OT: Computer memory low

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Oops, it DID show up, and in reply I got the most ***incredible tutorial*** from KYLE that I am sure will benefit other non-geeks like myself who are dealing with hassles sans guru. For my comments on Kyle's tutorial, see his new post.
HB
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Higgs Boson wrote:

If you value your life and those of your grandchildren, do not renew your Norton subscription.
Google "anti-virus reviews." There are many well-meaning people and institutions that have twisted them all assunder. The one I use, Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is always in the top three or four. http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-anti-virus-software.htm http://www.security-faqs.com/the-top-10-free-antivirus-programs-2010 http://www.nist.org/news.php?extend.93
I use MSE because I figure MS knows its own internal workings better than anyone else and their product, MSE, would stand a better chance of being unobtrusive. I have no proof for this belief, it just makes sense (to me).
Remember, no anti-virus program catches everything. And no, you can't use two at the same time.
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wrote:

Not TOTALLY true. If, for instance, Rogers is your ISP they have antivirus protection you can enable online - and you can STILL use an installed anti-virus. It's called "belt and suspenders" when you use 2 different products end to end.
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On 1/18/2011 3:13 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Works for me!

My IT buddy hates Norton and it sure didn't used to be that way. As far as anti virus, he says NOD32. Myself, I run a firewall and that is it.

Agreed.
Jeff
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Higgs Boson wrote:

Over a billion computers (conservative estimate) use Internet Explorer. Further, it is integrated into the operating system and cannot be totally removed.
Here's a simplified rendition of how an NT system (XP etc) works. * An application begins loading into RAM * If it needs more RAM than is currently free, the OS rolls out part of memory to disk. * If more memory is needed, the OS rolls out MORE currently-active memory to disk. * The application now begins execution. If, during execution, the application needs the services of ANOTHER application (such as the routine to process a single keystroke), the OS may need to roll out to disk part (or all) of the application making the request. Once that sub-application finishes, the OS has to reload the application that caused the roll-out in the first place. * Repeat, lather, rinse.
The above scenario can cause an enormous amount of disk-thrash.
The fix is: * Get more RAM * Clean your system of those services that insist they remain resident and cannot be rolled-out. * Get rid of the application that demands huge amounts of RAM (Firefox?)
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[snip]
OK, not knowing all the details, here are a few general suggestions. Most of these are things any PC user should do on a regular basis.
(1) As has been mentioned: HOUSECLEANING. Empty the Recycle Bin (how often we all forget to do this!) Go to Control Panel-->Add/Remove Programs, and uninstall any programs you don't use any more If you see a program you don't recognize, write down its name and Google it! Look at your System Tray (near the clock, near where you're getting the 'red flames': how many icons do you see? Click the little (>) or triangle (depending on your version of Windows) next to them if you see it, and see how many more icons there are. If there are lots, you've got WAAAAAY too much stuff "running in the background". Find out what program or application those icons may be associated with. In some cases those background processes are necessarylike for your printer, perhaps, and in some cases they're a nuisance that needs to be turned off in the app's preferences (like Quicktime's launcher process). Go into your browser (IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, all of 'em) and change your history storage to anything less than 15 days. Go through your files and folders and archive to CD or DVD storage anything you haven't accessed in more than 12-18 months, unless it's something you may need again. Yes, defragment your hard drive, but only AFTER you've cleaned house.
(2) Run multiple malware sweeper/uninstaller applications to see if you're infected. I highly recommend Malware Bytes' Anti-Malware, which has been stellar at removing infections I find on others' computers. (I'm the go-to guy for family and friends with computer problems primarily because I have been very good at keeping our system safe with multiple layers of protection.)
(3) How many extensions do you have enabled in Firefox? As an experiment, disable them all, then each day enable another one until you get that red-flames-of-doom warning again. Consider removing any extensions you don't use at least once a week/month. Alternately, back up all your Firefox profile (bookmarks, saved passwords, Chrome, preferences, etc.), uninstall Firefox and do a clean installation of the latest version.
(4) It may have been said before, but DITCH NORTON. There are a number of free, reliable, and much easier-on-the-computer protection suites: AVG, Avast!, and Comodo have all worked well for me with varying interface "issues" (my wife didn't like AVG grabbing focus from whatever she was doing every time it updated). Once you get them configured properly (which can take some patience on your part) they will run unobtrusively for you.
More advanced and more specific suggestions are going to have to wait until we know what kind of system you're running
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