlikely that anything will happen if you only fit the RAM modules in. It's when you start fiddling that things go wrong.

!!?
 

Offline ukmicky

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Just try and label parts inside the case, maybe try taking out the ram you have at the moment and then putting it in again.
If you were to do this can i suggest you earth your body by touching a water pipe before hand to remove any static your body has built up ,otherwise you could end up with a dead PC.
 

Offline that mad man

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If you do a search on the net for the make or model of computer motherboard as you will find out which ram it takes and how many ram slots you have. Even better download the manual as it should show how to install it.

It looks as though you have 256mb with some being shared/taken for the graphics so adding another 1gb will make a great difference and at the moment its fairly cheap.

Also if you do that then do what ukmicky said.

With the sound try plugging headphones into the headphone socket and listening for any signal, if none then its probably sound card drivers.

Its not normally necessary to back up files when changing ram, if adding ram don't work then all you do is pull it back out and you will be back where you started. The only thing that would change is the bios setting and doing the above will reset that.

Good luck!
« Last Edit: 09/07/2008 21:20:18 by that mad man »
 

Offline Lynda

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When my IT expert brother visited me in May he used my computer for something (to check his webmails probably) and noticed how slow my computer is.      As a poster says that XP needs 800MB RAM and my computer only has 192mb RAM that explains a lot!      My birthday is coming soon and my brother says he is sorting out my birthday present - a new RAM which he will come to fit when he can.
 

Offline Titanscape

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Now having Cable and doing large downloads, I had this problem, down to my last Gig.

So I used my free eraser program, made an option to overwrite with zeros, and ran it on "all unused space in drive C." Freeing up two Gigs, so I have 3 left.
 

Offline chrisdsn

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As somebody said previously, it sounds like you have too little RAM in your machine. Computers
have several different types of memory, basically because fast memory is expensive and slow memory is cheap; your computer will have a small amount of fast memory and a larger amount of slow memory. RAM will be held on a silicon chip inside you computer and is fast memory. When you're running a program your computer will try and keep that program and any data it is
using in it's fast memory at all times. If you are running several programs at once it's
quite likely that you will use up all the fast memory (especially as you only have 224MB of
ram). In this case the computer will move the program files it *thinks* you aren't using
onto slow memory (in this case onto your Hard Drives). Next time you try an use these it will have to read the information back off the hard-drives into the fast memory. Hard-drives
are dramatically slower than RAM so this is why your computer will seem to crawl.
 

Offline wali

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is there any method to make an index for a pdf file (ebook) so that it can be printed alongwith the rest of the file to make a complete hard copy of the book 
 

Offline Gabe2k2

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Page File, as long as you have enough hard drive space you can increase the size of your page file, control panel, system, advanced. Or simply set it to allow the system decide. Apart from a few defrag problems and as long as you have enough available space on the harddrive this should solve your problem.

Also Id give my computer a jolly good check up with the spyware programs I have mentioned in the thread " What type of Free Anti-Spyware do you know of? "
« Last Edit: 12/09/2008 21:16:00 by Gabe2k2 »
 

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