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#159462 - 20th Jun 2007 9:50pm how do I optimize my memory
Waddi Offline

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Registered: 11th Jul 2004
Posts: 4006
Loc: New Ferry
As a spin off from "such little memory"

I have a budget laptop, with 256mb of memory

any tips/options/modification/customisations I can do to make it more effcient/faster.

the laptop is my main computer and is mainly used for Web browsing, photoshop, photos/music. and not much more nowadays.

Thanks in advance for any help

Waddi
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#159468 - 20th Jun 2007 10:11pm Re: how do I optimize my memory [Re: Waddi]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
The easiest way is to turn off services that you are not using, for example most people dont need things like terminal server, shell, smart card support etc, but a lot of these are turned on by default in windows.

The BIG problem with turning services like this off is the fact that you risk causing problems with things that you do use. For instance, if you disable the wrong thing, you can cause you internet connection to become unavailable until you work out which service you need running.

Also, Windows "can" become unbootable, although this is easy to fix, it can be complicated for someone who has never done it before.

Other ways to optimize memory usage is to configure your theme settings so they still look nice, but run as efficiently as possible and disable things like system restore and the disk indexing service.

Other things to be careful of are of course things like Antivirus software and software firewall's - a lot of these can be a massive waste of resources.

Also, be warey of software that is installed along with drivers, such as software for printers, winamp quick launch, bit torrent clients, networking software etc, basically things that ye install and run automatically in the background when windows starts up and people dont always realise they are running.

On top of this of course is regular maintenance, such as cleaning out your temp files, searching and destroying spyware and adware, being careful what type of websites you visit, being careful what and how much software you install.

It's a bit complicated to explain how to do all these things (and there is more, some more complcated), as these are not things I have learnt overnight or in a few hours, ive learnt them over a period of nearly 10 years of working with NT operating systems.

Some of the things such as keeping ya system clean etc and being careful what you install (ie. just cos something is free software, it doesnt mean its any good for your pc, cos something looks good, its doesnt mean it is etc)you should be able to do without too much hassle, but if your a beginner, I wouldnt recommend playing about with services etc as it can cause more problems then good...

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#159469 - 20th Jun 2007 10:13pm Re: how do I optimize my memory [Re: Waddi]
BMW Joe Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 30th Apr 2006
Posts: 12369
Loc: Birkenhead
As matty said really.

You could also take it to a shop that does laptop upgrades or you could do it yourself if you are confident you could do it.

Laptops are a bit more fiddily than desktop PCs to upgrade, but any good computer shop should be able to do it for you.

I'd recommend a minimum of 512mb for modern software, but your hardware may no be able to support more than that, and also, it wouldnt be as costly as say 1gb

If you cant be arsed with messing around, you could make changes to your software instead. Stop programs starting up that you dont need, regularly defragment your hard drive and perhaps turn off visual effects that aren't needed.

If you need any help going through and doing any of them, just ask and I'm sure we'll post a guide to help
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#159474 - 20th Jun 2007 10:18pm Re: how do I optimize my memory [Re: BMW Joe]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Originally Posted By: BMW Joe
regularly defragment

If its running FAT32 or (especially if) NTFS, it shouldnt need a regular defrag. Defragging can take hours and hours on todays massive hard drives, and the increase in performance after a defrag is miniscule.

All Windows NT based operating systems handle the fragmentation of hard drive clusters way better the 9x os's, plus FAT32 onwards is better then the likes of FAT16 and HPFS etc...

I defrag maybe once every 2 years on a FAT32 drive, and never at all on an NTFS drive.

I know people with production servers running Windows Server 2000 since 1999/2000 and they have never defragged them. And I guarantee that a web server sees a hell of a lot more IO load then any home PC ever will.

smile

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#159476 - 20th Jun 2007 10:20pm Re: how do I optimize my memory [Re: MattLFC]
Waddi Offline

Forum Guardian

Registered: 11th Jul 2004
Posts: 4006
Loc: New Ferry
I wouldnt really class myself as a beginner just a bit out of touch, my old desktop that run 98 was tweeked to the max, then I got a AMD 3200+ tower running xp with 1024mb Ram, which was huge for the time and didnt feel the need to tweek, Tower got stolen and I replaced it with this laptop, which is all I could afford at the time.

So I have never really played with xp's settings and cant remember how I tweeked 98, coz it would proberbly be similar.

All I really want is for it to load the os a bit faster and load programs and files faster.

Thanks
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#159478 - 20th Jun 2007 10:21pm Re: how do I optimize my memory [Re: Waddi]
Waddi Offline

Forum Guardian

Registered: 11th Jul 2004
Posts: 4006
Loc: New Ferry
Had a look at the startup in msconfig, is there anything I shouldnt turn off.
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#159494 - 20th Jun 2007 10:33pm Re: how do I optimize my memory [Re: Waddi]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
The Windows NT core (XP is really NT 5.1) is a LOT different from that of the Windows 3.x/9x MS-DOS based operating systems.

Its very hard to transfer advanced skills in 9x over to NT and vice versa, ye have to learn both to be able to play with both.

The first way to find out how clean your PC is running is to check Task Manager (ctrl+alt+del) and see how many processes are listed.

For example, I very rarely have more then ~20 processes running, but then I go to someone's to fix their PC because its running bog slow and see upwards of 50, sometimes even more!

Most of the processes that run on my PC are system processes (ie. processes that the OS needs to run properly). Some have been turned off when tweaking services. But a lot that are on peoples pc's, are things that are running in the background, essentially bloatware, things like Winamp launcher, quicktime updater etc, basically things that developer add to make life easy, but when you have loads of them, they bog the pc down.

If I go into MS Config and look at my startup services, I have just 5 enabled, out of about 45. If all these 45 were starting up every time, then my pc would be slaughtered with regards to memory and cpu usage.

The disk indexing service, which I always recommend to turn off, is actually made to help you find files faster. But the performance gain on searching is not enough to warrant the constant processing every time you ammend the slightest bit of data.

If you have system restore turned on, turn it off, you WILL notice a an improvement in performance pretty much straight away, you will also free up hard drive space. System restore is pretty crap anyway, it is very limited in what it can do, what it can recover and the reliability of restore points.

If you look after the running of ya pc, ye should never need to use it, i havent on my media centre in the 6 years the operating system has been running on it.

smile

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#159495 - 20th Jun 2007 10:35pm Re: how do I optimize my memory [Re: MattLFC]
Mark Online   Reading


Wiki Master

Registered: 9th Nov 2003
Posts: 21027
Loc: Wirral
Tip : Remove your porn = faster machine lol

Laptop memory is cheap and easy to install smile
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#159497 - 20th Jun 2007 10:35pm Re: how do I optimize my memory [Re: Waddi]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Originally Posted By: Waddi
Had a look at the startup in msconfig, is there anything I shouldnt turn off.

Its extremely hard to say without being in front of the pc and seeing (and knowing/finding out) what each process will be doing. The obvious ones like MSN etc can be turned off if you dont want them loading up every time you startup windows, but some startup programs you may need/like.

As a general rule, turning off things from the startup section wont actually harm the running of your pc in any way, but you just need to make sure what you turn off is deffo something you dont want running.

smile

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#159505 - 20th Jun 2007 10:37pm Re: how do I optimize my memory [Re: Mark]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Originally Posted By: Mark
Laptop memory is cheap

DDR2 is cheap, but DDR1 and SD SoDIMM's are getting quite expensive in comparison though.

Unless ye have a really modern laptop (say mid-2006 onwards) you will usually had SD or DDR1 RAM.

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#159506 - 20th Jun 2007 10:39pm Re: how do I optimize my memory [Re: MattLFC]
Waddi Offline

Forum Guardian

Registered: 11th Jul 2004
Posts: 4006
Loc: New Ferry
where do I find the option to turn off:
Disk indexing
system restore
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#159508 - 20th Jun 2007 10:42pm Re: how do I optimize my memory [Re: MattLFC]
BMW Joe Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 30th Apr 2006
Posts: 12369
Loc: Birkenhead
Just dont turn off anything that you see which you use often (i.e. MSN, any firewall or antivirus software)

You can't really go wrong with msconfig. You could turn everything off and it'd still be fine.

Look for things that have strange names like "sdhfs" as these are usually viruses, trojans or spyware. Make sure they are unticked smile
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#159512 - 20th Jun 2007 10:47pm Re: how do I optimize my memory [Re: BMW Joe]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
You can turn off disk indexing in the properties for each drive. It can also be completely turned off in services.

You can turn off system restore by going to control panel -> system -> system restore.

smile

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#159516 - 20th Jun 2007 10:51pm Re: how do I optimize my memory [Re: MattLFC]
BMW Joe Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 30th Apr 2006
Posts: 12369
Loc: Birkenhead
Originally Posted By: MattyC
You can turn off disk indexing in the properties for each drive. It can also be completely turned off in services.

You can turn off system restore by going to control panel -> system -> system restore.

smile


I'm gunna do this now happy

keep meaning to do it, but forgetting smack
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#159517 - 20th Jun 2007 10:54pm Re: how do I optimize my memory [Re: BMW Joe]
Waddi Offline

Forum Guardian

Registered: 11th Jul 2004
Posts: 4006
Loc: New Ferry
still cant find disk indexing, sorry

is it also known as write caching?
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