|View single post by GaCDBFan|
|Posted: Sat Sep 12th, 2009 05:29 am||
|Is it doing it only when you are running several programs? If so, you'd probably do your computer a world of good adding more RAM (memory). Maybe explaining what virtual memory is will help a bit.
Every program that is running (Windows runs dozens all the time, even if YOU are running nothing.) requires a certain amount of memory. Since there is only so much actual memory, Windows reserves a bit of your hard drive to use as pretend, or virtual, memory. (That isn't really quite right, but this is the biggest impact on the performance, so I'll focus on this part. Virtual memory actually also includes tricking programs to think they have one BIG chunk of memory when they actually have a bunch of little chunks. The smaller your memory is, the worse it gets. The bigger your memory, the bigger chunks it'll get.) If your computer HAS to use virtual memory because real memory runs out, it slows your computer WAY down. Real memory is at least 100X as fast as the hard drive, probably more than that. Using the hard drive as memory is not good, at least in terms of performance. It is good in the respect that it allows the computer to temporarily run more programs than it has real memory to run. Windows would crash if it could not do this every now and then. The important thing here is that it should only be doing it every now and then, NOT frequently.
When virtual memory is used, because the performance is so bad, Windows tries not to have to delete anything from there, trying to anticipate what might have to be written there again. If it's already there, it doesn't have to be written again... the performance improves greatly. Following me so far?
OK. If the computer is constantly having to go through the virtual memory file and looking at what is not being used RIGHT NOW so it can be deleted for a few moments and rewritten later, that means the computer is running out of both real memory and the virtual memory space is getting filled up by being used frequently. The best way to fix it, and this will speed up your computer greatly, is to add more real memory.
Another way to fix it, which will not greatly improve the performance, is to give the virtual memory a bigger chunk of the hard drive. This is really not a good idea for most users. Yet another thing you can do, which will help, but not fix the problem is to defragment your hard drive. Go to "my computer", right click the hard drive, and select "properties". Click the "tools" tab, then "defragment now."
Installing more RAM is the best and safest way to fix this problem. Memory is quite cheap these days, unless your computer uses an old type that is not currently popular. It'll be harder to find and more expensive. You'll have to do a little research to find out what type of memory you have and how much your computer can hold. You can go to the computer manufacturer's web site and look for a "support" link where you can enter the model number. It should tell you how much you should have factory installed, and how much it'll take total, and what type. There is also a tool at http://www.crucial.com that might be able to scan your computer and tell you this information. Then go somewhere that sells memory with the specs of your computer's memory, and buy some. It is quite easy on most systems to install memory, unless the memory sockets are hidden under other hardware. It only takes a few seconds to do.
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