XP Performance

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

I do not have a specific question but would be interested to see if a
discussion can be started about the performance of Windows XP. Let me start
by saying that while I started out using Macs I moved over to Windows some
years ago because I was tired of going into computer stores and being told
that the Mac section was in the last aisle, on the right, bottom shelf
against the wall! I simply caved in to the overwhelming popularity of
Windows. While I am not terribly proud of myself for having made this move
the fact is that I have generally been pretty happy with Windows ... wince
though I do at the thought that I am adding a bit to Bill Gates' coffers
(thank goodness he is such a generous humanitarian). It's my choice and I
have made it. Certainly XP is a huge improvement over earlier version of
Windows ... I am amazed at its resiliency and overall stability. I have put
a lot of software on my system and it seems to handle things fine. My
concern about XP is that it seems to go off and spin its wheels (hitting the
disk like mad in the process) doing lord-only-knows-what for minutes at a
time and then it seems to settle down and everything's OK. It takes me
about 10 minutes after starting a re-boot before the system settles down
into a quiet state ... during this time the disk is being hit constantly.
Aside from booting I cannot really characterize when these periods of heavy
and prolonged disk activity occur ... sometimes (not always) when I load
Outlook to look at my mail it may take a minute or more (no kidding) before
the hard disk stops cranking away and I can click on a mail message to view
it ... sometimes (not always) when I go to a web site the initial (but
blank) IE window comes up and it may take minutes for the page content to
appear (I'm using DSL in one location and a cable modem in another ... no
dial-up). I am frustrated because I do not know what is going on ... I
suspect that XP is doing some sort of background system updating or
maintenance ... XP seems to be fairly stingy with messages when it is doing
automatic updates. On occasion I have gone to the Windows Task Manager
(ctrl-alt-del) and tried to figure out what process is doing all the I/O but
I really don't see any that are clearly at fault. I have defragged the disk
and have installed all updates ... including SP2 (but I don't think that SP2
has exacerbated the problem ... it was happening before SP2). Do other
people experience the phenomenon that I do ... that XP frequently starts
going crazy for minutes at a time ... and then settles down and is OK? What
in the world is going on? Is there some way to get a handle on what in Sam
Hill is going on? I am beginning to think that this is simply a
characteristic of Windows XP ... there may be nothing wrong with the system
at all ... these periods of mysterious activity are simply an unavoidable
"feature" of the system. The system is great except for its tendency to go
off into la-la-land every now and then.

Thanks.
11 answers Last reply
More about performance
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Fripper

    You may have malware/spyware in residence..

    Spyware/Adware/Scumware has become a major player in compromising
    computers.. they introduce viruses, trojans and worms.. they attempt to send
    out information about you, and they also slow your computer down.. in your
    case, unwarranted hard drive activity, maybe..


    The worst of it is that you probably downloaded the spyware, albeit
    inadvertently..


    Some basic steps to removing Spyware/Adware..


    First step is to run a one shot virus remover.. I have found that McAfee
    Stinger works for people.. download and run it..


    http://vil.nai.com/vil/stinger/


    You will also need to download Spyware removal software.. Spybot and Adaware
    are available at these websites.. both are free.. download and run them..
    don't forget to check for updates after you have started them..


    http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html


    http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/


    .... and this link is for the latest Microsoft helping..


    http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/spyware/software/default.mspx


    Spybot has the ability to immunize a system, but there is better for this
    function, so download and run Spyware Blaster too.. again, check for
    updates..


    http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/


    If you have had your Internet browser hijacked, that is to say, you get
    redirected through a search engine NOT of your choosing, you will need
    different tools..


    HijackThis is a popular and effective tool.. download it from here..


    http://www.spychecker.com/download/download_hijackthis.html


    CWShredder will eliminate CoolWebSearch and variants.. there is a free
    download here..


    CWShredder.. http://www.intermute.com/spysubtract/cwshredder_download.html


    About:blank.. http://www.securiteam.com/securityreviews/5RP0L0UD5U.html


    http://www.pchell.com/support/aboutblank.shtml


    For other tools in the fight against spyware, visit this website and
    bookmark it..


    http://www.pchell.com


    You must also run a firewall and anti-virus program.. here are some links
    for you..


    http://www.mcafee.com

    http://www.symantec.com

    http://www.zonealarm.com

    http://www.kerio.com

    http://www.gate.com

    http://www.avast.com

    http://www.grisoft.com


    Please return to this thread and provide feedback.. it is the only way that
    helpers here can determine how effective the advice given has been..


    Good luck..


    --
    Mike Hall
    MVP - Windows Shell/user

    http://dts-l.org/goodpost.htm


    "fripper" <young@indiana.edu> wrote in message
    news:d3p94601jfe@enews3.newsguy.com...
    >I do not have a specific question but would be interested to see if a
    >discussion can be started about the performance of Windows XP. Let me
    >start by saying that while I started out using Macs I moved over to Windows
    >some years ago because I was tired of going into computer stores and being
    >told that the Mac section was in the last aisle, on the right, bottom shelf
    >against the wall! I simply caved in to the overwhelming popularity of
    >Windows. While I am not terribly proud of myself for having made this move
    >the fact is that I have generally been pretty happy with Windows ... wince
    >though I do at the thought that I am adding a bit to Bill Gates' coffers
    >(thank goodness he is such a generous humanitarian). It's my choice and I
    >have made it. Certainly XP is a huge improvement over earlier version of
    >Windows ... I am amazed at its resiliency and overall stability. I have
    >put a lot of software on my system and it seems to handle things fine. My
    >concern about XP is that it seems to go off and spin its wheels (hitting
    >the disk like mad in the process) doing lord-only-knows-what for minutes at
    >a time and then it seems to settle down and everything's OK. It takes me
    >about 10 minutes after starting a re-boot before the system settles down
    >into a quiet state ... during this time the disk is being hit constantly.
    >Aside from booting I cannot really characterize when these periods of heavy
    >and prolonged disk activity occur ... sometimes (not always) when I load
    >Outlook to look at my mail it may take a minute or more (no kidding) before
    >the hard disk stops cranking away and I can click on a mail message to view
    >it ... sometimes (not always) when I go to a web site the initial (but
    >blank) IE window comes up and it may take minutes for the page content to
    >appear (I'm using DSL in one location and a cable modem in another ... no
    >dial-up). I am frustrated because I do not know what is going on ... I
    >suspect that XP is doing some sort of background system updating or
    >maintenance ... XP seems to be fairly stingy with messages when it is doing
    >automatic updates. On occasion I have gone to the Windows Task Manager
    >(ctrl-alt-del) and tried to figure out what process is doing all the I/O
    >but I really don't see any that are clearly at fault. I have defragged the
    >disk and have installed all updates ... including SP2 (but I don't think
    >that SP2 has exacerbated the problem ... it was happening before SP2). Do
    >other people experience the phenomenon that I do ... that XP frequently
    >starts going crazy for minutes at a time ... and then settles down and is
    >OK? What in the world is going on? Is there some way to get a handle on
    >what in Sam Hill is going on? I am beginning to think that this is simply
    >a characteristic of Windows XP ... there may be nothing wrong with the
    >system at all ... these periods of mysterious activity are simply an
    >unavoidable "feature" of the system. The system is great except for its
    >tendency to go off into la-la-land every now and then.
    >
    > Thanks.
    >
    >
    >
    >
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Thanks Mike and Shenan ... you have given me large lists of things to look
    into and I will do just that over the next few days. I don't have any idea
    if the behavior I am seeing is what one would expect of a "clean" system or
    if my symptoms clearly indicate that something has gotten into my system.
    As you both suggest keeping one's system "clean" is an involved and
    time-consuming task ... and it is my responsibility to keep it clean. I am
    just disheartened that I have to invest so much time, energy and resources
    into keeping myself "clean". I hope that future versions of Windows will
    not require this level of diligence. Your right Shenan I do change the oil
    in my car (about 20 minutes) ... change the A/C filter (5 minutes) and pay
    the bills (mostly done automatically using [yikes] the computer!).

    I will post a message here after I have plowed through your lists and let
    you know if things improve.

    Thanks for your help.
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Fripper

    It really doesn't take too long.. just a few mins per week once everything
    is in place..

    --
    Mike Hall
    MVP - Windows Shell/user

    http://dts-l.org/goodpost.htm


    "fripper" <young@indiana.edu> wrote in message
    news:d3po7j013k@enews4.newsguy.com...
    > Thanks Mike and Shenan ... you have given me large lists of things to look
    > into and I will do just that over the next few days. I don't have any
    > idea if the behavior I am seeing is what one would expect of a "clean"
    > system or if my symptoms clearly indicate that something has gotten into
    > my system. As you both suggest keeping one's system "clean" is an involved
    > and time-consuming task ... and it is my responsibility to keep it clean.
    > I am just disheartened that I have to invest so much time, energy and
    > resources into keeping myself "clean". I hope that future versions of
    > Windows will not require this level of diligence. Your right Shenan I do
    > change the oil in my car (about 20 minutes) ... change the A/C filter (5
    > minutes) and pay the bills (mostly done automatically using [yikes] the
    > computer!).
    >
    > I will post a message here after I have plowed through your lists and let
    > you know if things improve.
    >
    > Thanks for your help.
    >
    >
    >
    >
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Fripper

    One more point.. while XP is not perfect, the reason for such diligence is
    down to some wanting to spoil the party by sending out malicious code.. as
    fast as MS fix something, the unscrupulous are about to release yet more
    code..

    --
    Mike Hall
    MVP - Windows Shell/user

    http://dts-l.org/goodpost.htm


    "fripper" <young@indiana.edu> wrote in message
    news:d3po7j013k@enews4.newsguy.com...
    > Thanks Mike and Shenan ... you have given me large lists of things to look
    > into and I will do just that over the next few days. I don't have any
    > idea if the behavior I am seeing is what one would expect of a "clean"
    > system or if my symptoms clearly indicate that something has gotten into
    > my system. As you both suggest keeping one's system "clean" is an involved
    > and time-consuming task ... and it is my responsibility to keep it clean.
    > I am just disheartened that I have to invest so much time, energy and
    > resources into keeping myself "clean". I hope that future versions of
    > Windows will not require this level of diligence. Your right Shenan I do
    > change the oil in my car (about 20 minutes) ... change the A/C filter (5
    > minutes) and pay the bills (mostly done automatically using [yikes] the
    > computer!).
    >
    > I will post a message here after I have plowed through your lists and let
    > you know if things improve.
    >
    > Thanks for your help.
    >
    >
    >
    >
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    "fripper" <young@indiana.edu> wrote:

    >I do not have a specific question but would be interested to see if a
    >discussion can be started about the performance of Windows XP. Let me start
    >by saying that while I started out using Macs I moved over to Windows some
    >years ago because I was tired of going into computer stores and being told
    >that the Mac section was in the last aisle, on the right, bottom shelf
    >against the wall! I simply caved in to the overwhelming popularity of
    >Windows. While I am not terribly proud of myself for having made this move
    >the fact is that I have generally been pretty happy with Windows ... wince
    >though I do at the thought that I am adding a bit to Bill Gates' coffers
    >(thank goodness he is such a generous humanitarian). It's my choice and I
    >have made it. Certainly XP is a huge improvement over earlier version of
    >Windows ... I am amazed at its resiliency and overall stability. I have put
    >a lot of software on my system and it seems to handle things fine. My
    >concern about XP is that it seems to go off and spin its wheels (hitting the
    >disk like mad in the process) doing lord-only-knows-what for minutes at a
    >time and then it seems to settle down and everything's OK. It takes me
    >about 10 minutes after starting a re-boot before the system settles down
    >into a quiet state ... during this time the disk is being hit constantly.
    >Aside from booting I cannot really characterize when these periods of heavy
    >and prolonged disk activity occur ... sometimes (not always) when I load
    >Outlook to look at my mail it may take a minute or more (no kidding) before
    >the hard disk stops cranking away and I can click on a mail message to view
    >it ... sometimes (not always) when I go to a web site the initial (but
    >blank) IE window comes up and it may take minutes for the page content to
    >appear (I'm using DSL in one location and a cable modem in another ... no
    >dial-up). I am frustrated because I do not know what is going on ... I
    >suspect that XP is doing some sort of background system updating or
    >maintenance ... XP seems to be fairly stingy with messages when it is doing
    >automatic updates. On occasion I have gone to the Windows Task Manager
    >(ctrl-alt-del) and tried to figure out what process is doing all the I/O but
    >I really don't see any that are clearly at fault. I have defragged the disk
    >and have installed all updates ... including SP2 (but I don't think that SP2
    >has exacerbated the problem ... it was happening before SP2). Do other
    >people experience the phenomenon that I do ... that XP frequently starts
    >going crazy for minutes at a time ... and then settles down and is OK? What
    >in the world is going on? Is there some way to get a handle on what in Sam
    >Hill is going on? I am beginning to think that this is simply a
    >characteristic of Windows XP ... there may be nothing wrong with the system
    >at all ... these periods of mysterious activity are simply an unavoidable
    >"feature" of the system. The system is great except for its tendency to go
    >off into la-la-land every now and then.
    >

    You did not provide any description of the hardware you are using.
    Windows XP is extremely sensitive to the amount of RAM in your
    computer, and the RAM specifications published by Microsoft are
    somewhat overoptimistic, to put it mildly.

    Here is my standard commentary regarding RAM upgrades and Windows XP:

    Adding more memory can noticeably improve performance only if the
    added memory results in reduced usage of the virtual memory paging
    file. Therefore if the paging file is not currently being used to any
    significant extent then adding more memory will not provide a
    significant improvement.

    Unfortunately there is no ready way of determing actual paging file
    usage provided with Windows XP - it does not have an equivalent to the
    'Memory Manager - Swap File In Use" reporting provided by the System
    Monitor utility in Windows 95/98/Me.

    There is a free utility that you can download and run which will
    provide this information for you. It was written by MVP Bill James and
    you can get if from
    http://www.dougknox.com/xp/utils/xp_pagefilemon.htm or from
    http://billsway.com/notes_public/WinXP_Tweaks/

    If that utility shows actual page file usage of 50 mb or more on a
    regular basis then that is indicative of fairly significant paging
    file activity. Adding more RAM will reduce or even eliminate entirely
    this activity thereby improving performance.

    This apples regardless of how much or how little RAM is currently
    installed in the computer, at least up to the 4 gb RAM maximum for
    Windows XP.

    Hope this is of some assistance.

    Good luck


    Ron Martell Duncan B.C. Canada
    --
    Microsoft MVP
    On-Line Help Computer Service
    http://onlinehelp.bc.ca

    In memory of a dear friend Alex Nichol MVP
    http://aumha.org/alex.htm
  6. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Thanks Ron ... at your suggestion I have downloaded and installed Bill
    James' Page File Monitor ... quick and easy to do. I am seeing Current Page
    File Usage numbers above 150MB ... 152, 154, etc. ... even when my system is
    quieted down and "idle". I am running the United Devices' Human Proteome
    Folding background program (cancer research) ... it uses what would
    otherwise be idle CPU cycles. I temporarily shutdown the program, ran the
    page file monitor a couple of times and the Current Page File Usage figure
    went UP [!] to 177MB. I would guess from this that this program is not
    causing the high page file figure. The search continues!

    Incidentally I am running XP Professional on a ThinkPad A30 with 384MB RAM.


    "Ron Martell" <ron.martell@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:t8g161127b0ggqs3j886k51qa49akbfhko@4ax.com...
    > "fripper" <young@indiana.edu> wrote:
    >
    >>I do not have a specific question but would be interested to see if a
    >>discussion can be started about the performance of Windows XP. Let me
    >>start
    >>by saying that while I started out using Macs I moved over to Windows some
    >>years ago because I was tired of going into computer stores and being told
    >>that the Mac section was in the last aisle, on the right, bottom shelf
    >>against the wall! I simply caved in to the overwhelming popularity of
    >>Windows. While I am not terribly proud of myself for having made this
    >>move
    >>the fact is that I have generally been pretty happy with Windows ... wince
    >>though I do at the thought that I am adding a bit to Bill Gates' coffers
    >>(thank goodness he is such a generous humanitarian). It's my choice and I
    >>have made it. Certainly XP is a huge improvement over earlier version of
    >>Windows ... I am amazed at its resiliency and overall stability. I have
    >>put
    >>a lot of software on my system and it seems to handle things fine. My
    >>concern about XP is that it seems to go off and spin its wheels (hitting
    >>the
    >>disk like mad in the process) doing lord-only-knows-what for minutes at a
    >>time and then it seems to settle down and everything's OK. It takes me
    >>about 10 minutes after starting a re-boot before the system settles down
    >>into a quiet state ... during this time the disk is being hit constantly.
    >>Aside from booting I cannot really characterize when these periods of
    >>heavy
    >>and prolonged disk activity occur ... sometimes (not always) when I load
    >>Outlook to look at my mail it may take a minute or more (no kidding)
    >>before
    >>the hard disk stops cranking away and I can click on a mail message to
    >>view
    >>it ... sometimes (not always) when I go to a web site the initial (but
    >>blank) IE window comes up and it may take minutes for the page content to
    >>appear (I'm using DSL in one location and a cable modem in another ... no
    >>dial-up). I am frustrated because I do not know what is going on ... I
    >>suspect that XP is doing some sort of background system updating or
    >>maintenance ... XP seems to be fairly stingy with messages when it is
    >>doing
    >>automatic updates. On occasion I have gone to the Windows Task Manager
    >>(ctrl-alt-del) and tried to figure out what process is doing all the I/O
    >>but
    >>I really don't see any that are clearly at fault. I have defragged the
    >>disk
    >>and have installed all updates ... including SP2 (but I don't think that
    >>SP2
    >>has exacerbated the problem ... it was happening before SP2). Do other
    >>people experience the phenomenon that I do ... that XP frequently starts
    >>going crazy for minutes at a time ... and then settles down and is OK?
    >>What
    >>in the world is going on? Is there some way to get a handle on what in
    >>Sam
    >>Hill is going on? I am beginning to think that this is simply a
    >>characteristic of Windows XP ... there may be nothing wrong with the
    >>system
    >>at all ... these periods of mysterious activity are simply an unavoidable
    >>"feature" of the system. The system is great except for its tendency to
    >>go
    >>off into la-la-land every now and then.
    >>
    >
    > You did not provide any description of the hardware you are using.
    > Windows XP is extremely sensitive to the amount of RAM in your
    > computer, and the RAM specifications published by Microsoft are
    > somewhat overoptimistic, to put it mildly.
    >
    > Here is my standard commentary regarding RAM upgrades and Windows XP:
    >
    > Adding more memory can noticeably improve performance only if the
    > added memory results in reduced usage of the virtual memory paging
    > file. Therefore if the paging file is not currently being used to any
    > significant extent then adding more memory will not provide a
    > significant improvement.
    >
    > Unfortunately there is no ready way of determing actual paging file
    > usage provided with Windows XP - it does not have an equivalent to the
    > 'Memory Manager - Swap File In Use" reporting provided by the System
    > Monitor utility in Windows 95/98/Me.
    >
    > There is a free utility that you can download and run which will
    > provide this information for you. It was written by MVP Bill James and
    > you can get if from
    > http://www.dougknox.com/xp/utils/xp_pagefilemon.htm or from
    > http://billsway.com/notes_public/WinXP_Tweaks/
    >
    > If that utility shows actual page file usage of 50 mb or more on a
    > regular basis then that is indicative of fairly significant paging
    > file activity. Adding more RAM will reduce or even eliminate entirely
    > this activity thereby improving performance.
    >
    > This apples regardless of how much or how little RAM is currently
    > installed in the computer, at least up to the 4 gb RAM maximum for
    > Windows XP.
    >
    > Hope this is of some assistance.
    >
    > Good luck
    >
    >
    > Ron Martell Duncan B.C. Canada
    > --
    > Microsoft MVP
    > On-Line Help Computer Service
    > http://onlinehelp.bc.ca
    >
    > In memory of a dear friend Alex Nichol MVP
    > http://aumha.org/alex.htm
  7. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Fripper

    512mb is better..

    --
    Mike Hall
    MVP - Windows Shell/user

    http://dts-l.org/goodpost.htm


    "fripper" <young@indiana.edu> wrote in message
    news:d3sacr028qi@enews4.newsguy.com...
    > Thanks Ron ... at your suggestion I have downloaded and installed Bill
    > James' Page File Monitor ... quick and easy to do. I am seeing Current
    > Page File Usage numbers above 150MB ... 152, 154, etc. ... even when my
    > system is quieted down and "idle". I am running the United Devices' Human
    > Proteome Folding background program (cancer research) ... it uses what
    > would otherwise be idle CPU cycles. I temporarily shutdown the program,
    > ran the page file monitor a couple of times and the Current Page File
    > Usage figure went UP [!] to 177MB. I would guess from this that this
    > program is not causing the high page file figure. The search continues!
    >
    > Incidentally I am running XP Professional on a ThinkPad A30 with 384MB
    > RAM.
    >
    >
    > "Ron Martell" <ron.martell@gmail.com> wrote in message
    > news:t8g161127b0ggqs3j886k51qa49akbfhko@4ax.com...
    >> "fripper" <young@indiana.edu> wrote:
    >>
    >>>I do not have a specific question but would be interested to see if a
    >>>discussion can be started about the performance of Windows XP. Let me
    >>>start
    >>>by saying that while I started out using Macs I moved over to Windows
    >>>some
    >>>years ago because I was tired of going into computer stores and being
    >>>told
    >>>that the Mac section was in the last aisle, on the right, bottom shelf
    >>>against the wall! I simply caved in to the overwhelming popularity of
    >>>Windows. While I am not terribly proud of myself for having made this
    >>>move
    >>>the fact is that I have generally been pretty happy with Windows ...
    >>>wince
    >>>though I do at the thought that I am adding a bit to Bill Gates' coffers
    >>>(thank goodness he is such a generous humanitarian). It's my choice and
    >>>I
    >>>have made it. Certainly XP is a huge improvement over earlier version of
    >>>Windows ... I am amazed at its resiliency and overall stability. I have
    >>>put
    >>>a lot of software on my system and it seems to handle things fine. My
    >>>concern about XP is that it seems to go off and spin its wheels (hitting
    >>>the
    >>>disk like mad in the process) doing lord-only-knows-what for minutes at a
    >>>time and then it seems to settle down and everything's OK. It takes me
    >>>about 10 minutes after starting a re-boot before the system settles down
    >>>into a quiet state ... during this time the disk is being hit constantly.
    >>>Aside from booting I cannot really characterize when these periods of
    >>>heavy
    >>>and prolonged disk activity occur ... sometimes (not always) when I load
    >>>Outlook to look at my mail it may take a minute or more (no kidding)
    >>>before
    >>>the hard disk stops cranking away and I can click on a mail message to
    >>>view
    >>>it ... sometimes (not always) when I go to a web site the initial (but
    >>>blank) IE window comes up and it may take minutes for the page content to
    >>>appear (I'm using DSL in one location and a cable modem in another ... no
    >>>dial-up). I am frustrated because I do not know what is going on ... I
    >>>suspect that XP is doing some sort of background system updating or
    >>>maintenance ... XP seems to be fairly stingy with messages when it is
    >>>doing
    >>>automatic updates. On occasion I have gone to the Windows Task Manager
    >>>(ctrl-alt-del) and tried to figure out what process is doing all the I/O
    >>>but
    >>>I really don't see any that are clearly at fault. I have defragged the
    >>>disk
    >>>and have installed all updates ... including SP2 (but I don't think that
    >>>SP2
    >>>has exacerbated the problem ... it was happening before SP2). Do other
    >>>people experience the phenomenon that I do ... that XP frequently starts
    >>>going crazy for minutes at a time ... and then settles down and is OK?
    >>>What
    >>>in the world is going on? Is there some way to get a handle on what in
    >>>Sam
    >>>Hill is going on? I am beginning to think that this is simply a
    >>>characteristic of Windows XP ... there may be nothing wrong with the
    >>>system
    >>>at all ... these periods of mysterious activity are simply an unavoidable
    >>>"feature" of the system. The system is great except for its tendency to
    >>>go
    >>>off into la-la-land every now and then.
    >>>
    >>
    >> You did not provide any description of the hardware you are using.
    >> Windows XP is extremely sensitive to the amount of RAM in your
    >> computer, and the RAM specifications published by Microsoft are
    >> somewhat overoptimistic, to put it mildly.
    >>
    >> Here is my standard commentary regarding RAM upgrades and Windows XP:
    >>
    >> Adding more memory can noticeably improve performance only if the
    >> added memory results in reduced usage of the virtual memory paging
    >> file. Therefore if the paging file is not currently being used to any
    >> significant extent then adding more memory will not provide a
    >> significant improvement.
    >>
    >> Unfortunately there is no ready way of determing actual paging file
    >> usage provided with Windows XP - it does not have an equivalent to the
    >> 'Memory Manager - Swap File In Use" reporting provided by the System
    >> Monitor utility in Windows 95/98/Me.
    >>
    >> There is a free utility that you can download and run which will
    >> provide this information for you. It was written by MVP Bill James and
    >> you can get if from
    >> http://www.dougknox.com/xp/utils/xp_pagefilemon.htm or from
    >> http://billsway.com/notes_public/WinXP_Tweaks/
    >>
    >> If that utility shows actual page file usage of 50 mb or more on a
    >> regular basis then that is indicative of fairly significant paging
    >> file activity. Adding more RAM will reduce or even eliminate entirely
    >> this activity thereby improving performance.
    >>
    >> This apples regardless of how much or how little RAM is currently
    >> installed in the computer, at least up to the 4 gb RAM maximum for
    >> Windows XP.
    >>
    >> Hope this is of some assistance.
    >>
    >> Good luck
    >>
    >>
    >> Ron Martell Duncan B.C. Canada
    >> --
    >> Microsoft MVP
    >> On-Line Help Computer Service
    >> http://onlinehelp.bc.ca
    >>
    >> In memory of a dear friend Alex Nichol MVP
    >> http://aumha.org/alex.htm
    >
    >
  8. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    "fripper" <young@indiana.edu> wrote:

    >Thanks Ron ... at your suggestion I have downloaded and installed Bill
    >James' Page File Monitor ... quick and easy to do. I am seeing Current Page
    >File Usage numbers above 150MB ... 152, 154, etc. ... even when my system is
    >quieted down and "idle". I am running the United Devices' Human Proteome
    >Folding background program (cancer research) ... it uses what would
    >otherwise be idle CPU cycles. I temporarily shutdown the program, ran the
    >page file monitor a couple of times and the Current Page File Usage figure
    >went UP [!] to 177MB. I would guess from this that this program is not
    >causing the high page file figure. The search continues!
    >
    >Incidentally I am running XP Professional on a ThinkPad A30 with 384MB RAM.
    >

    The page file usage figures indicate that you should add at least
    another 128 mb and preferably 256 mb of RAM. You will notice an
    improvement in performance.

    Good luck


    Ron Martell Duncan B.C. Canada
    --
    Microsoft MVP
    On-Line Help Computer Service
    http://onlinehelp.bc.ca

    In memory of a dear friend Alex Nichol MVP
    http://aumha.org/alex.htm
  9. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Well, it appears that I may be light on memory but I wish someone could give
    me some insight as to why a machine that is idle (except for a background,
    low priority CPU hog) shows such high page file activity. Now, I will look
    into adding memory to my system but I find it hard to believe that 384MB is
    not enough to keep a machine running a few apps from thrashing. What I
    don't know is if there are others things at play here. I have run the
    Stinger virus checker and Norton Anti Virus ... no problems found. I also
    ran SpyBot and found several entries ... Alexa Related, WildTangent, Fun
    Web, DSO Exploit, Comet Cursors and a few others. I have no idea if these
    are harmful but I did cripple them. Ad-aware showed nothing suspicious. I
    will continue to work through Mike's list.

    Thanks for your interest in this.


    "Ron Martell" <ron.martell@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:tvt561ljqcg2n2pep78ombrfvn3vscp1dv@4ax.com...
    > "fripper" <young@indiana.edu> wrote:
    >
    >>Thanks Ron ... at your suggestion I have downloaded and installed Bill
    >>James' Page File Monitor ... quick and easy to do. I am seeing Current
    >>Page
    >>File Usage numbers above 150MB ... 152, 154, etc. ... even when my system
    >>is
    >>quieted down and "idle". I am running the United Devices' Human Proteome
    >>Folding background program (cancer research) ... it uses what would
    >>otherwise be idle CPU cycles. I temporarily shutdown the program, ran the
    >>page file monitor a couple of times and the Current Page File Usage figure
    >>went UP [!] to 177MB. I would guess from this that this program is not
    >>causing the high page file figure. The search continues!
    >>
    >>Incidentally I am running XP Professional on a ThinkPad A30 with 384MB
    >>RAM.
    >>
    >
    > The page file usage figures indicate that you should add at least
    > another 128 mb and preferably 256 mb of RAM. You will notice an
    > improvement in performance.
    >
    > Good luck
    >
    >
    > Ron Martell Duncan B.C. Canada
    > --
    > Microsoft MVP
    > On-Line Help Computer Service
    > http://onlinehelp.bc.ca
    >
    > In memory of a dear friend Alex Nichol MVP
    > http://aumha.org/alex.htm
  10. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Well, I have been through virtually every procedure that Mike and Shenan
    have suggested. This has taken some time to do but I think it was worth it.
    The system is performing somewhat better than it had been ... it seems to go
    into its "let's hit the disk like mad for awhile" state less frequently ...
    but it still does it occasionally. Thanks very much for your help with
    this. It is frustrating to have a problem like this and not know the real
    cause.

    Good luck to you both.


    "fripper" <young@indiana.edu> wrote in message
    news:d3p94601jfe@enews3.newsguy.com...
    >I do not have a specific question but would be interested to see if a
    >discussion can be started about the performance of Windows XP. Let me
    >start by saying that while I started out using Macs I moved over to Windows
    >some years ago because I was tired of going into computer stores and being
    >told that the Mac section was in the last aisle, on the right, bottom shelf
    >against the wall! I simply caved in to the overwhelming popularity of
    >Windows. While I am not terribly proud of myself for having made this move
    >the fact is that I have generally been pretty happy with Windows ... wince
    >though I do at the thought that I am adding a bit to Bill Gates' coffers
    >(thank goodness he is such a generous humanitarian). It's my choice and I
    >have made it. Certainly XP is a huge improvement over earlier version of
    >Windows ... I am amazed at its resiliency and overall stability. I have
    >put a lot of software on my system and it seems to handle things fine. My
    >concern about XP is that it seems to go off and spin its wheels (hitting
    >the disk like mad in the process) doing lord-only-knows-what for minutes at
    >a time and then it seems to settle down and everything's OK. It takes me
    >about 10 minutes after starting a re-boot before the system settles down
    >into a quiet state ... during this time the disk is being hit constantly.
    >Aside from booting I cannot really characterize when these periods of heavy
    >and prolonged disk activity occur ... sometimes (not always) when I load
    >Outlook to look at my mail it may take a minute or more (no kidding) before
    >the hard disk stops cranking away and I can click on a mail message to view
    >it ... sometimes (not always) when I go to a web site the initial (but
    >blank) IE window comes up and it may take minutes for the page content to
    >appear (I'm using DSL in one location and a cable modem in another ... no
    >dial-up). I am frustrated because I do not know what is going on ... I
    >suspect that XP is doing some sort of background system updating or
    >maintenance ... XP seems to be fairly stingy with messages when it is doing
    >automatic updates. On occasion I have gone to the Windows Task Manager
    >(ctrl-alt-del) and tried to figure out what process is doing all the I/O
    >but I really don't see any that are clearly at fault. I have defragged the
    >disk and have installed all updates ... including SP2 (but I don't think
    >that SP2 has exacerbated the problem ... it was happening before SP2). Do
    >other people experience the phenomenon that I do ... that XP frequently
    >starts going crazy for minutes at a time ... and then settles down and is
    >OK? What in the world is going on? Is there some way to get a handle on
    >what in Sam Hill is going on? I am beginning to think that this is simply
    >a characteristic of Windows XP ... there may be nothing wrong with the
    >system at all ... these periods of mysterious activity are simply an
    >unavoidable "feature" of the system. The system is great except for its
    >tendency to go off into la-la-land every now and then.
    >
    > Thanks.
    >
    >
    >
    >
  11. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Fripper

    Thanks for the feedback.. you may well have an issue remaining that is not
    covered by advice that we gave..

    It is difficult to assess what may still be wrong.. you should look at the
    processes running.. you may have something installed that is monitoring the
    system occasionally.. do you have anything like Norton System Works
    installed?.. re. running processes, do NOT worry if you have thirty or
    more.. it is not the quantity of processes running that matters.. it is the
    quality that is the issue here..

    It would also be prudent to update all drivers.. sometimes, an issue is
    caused by something that you might consider to be so unrelated that it isn't
    funny..

    Use MSCONFIG to diagnose start-up items.. running in Safe Mode for an hour
    or two would show up drivers as being the cause, as Safe Mode loads with the
    absolute minimum running..

    If you have installation media for your own programs, uninstall a few of
    them and run a more basic set up for a few days.. try downloading a free
    anti-virus and firewall, uninstall whatever you have running, and use the
    free versions for a day or two.. if you see no difference just re-instate
    your av and firewall of choice..

    If you have any hardware devices connected like USB external drives, unplug
    them and monitor the system..

    Virtual memory, or lack of it can cause problems.. corruption in the page
    file might cause it.. take a look at this site for more info..
    http://aumha.org/win5/a/xpvm.php..

    A step further from the pagefile.. you may have a damaged drive.. lost
    clusters etc.. look for the existence of any file with the extension .chk..
    files of this nature will have names like 'file0001.chk'.. these indicate
    system crashes, and don't normally have any effect on a system directly, but
    their very presence indicates that the system may have problems..

    It would be a good time to clear temp files.. use XP's Disk Cleanup..

    Whatever you learn from doing any of the above will be useful knowledge for
    you, and for others if you post it back to here..

    Good luck

    --
    Mike Hall
    MVP - Windows Shell/user

    http://dts-l.org/goodpost.htm


    "fripper" <young@indiana.edu> wrote in message
    news:d57qp50b82@enews1.newsguy.com...
    > Well, I have been through virtually every procedure that Mike and Shenan
    > have suggested. This has taken some time to do but I think it was worth
    > it. The system is performing somewhat better than it had been ... it seems
    > to go into its "let's hit the disk like mad for awhile" state less
    > frequently ... but it still does it occasionally. Thanks very much for
    > your help with this. It is frustrating to have a problem like this and
    > not know the real cause.
    >
    > Good luck to you both.
    >
    >
    > "fripper" <young@indiana.edu> wrote in message
    > news:d3p94601jfe@enews3.newsguy.com...
    >>I do not have a specific question but would be interested to see if a
    >>discussion can be started about the performance of Windows XP. Let me
    >>start by saying that while I started out using Macs I moved over to
    >>Windows some years ago because I was tired of going into computer stores
    >>and being told that the Mac section was in the last aisle, on the right,
    >>bottom shelf against the wall! I simply caved in to the overwhelming
    >>popularity of Windows. While I am not terribly proud of myself for having
    >>made this move the fact is that I have generally been pretty happy with
    >>Windows ... wince though I do at the thought that I am adding a bit to
    >>Bill Gates' coffers (thank goodness he is such a generous humanitarian).
    >>It's my choice and I have made it. Certainly XP is a huge improvement
    >>over earlier version of Windows ... I am amazed at its resiliency and
    >>overall stability. I have put a lot of software on my system and it seems
    >>to handle things fine. My concern about XP is that it seems to go off and
    >>spin its wheels (hitting the disk like mad in the process) doing
    >>lord-only-knows-what for minutes at a time and then it seems to settle
    >>down and everything's OK. It takes me about 10 minutes after starting a
    >>re-boot before the system settles down into a quiet state ... during this
    >>time the disk is being hit constantly. Aside from booting I cannot really
    >>characterize when these periods of heavy and prolonged disk activity occur
    >>... sometimes (not always) when I load Outlook to look at my mail it may
    >>take a minute or more (no kidding) before the hard disk stops cranking
    >>away and I can click on a mail message to view it ... sometimes (not
    >>always) when I go to a web site the initial (but blank) IE window comes up
    >>and it may take minutes for the page content to appear (I'm using DSL in
    >>one location and a cable modem in another ... no dial-up). I am
    >>frustrated because I do not know what is going on ... I suspect that XP is
    >>doing some sort of background system updating or maintenance ... XP seems
    >>to be fairly stingy with messages when it is doing automatic updates. On
    >>occasion I have gone to the Windows Task Manager (ctrl-alt-del) and tried
    >>to figure out what process is doing all the I/O but I really don't see any
    >>that are clearly at fault. I have defragged the disk and have installed
    >>all updates ... including SP2 (but I don't think that SP2 has exacerbated
    >>the problem ... it was happening before SP2). Do other people experience
    >>the phenomenon that I do ... that XP frequently starts going crazy for
    >>minutes at a time ... and then settles down and is OK? What in the world
    >>is going on? Is there some way to get a handle on what in Sam Hill is
    >>going on? I am beginning to think that this is simply a characteristic of
    >>Windows XP ... there may be nothing wrong with the system at all ... these
    >>periods of mysterious activity are simply an unavoidable "feature" of the
    >>system. The system is great except for its tendency to go off into
    >>la-la-land every now and then.
    >>
    >> Thanks.
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >
    >
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