Check your machine for spyware and viruses. Also, uninstall any and all programs you do not need, toolbars, ect. Especially Programs that start at startup. The reason for the conflicting messages on how much ram you have is because 32 bit operating systems only recognize 2.8 GB . Your motherboard, aka your bios startup screen would recognize all 4, but your operating system will not.
About virus and spyware programs, the best I found is Vipre (yes better than symatec aka norton, and better than mcaffee. Google Vipre antispyware and Anitivirus and you should be able to find and download it. 15 day free trial, full functionality. Very low resource usage.
Google Jkdefrag , Free program to defrag your hard drive and much better than the default windows crap. Use that once a week, starting after you get all of your programs uninstalled(that you don't need) and all of your viruses and/or spyware cleaned up. Use it also if you make big change, IE installing large programs, deleting files, ect.
Get Ccleaner, yes that is spelled right, google it and it will be easy to find. Its a great program for getting rid of unneeded files that serve no purpose(windows creates alot of unneeded files over time)
This is a couple of hours work but trust me its worth it. If you don't feel like it you could always send your laptop to me, I charge 100$ Plus shipping and it will run like new
I have a dell xps 410 with windows xp and 2 gb ram. It seemed to work fine for almost a year now. A couple months back I installed 2 more gb ram. When I check system info, it says 3 gb total, but on start up it says 4 gb. last couple months I noticed performance was very sluggish at times. It takes a bit to load on startup, then it appears something is running absorbing all resources. Most of the time I have to open task manager and close searchindexer.exe It always pops back up maybe 30 seconds later and I have to repeat closing it down several times.
While I like to search for files from desktop search, its quite annoying robbing my resources constantly.
Ive run full memory and file scans using avast anti virus and all is clean.
At times I think the performance of the machine is slower than before adding 2 gb ram. Any suggestions on how best to go about resolving the sluggish issue and pep this system up some?
I use photoshop cs3 alot, and wondered if upgrading my video card might help speed things up as far as large image files are concerned.