Memory Usage

I had 128 MB RAM. After booting I used to have 60 MB RAM available before I logged on to my ISP according to the program 'PC BOOSTER'. Now I have added another 128 MB RAM. Now after booting I should have 188 MB RAM but I only got 160 MB in the first couple of days. Now it has slowly come down to only about 100 MB. I have changed nothing in the computer & I use SPYHUNTER & SPYBOT regularly to keep my computer clean. Where have all the memory gone? What's eating it & how can I resolve the problem? Can somebody please help me?

Sandy35
sandy35Asked:
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pjedmondConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Lets start with a few basics:

Programs request memory as they use it. When they have finished with the memory, they release it back into the available pool of memory.

Sometimes 'buggy' programs fail to release memory back to the pool of memory available when they finish. This is why with time, gradually the memory available (especially on Win me/9x) tends to reduce, and why they benefit from  being restarted on a regular basis.

However, there is another approach to memory allocation. A program may check how much memory is available, and make an 'intelligent' decision on how much memory to request based on the amount of memory free. So if there is say 10MB free, the program will only request say 8MB, whereas if there is 100MB free, the program may request say 50MB.

This extra memory is normally 'tagged' in a different way to the system, in that it can be released back to the system on demand, as the allocated memory block is only used to store temporary data to enable the program to work faster.

This can be demonstrated by downloading and running a program called RAMPage:

http://www.jfitz.com/software/RAMpage/    (Freeware)

By clicking on the memory monitor,it attempts to free up more of this (temporarily allocated memory), and you'll see the available memory increase. This is a fairly simplified explaination, but gives you the idea.

You only really need to worry about this memory issue if the available memory hits 0, as the extra unexplained usage of memory is actually speeding up your operating system by ensuring that the data can be read from memory rather than hard drive. If the count reaches zero, then your OS is suffering time penalties whilst it does extra data 'juggling' between memory and disc.

HTH:)

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nobusCommented:
use adaware ? updated
check with RUN>MSCONFIG which programs are running, and delete or disable the ones you don't want

nobus
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Cyber-DudeCommented:
Go to Sysinternals and download the software below. Also, check for any physical problem (i.e. checking the memory and locations).
http://www.sysinternals.com/ntw2k/freeware/procexp.shtml

For memory tests:
http://www.webattack.com/get/memtest86.html

Good luck

Cyber
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BurbbleConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The primary "memory hog" is Window's VCACHE. Essentially, it caches frequently used files in memory so that the next time you want to use them, you get instant access. It is relatively "Smart" in the sense that it won't devour all of your memory so as to not impact the system's performance in a negative way. This is also not something to be worried about, since it will release the memory it used as soon as another program needs it.

With the increase of the system's memory to 256MB, the VCACHE now has more space to store data in, and it is utilizing this appropriately. As long as it's not using much (if any) of the paging file (also called the "swap file"), then there should be no impact in the speed of the computer. Actually, you should notice the opposite; now that more data is being stored in memory, there is less hard disk usage, so certain tasks should seem faster.

-Burbble
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gonzal13RetiredCommented:
pjedmond: Just a comment. Your explanation was clearly done.

gonzal13(joe)
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sandy35Author Commented:
Sorry 4 the delay. Had computer problems as well as being very busy. Comments from BURBBLE & PJEDMOND have been the most helpfull so I m splitting the points between them. Comments from the others were not of much use 2 me as I already have PC BOOSTER which does the same job.
Thanx 2 u all.
Sandy35
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BurbbleCommented:
Glad I could help, thanks for the points :)

-Burbble
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