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  1. #16
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stonecherub View Post
    Thank-you, everybody, I am getting a hand on this. I call this computer Old-Acer and it is. I just looked at the on-board memory to find a 512 and 256 K chips. Just ordered a couple of one G chips. That surely should help.

    Chkdsk /f took nearly an hour to run a couple of days ago because it hasn't been done in years. Another run yesterday took a few minutes - less than 10 (I got distracted).

    The disk is a 40 G antique which is adequate for what I need, Hitachi doesn't remember they ever shipped something so small and the seagate utilities found no problems.

    Yesterday morning, it just hung and had to be shut down. This morning, it's slow but it runs. Let's see what more memory will do.

    Thanks again for the suggestions.
    If you had only 512 + 256 KB of memory, I'm surprised the computer ran at all. That's less than one meg.

    If you actually had 512 + 256 MB of memory, then the culprit is probably your 40 GB hard drive. That's way undersized, based on the kind of stuff you do on the computer. Also, the drive is old, which means that it may be going bad.

  2. #17
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    You're right, it was Mb (Kb - Mb, what the hell, they're the same, right?) The drive is actually adequate for me, there's 25/40 G free - 60%. I remembered that I had a copy of Steve Gibson's "Spinrite" which ground through the drive in three hours this morning and came up happy.

    After re-booting, the computer was acceptable , but i suspect that more ram will solve a lot of my problems.
    Last edited by Just Plain Fred; 2013-05-25 at 08:25.
    Dan Lynch
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  3. #18
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    If SpinRite was happy, your disk is good. In order of probability, RAM, programs loading at startup and a Windows-managed pagefile are your most likely culprits. The upgrade to 2GB will certainly improve things, but do look into the others too. I've always made it a practice to use a fixed-size pagefile, and for XP that has always been 4095 MB. XP will complain if you try 4096. There's no need to go any larger, because of the address limitations of 32-bit Windows. If you have 25GB free, you have plenty of room on your drive.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
    Unleash Windows

  4. #19
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    The plot thickens. The ram arrived in the mail today, caloo, ca-lay.

    First boot was the black screen of nothing. On re-seating the chips, boot ended with a flash of blue so I pulled one of the chips and it worked fine with one gig. I tested both Firefox and Chrome and they behaved acceptably. A little slow but - it's OLD!

    Next, I re-inserted the 512 meg chip and that combination also worked. I couldn't tell if anything was faster but the drive light went to occasional flashing in less than a minute.

    When I put the other gig chip back in, the first boot ended with the blue flash. After I got to choose "boot in safe mode," it wouldn't. The various files would load 5, next time 15, next time the whole lot but it never booted into windows.

    Maybe this is one of "them their things" with windows. Something there is that doesn't like a wall - er, two gigs of ram in my Travelmate. It works fine with a gig and a half, probably as well as any elderly computer is wont.

    If somebody knows some, "Oh, you should have done this ...," please tell me. Otherwise, "the thread is ended, go in peace" (with my immense gratitude).

    Dan Lynch
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  5. #20
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    If you didn't swap gig for gig stick only, might just be that one gig stick is bad and it will run fine on two good 1 gig sticks.

    Also, if you want to get all the speed back, stop the drive from excessive seek thrash, reinstall or recover if there's such a partition to recover from and then uninstall all the crapware, which must be hopelessly outdated anyway.

  6. #21
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Replacing the RAM outright is generally better, performance wise, than just merely adding memory onto already existing chips.
    Some motherboards are picky when it comes to RAM.

    Running a memory diagnostic like Memtest86 overnight is generally an acceptable way to test and burn in the new modules too.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2013-05-29 at 09:31.
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    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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  7. #22
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stonecherub View Post
    When I put the other gig chip back in, the first boot ended with the blue flash.
    Dan Lynch
    Have you tried "the other chip" by itself?
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
    Unleash Windows

  8. #23
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    The following will never be harmful, and it may be helpful in your case:

    * Delete and uninstall as much as you can, to free up as much space on the hard drive as possible.
    * Defrag the hard drive.

    Then run msconfig, and disable as many startup items as you can.

  9. #24
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    Many thanks for the suggestion to use Process Explorer - this identified the culprit as c:/ProgramFiles/AVG/AVG10/avgchsvx.exe which was continually thrashing the hard disc. I killed the process and renamed the file so that it won't start up again and the thrashing has stopped. Excellent!

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Hall View Post
    Many thanks for the suggestion to use Process Explorer - this identified the culprit as c:/ProgramFiles/AVG/AVG10/avgchsvx.exe which was continually thrashing the hard disc. I killed the process and renamed the file so that it won't start up again and the thrashing has stopped. Excellent!
    That seems to be the AVG caching server. Not sure whether doing that will interfere with AVG operation, so maybe configuring the service may be a better option - I don't use AVG so I am not sure what options are available. If you want to have a look, here is a link that may be useful: http://www.avg.com/ww-en/faq.num-3287
    Rui
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  11. #26
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    In that instance, the accused was AVG 10 ??? That's OLD now and should be upgraded to AVG 2013 (AVG 2014 is already out in Beta, and should be formally released this fall).

    So if that was truly the culprit, that should have been taken care of a long time ago.

    On AVG 2013, you can right click the AVG system tray icon and "temporarily disable AVG.....".
    That stops all AVG activity, and also allows you to do System Restores and program installations without any interference.

    Just a thought.....

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