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-   -   RAM and Virtual Memory (http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=65989)

rainbow October 3rd, 2009 06:26 PM

RAM and Virtual Memory
 
As some of you know I was having problems with low virtual memory and ended up with the blue screen of death and couldn't get online ....

[url]http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=65114[/url]

I finally managed to get my comp to work but I'm still confused. After googling and reading several diff websites I changed the size of the virtual memory by going into the control panel. The initial minimum size was 384MB which I left as is and the maximum size was 768MB which I changed to 1152MB. I read that you can increase it to 1 1/2 times the size but would like your opinions as I don't want to end up screwing something up.

Also another thing that confuses me is when I go to My Computer and right click on Local Drive "C" and click on Properties it says this:

Free Space 62.5 GB
Used Space 8.86GB
Capacity 71.4GB

But when I go to All Programs click on Accessories, System Tools then System Information it says this:

Total Physical Memory 256MB
Available Physical Memory 86.30MB
Total Virtual Memory 2GB
Available Virtual Memory 1.96GB

What's the diff between space and memory? :confused:

And, yes (cuz I know Chris will have an answer), I know that my personal head space and my memory are empty. :laughing:

rainbow October 3rd, 2009 06:28 PM

Oh, and also, if this comp has 256MB of RAM and [I]all[/I] I use it for are emails and googling then why did I get the "system low on virtual memory" in the first place? :confused:

Winston October 4th, 2009 02:36 PM

I try to tackle this one Rainbow.

Ram is used by your pc to process applications. It is not were your pictures or music files are. They are stored on the hard drive itself.

As for virtual memory is a different type of memory. It is used when running a pc but only a small portion of it. When you RAM is almost all used up then your pc will use virtual memory.

If you have 256mb of ram then that means you have a very small amount and that would make your system run slow. Having said that there are 2 slots inside your computer so youo couls slip ram in to increase it. You can either buy another stick of 256mg to make it 512mb or perhaps by 2 sticks of 512mb to increase it to 1GB. Sometimes though your system cant always handle the larger amount.

So the more RAM you have the faster your pc runs and the less virtual memory is used to help you navigate around your system.

Heres an explanation from Yahoo:

[I]RAM : Random Access Memory
Programs and features will use this to store tiny amounts of data and remove them again constantly, and real quick. The more RAM the better the pc will perform.

Virtual Memory would be your HDD (Hard Disc Drive).
The Harddrive in your computer on whitch Windows itself will be installed, and everything else on the computer. The more virtual memory, the more you can save. Meanwhile the more virtual memory, the longer it will take to de-fragment!
Source(s):[/I]

Rainbow if you have your bill of sale and it says what kind of ram you have I could check and see what i have.??

Cindy

CearaQC October 4th, 2009 03:14 PM

A LOT of people get the terms confused. :laughing:

Memory is little strips of chips that are in slots on the mother (main) board inside the computer. Memory is not the hard drive.

Hard drive is where you see Gigabytes. Hard drives are for file storage. If you open one up, it looks like a miniature record player, with layers of CD looking discs and a little arm that goes across each one. Just don't open a good drive. Keep the autopsies for dead drives.:laughing: If it starts making loud clackety clack noises like quarters in a clothes dryer sound, better start backing up your important stuff, because that's a signal the hard drive may crash not too far in the future.

RAM stands for "Random Access Memory." It's like the traffic cop for the processor (brain). Information goes through the RAM before it hits the processor. If a computer is a bit low on memory, it may access the hard drive for temp storage until there's enough room on the "highways" to get to the memory.

The amount of total RAM is determined by the type of motherboard you have and what amount of RAM came with the computer. It will have listed a max capacity and type for RAM in the booklet. There are different types of memory sticks.

Inside the computer is also a ROM, Read Only Memory. This is usually supported with a large battery that looks like a watch battery. It stores the beginning steps of instructions for the computer to use when it first starts up. Don't take out this battery unless it's dead, which I've only seen happen once with a computer.

rainbow October 7th, 2009 01:42 PM

So 256MB of RAM is not very much. :sad: The last comp I had only had 32MB and I never got the low on virtual memory message. :confused:

And, when I bought this one the guy said that 256MB would be pleny for just doing emails and surfing. :o

Btw, I no longer get that message with this comp anymore so was it okay to change the size of the virtual memory like I did? ....

[QUOTE]After googling and reading several diff websites I changed the size of the virtual memory by going into the control panel. The initial minimum size was 384MB which I left as is and the maximum size was 768MB which I changed to 1152MB. I read that you can increase it to 1 1/2 times the size but would like your opinions as I don't want to end up screwing something up.[/QUOTE]

rainbow October 7th, 2009 01:46 PM

Oh, and one more thing .....I don't have a printer which is very frustrating at times. If I do get one will it add to my problems? :o

Marcha October 7th, 2009 02:02 PM

RAM is the 'energy' your computer will use to perform actions. 256 MB used to be a lot, and was more than it needed for Windows 98, IE5 and IE6.

But now, with Windows XP, and IE8, and Outlook and such, it needs a lot more 'energy' to perform all the commands, since the programs themselves are so much larger and more complex.

The 'virtual memory' bit that you changed, is more for cache, for the section of your hard drive that the computer will use for recurring information. Cache is like a temporary library. So say that you're loading a page, it will first check the cache to see if it's already there. Then it doesn't have to download every single image and other bits of content again. Increasing the cache means you'll have more space in your temporary library, but it doesn't increase the 'energy' your computer has to perform the complex actions required of current browsers and mailers.

The cache thing is most useful for websites that don't change their content. For instance, if you're reading a page at wikipedia, it'll put that page in the cache, and next time it'll load faster because it's already there. But here at pets.ca, the content of the page changes constantly because there are new posts, new topics, etc. And for that reason, pets.ca (and the vast majority of online forums) have back-end code that forces the cache on individual computers to refresh to the most *current* page. So with this topic, for instance, this page has been forced to refresh each time you opened the topic.

Say that you're going to be working off-line, then you can use the 'cache' to see pages you've viewed before going off-line. This doesn't mean you're actually going online to see the page - it means it's 'remembering' the page and showing to you what it remembers. By increasing the cache, you'll be able to 'recall' more pages when you go offline, and it'll be easier to load static web pages when you are online.

So basically, all this said, if you're using Windows XP now, you're using the latest version of Outlook and you've upgraded Internet Explorer to version 7 or 8 (or you're using Firefox version 3-something), then 256MB simply isn't enough for the computer to juggle all the actions it needs to perform to use these programs. :(

Marcha October 7th, 2009 02:05 PM

[QUOTE=rainbow;834287]So 256MB of RAM is not very much. :sad: The last comp I had only had 32MB and I never got the low on virtual memory message. :confused:

And, when I bought this one the guy said that 256MB would be pleny for just doing emails and surfing. :o

Btw, I no longer get that message with this comp anymore so was it okay to change the size of the virtual memory like I did? ....[/QUOTE]

When did you buy your computer? Which operating system and programs were installed on it at the time? Which operating system and version of programs do you have now? Do you have the latest version of java and adobe flash? Those two are also energy eaters...

And yes, it was okay to change VM - it means your computer has more space to put stuff in cache, which will make loading of things easier (it relieves a bit of the stuff that the computer needs to do to perform an action).

rainbow October 18th, 2009 12:40 PM

Thanks for the replies everyone and sorry for taking so long to answer but didn't have any time to spend on the computer lately. :o

[B]Marcha,[/B] I bought this computer in Sept/05. It has XP and I am using IE6 for the browser. I'm pretty sure I have the lastest Java and Adobe and I always uninstall the previous versions.

I haven't had any more low on virtual memory messages since I changed the max amount number. As far as the cache I have IE Privacy Keeper installed and it's configured to delete all the files and cookies every time I close IE.



[QUOTE=Winston;833028]
Rainbow if you have your bill of sale and it says what kind of ram you have I could check and see what i have.??

Cindy[/QUOTE]

LOL, of course I have the bill of sale ....I don't throw anything out so it's in one of my procrastination piles somewhere. :o


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