View Full Version : Calling all Alpha-geeks!
03-13-2004, 12:26 AM
I've noticed that when I get online, the performance of my (win-98) compiter degrades by the minute.
I've been online for about 3.5 hours and (system resource meter running -- 'cos I was curious) avaulable system resources have dropped from about 75% to about 30%.
Why is this so? Am I doomed to log off amd reboot avery hour or so to maintain system integrity? Does anyone have any (knowledge-based) helpful suggestions?
The computer is a 1998-9 vintage HP with a 533 Mhz Celeron processor, 192 Mbytes of ram, 90 Gbytes of storage on a 10 Gbyte HD and a (newer) 80 Gbyte HD.
Help me, Obi-Wan!
(logging off to reboot and maybe get things working well again).
03-13-2004, 12:45 AM
One of your programs has a memory leak, probably windows itself.
What is happening is that a program is declaring resources to be owned by it and then forgetting about them at a later stage. Eventually, you will run out of resources. Figure out what programs you have running in the background and kill all the unneccesary ones.
Also, upgrading to a later version of windows wouldn't be a bad idea in itself.
03-14-2004, 12:31 AM
Does it only happen when you're online? It may also be your browser/email/other programs. I can't remember if Win98 included taskmanager or not (try looking for "taskman.exe" starting from c:\windows), this shows cpu and memory usage for each running process. You can check that to see what's eating up memory.
Are you hearing more hard drive activity as the system slows down? Once windows runs out of available space in physical RAM, it swaps out portions of memory to "virtual memory", a special file on your hard drive that pretends to be RAM. Since hard drives are drastically slower than RAM this slows things down, especially if it starts "thrashing" (swapping data in and out of virtual memory more than it really should).
A couple general performance tips:
1) See if the programs you are using have any patches available. Memory leaks do occasionally get plugged.
2) See if your hard drive is full or fragmented. Virtual memory thrashing can get really bad if windows has to hunt around for enough free space. Clear out some temp folders, and see if running Scandisk (flags bad parts of the drive so windows doesn't try to use them) or Defrag (consolodates splintered disk segments) helps any.
3) Maybe some spyware has gotten itself installed. Adaware (http://www.ada-ware.com) or Spybot (http://www.safer-networking.org) are excellent ways to see if unwanted programs (which generally don't care about performance) have made their way onto your machine.
4) Windows isn't always that efficient in how it sets up virtual memory. Try CacheMan (http://www.outertech.com) to see if its tweaks do you any good.
Note: I am not affiliated with any of the linked sites, I've just been a satisfied user of them.
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