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    Slow down and lock up (Windows XP Home - Office 2003 Student-Teacher)

    Because of all the hype, I installed Firefox and kept it updated. I have noticed that my computer works a lot slower and Outlook locks up a lot more when I have Firefox installed. I have 80GB memory and 20% of it used. Any ideas there seems to be a connection between Firefox, outlook, and generally slow operation (slow Word, slow in my appraisal software program).

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Slow down and lock up (Windows XP Home - Offic

    I haven't heard of anything like that. Is Firefox left open with a page that is busy updating itself, like some portal home pages? That could chew up a few cycles.

    In reporting memory is being used, 80GB appears to refer to your hard drive; your RAM memory normally would be in the range of 512MB to 1GB. Unfortunately, I can't remember how you check how full your memory is, but it's critical: when the RAM chips fill, they use the hard drive for "virtual" memory and it's much, much slower.

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    Re: Slow down and lock up (Windows XP Home - Offic

    One idea might be to open Task Manager and click on the Performance tab, and look at the Commit Charge (K) Total figure, which should preferably be lower than the total amount of real memory you have (not the amount of free disk space). The figure can well be higher than the amount of real memory, but it is good if the ratio is less than (say) 1.2 or 1.4 . Keep an eye on this figure while you are running your usual programs. (One way of checking on the amount of real memory your PC has is to click on Start then on Control Panel then on System then on General -- the amount of real memory is right at the bottom)...

    If you want to check on individual programs, change to the Processes tab, and sort on either CPU or Mem Usage by clicking once or twice on the appropriate column heading. These figures vary hugely depending on what you are doing. At present, my Firefox is using about 25,000 K and Outlook Express (msimn.exe) is using about 21,000 K (but of course it is inactive while I'm typing this in Firefox!). You will get some idea of which programs and processes are using large amounts of memory and CPU from this pane.

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    Re: Slow down and lock up (Windows XP Home - Offic

    I did as you suggested. the K total figure looked like this when nothing special was running 342540K/559464K.
    Then I started MS Outlook and my appraisal software and it looked like this 416216/559464.
    And, I noticed that MS Outlook used up 50000+k.
    when I ckecked on the mount of real memory my PC has I got 1.29GHz, 224MB RAM.
    I haven't been using MS Outlook Express. I check my email on the ISP page (I think it's on Internet Explorer), delete all the junk and then download the email I want to keep.

    I don't know what all this indicates or what it has to do with the Firefox-MSOutlook lockup and/or slow down.
    Does it mean I need a bigger machine? Or, is there a flaw in Outlook?

    I like the way you gave me detailed instructions. Thanks. I'm retired and I don't understand a lot of this computer stuff.

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Slow down and lock up (Windows XP Home - Offic

    When I look at Task Manager, the interesting numbers seem to be spread around a bit (see attached illustration).

    If you are seeing 224MB of RAM, this may mean that you have 256MB installed but that your graphics card is using 32MB of your RAM (this is called "shared memory"). You should consider boosting your RAM up to 512MB. This will make your computer run much faster when you have more than 3 programs going at once (which is most of the time, nowadays). Most desktop computers are fairly easy to upgrade, but laptops might require you to discard your existing RAM memory in order to upgrade. The Hardware board might be the next stop for more advice if you're interested in pursuing this.
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