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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    What happened to multitasking? Large copy/paste

    Pasting a large amount of data I'd copied from a Facebook page into a Word .doc document brought my computer to a crawl. Saving the large Word (120 pages) file did the same. I couldn't use any other program; all I could do was stare at Word. I have a decent duo-core computer with 2 GB of RAM and I'm running Windows 7. What puzzles me is that Windows is supposed to have multitasking capabilities. How can the entire system be taken over by a single process like this?

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  3. #2
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    Surely that was not due to the CPU being overloaded, but most likely about disk access (with a large amount of data on memory, surely the swapfile had to be used). Disks are very slow compared to everything else and that usually has the effect of stalling the computer.

  4. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I have to agree with ruirib on this one. 2 GB of RAM is not an exceptional amount for Win 7. When transfering this large quantity of data you are using a significant amount of Page File which is signifacantly slower than RAM and will most certainly slow things down. At the cost of RAM today it might be worth considering an increase.
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  5. #4
    New Lounger
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    Maybe the problem is caused by Word, not by the clipboard or the swapfile. It may depend from what you copied. 120 pages text only do not require so much RAM. The whole bible (AT + NT) needs approx. 1 MB. But if you copied text + images things look different. WinWord is well known to have strange problems with larger blocks of text + images.
    Sorry, English is not my mother tongue ;-)

  6. #5
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Cool

    Only program running? Ya gotta be kidding me!
    If you've just booted up your Windows 7 PC and you've not opened anything yet, you still have forty or more programs running in the background.
    It's like Times Square Station at rush hour in there!!!

    Two gig's of ram might have been the sweet spot for Windows XP, but definitely NOT for Windows 7. On every Win-7 PC that I work on, I shut down a whole bunch of redundant Services, knock off all the performance sucking TSR's (reminders, schedulers and updaters.... in MSCONFIG/Startup) and then set the OS to move the "Kernel" into ram on boot up. This one little trick, greatly speeds up Windows.

    All this information has been floating around on the internet for a very long time, and most of it has been presented and discussed right here in this very forum, so I won't go into detail on it again.

    Good Luck!
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  7. #6
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    I have to agree that 2GB of RAM is not enough for Windows 7 when using it to such extremes as these large and complex downloads from Facebook. Facebook itself is a bottleneck, and WinWord is no help either. Dr.Who is correct that many other background processes are always running, sapping even more available resources. The standard Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit hardware configuration is 4GB of RAM. This does reduce disk-swapping, and may improve performance on these downloads.
    -- Bob Primak --

  8. #7
    Star Lounger
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    OK, I appreciate the comments. The Facebook page from which I was copying did include a very large number of small images, icons, actually, which may have caused the problem for Word.

    It comes as a great surprise to hear that 2 GB of RAM is not much. That amount stuck in my mind as being the "sweet spot" according to Windows Secrets' own Fred Langa. I'm pretty sure he was referring to Windows 7 and not an earlier version.

    BUT STILL ... but still I don't think my question is answered. Whatever was gumming up the works, whether inadequate RAM, the slowness of using the swap file, or issues with Word, I thought the whole point of a multitasking operating system was to prevent any single process from slowing the entire system. Shouldn't Windows 7 have throttled the use of the swap file, for example, so that other processes could continue to use the system, if not seamlessly at least to some extent, rather than waiting indefinitely for the slow process to finish?
    Last edited by DavidToronto; 2011-02-18 at 07:33.

  9. #8
    Star Lounger
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    You wrote in perfect English. I wouldn't have known it was not your first language.

  10. #9
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    The point of a multi-tasking operating system is to attempt to allocate resource equitably to allow more than one program to be loaded and run at the same time. This is done through resource management by a series of complex rules. Nothing is done in isolation and everything going on has an effect on everything else.

    A sweet spot for RAM is dependent on the OS being used and the workload being run on top of the OS. You have not given any more information about your sytem or workload.

    Is this a laptop or desktop?
    What CPU?
    What HD (i.e. size & speed)?
    What applications are running concurrently?
    Have you run Task Manager to see what process is actually using the CPU?
    Is Windows the 32-bit or 64-bit version?
    Is Windows up-to-date with patches?
    What version of Word?
    Is Word up-to-date with patches?

    Joe

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