That's your problem right there - you're running on basic amount of RAM, particularly if you game on this computer occasionally. Yes, XP can technically use 512 Mb, but that's hardly a usable system today. Best to consider 1 Gb the base requirement.
Your programs and processes are using up more resources and your system is looking for more memory space. That's what Pagefiling is, it's your system turning part of your Hard Drive into a makeshift RAM storage, as needed. Your system will set a prefered available size of about 1.5X the amount of RAM you have. This is fine and you shouldn't change it, but you really shouldn't ever need to use
more than 10% - 15% of that. Pagefiling is just not as fast nor efficient and the more of your pagefile space you use, the slower your system gets.
Some RAM is taken by your OS, some by your start-up programs, and some is used by any programs you have running at a given moment. Your pagefile useage is probably going up when you game and when you're multi-tasking a lot of windows or programs at once.
Some things like maintenance, defragging your drive, deleting temporary files, shutting down programs at startup and disabling or setting to manual your un-needed services, will help to free memory. You definitely should do all of this. Read this ->Maintaining your Machine, What makes your machine slow?
<- Thread. Do as much of it as you can, and if you have questions or are nervous about something, come back here and ask.
But, the single best thing you could do for your computer at this point is to buy more RAM. Unless you're running XP Pro, you can probably only take 3Gb at the most. If you have XP Pro and your Mobo is fairly new, you should be able to take 4Gb.
Go to Crucial
. You don't have to buy from them (though I do
), but have them scan your computer. You will need to be connected to a LAN Line for this, not wireless. They will tell you if you have free slots for more RAM or if you should just replace what you have, and also exactly what kind of RAM you need. With this information, you can shop around online.
Mirocenter, CompUSA and NewEgg are great stores, online and off. Some also really like TigerDirect - I've never tried them so can't say.
The Highest rated brands: (most compatible with lowest failure and error rate, with the best and most supported lifetime warranties) are Micron (same as Crucial), Corsair, OCZ, Kingston.
Some put Mushkin and Elpida in the top, but I'm not a fan, they go one tier down in my opinion - along with Patriot, PNY, Edge and AZEN. Anything else, I wouldn't bother with - but that's just my own opinion.
LOL, tl;dr. Sorry about that.
Edited by n3ko, 22 September 2009 - 10:10 AM.