Windows XP problem with system resources

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by bbfi, Oct 15, 2003.

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  1. bbfi

    bbfi Registered Member

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    I am having a problem that I wonder if anyone else has had or is having. The info for my system is -
    WinXP Home (5.1.2600) SP1
    IE Shell 6.0.2800.1106
    Pentium 4 - 1.5 GHz - 512MB RAM
    True Launch Bar 2.2.0.7
    MyIE2 0.8.2070 Browser
    Spamihilator 0.9.7.2
    avast! 4.1 home edition
    Agnitum Outpost Firewall 1.01817

    After my computer runs for 5 hours or more, I start to have system resource problems (yes, I have Windows XP which is suppose to be free from this problem). First, text begins to disappear on the screen, then icons, then error messages pop up such as low on system resources. :'(

    I have searched the web, various forums, Microsoft's site, etc. and have tried just about every so call cure for this problem. I have even learned that the problem of running out of system resources has not been done away with, just that it is managed better with Windows XP.

    I tried various configurations mentioned at http://www.blkviper.com/WinXP/servicecfg.htm by shutting down and disabling many of Microsoft's services which I do not need. This included System Restore (which is buggy and many restore points eventually disappear, even new ones) and Themes (now using Windows Classic Style).

    I have also done a complete reinstall of Windows XP and installed all of the updates and patches available from Microsoft. I also updated my video card to an ATI Radeon 7000 with 64 mb ddr dram.

    I did not have this problem when I first got the computer. Does anyone think that it could be all of Microsoft's updates and patches? Or does anyone have any other ideas? It's a pain that I have to restart the computer after 5 to 7 hours. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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    bbfi,

    Have you checked the "processes" with Task Manager?
    ctrl+alt+delete will bring up Task manager in XP.

    I run WinBar which has a link to TM.(A click on Memory display.)
    If I notice a drain on resources, I check for a running process that may be using more resources than I thought.

    I have the same system in general as what you posted.(XP home SP1/Celeron 1.7Ghz/512mb RAM)
    My resource usage goes up,but not that bad.
    I can play on-line java games without getting too low.

    I have NitroXP to free RAM to 360mb.
    It has an on-demand RAM freer that I have to click.

    I have read a Tech TV article that states that RAM managers aren't needed with XP.
    I don't agree.I still use mine once in a while.
    You could try one of the free RAM managers and set it to automatic or on-demand.
    Webattack.com has them under freeware in the RAM utilities section.
    Most of the programs listed there are new to me except the AnalogX program which worked well on my old XP home system.I had less RAM and slower processor.

    I'll take a look at Free Ram Optimiser XP.
    It's made by the developer of Ace Utilities.
     
  3. bbfi

    bbfi Registered Member

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    the Tester,

    Thanks for the advice.

    See attached image from Task Manager.

    I have tried some ram memory managers, but the problem still occurred.

    I am now trying some options from other forums I have posted to.

    Presently, I have stopped all unessential programs from loading at startup, except avast, Outpost Firewall, Restore It (a replacement for System Restore. My memory problem started way before I installed Restore It), and Spamihilator (spam checker that I installed after my memory problem started).

    Now I'll just have to wait and see and gradually add programs.
     

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  4. bbfi

    bbfi Registered Member

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    Great News! :D

    My system has been running now for almost 15 hours with NO problems. I have attached a photo of Task Manager. This is after 15 hours and with 28 IE6 windows open, MyIE2 with 183 tabs opened, 12 Dopus windows opened, Copernic Agent Basic opened, and all the other programs seen in the Task Manager photo. I found the culprit that was causing the system resource problem.

    The Bad News! :oops:

    Since I was still having problems after disabling all unessential programs from starting at startup, I decided to first try changing my antivirus checker. I turned off Avast 4.1 and installed AVG 6 free version. The PROBLEM is gone. No more disappearing text, buttons, etc. I am disappointed in my findings though because I really like Avast 4.1. It is a great virus checker, but with my computer setup, it appears that it robs me of memory and causes the crashes after running for 5 to 8 hours.

    Also, throughout this frustrating time I have had, I have learned a lot.

    1) Windows XP still has a system resource problem although well hid from the public. While searching the web, I have read many instances of this. I have also experienced it first hand. More than once, the error message of running low of system resources has popped up. What Windows XP does is that it manages it much better and overall, it is a far better OS than its predecessors. ;)

    2) I have found out first hand from the forums I have posted to, that there are a lot of helpful people out there in Cyberspace willing to offer their time and knowledge to help those out there with problems. I'd like to say THANK YOU to all of you for making me feel welcome to their forums and leading me in the right direction with a problem which could make your hair turn gray. :D
     

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  5. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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    Hey bbfi,

    Good job!!!
    I'm sorry to hear that it happened to be a program that you like.

    Regarding 2)..
    Maybe you helped someone else by posting the results of your investigation. ;)
     
  6. beetlejuice

    beetlejuice Registered Member

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    :D Hi bbfi. I'm having sort of the same problem with 98 SE. I can open a program that uses maybe 10% resources. Then when I close it, maybe only 7-8% are recovered. After a while, they're all gone. Plenty of memory 384Mb. I'm using Rambooster. Anyone is there any sort of program that will return all the resources after a program is closed? o_O
     
  7. bbfi

    bbfi Registered Member

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  8. bbfi

    bbfi Registered Member

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    Updated Info

    Over the past month, different people at the Avast Forum have been discussing this problem with system resources and Avast as being the trigger. With the help of a few knowledgeable individuals running various tests on their systems while using Avast, their information enabled the guys at Alwil to find the answer to the problem. It was a system driver of Avast. It has been fixed and Avast is running smoothly on my system and others now. 24 hours and still up and running with no problems. :)

    Forums are a great place to get problems solved! :D
     
  9. Detox

    Detox Retired Moderator

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    Glad you (and others!) got it working well now!

    Welcome to Wilders, btw and hope ya hang about ;)
     
  10. bbfi

    bbfi Registered Member

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    Detox,

    Thanks! :)

    I try to drop by at least once a day or night and browse around. :D
     
  11. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    Hello BBFI-
    To say that I am no expert on computers would be an understatement, however, you resources problem messages reminded me of messages i used to get when I would have several graphics applications running at once. Please don't be offended if I offer a suggestion that is very obvious to most of the people who write in this forum. Here goes! Have you increased the size of the XP system "page file". The page file works sort of like "virutal memory" in that data is cached on the hard drive when your system runs out of available RAM. Before I increased it, windows defaulted the pagefile size to around 700 MB. I increased it to 4096MB, and it had a dramatic effect on my computers stability. XP actually allows you to specify both a minimum and maximum pagefile size. To me, it seems odd to specify different values. since the minimum value reserves a block on your hard, the instances when you go over the minimum would invite fragmentation in the non-reserved area. i chose 4096min and 4096 max. anyway, if you havent done so, check out the setting in control panel > system > advanced > virtual memory. It is simple to try, and completely reversible. Of course....assuming you have spare hard drive real estate.

    hope that helps! HandsOff!

    P.S. - I am trying hard to ignore that remark about resembling a llama
     
  12. Pieter_Arntz

    Pieter_Arntz Spyware Veteran

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    Hmmm? What? Where? :D
     
  13. bbfi

    bbfi Registered Member

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    HandsOff,

    Thanks for the suggestion. I did all those things. I spent a month trying just about every suggestion on the internet. :doubt:

    However, the problem no longer exists. Alwil fixed a system driver for their Avast virus checker. That was the problem all along. It's amazing how one small system driver can bring a whole system down after 4 to 8 hours. :rolleyes:
     
  14. Technical

    Technical Registered Member

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    bbfi, happy with your solved problems...
    Anyway, it was a Microsoft driver that consumes the RAM 'excited' by the presence of the avast! installation. I mean, both Windows and avast! drivers make that RAM comsuption, not just avast. As you said, everything was solved. Now, avast! is on 4.1.304 version.
     
  15. bbfi

    bbfi Registered Member

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    Technical,

    I too am 'excited' by the presence of the avast! installation. :D

    It's great to have it running on my system again. :D

    See you back in the Avast forum. ;)
     
  16. wongmama

    wongmama Registered Member

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    i had a similar problem--with my system the culprit tirned out to be zone alarm--i had used it for years,but when i started to do P2P on the edonkey network,ZA started consuming 95% of available system resources.i switched to sygate and have had no further trouble.this taught me the lesson you learned-after eliminating extra processes,start with the core ones.it is ironic that firewalls and antivirus apps are usually the culprits as resource hogs,lol.
     
  17. bbfi

    bbfi Registered Member

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    wongmama,

    It took me a while and a lot of testing before I found that out. :rolleyes:

    However, in my case, I was still able to use the software that I wanted to, namely Avast. Alwil and members at the Avast forum worked together to solve the problem between the Avast driver and Microsoft's operating system. Not only did they fix the driver problem, but they were able to decrease the memory usage from about 31,628K to 17,036K. :D
     
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