Freeing up system resources

Is there a program that can free up Windows 98 system resources on the fly?  I have a Pentium III with 256MB RAM.  If I have 2 Netscape Navigator (4.5) windows open at a time I can run out of system resources.  I don't want to restart Windows.  There are other programs that are open that I want to leave open.  I would like to know if there is a program out there somewhere that can either free up the system resources or expand the amount of memory available for system resources.  Any ideas, or is Windows 98 too flaky to do anything about it?
renensteAsked:
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spojCommented:
check your msconfig and see if there are unnecessary things that you load.... uncheck those which don't seem to be useful or important.... =)
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spojCommented:
to run msconfig, click start -> run, type msconfig and choose the startup tab, you'll find all of those which are loaded during your startup (symbolized by the check mark).... but be sure that you uncheck ONLY those which are not that important during startup......  
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zyzzyva57Commented:
I was about to post nearly the same question, but I like this one because it involves ever so much more RAM than my 32 megs.  
I have tried the msconfig route.  Speeds up Start-Up/Restart, but my Thrashing continues.  
Also I have taken everything possible off the System Tray.  Frees up System Resources, but Thrashing soon sets in.  To me, more RAM only prolongs the Thrashing starting, e.g., taking a pain killer for a toothache to solve the problem will take more and more painkiller if this becomes the solution.  
What I would like to see is a utility that will "flush" out RAM of crud as programs are closed, or a utility that will do a "fake" restart to flush out RAM.
Z
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renensteAuthor Commented:
There is a shareware program called Memturbo that de-fragments and frees up your RAM.  At a pre-set interval that you configure it will run in the background.  It can be found at www.pccomputing.com.

My problem is freeing up Windows system resources, which is a part of RAM that Windows uses to manage graphic elements.  

I must admit that my resources do run down when I am visiting web pages that have lots of thumbnails or pictures.  Or I might also be running a graphics program in addition to Netscape.  I wish there were some program that could free up these resources, rather than having to fool around with unloading programs or not loading them in the first place.  I have plenty of RAM to run all the programs I want, but my limit comes with the 512KB of RAM or whatever Windows 98 uses for its system resources.
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dew_associatesCommented:
spoj, you've been part of this site since March of this year, and you should know that this site observes a protocol as to how to respond to questions and when to post a proposed answer. If what you are about to post is a guess or merely a suggestion, post it as a comment. In this way, the question remains and open issue and visiable to other techs you may have a viable answer. By locking the question as you have, it becomes hidden from view except to those who monitor what has been posted. We would really appreciate your cooperation.

Dennis
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dew_associatesCommented:
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renensteAuthor Commented:
Thank you for your response, dew associates.  The program located at http://hotfiles.zdnet.com/cgi-bin/texis/swlib/hotfiles/info.html?fcode=00142H is called memory elevator and is similar to the membturbo shareware program that I am currently using.  That is, each program tries to reclaim memory if the available memory drops below a certain level. Memturbo seems to help in certain instances, but not others.   My problem is reclaiming the Windows system resources that drop below a critical level, like 10%, if I am running two instances of Netscape Navigator along with a  program called ACDSee, which displays graphics and thumbnails.  When the resources, as shown by the Windows Resource Meter, become something like System = 40%, User = 6%, GDI = 7%, my computer freezes up and I have to reboot.  I still may have over 100MB free RAM at this point.   I was hoping that there was some shareware program that could reclaim the Windows system resources like the User and GDI heaps.
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dew_associatesCommented:
For any of these programs to work, they need to locate memory space that isn't active, cache it if possible or cause a memory dump in order to make it available again. However, if you have something that is holding a memory space, this may be part of the problem. How are you handling virtual memory?
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baldrickCommented:
This is an odd one! Certainly your machine seems powerful enough for the job. If you restart your machine and run System Monitor and start monitoring the number of active threads in your system, then fire up 2 Netscape windows, use them for a moment then close them, are the threads being released properly? CTRL-ALT-DEL to bring up the close programs screen and end all tasks other than system tray, explorer and system monitor. Are threads being released correspondingly?
If not then it would suggest that one of the programs is behaving dodgily... You may be better off backing up your work and performing a full system recovery. Good old Windows!
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baldrickCommented:
Oh yes, just thought... Have you got any real mode drivers loaded from CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT?
Might be worth a try to back these files up and delete them... might help...
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renensteAuthor Commented:
I have been thinking about this comment for a couple of days.  What seems to be happening is that I am not getting my question answered.  I want to find out if there is a shareware program that can free up Windows System Resources.  I'm not talking about freeing the overall memory of my computer, but freeing or expanding the System, GDI, and User resources that you see when you run the utility program in Windows that is called the Resource Meter.  These System Resources are what I am running out of when I run two Netscape Navigator sessions plus a shareware graphics program called ACDC.  My overall memory is fine.  My swapfile is fine.  From the answers I have received, apparently there is no program that anybody knows of that will free up system resources.  Thank you.
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zyzzyva57Commented:
I continue to eagerly await a solution to your problem, for as I've said, I have the same problem.  What I like about your problem is no one can fall back on the old chestnut you need more RAM as they can with me.
Here is what I have found (that did not help solve this particular problem, but may help you though):
Compaq Tech Support helped me uncheck things at Start-Up (through msconfig). Compaq said I needed 80% of my resources to work as I want.  I must say when my resources dip below this I do have problems to the degree my resources dip--but on a MicroSoft Win98 Newsgroup, one poster who in the past has been good, said this was not my problem.  Go figure.  Still you might give your Tech Support a shot.
I have the Cacheman utility.  Interesting, but as with MemTurbo, I see things I like, but my problem remains unresolved.  Cacheman might help you.  Good luck here, too.
My dream is someone give you the name of a utility that does what MemTurbo's description says it will do, i.e., a sort of pseudo Restart to clean up memory.  I cannot believe we are the only ones having this problem!  I wish I could donate 400 points to yours for us to get a solution!
Z
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dew_associatesCommented:
Reneste, I understand your problem, but maybe you really don't understand what is happening. Netscape has memory leaks and this has been a known problem before it was taken over by AOL. To date they have done nothing to resolve it. Running two sessions of it only makes matters worse. On top of this, your running a shareware program that may not be optimized in any manner. If you've run things like memturbo, cacheman etc, these are designed to force the release of memory the application, such as Netscape, won't release on its own. Windows 98 does not control the memory space a program uses, it only protects the memory space that it needs. Don't be offended, but you may be looking for something that cannot be provided under the circumstances. Just because we want something to occur doesn't necessarily mean that it is possible.
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renensteAuthor Commented:
I'm sorry if I came across abrupt.  I guess it's my frustration showing through.  I thought that if I had a huge amount of RAM, it would allow me to run several programs at once and not cause my computer to freeze up.  But there's another aspect to Windows, the System Resources, that is a limit, regardless of how much physical RAM a computer has.  
The more I use the various versions of Windows, the more I find that just because a piece of software is the most used, it is not necessarily the best (like the scenario of the IBM computers 20 years ago).  If there were more programs that ran in it, I would be real tempted to switch to Linux.
Thank you all for the time and effort you put into this.
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dew_associatesCommented:
Not a problem, but unfortunately Linux is not a solution either. As an OEM, a beta tester, a MSDN member and a developer, we have looked at all of the OS's, including Linux for our clients and ourselves. We have about 60 beta releases of programs, including Netscape for Linux and Redhat, and you think you have a problem?

Let me run something by you and see if it makes sense.

Linux, one of several derivitives of the Unix family is a virtual free OS. While a solid development effort has been made to bring it to fruition, it has none of the capacity or polish of any of the 9X, NT or 2000 windows family. While both windows (any flavor) and Linux (any flavor) have their proponents and their opponents, when you put all the BS aside, Linux is still where windows used to be 3.x.

When they are ready to stand up with some really serious development money rather than let the masses, like you and I, develop it for them, maybe they will reach that plateau they are searching for.
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zyzzyva57Commented:
To dew asc.'s:
Most interesting your last comments. I am feeling like renenste.
So, in sum, the bottom line is Thrashing would be normal even if Bill Gates played around with a perfectly tuned "GateDell" running Win98 with the max RAM.
I've suspected this.
How strange in all my reading, PC and PC World magazines and CNet won't come out and say this.
Z
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dew_associatesCommented:
zyzzyva57,

Most of the time publications write very little that is new and noteworthy as it is usually comprised of what someone wanted to tell them.

If people did have that so-called GatesDell and it was, in fact, perfectly tuned and the files on the system were all the correct versions, there will still be problems. Most of the OS's, Win3.x, 95, 98, Linux, Be etc all permit software to directly access hardware components, and in a large number of cases randomly access memory without restriction.

NT, on the other hand, does not permit this. All software access to hardware is through NT, and you can, in most cases, control memory use within reason. Nothing is perfect, especially anything man made.
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renensteAuthor Commented:
Thank you for all your help!
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dew_associatesCommented:
Your quite welcome. You may want to take a real hard look at Windows 2000. It is plug and play compliant, but it also handles programs as services like NT, which means you can control the environment.
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zyzzyva57Commented:
Many thanks Dew Associates for the lessons.  You make your points well.  I simply could not figure out if I had a problem; and if so, at what point it began.  You answered my core question I have heretofore been unable to get a straight forward answer: at some point will a well-tuned Windows98 machine with it max RAM Thrash?

Renenste: Thanks for not trashing me for letting me get in on your question, but as I've said you had the same questions and responses to answers I have.  You were in a better position to ask though, because of the amount of RAM you have. When I try to get an answer, my answers are reinstall Windows and get more RAM. No one could understand the core point of my question!  
I, too, have tried the same 3d party utilities.  Now, I have to decide do I uninstall them after dew associates comments.  His points really shakes the foundations of the Common Wisdom delivered by CNet, ZDNet, MS Windows98 newsgroup, et al.
Wow!
Z
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