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    Increased RAM but speed didn't change much

    Hi, I've got a fully patched XP, sp3 and use IE8. It had 512MB RAM and was pretty slow. I removed the old 512, and put in 4GB. I expected a day to night difference in speed, but I don't see it. Are there possibly some memory related settings that I may have made when I was limping along with 512, that I should now change to gain full advantage of my new RAM? Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shelquis View Post
    Are there possibly some memory related settings that I may have made when I was limping along with 512, that I should now change to gain full advantage of my new RAM?
    shelquis,
    Hello... You can start by checking that your OS actually "Sees" the new RAM on the "Performance Options >Advanced..Check that you see the maximum number allowed for a 32 bit OS Approx 3.5 GB... also you can look at your BIOS settings (when booting up) and make sure that the new "Sticks" are showing up...If your not sure how to do this post back..Regards Fred

    PS: There is a Free program that will check your installed RAM Speccy
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    Last edited by Just Plain Fred; 2012-01-20 at 14:41.
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    Hi Fred. I checked Performance Options as suggested, and mine shows Total paging file size of 3074MB (v. your 3326MB). Is that OK? I also checked System Info and got the following:
    Total Phsical Memory 4096.00MB
    Available Physical Memory 2.26GB
    Total Virtual Memory 2.0GB
    Available Virtual Memory 1.96GB
    Page File Space 5.84GB
    Do these all look appropriate? Any other thoughts on any way I could improve performance now that I have a full load of RAM? Thanks.

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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    4 GB for XP? I doubt you'd see very much improvement above about 1 GB!

    Why did you expect it to run breathtakingly faster? You still have the same CPU and other hardware! All you'd be saving with more memory is some paging, which depends significantly on how many and which programs you tend to run simultaneously.
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    Where you might see some differences is when multi-tasking in XP. For every day use for most users, with 32 Bit XP, you will not see huge differences I'm afraid. You might try to stop some apps running in the background. Use an app such as What's In Startup and pair down many of the useless stuff running with Windows. This might help you speed more than the additional Ram.

    WhatsInStartup.jpg
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

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    Have you cleaned out your machine lately, cookies and temp files etc. Also make sure only programs that need to run for the operation of you computer and its security are running at start-up? If you do not have CCleaner installed may be a good idea to install it and have it clean your machine. ( I am not suggesting using the Registry cleaner though)

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    Quote Originally Posted by shelquis View Post
    Do these all look appropriate? Any other thoughts on any way I could improve performance now that I have a full load of RAM? Thanks.
    shelquis,
    Hello... they seem different than mine ..I have XP Pro SP-3 and running a Dual core CPU , but don't think your settings are the problem .. My XP OS runs like a "Scalded Cat" .Performance depends on what your doing and your equipment ...For the everyday stuff on my XP ...Internet , downloading , and testing various software, it's better than my other 32 bit OS's... Although it "load up" time is very slow compared to my Vista and "7".. The advice given is good to "Clean up" things a bit....and see whats running at startup. One other thing comes to mind is when you "Right Click" My Computer and select "Disk Cleanup" Is there a selection for "Compress old Files" ? and if it's checked or not? Regards Fred

    PS: The Lounge has a "Resident XP Guru " ( Doctor Who ) maybe he will join in on this thread and give us all some advice... I have only recently been "fooling with XP" and still learning ... Great little OS i might add
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    Quote Originally Posted by shelquis View Post
    Hi, I've got a fully patched XP, sp3 and use IE8. It had 512MB RAM and was pretty slow. I removed the old 512, and put in 4GB. I expected a day to night difference in speed, but I don't see it. Are there possibly some memory related settings that I may have made when I was limping along with 512, that I should now change to gain full advantage of my new RAM? Thanks.
    A fresh clean install with some minor os level tweaks would most ddefinitely see a big difference .

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    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Thanks Fred,

    I regularly get calls from customers with older XP machines that have gotten so loaded up with CRAP that they take over ten minutes just to boot up. Running programs is laboriously slow and so is shutdown, to the point that many users just 'pull the plug' to do a shutdown.

    I wrote a batch file for jobs like those and put it up on my web page.
    I run it with the owner/user sitting right there beside me, in their home, and I watch their expression change from pure dead-pan to one of excitement as my batch file deletes the junk. It counts all the files on the HD first, then deletes all the junk out of standard Windows hiding places. After the cleanup, it counts the files again and posts the difference on the screen. Recently my little XPCleanup batch file took over 100,000 junk files off of a customer's PC. It does not look through every folder on the HD like AVG Tune-Up, Easy Cleaner 2 and some other cleanup programs, that I DO use. But it also won't destroy your hard drive like CCleaner once did to me.

    I can take an old XP machine with 512 megs of ram, an 80 gig HD and a single core CPU and effectively Double its speed.
    I usually get boot times down to less than a minute and shutdown times down to 5 to 8 seconds.
    However, the most effective level of ram for an XP PC is in the 2 gig range. (give or take a nibble or two)
    Most older PC's won't take more than 2 gig's anyway. XP was designed on year 2000 technology, so it should always run on one gig or less of ram memory. Beyond that, the performance depends to a large extent on the CPU and motherboard. Some motherboards are really high performance and some are dogs. My MSI motherboard and AMD, X2, dual core, 5200+ CPU make a fabulous performance pair.
    To address and use over three gig's of ram, you must be running a 64 bit OS. Four gig's is a nice round number and fills out four ram slots very nicely, but your XP, 32 bit OS will never be able to use all of it. Sorry, I don't make the rules!
    If you're using four ram sticks, make sure that they are "Matched Pairs" all of the same make, model and speed and even from the same Batch Number if possible. Many of your better ram companies, sell "Matched Pairs" of ram.
    Any PC can run horribly with mis-matched ram sticks installed.

    After all the hardware is maxed out, there still remains the horribly Bloated Windows. I can shut down as many as 24 background services on XP and improve performance and loose nothing in the bargain. Then tweaking the registry for better ram usage also can make a huge improvement in performance. Tweaking the registry to get it to load the Windows Kernel into ram on boot, creates an amazing boost in speed.

    Most of the tweaks I use for both XP and Windows 7 are on my web page for quick and easy download.
    Many of those things are not for rank amateurs, but should be used by someone with some PC technical experience.

    I've tweaked up PC's across the country for IT Specialists, using Team Viewer and they were amazed at how little time it took me to effectively double their performance.
    Not bragging.... I've been doing this stuff for 30+ years now and I've pretty well got it down pat.

    Someone please.... download my XPCleanup.bat program from my web site, run it on your XP machine and come back and tell us how many files it deleted. It doesn't mess with your registry or system files at all, but it couldn't hurt to do a registry backup before you run the batch file for the first time.

    Enjoy!

    The Doctor (retired, in Florida)

    Please forgive any typo's in the above post. I'm also watching a classic car auction as I'm typing this and there have been several Gorgeous classic cars sell for over 2 million dollars each. As of this week, I have 16 computers in my shop, that I now own. I wish they were all Classic Cars.
    Last edited by DrWho; 2012-01-21 at 19:51.
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

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    As of this week, I have 16 computers in my shop, that I now own. I wish they were all Classic Cars.
    Well, you can wish in one hand and, well, do something in the other and see which one gets filled first! ...I have over 25 computers, 0 classic cars, so I got dibs on the wishing well.

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    1st computer, kind of disappointing, only 16k some files removed...I'll try harder on my next one!


    ...18,800 on second so a bit better...no homeruns yet.

    ...third one I had high hopes for but it was a bust, only 9,900 files cleaned out of half a million; like throwing a couple deck chairs off the QE2. Still, its almost 10k files.

    __________________________________________________ _____________________________________

    Woohoo! finally got it over 100,000 files cleaned/removed. It took 10 systems and I was running out; had to borrow a family member's system which came through big at 25,700. I remember running disk cleanup and defragging a couple systems recently so my count was way down on those, barely over a thousand. Finally it was a VM of XP that put me over the top.
    Last edited by Infinicore; 2012-01-22 at 03:23. Reason: Nerdism run amok

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    Hi Fred. I gather you think it's just my system that is so slow, and not anything I can change. Right? FWIW, I'm on a 2005 vintage, Dell Dimension 4700, Pentium 4 CPU, 3.0GHz. I've struggled with slow speeds for so long that I've learned to keep my system pretty clean and defragged all the time. I typically clean with CCleaner at least once a week, if not more often. I defrag at least monthly, if not more often. Loadup and shutdown times seem OK to me, my real performance concerns are with things like scans. For example, when I run Secunia's OSI, it says on the website that a default scan might take 5 - 40 seconds. I takes me 15 - 30 minutes. When windows automatic update kicks in, it practically shuts me down, the system just drags. I do a weekly Microsoft Security Essentials scan, and it has always taken about 4 hours, though I notice that after my RAM inrease, it's down to about 3 and a half hours (and that's with allowing 100% cpu use).

    I did download DrWho's XPCleanup.bat and it removed 7356 files. I've got an 80G HDD which is about half full. You asked about whether disk cleanup had selected Compress old files. The answer is no, because of problems I had back with (I think) Win 95. It's probably safe to let that go, huh? Do most people these days routinely compress old files? It seems that with the amount of available disk space, it wouldn't really be done much. Just seems like a hassle to have to uncompress any which you may need to use.

    OK, that's my story. Any last thoughts? Or should I just resign myself to crummy performance because it's an old, unsupported OS? Thanks for your help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shelquis View Post
    Hi Fred. I gather you think it's just my system that is so slow, and not anything I can change. Right?

    Do most people these days routinely compress old files? It seems that with the amount of available disk space, it wouldn't really be done much. Just seems like a hassle to have to uncompress any which you may need to use.

    OK, that's my story. Any last thoughts? Or should I just resign myself to crummy performance because it's an old, unsupported OS?
    shelquis,

    Hello.. No at this point i can't say why your OS is slow... But it's not because of XP.... My XP pro SP-3 runs fine (2007 HP Pavilion AMD 64X2)...Just slow to load. In my "Multi Boot" PC... Vista Home Premium is next followed by "7" which is the fastest to "load up". Once up... XP is like lightning....and it's (XP) still supported

    As far as "Compress old files" ... I do not have that one checked ( removed it with a "Registry tweak") either ..and has been said that it eventually will slow down your OS. If this was always a problem ( slow performance) Then likely it's your Hardware "combo" Things Like HD speed,GB's \Sec (Cache..16MB\32MB) , CPU, RAM, motherboard, etc. I don't have any experience with your setup, so can't say for sure ...If your one who likes to play around with your PC... Try as a first step "Googling" your PC setup, and see if it's a common problem running XP.. IF the performance has changed over time ...then some more investigating is in order... Regards Fred
    PS: As Ted has stated #5 it could also be a program thats consuming the CPU ...Background (start up) and or security programs etc.
    Last edited by Just Plain Fred; 2012-01-23 at 16:23.
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    No, disk compression isn't going to help you in the speed department. As Clint says, a reinstall, or factory recovery will bring an old wheezing computer back to life or an expert's administrations to programs and process removal/disabling can go a long way without reinstalling.
    Do you have reinstall media or a recovery partition on the hard disk?
    Security programs are often the big culprit for slowing systems down, especially the likes of Norton and McAfee. Also don't use any registry cleaners for general purpose cleanup. CCleaner's is ok for other stuff, just don't run the registry cleanup portion.

    You definitely do not have to put up with crummy performance but it might take a little elbow grease to get there--I have many systems running quite happily on far less specs that you have, they aren't fire-breathers by any means but they are still surprisingly competent.

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    Hi Infinicore. Thanks for the comments. Yes, I have Dell's OEM XP disk that came with the computer. You mention recovery partition on the hard disk. I think maybe I do, but I'm not sure. Would that have the same thing on it as the Dell XP disk? Is there any reason one approach is better than the other?

    When I went to DrWho's website, I noticed he listed the process for reinstalling XP without losing currently installed applications and settings. Would that be of ANY benefit at all? Maybe sort of a halfway approach. I'm really sort of ambivolent about doing a clean install, and having to get the programs and settings back again. I'd like to improve performance, but I haven't convinced myself that it's worth that much hassle. I think I'd rather keep that as an absolute last resort. Any thoughts? Am I unjustifiably afraid of a clean install? Would DrWho's renstall be of any value? Thanks.

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