View Full Version : computer help please
11-12-2006, 01:15 AM
i'm not a computer lingo person(lucky if i can boil water) so i could use some help on this. My computer freezes up all the time. My computer is a compaq-approx 7 years old--i have windows m.e.-i have roadrunner broadband. It only seems to happen while i'm on the internet. Roadrunner says its my computer related. It may work fine for a few days but then like tonight i'm lucky if i can internet for 10 minutes b4 the thing freezes up completely. Right now my system says memory=64 mb of ram system resources=51%free file system 32 bit. Everything else with my system(monitor,speakers,keyboard etc) has been replaced in last year or so but this is still the original tower. I do a spybot check once every 2 weeks or so and have a firewall. Does this thing just sound shot? Would like to go to maybe a new system-windows xp? but really cant afford it right now...i also have deleted a lot of stuff off my system and dont download that much so not sure why memory would be a problem...suggestions/ideas???
11-12-2006, 04:11 AM
Before reading this please understand that I am no expert and could be very wrong. I am replying because I have some experience using an old system with only 64MB of RAM. If an expert tells you something more definitive, please don't disregard because of something I am posting.
The stuff on your hard drive doesn't take memory unless its open and running.
The stuff you have on a drive is using "Storage" not memory.
"Memory" is what enables your computer to do something right now (Right now means open.) 64MB of Ram is pretty small these days and if you have a lot of stuff open it could cause that.
I have an older computer too with only 64MB and it seems fine when I'm on the internet and I can have multiple windows (browser sessions) open while on-line. I don't usually play games or music and rarely have spreadsheets or word processors open, but my small memory has not been a problem for me.
I do not use Roadrunner so I don't know if it requires more, but unless you have a bunch of games (or a big system hog game) open or a bunch of spreadsheets, I suspect something else is locking you up since I also have little memory on my system and seem to get by ok. (of course your memory could be bad I guess.)
These days a 7 y/o computer with 64 MB of ram is very low-end. (My system is similar except its 9 years old.) The first thing people will tell you is that you need more memory, but since it works for me, I'd hate for you to spend much money having memory added when you can buy a cheap system for about $300 dollars at WalMart that is probably light years better than what you and I have. Adding memory may not fix the problem and you may end-up needing to buy a new computer anyway.
Remember, I'm no expert.
I had a 2001 Compaq with Windows Me. Loved the computer, hated the operating system. Windows Me is a terrible OS. It was all the time freezing up on me. It had alot of compatibility issues. And when I tried to upgrade to XP it ran into further compatibility issues (those nasty blue screen errors) concerning the onboard graphics card, which wouldn't allow me to upgrade. I found a copy of Win 98 SE and installed it.
You need more SD RAM for sure, and that is the cheaper route to try first. I'd shot for a minimum of 128 MB to start out. I get mine from here....
But even before you do that, try this.....
Do you run any spyware program? It could be spyware is part of your problem.
Here are a couple that alot of people use....
Ad-Aware (free) http://www.download.com/3000-2144-10045910.html
Spy Sweeper http://www.webroot.com/consumer
When is the last time you've done a disk cleanup and/or ran your disk defragmenter? Go to "Start-Programs-Acessories - System Tools" to find them.
Having open programs running in the background will cause slowness and/or hanging up.
Go to "Start" then "Run", and type in "msconfig". This will bring up the "System Configuration Utility". Click on the Startup tab and take a look at the list.
The following is a list of things in Startup that you should not uncheck and leave running...
* LoadPowerProfile (both of them)
As well as those that pertain to your anti-virus software.
Here is an article on that....
11-12-2006, 09:33 AM
Based on what I know from my sister the tech manager, Windows ME isn't the most stable of operating systems. As GAC said, Windows 98 SE is much more stable. With your old computer, I wouldn't recommend upgrading to XP. The problem with the Windows operating system is that the OS itself can become a real memory hog, especially if you keep installing their patches that fix all the security holes. If you don't install the patches, then it gets really unstable and opens you up to various threats from the internet.
I have a feeling your problem is likely OS and/or memory related, but more likely OS related, so installing Windows 98 SE might help. The problem is that you can't just go down to the store to buy it, because Windows doesn't offer anything less than XP for sale anymore. I don't even know if they still support Windows 98 or ME with updates.
As far as a memory upgrade goes, if your machine is only running 64 meg right now, I suspect that you might only be able to upgrade to something like 128 or 256 meg. If that's the case, a memory upgrade will probably be pretty cheap, but don't expect any miracles as far as performance goes.
In any case, I wish you luck.
11-12-2006, 01:04 PM
The guys above have covered it very well for you regarding the ME system stability with its freezing and blue screens and memory issues. As they were saying try not to have programs running that you are not using when going to the net because those in the start menu and those shown running on the task bar use up your limited memory
In addition you might try the following before logging on to the Internet:
Go to settings
then to control panel
then to the icon representing Internet options
To Internet properties and make sure that you have cleaned it up by deleting the cookies and deleting the files that have accumulated
Also go to the my computer icon and click on it to open the page that comes up, and in that address bar type in %TMP% and hit enter which will show you a lot of temp files that can be deleted without hurting anything.
These steps won’t help your memory issues but they will clean off some of the junk that accumulates to slow down your system.
I agree that XP probably would not be compatible with your seven year old computer because of hardware and software issues.
Do to the age of the computer and all of the files that have come and gone over the years, you might want to have someone FDISK and reformat your hard drive (which wipes clean your hard drive) and to reinstall your operating system so that you can wipe out all the old file fragments, fix errors, clean up the registry, and to basically make it optimal again, but that requires more knowledge, time and in addition you would have to update your drivers also etc. which might be more than you want to invest time wise.
When you decide that you can afford it.
Since you have listed several new peripheral devices that you already have, you would only need to purchase the computer alone that is priced to fit your actual needs and matches up with what you use it for, which in my opinion would be your best bet to upgrade.
11-12-2006, 02:38 PM
I would suggest stepping into a newer system. At seven years of age other fatal errors are bound to start cropping up. I had a Compaq like that of similar age, and about 3 years ago, I had enough stuff go wrong with the hardware, that my computer expert cousin told me to trash it. It was definately cost prohibitive to keep it up to par.
You can still find Win 98 SE....
The main issue is cost-effectiveness with a 7 yr old system.
I went out and bought my son a nice Dell desktop system for under $400.
My daughter has an E-Machine and it works great.
When you're getting to the point where you may have to spend $150 or more on an old system, then it's better to go ahead an upgrade to a new system any more.
Virginia Beach Reds
11-12-2006, 10:41 PM
Take that thing and punt it.
You can find a new system reasonably priced at dell.com.
Computer problems are terrible.
11-13-2006, 05:18 PM
You need to throw that 7yr old thing away. It wont be able to handle XP. It requires at least 256MB of memory to run.
With as cheap as computers are now days do the right thing and get a new computer especially since dell is giving free upgrades to windows vista when it is officially released on Jan 30th to the public. You can Get an AMD dual core x2 processor with 1GB of Ram and a 160 GB hard drive for like $600. If you want a system even cheaper than that I hear Best Buy will be selling a computer (probably emachines) on black friday for $200 including even though its probably very cheaply made. If all you use the computer for is the internet is that then get the $200 one. If you do more than just Internet, build one on dell like i listed above.
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