Available RAM slip-sliding away

My business box, a P133 clone, 64Mb, net card & modem, with a parallel port scanner & no other bells or whistles, runs W98, and a few business apps (WP8, Quicken, Winfax, etc).  I also keep System Monitor in the Startup folder, watching available RAM.  The RAM slowly decreases, from 31 Mb available after a reboot down to maybe 100Kb, at which time, it runs so slow, I reboot.  It will even creep down overnight, when nothing's running (no Taskmon).  What's going on?
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what do you have in start up?

go to start | run and type: msconfig and hit enter
click on the start up tab at the far right

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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
Is your OS current with patches/fixes and enhancements?  If not, recommend using WindowsUpdate to install.

Perhaps you're loading unnecessary stuff from your other startup files, such as config.sys, autoexec.bat, the load= and run= statements or the boot section of the INI files, also accesses as noted above via start - run - msconfig.  Easy to uncheck and test and recheck without permanence.

At any given time, when you note degradation of performance, try ALT+Ctrl+del and see what all is running.  If you're running scanner even though you're not needing it to scan, that uses resources since Windows 98 probably loaded stimon.exe or the like.

There are many other possibilities, but this is a start, rather than overloading you with 'maybes'.
You can download a utility that will free up your Ram without rebooting, this will speed up your applications that you open and run. You can go here for some freeware or shareware and try one or two of them out.

Check out some of these and see if they will help
WinRamTurbo Free
FreeMem Professional
ADing FreeRAM
FreeMem Standard
Memory Cleaner

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pentium 133?  Good Luck Spanky.
Remove System monitor. It is a memory hog. Something else is running that is eating resources. Look in system.ini, the registry, start up. If you have a picture as wallpaper, get rid of it. Use just a plain color.

A lot of Micorsoft products have a problem with memory leakage. Simply put, when you close an MS application, not all the memory it used was actually released when it was closed. There is a utility which can take the place of System Monitor and doesn't use a lot of memory. It is on ZDnet. Sorry, can't think of the name...

Have you recently done a virus-scan?
Having a "RAM-freeing" program is like having a leak in your sailboat, and being handed a bailing-bucket.
Sure, it will remove some of the water, at least briefly, but you still need to find the source of the leak.
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