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RAM question


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#1
Jim45

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I've got a Pentium 4, 1.6 gig, 256 megs of RAM,40 gig HD, running XP, and I don't do any gaming, and don't have a whole lot of crap on my comp, but I noticed a considerable slow down on boot up after installing Norton Antivirus 2005. I had no complaints before that, and had NAV 2004. It got even worse when I got my new HP Photosmart 8150 printer. I cleaned some crap out of my startup, and it helped a little, but could be better. My question is, will increasing my RAM help out in this situation? I can double it for $30, and more RAM is always better, but I'd like to know if it helps out on boot up. Thanks in advance.
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#2
wannabe1

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Jim45...

By slow to start up, how slow???

Doubling the RAM is certainly going to help your machine run faster and smoother, but the slow startup is probably due to the Norton app. It's a real resource hog and is very slow to get fully loaded. You will notice a difference in the way your machine runs with 512MB of RAM, though.

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#3
Retired Tech

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From the moment you turn your computer on until the time you shut it down, your CPU is constantly using memory

You turn the computer on.

The computer loads data from read-only memory (ROM) and performs a power-on self-test (POST) to make sure all the major components are functioning properly. As part of this test, the memory controller checks all of the memory addresses with a quick read/write operation to ensure that there are no errors in the memory chips. Read/write means that data is written to a bit and then read from that bit.

The computer loads the basic input/output system (BIOS) from ROM. The BIOS provides the most basic information about storage devices, boot sequence, security, Plug and Play (auto device recognition) capability and a few other items.

The computer loads the operating system (OS) from the hard drive into the system's RAM. Generally, the critical parts of the operating system are maintained in RAM as long as the computer is on. This allows the CPU to have immediate access to the operating system, which enhances the performance and functionality of the overall system.

When you open an application, it is loaded into RAM. To conserve RAM usage, many applications load only the essential parts of the program initially and then load other pieces as needed.

After an application is loaded, any files that are opened for use in that application are loaded into RAM.

When you save a file and close the application, the file is written to the specified storage device, and then it and the application are purged from RAM.
In the list above, every time something is loaded or opened, it is placed into RAM. This simply means that it has been put in the computer's temporary storage area so that the CPU can access that information more easily. The CPU requests the data it needs from RAM, processes it and writes new data back to RAM in a continuous cycle. In most computers, this shuffling of data between the CPU and RAM happens millions of times every second. When an application is closed, it and any accompanying files are usually purged (deleted) from RAM to make room for new data. If the changed files are not saved to a permanent storage device before being purged, they are lost.

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#4
Jim45

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Jim45...

By slow to start up, how slow???



wannabe1


Well, it used to be about a minute from pushing the power button to the point where the NAV auto protect was enabled, and that's when you could do whatever you want. The comp wonm't do anything until that NAV auto protect icon shows up in the taskbar. That same process takes about 5 minutes now. Not the end of the world, but a big difference over NAV 2004.
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#5
Dontais

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I'm not a big fan of norton but i it is a huge resorse hog. But if u did a clean boot i bet the system would load under a min. Its your choice if u wan keep it.
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#6
wannabe1

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Jim45...

I'm with Dontais...try disableing the Norton NAV at startup and see if the machine boots up like it used to. Norton is a hog, but even with it running, it shouldn't take 5 minutes. Let's just see if that is, indeed, the problem.

It's been a while since I used NAV 2004, but I think you can choose to not have it start with Windows by right clicking on the system tray icon and selecting Options...then untick the box to have it start with Windows.

Let me know if that speeds up the start time.

wannabe1

And thanks, Keith...great information on how RAM works... :tazz:

Edited by wannabe1, 11 December 2005 - 08:15 AM.

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#7
Jim45

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Yeah, I cleaned up my start up registry last night, and I'm already down to slightly over 2 minutes, which is a huge improvement. Will try disabling auto protect on windows start up and see what that does, just out of curiosity. I like that feature being on when the comp boots up, but I'm curious how much time it's costing. Thanks for the help people.
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