High physical memory usage on vista... help

I have a 2 GB RAM Vista with 80 GB hard disk(40% free). Even with no applications, I see physical memory used as large as 70% and high CPU usage. That makes my machine too slow and also makes a large sound and excessive heating. See screenshot for the task manager with just one explorer window open. One thing I noted was that IE is taking too much memory compared to my other machine indicating that applications are consuming more memory than normal.
please advise me what to do to resolve such problem.

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here's an explanation of the new features in Vista that are utilizing available RAM when your system is idle.

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Your memory usage actually looks fine - that's just the way it is in Vista. Is this a laptop? All the extras (touchpad, bluetooth, wireless etc etc) will add up in total memory usage. You could disable some startup applications that you are not using, and turn of services and devices that you don't need.  

If it's Internet Explorer that is hogging system resources and also running slow., try an alternative browser like Firefox or Chrome, i don't use IE because i've found it very slow myself.

As far as heat, that's just life - your machine will generate heat as part of the computational process and it has to be discharged somewhere and in case of a laptop, thats... your lap.

One more thing to note, if you upgrade your RAM your computer will most likely not be able to recognize over ~3gb of RAM - due to limits in 32bit addressing. Vista takes a TON of system resources.

You should also consider upgrading to Windows 7 when it becomes available.
It might also be good to defragment your hard-disk once a week to keep your PC in top shape. Running a CCleaner (www.ccleaner.com) might also help by removing the temporary internet files and other unneeded files.
IE 7 is known to have memory leaks that cause high memory usage.

You can either install Vista Service Pace 2 (which will give you a huge performance imporvement) or Install IE 8.

The best way is to install both :)
Hope that help,
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Windows Vista

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