RAM Related Issues
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 30

Thread: RAM Related Issues

  1. #1
    Some Assembly Required ShagDevil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    718

    RAM Related Issues

    I need some help on this and I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction.
    Ok, here goes: Mother has a 6 year old Dell Dimension XPS B1000
    Some stats:
    Pentium III
    128 MG RAM
    Windows ME (I know...I know)
    Anyway, this thing is getting horrid. It's constantly crashing. It's already been re-formatted twice and even with only installing what my mother needs on it (which is some picture editing programs (Adobe mainly) and some other basics, it still keeps returning to a dysfunctional (crashing often) status. Here's my questions. Without upgrading to a new computer, or OS, or motherboard, what the hell can I do to this thing to enhance perofrmance? She's very tough minded and doesn't want to go spend a ton of money on a new OS or computer because she barely uses it as is. Very minimal internet usage. Basically she uses the computer for picture editing (She's a camera buff) and checking email.
    I've tried a little program called Free RAM Optimizer XP but I'm not sure if there any inherent dangers when messing around with RAM. I don't really know what %RAM the computer needs to function at a basic level, so I don't even know the % RAM limits to set this program to free up. I've also used a variety of system maintenance tools to clean up the registry and the hardrive to no avail. I've also used MSCONFIG to minimize everything at startup & I've minimized all the background processes so that almost nothing is running outside of her security programs & essentials. If anyone has any suggestions (outside of the obvious...throw the damn thing out the window ) , I'm all ears.
    The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his - George Patton

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    1,053
    You need to explain how it "crashes" does it freeze or blue screen or reboot or what. And the cheapest upgrade is always memory. It couldnt hurt to throw another 128 in that bad boy. It is only a PIII so say you got a new motherboard you would need a new cpu and memory so thats almost a new computer. But they do make motherboards with cpus for about $120 so if you threw in 256-512 ram and what ever that costs you could have a 2600+ with a cheap motherboard/memory

  3. #3
    They call me the Hunted foxyloxley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    3rd Rock from Sun
    Posts
    2,528
    get a copy of Windows 2000 Pro [very cheap nowadays]
    ME is OK for games, but NOT for internet access, of any duration ......

    get another stick of RAM [to give 256MB] 128 is OK, but more IS better.

    have you ran any S/W to determine why the system is crashing ? [PC Check etc]
    strip the unit down, full clean and re-build
    check the fans are all OK [CPU / PSU / GPX if fitted]

    D/L the basic securty tools, AdAware / SpyBot S+D / CWShredder
    get a registry cleaner [macecraft have an easy to use one on a free trial reg supreme Pro 1.2] to clean the registry from the beginning so you KNOW it's clean.
    if you cannot get her to scan the system each week, then you do it as and when you can.

    total cost will be around $40 ish
    plus your time

    if she is not willing to spend ANYTHING
    THEN you re-boot it out the window
    55 - I'm fiftyfeckinfive and STILL no wiser,
    OLDER yes
    Beware of Geeks bearing GIF's
    come and waste the day :P at The Taz Zone

  4. #4
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    Posts
    17,178
    Hi,

    The simplest solution is to increase the RAM to 384 or 512Mb.

    Make sure that the machine is turned off when not in use.

    Set the RAM optimisation program to monitor/report only

    Defragment regularly.

    Or, if her software will handle it, ditch ME and go back to Win98SE instead. You should be able to get that for next to nothing these days.

    It WILL work......................128Mb is not enough for Win ME.

    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  5. #5
    Some Assembly Required ShagDevil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    718
    Well thanks for all the replies thus far.
    Oofki:
    To answer your question, it freezes. completely. To the point where Ctrl+Alt+Del doesn't even work. I was considering adding another 128 stick in this thing but I'm not sure what the Pentium III's limits are for RAM. I'm assuming the III can handle 256MB RAM?

    foxyloxley,
    I was considering the RAM upgrade, to 256MB, again not sure if the Pentium III is designed for that. I'm not that educated when it comes to hardware aspects so bear with me. As for scans of why the system is crashing, no I haven't performed any. I was the one who reformatted this puppy the last two times and my guess...is this thing simply doesn't have enough RAM. It works fine when it's reformatted but once everything is loaded back in, it starts crashing again. As for security and registry & hardrive, I have done just about everything I can.

    Nihil,
    I recently defragged this thing, as well as used scan-disk and some registry/hardrive cleaners. Basically, the registry was cleaned of defunct stuff not in use anymore, and optimized. The hardrive was cleaned of junk files and programs that weren't needed.
    The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his - George Patton

  6. #6
    Right turn Clyde Nokia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Button Moon
    Posts
    1,696
    With a PC that old, you may have a problem finding suitable RAM, i would put my money on you having a stick of SD- PC 100/133, the bonus is if you can find suitable RAM its bound to be cheap as chips! It sounds like a bit of a budget system so check with your MoBo manufacturer what RAM is supported, before you go and get a stick of 1024 DDR400!

    I was going to say downgrade (if you can downgrade from Me) to Windows 98SE but Nihil beat me to it again! (its gettin to be a bit of a habbit nihil! grrr)

    The problem is picture editing can be a pretty RAM intensive thing.

    A few things you could do:

    Disable any desktop themes
    If you are running norton/mcafee, get rid of em and use a less resource hungry AV/FW,
    When you install the OS just put the very very minimum optional components on.
    Update any and all drivers for your mother board, maybe even your BIOS although it can be a tricky process on older boxs.
    Only have one application running at a time, or as few as possible.
    You could use a RAM optimizer but in my experience no good usually comes of using them - ive yet to find a decent one but maybe someone could name one for us!

    The best thing you could do is burn your Windows Me Disc!

    // The CPU doesnt normaly limit your RAM, it really depends on what your MoBo supports, do you know the make/model of it? If so post it and we can find out what it supports
    Drugs have taught an entire generation of kids the metric system.

    http://tazforum.**********.com/

  7. #7
    Senior Member Raion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    New York, New York
    Posts
    1,299
    As Nokia said, it the amount of RAM your computer supports depends on your motherboard not your processor.

    My question to you is, how fast is your P3 processor? I have a P3 processor too 567MHz (i once got asked if windows even loads at those speeds [it was a sarcastic joke lol]) with WinXP pro and 192MB of RAM. I do some photo editing here and there, no problem. I haven't formatted in a couple of months.

    But I'm going to have to disagree with you Nokia, I don't think it will be too hard finding a compatible RAM stick since my computer is 5 years old and it is no problem finding a SDRAM pc100 stick (I actually once, before i know about computers, accidently bought one that fit into my slot).

    But definatly try to upgrade, if you have any questions on RAM compatability I reccomend you check your motherboards manual which should have come with your computer. and if after 5 years, i still have my motherboard manual in mint condition you should still have yours
    WARNING: THIS SIGNATURE IS SHAREWARE PLEASE REGISTER THIS SIGNATURE BY SENDING ME MONEY TO SEE THE COMPLETE SIGNATURE!

  8. #8
    Right turn Clyde Nokia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Button Moon
    Posts
    1,696
    Looks like I am going to have to stand corrected raion, seems PC100 RAM is quite easy to buy!
    Guess I just havent needed to buy it in a while!

    Thanks for pointing it out tho!
    Drugs have taught an entire generation of kids the metric system.

    http://tazforum.**********.com/

  9. #9
    The Doctor Und3ertak3r's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    2,744
    Check the HDD..

    Use a tool like HDD regen.. or the HDD manufacturers HDD utility (ie: Seatools for seagate)

    A lot of crashes occure during swap file operations (pageing in 9x), I have had drives with minor drive probs cause major OS probs.. oh and scan disk and defrag seem to miss some disk surface errors.... you will find I have a very definite soft spot for HDD regen.. resurected many a "dead" HDD, to allow simple data recovery..

    The other possability is a motherboard problem.. have a look for swollen caps on the mobo.. if you have any, follow the advice on replacing the mobo, cpu and ram...
    Also when your reloading the OS are you useing the DeLL recovery disk or just a standared MS WinME CD?.. I ask as I have seen many ME installs on HP, Compaq, IBM and Dell survive many years with very few issues, but many oem and self installs die in a short time due to configuration and driver issues..
    "Consumer technology now exceeds the average persons ability to comprehend how to use it..give up hope of them being able to understand how it works." - Me http://www.cybercrypt.co.nr

  10. #10
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    Posts
    17,178
    Well, I have quite a few old boxes with obsolete operating systems on them for research/amusement and the like.

    I have a PII/266 128Mb RAM that displays the same symptoms. You have to stoke it like a steam engine

    A PII/333 (Dell Dimension) and a PII/450.................both have 384Mb and are quite stable.

    A home built AMD Duron 1.3 with 512Mb RAM.................it hasn't crashed in about 4 years or more............ it is the Wife's machine, the bloody thing would not dare

    I also have a Dell Dimension with a 1.7Mhz P4 and 768Mb of RAMBUS PC800 in it........... that puppy is a bit unstable, because it has TOO MUCH RAM but a hell of a lot better than the guy with 128MB.

    My rough guide is 256Mb for Win98SE and 384Mb for Win ME. Maximum of 512Mb for both.

    Crucial Memory are the people to look at IMHO. Just Google and find your local office..........they have a couple of great memory checking tools and are a good quality provider at excellent prices.

    Good delivery and warranty as well, and I can say that having dealt with them for over 6 years.

    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

 Security News

     Patches

       Security Trends

         How-To

           Buying Guides