Windows Vista forum

General discussion

Increasing Virtual Memory to Improve Laptop Performance

by qqqq88 / March 28, 2009 8:24 AM PDT

I have an HP Pavilion laptop with Vista Home Premium. It is a bit low on RAM (1GB) and I have turned off the fancy Vista visual effects to improve performance. Is there anything else I can do in the meantime before I end up buying more RAM?

I was thinking of increasing virtual RAM, but I'm not sure what to set it to. I've never changed it from the default settings and I'm worried about messing something up by changing it.

I particularly am interested in ways of improving my Firefox 3 performance as I love to surf with tons of tabs open.

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Leave it be...
by John.Wilkinson / March 28, 2009 10:07 AM PDT

By default, Windows increases and decreases the amount of virtual RAM as needed, so there's little reason to set a specific amount manually. Until you upgrade the RAM, just limit yourself to running those applications you actually need.

John

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Question
by qqqq88 / March 28, 2009 1:18 PM PDT
In reply to: Leave it be...

I didn't know it adjusts the virtual RAM on the fly. I don't understand though, then why does it even give you the option to change the amount of virtual RAM?

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Several reasons
by Jimmy Greystone / March 28, 2009 3:20 PM PDT
In reply to: Question

Several reasons really... You might be running with limited disk space, or you need to maintain a minimum level of free space, but want to keep costs down by having as small a disk as possible in there. Windows is used on many different things, not just desktop computers. Sometimes you'd never know it to look at it, because you see some custom program with it's own interface. But it's Windows powering it.

One example, that's a little scary IMO, is Diebold ATMs run Windows. I know this, because I once walked past one where the ATM program had crashed, and it was just sitting there at a standard Windows desktop. They also (used to at least) store all ATM data in an unsecured Excel file on the internal hard drive. But this is the same company that makes most of the electronic voting machines which are routinely picked apart by security experts. In one rather amusing example, they actually trained a chimp to hack one of them, it was that easy to do. That should make you feel secure about putting your sensitive bank info into those machines. Happy They spend all kinds of time and money on making sure the physical security is top notch, and that no one will physically break into the machines... But very little care is generally given to the software side of things. Tops any horror movie for scary in my book.

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