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Win98 memory problem

Posted on 2003-03-27
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Friends, I have a desktop pc with Intel P-IV 1.5 GHz and 128MB RAM
for last few months i am facing memory problem with my Pc.
recently i have downloaded a shareware program called "TASKINFO 2003" and it telling me that most of the time memory utilization in my system is 80 to 90 % without running a single program and there is another fact that when i am looking at the data provided by Device manager, it telling me that only 60-65% memory is being utilized.
but i believe "TASKINFO 2003" is more correct because i can feel short of memory..
every program takes a long pause to open and even if i open a note pad document and move it across the screen it leaves a lot of trails on the screen and many of them stays on the screen even after a long time.

It hangs up after opening 5-6 internet explorer window and thats really frustating..
I have tried all tools like DISK CLEANUP but with no success
please help me
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Question by:manoj_g50
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35 Comments
 
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:owensleftfoot
ID: 8217883
You dont by any chance have lots of icons in your system tray? You could have programs running at startup which you dont actually need. This can seriously slow your pc.
Go to http://www.mlin.net/StartupCPL.shtml to download a free tool which will help you get rid of them.
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by:rafsalman
ID: 8219107
I think simply you are short on memory, 128 is small, even for W98 - you should be able to pick up another 128 stick for under £20.

If you are thinking of upgrading to XP - I would advise 512Meg total.

For temp fix try

increasing the hard drive space allocated to virtual memory.

Make sure you're not using video shadowing (BIOS)

In IE - tools/internet options/delete files

delete all offline content (clears your cache)


Raf
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by:rafsalman
ID: 8219114
BTW don't try and use 512 with W98 - it doesn'ty like it and can't use the whole lot.
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by:rafsalman
ID: 8219124
also opening 6 IE windows with 128 memory is asking a lot!
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Expert Comment

by:hpman820129
ID: 8219478
I have the same experience. In windows 98, open IE windows for 3 hours. The memory is enough. But after 20-30 IE windows, the system resource will use up. Although, I closed most IE windows, the resource is still holding, and then lock up.

It may be due to poor IE program. THe IE hold the system resoure. Even, the IE windows are closed, it do not release the free resource.

You could try to open each IE windows in new process. When the resource dropped, ctrl-alt-del and kill the IEXPLORER. The IE windows under the same process will be killed and released the resource. The other processes can keep going.

I don't think a good solution can fix it. At last, I changed to use Windows 2000. It is so good and stable. :>

hpman820129

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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:boyrage
ID: 8222977
manoj_g50, if you still want to open up many IE, my advice is to use File > New > Window (or simply press CTRL + N). This will launch a 'child' IE window from your 'parent' IE window and of course use lesser resources.

If you launch 5 new IE by double clicking the IE icon on your desktop 5 times.. it will definitely use more resources.

The down side of using 'child' IE windows is that if you get an IE error, all the IE windows will crash together.

I hope this small advice will help you in some way without spending on another stick of ram. ^_^
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Author Comment

by:manoj_g50
ID: 8223278
Well friends, i would like to add one point that i have mentioned in my posting also that even without opening a single application after starting my computer i feel computer too slow and if you move anything on the seceen like a opened notepad document it leaves the trail and these trails stays on the screen for some time.
There are few programs that are automatically runs when the system starts but i normally close all using "CRTL+ALT+DEL" keys, so virtually no major programs runs  when system starts.
When just 2-3 months back my system was working all right with even the shared memory(to VGA) but now even when i have installed a seperate Display card i am still cacing the problem.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:gonzal13
ID: 8229707
I have only 2 slots for memory and installed on my win 98 system 512. Using a monitor, I rarely get above 401 when opening my pc. As for me it is great and was worth the 40 dollars. I use two monitors and have normally open at least three programs without a problem.
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Author Comment

by:manoj_g50
ID: 8233081
Sorry guys.. i did tried everything that you all have suggested me but nothing worked...its almost the same condition..
Is there may be a chance that My RAM is defective or anything other that can be possible..
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:boyrage
ID: 8233084
manoj_g50, try plugging your RAM into another ram slot. Most motherboards should have 3 slots to play around with.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:boyrage
ID: 8233103
You sure there isn't any virus eatting your resources away and slowing your system down?

To be on the safe side, try this free online virus scan:

http://housecall.trendmicro.com/housecall/start_corp.asp
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Author Comment

by:manoj_g50
ID: 8233112
Sorry guys.. i did tried everything that you all have suggested me but nothing worked...its almost the same condition..
Is there may be a chance that My RAM is defective or anything other that can be possible..
0
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:boyrage
ID: 8233122
1) Disconnect your computer from the Internet. Switch off the modem and boot up. Is it still as slow?

2) Do a full scan disk on it. This will take about 30 minutes to an hour.
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Author Comment

by:manoj_g50
ID: 8233123
Well i have norton antivirus insattled and updated almost every third day. I have also enebled Auto protect so that any email or downloaded software is scanned first before executing.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:boyrage
ID: 8233128
Have you considered its the Norton that is slowing your computer down? 'Scan all files for virus' option is very resource hogging on the computer.

Try 'scanning for recommended files'.
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LVL 13

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by:gonzal13
ID: 8236188
First go to Control Panel, system and see if your PC actually seeing the full amount of memory. You should see about 126 to 128 megs of memory. Now are you saying that the machine is saying " low on system resources" and acting slugishly? Windows XP gets around this problem.

Or do you see " low on memory" which would be the amount of Ram Memory. If your system freezes, this is the result of low on resources.

As for me I have become used to seing my system freeze and normally I do not have a problem because I save requently. You can avoid a scan disk which is a pain on large disks on boot up by hitting CTRL ALT DEL and click on 'shut down" instead of trying to unload programs since this has a tendency of freezing your machine where your have to reboot and then it goes into scan mode.

I use MemTurbo set to scrup mem every three minutes. It is probably an old program since it only recovers to 400 megs.
Can use Cacheman, whioch I just installed, but I am not convinced that it is a good program. The other is freeware and simple to use.
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Author Comment

by:manoj_g50
ID: 8237935
Well, in the control panel>>system its showing full 128 MB RAM and i never gets "Low on resources" message but system behaves slugishly. It works fine when i run my system on WIN NT but does not work fine when running Win98.
Also as i have mentioned that i have installed a shareware "TaskInfo 2003" which tells me total memory usage and also have option to free "Fast RAM" and "Slow RAM" but even after doing it i can't see any improvement in performance of my Pc.
Second thing as i mentioned earlier is the difference in the statistics of Memory usage between Control Panel>>System and by "TaskInfo 2003"
TaskInfo gives me data that system is low in resource(tells that 20 or 25 MB ram is free out of 128 MB with only few application running) while control Panel>>>System still tells me that 50% System Resources are Free.
Now i don't know what to believe but looking at the sluggish performance i believe that "Taskinfo" is goving me correct data.
Also i have limited startup programs using another freeware so that no major program is running while system starts up.
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by:rafsalman
ID: 8238245
OK but what is your memory usage on same system with NT?

And have you installed/uninstalled anything which seemed to slow things down afterwards?

And what is your hard drive setup? Which drive is NT on, which drive is 98 on.

The answers you get are going to be guesses unless you give more complete information.

As for differences between what w98 says on memory resources and taskinfo, I have experienced that as well - can't tell you which is more accurate. I wouldn't get too hung up on that - it is the performance ou experience.

It may simply be that the drivers you use for NT and 98 are different, not set up properly on 98, OS settings not set up optimally, BIOS settings being more appropriate for NT, faulty 98 instllation - anything in fact.

If you really believe it is the RAM then add another 128 stick and compare the difference in performance.
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LVL 1

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by:rafsalman
ID: 8238264
Further - you may be loading loads of drivers for 98 into memory - are you using loads of DOS drivers you don't really need? Have you got antivirus software constantly scanning? Have you done a full windows update for 98?

Raf
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LVL 1

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by:rafsalman
ID: 8238293
if this all started with the addition of your graphics card, make sure this is optimised with latest drivers

have you changed BIOS settings for new card? What is your virtual memory set at? Have you cleared your cache and cleaned up files?

Have you defragged? How much free space do you have on the 98 drive?



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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:rafsalman
ID: 8238304
Have you made sure you have got rid of all the drivers etc for your last card/onboard card? Do your interrupts still include the last graphics card? Where in the interupts is your current card?  Is it an AGP card?
0
 

Author Comment

by:manoj_g50
ID: 8245053
well here are the clarification for the facts you have asked for:
1)On NT even after opening 5-6 IE windows memory usage is usually around 40-50%

2)i really can't recall exactly what i have installed after which system starts giving trouble but two-three week back i was getting a warning message regarding a recently installed VxD driver, complaining that it has consumed too much space but i was clueless what it was talking about, so i uninstalled My Scanner driver program as well as my Canon digital cam program. after which i didn't got any such message for last 2-3 weeks, but no improvement in behaviour of system.

3)well, 98 amd NT are on seperate drivers and other drive is not visible while working in a particular OS

4)*****************************************************
"you may be loading loads of drivers for 98 into memory - are you using loads of DOS drivers you don't really need"
*******************************************************
How do i find out what is needed and what is not and how i can get rid of them.

5)As far as antivirus is concerned, i don't know how it works but i have kept my Norton antivirus on "real time protection ON" mode. so that if there is any virus infection in opening a file from internet it will instantly alert me.
I have scanned my system fully for any virus with norton as well as Nimbda Tool.

6)This problem starts few months after installing my new card. New card worked properly for almost 3-4 month, so i really can't complaint about it.

7)My virtual memory is set for a min of 500MB and Maximum of 1000MB

8)I regularly clean my cache and all temporary files.

9) As far as BIOS settings are concerned for new card..No i haven't changed anything except one change and that was necessary. I made changes in Initial system setting to use PCI instead of AGP and set shared memory size to Zero(0) because initially it was using 8MB from my RAM for display due to onboard VGA. Now since i have installed a saperate card, so i think there is no need for this shared memory.

10) No i haven't uninstalled drivers for my last card(onboard), since that gives me better graphics performance for games/movies, so while programming i use that add on card while pklaying games i use onboard VGA(seldom)

11)total free space on C drive is around 350MB

I hope all these data will give you a better understanding for a possible cause.
thanks again to all for your efforts
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Accepted Solution

by:
rafsalman earned 80 total points
ID: 8245183
Ok

Some comments:

If your virtual memory is 500 - 1000 and you have 350 free you may have problems! Can't remember exactly how 98 works, but allow windows to set this size.

Second, if your card is AGP set BIOS to AGP - I assume the card is in your AGP slot.

NAV sounds ok.

I think you're saying that sometimes you use onboard graphics (mobo) and sometimes you use your installed card.


>As far as BIOS settings are concerned for new card..No i
>haven't changed anything except one change and that was
>necessary. I made changes in Initial system setting to
>use PCI instead of AGP and set shared memory size to Zero?
>(0) because initially it was using 8MB from my RAM for
>display due to onboard VGA. Now since i have installed a
>saperate card, so i think there is no need for this
>shared memory.

How much memory does your card have now? RAM is faster than ROM so shadowing is not always a bad thing - if you have limited card memory it is essential.

For no.4, I seem to remember if you run "msconfig" then you will see what is being loaded on startup and you can experiment to see if any of these is causing the problem by unchecking the line and noting the difference.  Don't delete the line, just check/uncheck until you know what the lines of code do.  Some should be obvious.

If you have a card with low memory (<32) and you have low RAM - I still think a new 128 stick would make life a lot more pleasant for you - think of the reduced disk access ;)

Don't know whether you have updated your other drivers.


Now your VxD error is probably something to do with minSP - ie too many devices for your configuration.  Seem to remember I had to do this as well but can't remember now what value I used for MinSP - check what it is at the moment and


Click Start, click Run, type sysedit in the Open box, and then click OK.(or use msconfig)

Click System.ini on the Window menu.

In the [386Enh] section, type the following line:

MinSPs=4


Well good luck

Raf
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:rafsalman
ID: 8245196
addendum

When you uncheck lines in response to q4, uncheck/check AND REBOOT!

Sorry.
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by:rafsalman
ID: 8245203
and if your value of MinSP is higher than or equal to 4, make it even higher.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:gonzal13
ID: 8246835
I noticed that you said you had only 350 megabytes of space on the drive. This alone will slow you down, especially when you specify 500 minimum to 1000 maximum. I would let windows do its thing instead of you modifying it to an amount where the minimum is 500 when you have 350 megabytes of space. Try it. I would expect that the HD is giving you trouble because it in at it's maximum.
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by:rafsalman
ID: 8246932
gonzal132 - see my earlier post - repeating ;)
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LVL 13

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by:gonzal13
ID: 8247071
fafsalman:: Sorry, I did not look at all the comments.

Joe
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Author Comment

by:manoj_g50
ID: 8252958
well i did everything told by you and finally i found that my new display card which has only 1MB of memory was causing problem. Now i have switched to onboard vga with  8 MB memory and its working fine.
thanks a lot for all your efforts and i really appreciate it.
Thanks again to all members
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by:rafsalman
ID: 8253143
good news :)
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by:gonzal13
ID: 8255921
As quoted on TV " I love it when a plan comes together!!"

All the years I haved used a computer, this is the best professional site that I have ever seen. It offers new members the ability to comment on questions, which in turn allows the commentor to read other comments and learn more about computing. It really is a wonderful teaching tool.

If one just goes to the site just once a day and spends a 1/2 on it, the information gathered is trememdous. What I do is save the important items that I find into a folder for future reference.

It gives and I am sure others will agree, a satisfaction that one helped another and the questioner did not have to spend 80 dollars at a PC store for a problem that takes 5 minutes to resolve. Besides of the 5 stores that build PCs that I know of, they love to format the HD as a fix all, and not tell the customer ahead of time that all his data will be wiped out!

End of my comments for the day.

Gonzal13  (Joe)
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Author Comment

by:manoj_g50
ID: 8259045
Yes joe, i am fully agree with you and i feel all those who use this site will be agree on it. It is one of the best forum for technical discussion and you really feel that you get your answer almost instantly.
All members are really very cooperative.
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Author Comment

by:manoj_g50
ID: 8259050
Yes joe, i am fully agree with you and i feel all those who use this site will be agree on it. It is one of the best forum for technical discussion and you really feel that you get your answer almost instantly.
All members are really very cooperative.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:gonzal13
ID: 8259179
rafsalman

What does In the [386Enh] section, type the following line:

MinSPs=4

do, all I get is the pencil indicating an error.

gonzal13 (joe)
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Expert Comment

by:rafsalman
ID: 8259967
That is for win 98 and ME

MinSPs need to be some value that is a multiple of 4 (4,8,12,16,32 etc) (2 is default value)

This is in response to VxD stack overflow error -  can occur when Windows encounters an internal overflow of the stacks that are used by 32-bit Windows-based device drivers. This is not related to the "Stacks=" line in the Config.sys file, which is used for 16-bit MS-DOS-based device drivers.

Stack overflow conditions are indicative of errors in the device driver. Device drivers are allocated 4 kilobytes (KB), or one page, of space to be used as a stack. If the device driver uses more than 4 KB of memory, a stack overflow condition occurs.

Windows sets aside a number of extra memory pages, or spare stack pages, to be used temporarily so that your computer does not stop responding (hang) due to a stack overflow condition. When the stack overflow condition has passed, Windows reclaims the temporary page.

Windows continues to operate correctly unless a device driver encounters a stack overflow condition when there are no free spare stack pages.

This is basically down to poorly written drivers which MS complains of consistently.
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