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Computer Memory and Slow PC Performance

Aug 17, 2007
I am having problems with slow performance on my Dell PC. It only has 256 MB of RAM and I am considering upgrading, but it seems to be slower than it used to be. Before I upgrade the memory, I want to make sure there aren't other problems. I have run software to clean the registry and also am current on my antivirus and spyware protection software. One thing I have noticed is that the page file always seems to be pretty close to maxed out. Is this a sign that I need more memory or is there some other way to free up space. I am also curious about programs that open when I start the computer. Is there a set of "standard" applications that I should expect to see running in the background?

Answer: If your Dell computer has an Intel Celeron processor in it, that could be your problem, because they have a tendency to deteriorate over time. If you DO have a Celeron computer, I would seriously consider buying a new PC.

256 MB might be OK in your system if you don't do much multi-tasking. As you know, your page file is just a block of space on your hard drive that your system uses as extra RAM - and it is really slow when it is being used. To avoid this, keep your computer tuned up.

I mean keep your background programs to a minimum, keep the junk files cleaned from your hard drive, and keep your files defragmented.

1. Remove background programs by running 'msconfig', choosing 'selective startup', going to your startup tab and un-checking everything except your registry checker and your malware protection programs.

2. Junk files reside in many places and the best way to clean them up is with a little program called Window Washer by Web root. A program called Window Washer will clean all the dead files (temps, backups, etc.) from your system. If you don't have that, use your Windows Explorer and delete everything in your temp, temporary internet files and recycle folders.

3. Run defrag from the programs - accessories - system tools folder to optimize your data and make things run faster.

All computer problems are either software or hardware related. If you have truly cleaned and optimized your software database (including complete virus and spyware scans), then comes the hardware. Dell typically builds a good box and the PIV is a solid processor. I therefore don't think the odds of a hardware problem including a degrading motherboard (the first thing you look at) are very high.

Therefore suggest you continue the software optimization process. You did not mention a spyware program so, if you don't have one, I suggest the free AVG program (just log onto avg.com and download it. Also, I've had great luck with the AVG antivirus program and like it as well as the new Norton software. Just do not try to run two anti-virus programs together. You can, however, install as many anti-spyware programs side-by-side as you want to. In fact, I highly recommend it because most of them look in different places for the 'intruders' in your system.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for http://www.BuyRAM.info/ , a computer memory Super Store. BuyRAM.info carries an excellent selection of computer memory, notebook memory, and digital camera memory for every type of computer, notebook, and digital camera on the market. Click Here to Search for System Memory by selecting the make and model of your system.
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