OT: Computer memory low

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Tony Hwang wrote:

It's more than that: Norton is the barnacle of the software world!
After "Uninstalling" you have to download Symantec's Sooper-Sekret removal tool to chip out the stuff the uninstall routine didn't get. Then you have to manually scan the registry to snip out anything involving "Norton" or "Symantec."
You're pretty clean at that point and can install the free Microsoft Security Essentials or the anti-virus of your choice.
Still, there are those who go to all the trouble to purge their system of Norton, then install McAffee (because it was free from their ISP).
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OMG!!
Is it good? I'm suspicious of anything free, or indeed anything from Microsoft.

Ewwww....I had always been told that Norton was a hog, so when my renewal date comes up pretty soon, does the NG advise me to not renew? And instead install WHAT??!! (Not McAfee -- I had trouble with them long ago).
Will I get 3,000 different recommendations, or is there concensus on one or two outstanding programs that do as good a job while eating fewer electrons? KISS.
As another poster on this thread hath vouchsafed:
There are simple virus protection programs out there that DO work and do not assume, like Norton does, that you are an absolute idiot and will take no responsibility for your actions on the net or elsewhere.
Well...."absolute" maybe not, but....
HB
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On Tue, 18 Jan 2011 18:40:11 -0800 (PST), Higgs Boson

go to free.avg.com and install the free basic coverage.

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On 1/18/2011 9:50 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

It doesn't catch everything. Nod32 does:
http://www.eset.com/download/free-trial/nod32-antivirus
My IT buddy had a client into gaming and such (all the places viruses can be found) and he would have to clean up that machine every few weeks (tried AVG, Kaspersky...). With Nod32, no trouble at all for going on 2 years. He swears by it.
http://www.eset.com/home/compare-eset-to-competition
The OP may not need it, but it is arguable the best with a lower overhead. It's also not well known, which is why I mention it.
Jeff

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I run Avast Free with FF sandboxed (XP SP3)...it works for me!
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Somebody on a computer group also recommend Avast, free or paid.
I inquired there whether I need to Uninstall Norton while trying out Avast.
QUESTION: What is "sandboxing"? I am running XP, but don't know what "SP3" means.
TIA
HB
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On Wed, 19 Jan 2011 12:34:39 -0800 (PST), Higgs Boson

Sand boxing is playing around - SP3 is service pack 3
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

You're thinking of a different kind of box to play with.
"Sandboxing" is a partitioning of resources (RAM, disk space), completely disconnected from the operting system or other resources such that if anything goes amis, its effects will be confined to the sandbox.
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wrote:

Using virtual machine technology?
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

A sub-set, yes.
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OK, here goes:
At least the HDD size and/or if you have two HDDs.
OK, here goes:
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition Version 2002 Service Pack 3
Computer Intel (R) Pentium (R) 4 CPU 2.80 GHz 2.79 GHz 750 MB of RAM
Ext HD 160 GB
I lost track of the pie chart that showed C drive HD usage, but it was quite a bit -- maybe 75% or more. Wherethehell did I find that?!
Hope this is the desired info, and thanks for your patience; I have been running hard on some urgent stuff.
NOW Some q, which I also posted on alt.computer.workshop:
1. Can I install Avast -- the virus program people are recommending -- w/o Uninstalling Hog Norton? Or will they fight and mess me up even worse? Avast says it only requires 100 MB of HD space. So can I install it alongside the Hog? Or could I install it on the External HD?
2. Somewhat like #1: Do I have to Uninstall Norton in order to try Avast?
3. Should I use the Avast FREE PROGRAM or spring a few bux for the paid one? I don't mind paying if I get a lot more for my money. Here's what they offer for the paid program:
Download avast! Internet SecurityInternet SecurityBest protection Antivirus with anti-spyware The minimum protection for every PC. Enjoy worry-free web surfing Innovative Sandbox technology protects you from dangerous websites. Safely shop or bank online Firewall prevents theft of your personal and financial data. Stop bothersome SPAM Antispam keeps unwanted emails out of your inbox. Protect up to 3 PCs in your home Best value offer get your PCs fully protected only for $20 each!
Some of this stuff duplicates what is offered by Windows, such as Firewall. Can ANY Antispam really work? I only have one PC. Dunno anything about the Sandbox technology, which claims to "protect [me] from dangerous websites. Who decides what is "dangerous"? Sounds very general.
What do youse guys think about Free vs Paid Avast versions?
4. Norton does AUTOMATIC BACKUPS AND FILE RECOVERY. Those are valuable programs which I would be sorry to lose, as I have always been VERY stupid about backup and have lost valuable files as a result. Does anyone have recommendation for *idiot-proof backup/file recovery* that is not too fat?
5. Even if I go through all the clean up and discard steps that one of my honorable friends listed in such thoughtful detail, will that free up enough from my 6 year-old, underpowered C Drive HD? If not, what do I do? Buy another HD? Or use External HD as main drive?
6. What's the connection between HD RAM and Virtual Memory? I tried to read the WikiPedia article on Virtual Memory, but too technical for moi. It's VIRTUAL MEMORY that the "flame-like" pie charts in the lower r.h. corner of the screen have been threatening me with. What do I have to do to get more Virtual Memory? Is it a function of available HD RAM?
OK, that's a lot of questions. I am slobberingly grateful for the TLC..
HB
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Higgs Boson wrote:

Uninstall Norton. It has so many hooks into the operating system that coexistence with another AV program is problematic. To uninstall Norton, you MUST use their Sooper-Sekret removal tool downloaded from their website.

The absolute answer is No, you do not. The practical answer is Yes.

Free is always better. Further, spam is a completely separate problem to be addressed after the anti-virus condition. Spam won't kill your machine - a virus will.

There are literally dozens. Comodo, Image for Windows, SyncToy, Macrium Reflect, and a simple batch file triggered by Windows scheduler come to mind.

You cannot (usually) use an external drive as the main drive. The system won't boot from a USB device (unless the motherboard is very new or you take other, convoluted, steps). Even if you could run the operating system from an external drive, you wouldn't want to. The transfer rate on a USB device is magnitudes slower than an internal hard drive (12Mbps vs 780Mbps -YMMV).
You can EASILY replace your hard drive. Forty gigabyte drives can now be found in the bottom of CrackerJack boxes! You can buy a sooped-up 1 Terabyte (1000 gigabytes) for less than eighty bucks. Moving your stuff - including the entire operating system - is a single button push with the cloning software that will come with the new drive. If your hand fits a screwdriver, it's a simple task.

"Virtual memory" is a file on your hard drive. When you run out of RAM for application programs, the operating system dumps part of real memory to this file to free up RAM for the application requesting RAM. When control is returned to that part of memory that was dumped to disk, that segment is reloaded and execution resumes.
Assume you have two programs, A & B running and now attempt to run program C. The operating system (OS) determines there is not enough room in RAM to run C, so it dumps program A out to Virtual Memory (a scratch file on your disk) and loads program C.
Now something happens that program A was waiting for (say a key-press). The OS dumps program B to disk, reloads program A. And so on.
You can see that insufficient RAM can generate a lot of disk activity. Further, if there is insufficient Virtual Memory space (your drive is full), everything croaks.
Usually the OS will grab additional disk space to enlarge its Virtual Memory pool. You can adjust the size of Virtual Memory (the "paging" file) as follows:
Open My Computer Pick "Properties" Pick the "Advanced" tab Pick Performance "Settings" button Select the "Advanced" tab In the "Virtual Memory" box, punch the "Change" button Adjust the numbers, or better still, select the "System managed size" option
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OK, good. You're in pretty decent shape hardware-wise, and running Windows XP is not such a bad thing! (My home PC runs on XP like a champ, and has for 7 years.)
The pie chart you referred to can be found by going into "My Computer" or hitting both the Windows key (looks like MS's logo) and E at the same time. In the left hand pane of that window you found an icon labeled "C:\" or something similar. Right-click on the icon and in the menu that comes up choose "Properties". /Voila/, pie chart!

As someone else said, you REALLY should uninstall Norton. These sorts of protection suites are notoriously unfriendly towards each other, and for good reason: they're both trying to do the same job at the same time. Think of it like two armies trying to defend the same territory at the same time, but there's no united commander to coordinate it. There will be friendly fire and collateral damage.

The free version of Avast! should be just fine for most everything you do. The paid version has a lot of extras that are nice but not necessary if you take the more reasonable path of being careful on the Internet. What do I mean? - Never use your debit card when making purchases, only a credit card; if there's fraud or a dispute, you're out no money while you dispute it, but if you use a debit card the bank can take their sweet time giving you your money back. - Ditch Outlook (Express) and either go with a good, solid web-based email provider like Gmail, or use a better email application like Thunderbird (http:// www.mozillamessaging.com/en-US/thunderbird/), made by the same folks who gave you Firefox. - Do not post your email address on-line, like in places such as this forum. 'Bots can harvest your addy and use it to spam you. - If you're really concerned about attacks against your computer, get a router. A router, among other things, is a type of hardware firewall. The Intartubes would only be able to see past your modem to the router, and would not be able to see or find your PC.

Windows Firewall is a one-way firewall: it only protects against things that are coming _at_ your computer. Avast's firewall is two- way: not only will it protect you against incoming bad stuff, but it also monitors outgoing traffic to make sure it's legit. The benefit of this is if malware has secretly gotten onto your machine, Avast's firewall will either stop it from getting out to connect with its master, or it will alert you to the fact that something wicked is on your system.
In theory, if you install Avast's firewall, Windows will not bug you about its own firewall.

No, in that it won't stop the amount of spam, but yes in that it can automatically kill a lot of it, which will help reduce the amount of spam you see.

Honestly, if you're running Firefox you have this capability built-in: Go to Tools-->Preferences. In the Preferences window, click on the "Security" tab, and look for "Block reported attack sites" and "Block reported web forgeries" and Firefox will access the same web-wide database of known bad/evil websites that Norton, McAfee, Avast!, and others use.

This is something that can be done by Windows, and I would bet that's what Norton does is activate and monitor the Windows built-in back-up utility. To find out how to set this up yourself for worry-free back- ups, read PC World's excellent article: http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/146197-2/create_idiotproof_backups_with_windows_builtin_tools.html (the first page of the article is all about how to create a space for doing the back-up, which you already have on your external hard drive)

OK, let's get some terms clarified: HD and RAM are two different things. HD is your hard drive, RAM is the computer's working memory. Think of your computer as an office: the hard drive is the file cabinets and bookshelves in the office, and RAM is the size of the desk. RAM is your work space, the HD is your storage space.
Now, imagine you're juggling a lot of projects in the officetoo many to fit on your desk at the same time. So you take some shelf space on your bookcases and stick one or two of your projects on there to give you enough space on the desk to work. As you switch between projects, sometimes you have to pull a project off the shelf and move one from the desk onto the shelf. That's what your computer does with virtual memory. If your computer has too much stuff that won't fit on the desk and you have WAY too much stuff stored on the bookshelves that you don't have room to stick projects there temporarily, the computer gets constipated.
That's what it sounds like is happening with your virtual memory problem, which is why I recommended some _serious_ housecleaning to free up some space on your hard drivethe bookshelves.

Maybe. My own storage drive is actually smaller than yours, and my computer is also older. Part of that, I think, is that I'm a freak about yearly housecleaning on the computer along the lines of what I suggested, which has kept us from running out of space. So my own inexpert guesstimate-from-a-distance is that you need to free up some space or find some new space.
I suggest doing the housecleaning no matter what, because we are notoriously bad about throwing away our digital trash. Since hard drives are so cheap we'd rather just move all our junk to a bigger hard drive than go to the effort of cleaning up the one we have that otherwise works perfectly well. It's akin to the proliferation of self- storage places: we'd rather pay some company to hold our stuff for us, which we never use, rather than live within our means by going through our households, tossing what's trash and donating what we don't use or _TRULY_ need.

Run _NOTHING_ from the external hard drive. External hard drives are meant for storage, not operations. They aren't mean to be run like that you'd wear it out very fastand you'd hate how slow it would be. Using that office analogy, the external hard drive is the storage closet down the hall. You wouldn't want to have to get up from your desk every single time you need something because you stuck it in the closet.
If your 160GB hard drive is nearly full, I'm guessing you probably have a lot of music or video or photos stored on the drive. You have three choices: move some of that stuff to an archive somewhere else, get a second internal hard drive strictly for storage of media, or replace your existing hard drive with a larger one. The benefit of the latter is that you only have to worry about space and connections for one physical drive; the benefit of the former is it's easier to back up as you tell your system "back up this entire drive."
Mind you, that same "just back it up" benefit can be derived by something called partitioning: making Windows see a single large physical hard drive as a few smaller drives with separate drive letters. I did this with the system at homeC:\ is the Windows OS and programs, K:\ is where we store all our "stuff" (my wife and I both have names that start with K, so it's easy to remember which drive our stuff is on), and L:\ is for the Linux OS (which I am still VERY experimental on). Monthly I plug the external hard drive in and back- up K:\, leaving C:\ and L:\ undisturbed.
Either way, you'll want to have your friendly neighborhood geek do the installation for you, or at the very least be there to guide you through doing it yourself. I highly recommend the latter, if you really want to gain a deeper appreciation and understanding for how computers work.
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Yeah, I suspected as much. Guess there's no use hanging on to the next few months just because I paid for them already. They sent me a free disc for Ghost, since I was having such hell with the old GoBack, and damn'f it didn't take over my E drive!

(Excuse CAPS - helps reply stand out)
TRUST ME, I WOULDN'T GO *NEAR* A DEBIT CARD!

I NEVER USE OE. I USE GMAIL AND VERIZON (the latter because it's part of a package).

I'VE TRIED NOT TO, BUT COULDN'T SEE A WAY TO DO IT? CAN I POST FROM A FAKE EMAIL ADDRESS OR NONE? SERIOUSLY, I'VE TRIED TO LOOK INTO THIS. MAYBE YOU CAN HELP?

I THINK I DO HAVE A ROUTER. SOMEONE INSTALLED WIFI ON MY SYSTEM. HOWEVER, I HAVE SEEN NORTON FOIL SEVERAL WORMS AND VIRII.

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I agree with you on this; just lack the tech skills, but am working on locating my old guru.

Very good analogy for the non-geek; thank you.

No, it's got lots of room.
I'm guessing you probably > > have a lot of music or video or photos stored on the drive. You have

Uh, unclear. Are you saying that a single HD is easier to back up? Intuitively, sounds right.

When I got my present computer, nearly 6 years ago, I thought about partitioning, but I didn't have the skill, and 40 GB seemed to stretch into the dim horizon. Well, we know better now! I have checked out some Seagates wih 500 GB for $114.00; doesn't sound bad. I understand that it's more eexpensive if you buy complete with cables and manual. Is a non-geek safer doing that than going bare? I read that I HAVE the cables and of course the motherboard. But I want a HD that, as one kind poster put it, lets you just press a button to transfer all existing data.

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On Thu, 20 Jan 2011 14:13:38 -0800 (PST), Higgs Boson

Whoa. Spending money on a 500GB drive when you have plenty left on your 160GB makes no sense. PC manufacturers set the big partitioned HD trap for many customers.
Memory and backups are unrelated. You got good advice on the memory issue. Remove what caused it - some kind of Norton app - or add memory, or both. Backups, partitioning (usually unnecessary) and recovery strategies are a different issue. As far as a "press a button" method, that probably exists with an external HD/software combo but I don't know anything about it. Probably way expensive too, and it won't be "push button." Don't toss your Norton Ghost CD. It's good stuff when used correctly. Wait a while until you learn more.
--Vic
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Vic Smith wrote:

Hmmm, Most mobo BIOS can do a recovery, all the Lenov(IBM) laptops has a blue button to push for recovery/restore coming from hidden partition, etc. Just bring up the task manager to see what's going on and adjust atart up applications.
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wrote:

There's "recovery" and there's "recovery." Google lenovo restore crash. Doesn't look "push button" to me. Plenty of gotchas with Thinkpads. Back to strategies and goals. You have to define your "recovery" goals. Here's mine. - If my C: drive crashes I want to put a new one in or swap in an existing drive, then be back real close to where I was in 10 minutes. - If I get hit by or even suspect a virus I want to be back real close to where I was before the infection in 10 minute. - I never want to install my OS more than once. - I never want to install an important app more than once. My strategy has known weaknesses. Everything is on the local box, no external storage. A fire or a lightening strike that gets both hard drives with the stored images blows me out of the water. Maybe I'll address that. Not really enthusiastic about it, but I should at least put my images on an external drive and put that in a different room. I refuse to rent a safe deposit box.
Anyway laptops, desktops, home and corporate all require a strategy that works for the individual. The home desktop has an advantage. When I was toting a corporate Thinkpad and crashed the HD the image that corporate put back needed a lot tweaking to get me back where I had been. Hours worth. I do much better with my home computers. The Thinkpads were good machines and didn't crash often. But *nothing* is entirely "push button" without some upfront work.
Since I was often involved in recovery of various corporate mainframe systems I always covered my ass real well. So when we went to Thinkpad workstations and I had a lot of important data in Office I used the company backup software to back it up. But as usual I verified the backups, and the size growth wasn't right. Like others who even bothered to schedule backups mine were scheduled for the lunch hour, and I never closed Office. I dug into the enterprise-wide backup software logs for my machine and found that Office wasn't backed up if it was running. Duh. The imaging team appreciated hearing that and issued a "directive."
Non-Lan home systems are much more clear cut. Many ways to meet my goals, but I've been using Ghost for years. Some people don't want to go to the effort and have no problem re-installing Windows or losing data. I bet my brother has installed one version or another of Windows a thousand times. I think he actually likes doing it. Different strokes.
--Vic
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Vic Smith wrote:

Hi, Recovery to a known state, back up/restore, save/restore. All the time when I was active or at home I have been using Thinkpads. We have 4 in our home at the moment, 2 desktops, one server. Computers in every floor all networked via wire or dual band wireless. Nothing in the world is perfect. Simply you gotta know what you are doing. I retired in 1996. Is there any major corporation w/o disaster recovery plan with regular staff training? All the places I worked military, commercial, industrial, educational outfits had vaulted backup data kept in more than one place and within 24 hours in most case system will be running again. If hardware suffered a fire or something they take backup data to other operational site. No RAID in your disk susbsystem? My server has, level 5. one drive crash? no sweat it keeps chugging along pull bad drive plug another new one in. I usually do incremental backup, Every 6 months or so, image backup. At home I use DLT tape library on SCSI. What is your specialty in IT world? Trying to impress ordinary Joe, the consumer?
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wrote:

Yep. BTDT. Nothing to do with Higgs though, except to point out there are gotchas all over the place.

So tell Higgs how to RAID his box. I don't think he needs it, but maybe you can convince him.

Not at all. Not me talking about SCSI. Maybe you can convince Higgs to use SCSI. Hardly a "Joe, the consumer" solution. Higgs has to say what he wants before anybody can offer advice. That was my point about goals, and pointing out different needs. And letting him know there is no "push button" recovery solution. If that ruffled your feathers, well, tough shit. My past specialty doesn't matter. My current specialty regarding this thread is meeting my home desktop recovery goals, as I stated them. Higgs might have different goals.
--Vic
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