I have an old machine, and the motherboard only supports 2GB of RAM. I have a bunch of hard drives I never use, so could I stick one of them in the machine and use it solely as virtual memory to compensate for this lack of RAM? I'd have Windows 8 on one hdd and then a 30GB HDD for virtual memory.
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You are probably already doing that. When the RAM is used up/full the HDD is used for the memory and it is probably really slow for you.
try using solid state drive to speed it up . I think it is a lost cause.
Even a SSD isn't really going to help, for Win8 (64bit) they say 2 GB is the minimum to use, but about all it will do is open and run the system - very slowly