Mar 26, 2014

How to minimize low memory problems without adding more RAM?

I have an old but reliable Compaq CQ60 laptop running Windows 7 with 2GB of RAM. It’s fine for what I use it for, but sometimes it gets really laggy and slow. I’m not really surprised, this isn’t a high-end laptop, and I should just upgrade to 4GB of RAM, but I don’t really want to spend the $75 or so on a laptop that I use as my “beater.” Aside from adding RAM, what can I do to minimize the effects of low memory?

Your best bet is to dump Windows 7 and use a good Linux distribution instead. I recommend checking out DistroWatch for options, but Linux Mint is a good distro to start with.



You might want to check some different sources for additional RAM, I found 4GB for your laptop on Amazon for about $45. I know that it is an old laptop, but it might be worth spending that much on it. 


Aside from adding RAM, you can increase the paging file size, so that you essentially offload more of the work to the HDD. It’s not a free ride though, it can make programs run slower - reading from RAM is much faster than reading off the HDD. If you want to try it, here are the step-by-step instructions from Microsoft:


"Open System by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, right-clicking Computer, and then clicking Properties.


In the left pane, click Advanced system settings.  Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.


On the Advanced tab, under Performance, click Settings.


Click the Advanced tab, and then, under Virtual memory, click Change.


Clear the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives check box.


Under Drive [Volume Label], click the drive that contains the paging file you want to change.


Click Custom size, type a new size in megabytes in the Initial size (MB) or Maximum size (MB) box, click Set, and then click OK."


Source: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/change-virtual-memory-size#1T...

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