Ram problem

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Harmless

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Nov 24, 2001
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strange, lately when my computer is doing something memory intensive (ie installing software,scaning for viruses) it will eat up my 512mbs of ram within minutes and crash my system after all my resorces are gone...if I halt and cancel out of the operation useing the ram it will not come back, ive tryed memory management programs (Winram turbo and the like) to try and free it back up but they dont seem to have any effect..anybody have the slightest clue whats happening o_O? thanks =)



Win98 se
pen III 866
geforce 2 32mb
Soundblaster live 5.1
 
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May 26, 2001
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7,530
What OS do you have? I know Me and probably 98 and I don't know if Xp, too, but they all tend to let apps take all the Ram they want. You need to limit the amount that it can use... sorry it is pretty late (2 am here) and so I don't remember what it is called or where to adjust it. It isn't virtual memory is it?... no wait... that is something else...
 

Harmless

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Nov 24, 2001
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useing windows 98 second edition, let me know if you remeber how to do that =b ill see if I can figure it out in the mean time, thanks much for the info though,does it have to do with memory caches?
 
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Well I will think about it some more. I intended to go to bed an hour and a half ago... but here I still am. :D In other words I am not thinking any straighter than I was at 2, so it hasn't come to me yet. :)
 
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Hi Harmless,Do you have 2 sticks of 256 ram modules to total 512?If you do try removeing one stick then run the computer and see what happens.If it still does it try the other one.Just thinking it could be a bad chip.

Let us know.
 
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Resources have nothing to do with how much RAM you have installed.

Win98 will use as much unused RAM as possible for caching information which really speeds things up. Open a program you haven’t opened since you booted that takes some time to open. Close the program and reopen it any time before you reboot and it will open three times as fast because it is taking code from the cache in RAM. Windows 98 and above will give the RAM up from cache instantly if it is needed by programs. Win95 did not always give the RAM up and they came up with those Turbo/Mem/Free/Max/RAM type programs to apply an artificial demand to flush the cache. You don’t want to flush the cache in Win 98/ME. Get rid of the programs as they do only bad things if you aren’t running Win95. With 512Mb RAM there is absolutely no reason to be messing with Windows’ RAM management.

You can check your RAM with this: http://www.zdnet.com/downloads/stories/info/0,10615,56531,00.html

What indications are you getting that your computer is using up all of your RAM? Using Photoshop with large image files is RAM intensive. Editing streaming video can be RAM intensive. Installing programs and running virus scans is NOT Ram intensive – people with 64Mb RAM do that just fine.

You have to sort out what is causing the lockups. I recommend TclockEX. It is a freeware clock that replaces your system clock and provides good information. http://users.iafrica.com/d/da/dalen/tclockex.htm

The yellow bar across the top of the clock indicates CPU use. It should be at just about zero except when the computer has just been told to do something or is performing a specific task you know is CPU intensive.

The green bar across the bottom is the used RAM. Optimum for most people is to have all of the RAM used all of the time since it is fast, but it is hard to do with 512 Mb RAM. I leave my computer on 24/7 so I don’t flush my cache and have never cached much over 300 Mb. You will notice his RAM bar extends almost all the way across leaving no or little available RAM – that is the way it should be for someone with 128Mb RAM and even for someone with 256 whose computer has been used for a while.

I think the more significant thing for you is that you can have it display a two digit readout of your user resources to the left of the clock. I dumped the year and seconds so it wouldn’t take so much space. Right now mine reads: 75 Sat 24 Nov 1:55: The 75 means I have 75% user resources available. The clock format to do this is: U ddd d MMM h:mm: You can configure it any way you want. I have the colon after the minutes to keep the last digit off the edge BTW.

Your most likely problem is resources. If your available resources just after you boot and before you do anything are much below about 85% you need to clean out the programs that load at boot. Get back with your resources immediately after you reboot, and what they are reading just before you get lockups.
 

Harmless

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Joined
Nov 24, 2001
Messages
6
I think its ram because when I use the memory management programs they give you a constant read out on how much ram you have (512) and how much ram is currently being used, now ill go to install something and I can watch it go from about 420 free to 30 40ish ram free then it crashes, every time...



isnt this what would happen with a memory leak? could it be a virus? I dont know because when I run a virus scan my ram hits 0 and my system crashes before I finish...also last night I formated and re-installed win98,didnt help...this never used to happen =(



edit: ok more info, I just ran the online virus scan at http://www.centralcommand.com/scan.html and according to a monitoring program that came with my mobo called Pc Probe my physical memory usage went from 23% before I started to 46% when the scan was done I closed down the scan and all the other progs/windows and my physical memory usage is still at 45% (287236k out of 523704 thats my ram right) ...when it reaches 90%ish my system crashes (I know because ive tested it many times), also I noticed that through the entire process my virtual memory stayed at 3%...maybe this info is meaningless but I thought id add it just incase,shouldnt my Physical memory free up after the scan is done? =b thanks for the help, I really apreciate it


another thing...when I close this web page about 20megs of ram actual will free up,but should web pages be useing 20 megs of ram isnt virtual memory supose to kick in?my computer is not locking up its crashing and auto-restarting my bad I used the wrong termonology


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edit:system resources remain above 90% at most times and dont seem to be afiliated with my problem
 
Joined
May 18, 2001
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Harmless,did you try and remove a stick of ram?Question,did this computer come with 512 mb of ram or did you add some?I agree with you i think it is a ram problem.
 
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Use the DocMemory I linked to test your RAM. It loads to a floppy and runs some pretty thorough stress tests on your RAM at boot. If it says your RAM is OK then it probably is. Either way you will know whether you are looking in the right place.

And get those RAM management programs off your computer while you troubleshoot to eliminate a possible source of problems.

Virtual memory should never kick in with 512Mb of memory unless you are doing some really serious graphics or video editing.
 

Harmless

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 24, 2001
Messages
6
no, the ram did not come with my computer,my computer was built by me and my friend,and Ive tryed removing a dimm and it didnt seem to help.thanks slipe ill run the tests with that prog tommorrow and post what happens..
 

Harmless

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Joined
Nov 24, 2001
Messages
6
ok I ran Docmem and my ram failed every test,I let it run about 14 times,failed each one....does that mean my ram is malfunctioning? no im serious...is that what that means heheh..
 
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