Problems with 2 computers

Dear experts,

2 PC (IBM Netvista A40) running PIII 866MHz, 64MB RAMs, 20GBs HDD and 3Com's 3C905B-TX NIC are facing difficulties through their existing TCP/IP network.

Problems are:

1. (PC A)has a HP LaserJet 1200 printer that's connected locally thus sharing and (PC B) prints through (PC A)'s printer.  Intermittently, (PC A) encounters local printing problems and requires to be restarted, to solve the error. (PC B) of course will have the same problem once (PC A) has printing problems.

2. Both PCs eventually will have freeze problems as well, while working on Office 2000 components, openingPrograms loaded into (PC A)'s taskbar are;
a. NAV 2001
b. Symantec WinFax Pro v10.01
c. HP Laserjet directory (for HP LJ 1200's scanner & photocopier options)
d. Intel's graphic card driver

For (PC B);
a. NAV 2001
b. ICA (Centaur - reinsurance software)
c. Symantec WinFax Pro v10.01
d. MSN Messenger
e. Smartlock Pro f/ UBS Accounting software
f. Intel's grpahic card driver

do you think it's due to the insufficient memory?

Please help!
Who is Participating?
CrazyOneConnect With a Mentor Commented:
TRD to a certain extent what you say is true. Keep in mind MS did not invent virtual memory and most OS's besides Windows uses it. It is used to help increase the amount of memory available when the RAM is being stretched to its limits. The problem with it is that virtual memory is a file on the hard disk and the hard disk is infinitely slower then RAM thusly if the virtual memory is getting used a lot then this will slow down the performance of the machine.

Now the amount of RAM it would take to limit the use of the virtual memory is mostly dependent on how the machine is used, like what applications are being ran and what these applications are doing and how many applications are running at the same time. 64MB's of RAM for Win98 and above is a very bare minimum that is mostly eaten up by Windows itself. Note no matter how much RAM the system has their will still be some virtual memory activity. This is by design and some highly interactive games insist on using virtual memory no matter how much RAM the system has. But like I said increasing the RAM in accordance to how the machine is being use can reduce the virtual memory activity.

I suggested 256MB's because that is how much I was using on my Win98 setup and the way I used my machine the available RAM would sometimes fall below 45MB's. It was rare that I would run out of available RAM but it would happen once in a while. You may or may not notice an immediate improvement by upping the RAM. But over time I suspect that the machine will feel like it is responding a little faster and you may notice some things will happen a bit sooner than they did. There is no guarantee about this but in my experience increasing the RAM has been worth it for me.
additional ram would certainly help but I don't think it's entirely the cause of the problems
any specific error messages coming up ?
TRDAuthor Commented:
Nope. No error msgs pops out.  It just freezes there solid as a rock!  All I did was to restart the PC and solved it for a short while.
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1.try machine A (the one with printer attached) off the network. Does it work OK now ?
2.If you want to do the ram test just pull the ram out of one (Machine B) & add it to the other (Machine A)while you're testing off the network.
3. Set the printer up on machine B instead, log onto network & test.
Well I got to tell you any version of Windows past Win95 really should have more then 64MB's of RAM. I would say a minimum of 128MB's of RAM. This may not fix your current problem but chances are over time you probably will see better performance from these machines.

Are you positive that the drivers that are installed for this printer is for ME and that both machines have the correct drivers? Maybe the printer is faulty, do you have another printer you can test with?

>>>Both PCs eventually will have freeze problems as well, while working on Office 2000 components

Perhaps you may need to reinstall these.

Hi Dean

The Crazy One
TRDAuthor Commented:
Wizard : Give some time to test out all the given criteria from you.  I'll keep you informed.

CrazyOne : I've reinstalled the WinMe driver for the printer and selected PCL6 instead of PCL5e.  Are there any issues regarding this?  About reinstallaing the Office 2000, well these PCs belongs to a friend of mine in a big corporate company. I wouldn't dare to mess around with it.  Sorry, but at least he followed my advice to upgrade his RAM.  Question is, how much should he upgrade?  Additional 128, 256 or 512MB?
Waste of time adding any more than 128 to each of these machines as ME will not make use of it anyway. Now if they were XP that would be a different story.

>>>I've reinstalled the WinMe driver for the printer and selected PCL6 instead of PCL5e.  Are there any issues regarding this?

As far as I know, no.

Umm my good friend Dean you may be interested in the following.

Early releases of Windows 95 code could only use 64MB of memory. Osr2 moved this to 96MB, and Windows 98 (first release) moved this to 128MB. The final release of 98 moved this number to 800MB, which is the maximum that the 98 kernel can use. And I think ME numbers is over 900MB

I ran 256MB on a Win98 machine for over a year and I can tell you the OS not only sees it but uses it as well. There are those out there that perpetrate myths because they dislike MS and want it to fail because they are losing money to MS.

MS has made a very concerted effort to bring their OS's inline with other OS's that have and rightly so claimed superiority and ease of use over MS OS's. But since Win98 that tide has changed and with the advent of NT 4.0, Win2000 and now XP the tide has turned in favor of MS. Even die hard Apple fans especially professionals in the graphics sector are turning to Windows and pulling away from using Apple.

Dean I hope you understand I wasn't trying to undermine your statement but I felt this myth about the ability of certain MS OS's memory capabiliy needed some clarification.
>>>Question is, how much should he upgrade?  Additional 128, 256 or 512MB?

Umm hard to say it dependes on usage. Pesonally having a total of 256MB's is a nice middle of the road area for Win98-WinME. Chances are with this amount you won't run out of availble RAM and the useage of the swap file would probably be minimal. As a matter of fact with you may be able to increase performance a little because with 256MB's of RAM you could set your max and min virtual memory settings to be the same size of 400MB's and this would stop Windows from having to resize it all the time.
"Dean I hope you understand I wasn't trying to undermine your statement but I felt this myth about the
ability of certain MS OS's memory capabiliy needed some clarification"

Not doubting the capability just summing up the situation as I saw it without having to go into too much detail.
2 computers with 196mb each on a network using mainly office applications isn't going to need any more than that. If money is no object then go for it but I believe these machines would not make use of more than 128mb most of the time and therefore the business would be overcapitalising in this area ?


TRDAuthor Commented:
Experts, now I get the whole picture.  What really makes a PC gets slower every day even though if it's the state of the art PC?  My guess is how MS uses the virtual memory otherwise specified.  Correct me if I'm wrong.  This statement may not be relevant to my previous, I'm just trying to get some solution over the freezing problem.
TRDAuthor Commented:
crazyone: I accept your statement on this cause it's accurate to what windows does.  Freezing problems over an IBM PC running windows is no doubt about it,  I'll try to convince my customer / friend to get an additional of 128MB or 256MB, hoping it'll just improve performance on his workstation and reducing the freezing problem.  

As for the freezing part, I'll guess that he'll just have to reduce his taskbar appz, thus loading too many appz at one time or just live with it.  

I'll just wait for other comments including solutions.  
what's the status here ?
No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is:
Answered by CrazyOne
Please leave any comments here within the next seven days.
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Finalized as proposed


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