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    Physical Memory upgrade - is it possible?

    Hi,

    Could anyone advise on the practicality, or otherwise, of increasing the physical memory on my computer? I have a, somewhat ancient (5 years), PB machine running OEM XP(H) with SP3. Currently, according to SIW, my physical memory is 192MB in total with just 22MB free. Virtual memory is 678MB in total with 263MB free.

    My question stems from two current issues. 1: when I'm running checks with such programs as Spybot it tends to take (almost) forever as they keep having to make continual use of the virtual memory, and 2: I've recently tried to download Ad-Aware's free anniversary program - but can't, as I keep being told it requires a minimum physical memory of 248MB.

    I'm probably going to run into more issues re lack of memory in the not too distant future and have to make a decision fairly soon as to whether it's time to dig deep and purchase a more up-to-date computer, or whether I can get away with increasing the physical memory somehow. The issue is somewhat complicated by the fact that I'm not exactly what you'd call computer literate.

    Would be grateful for any/all views

    Thanks,
    Keith

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    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Physical Memory upgrade - is it possible?

    RAM is relatively inexpensive these days, so if your motherboard will accept more RAM (very likely) then you should add up to 1GB to optomize the performance of your system. 512 will make things much better, but a gig will reall make it hum. There are a couple tutorial guides that should be very helpful here and here. HTH <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/DocWatson_sig.gif>

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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Physical Memory upgrade - is it possible?

    Keith,
    Go to CRUCIAL and have it scan your system, It will tell you if and how much more memory your system will accept, what type you need and how much they sell it for. Good site.

    If you can bump up the amount of memory, you will definitely see a big jump in performance.
    BOB
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    Re: Physical Memory upgrade - is it possible?

    Doc/Bob,
    Wow!!! A whole new world has just opened up for me! The website is a real eye-opener Bob! It tells me I have two free slots available and the max memory capacity of my system is 2048MB. I can upgrade to 2GB by removing the already installed 256MB and replacing it with a 1GB plus adding another (identical) 1GB in one of the free slots. The website has identified exactly which products I need to purchase and the UK price.

    I've also had a quick scan through both tutorials Doc and it seems plausible that I could attempt the upgrade myself. I've saved the tutorial pages to my 'favorites' and will go through them in much slower time shortly.

    Thank you both for the excellent pointers - much appreciated. Once I've convinced myself I can accomplish it on my own I'll give it a go and will post back idc.

    Cheers,
    Keith

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    Re: Physical Memory upgrade - is it possible?

    Unless you do a lot of heavy duty graphics work, such as edit really large photos, CAD drawings, large videos, or have many applications open concurrently 1GB is plenty for XP. More will most likely not be used and is just a waste of meny.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: Physical Memory upgrade - is it possible?

    Thanks Joe,

    The Crucial website indicated several combinations were possible. As well as the 2 x 1GB option, it indicated I could add 512MB to the existing 256MB to make 768MB, or I could add 1GB to the 256MB to make 1.2GB. From what you say (and I don't do anything heavy) just adding 1 x 1GB card would seem to be the best (and cheaper) option. Thanks,
    Keith

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    Re: Physical Memory upgrade - is it possible?

    If you don't do heavy graphics editing or play resource-hungry computer games, 1 GB should be fine for Windows XP.

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    Re: Physical Memory upgrade - is it possible?

    Bob/Doc/Hans,

    I've read up on Doc's recommended tutorials and the one that's also available on the Crucial website - and have decided that it ought to be within my capabilities to do the upgrade from 256MB to 1.2GB, so - I've just ordered a 1GB card from Crucial (together with an anti-static wrist strap!) and as soon as it comes I'll give it a shot - will report back on results when done (assuming my computer still functions of course!).

    One question if I may - The 'mysupercomputer' tutorial indicates that it's advisable to increase the virtual memory as well, by a factor of x3 - Does that go along with your thinking? And if so, is there any exact amount I should enter - ie, will the computer recognise whatever amount I enter and set, or does it need to have specific values?

    Thanks again - your guidance, as ever, much appreciated - especially as (if I get it right) it's going to save me the price of a new PC!!

    Keith

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    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Physical Memory upgrade - is it possible?

    I'd let Windows manage the size of virtual memory. It'll determine the optimal size for you.

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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Physical Memory upgrade - is it possible?

    I agree with Hans.

    Right click on MY Computer, click on Properties>Advanced>Performance Settings>Advanced>Virtual memory, then Change.

    Select ( highlight ) the drive you want to install VM ( C: or whatever )
    Check "System Managed Size"

    Then click SET. Don't forget to do this .

    OK out and you are all set.

    The change won't occur until you reboot.
    BOB
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    Re: Physical Memory upgrade - is it possible?

    Bob, Doc and Hans,

    As promised, an update on upgrading my RAM

    All went well and I'm now the proud owner of a rejuvenated computer with 1.18GB of physical memory! The addition was immediately recognised when I booted up and, having taken your advice and letting Windows decide on Virtual memory size, the Virtual memory was automatically increased in line with the new amount of RAM.

    I only experienced two slight panics!

    One when I opened the casing and discovered that there were, in fact, only two memory slots available (one already occupied by the 256MB). Crucial's scan of my system told me I had three in total with 2 available. Just as well I hadn't gone for 2 x 1GB cards!

    The other slight panic was when I opened the casing and saw the amount of dust and fluff that was sitting inside the case!
    I disturbed as little as possible and seem to have got away without any problems.

    The whole process took no more than 30 mins, including a number of significant pauses when I saw the missing slot and the dust! All very easy to accomplish and, in fact, the hardest part was working out how to get the side of the case off and to get it back on again (no screws, just slide and clip).

    Very many thanks to you all for your pointers and guidance, without which I wouldn't even have made a start.

    One last question if I may: Re the dust and fluff. Should I just forget that it's there or is there a safe way to clean it all out - I don't really fancy the idea of poking a vacuum cleaner pipe anywhere near the inside - especially given the possible static discharge issues.

    Thanks,
    Keith

  12. #12
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    Re: Physical Memory upgrade - is it possible?

    When I need to work on the inside of a computer that has been in a dusty environment I usually
    <UL><LI>Disconnect all cables and carry the computer to a table in a room without a carpet
    <LI>Remove the covers and turn the computer over, so that most of the dust falls out
    <LI>Move the computer, pick up the loose dust and throw it away
    <LI>Put on my anti static strap ¹ and gently vacuum clean the inside of the computer, using the smallest nozzle on my vacuum cleaner.[/list]StuartR

    ¹ The anti static strap must be properly earthed. I have a spare earth pin from an old plug which I use. This always alarms people who see me connected to a mains socket.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Re: Physical Memory upgrade - is it possible?

    Leaving the dust and fluff inside a PC case could cause overheating and thus reduced component life. I don't think anyone has come to grief by carefully using a vacuum cleaner nozzle to remove these contaminants from a powered-off with the mains lead removed from the socket at the back system unit. The alternative is to blow all the dust out with a can of compressed air (being prepared for the coughing fit which will result from the cloud of dust and detritus thrown out thereby).
    BATcher

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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Re: Physical Memory upgrade - is it possible?

    Stuart

    I can see where you're coming from in suggesting that you earth yourself, but surely it would be best to hold onto the metal of the system unit frame? Obviously the aim (!) is to keep the vacuum cleaner nozzle from touching the components, except possibly the fan grilles, just having it sufficiently close to suck up the dust. Have you ever heard of the nozzle of a vacuum cleaner becoming statically charged?
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

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    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Physical Memory upgrade - is it possible?

    >> Have you ever heard of the nozzle of a vacuum cleaner becoming statically charged?

    Yes! I had a vacuum cleaner with plastic hose/nozzle that I had to get rid of. It would create so much static that it would create a spark that would literally jump through my jeans if I got my leg too close. It was necessary to regularly discharge the nozzle through the CH pipes - and boy it it make a spark!

    Just remember - all plastic and other man-made materials are bad news as far as static is concerned. Pure cotton socks and underwear are also recommended for all electronic engineers... <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>

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