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Freeing up Memory on an IPAQ 4700 Running CE 4.2

by RHammerman / May 16, 2006 2:48 PM PDT

My Ipaq has 64 MD of RAM but consistently I am only getting 3-9 MB of Ram to run Programs. I use the unit as my GPS so when it fails...its not a good thing. I have 2 GB of expansion memory split over 2 expansion cards, one CF and SD and have moved as many of the programs to the cards as possible. Does anyone know what could be the memory HOG? Thanks in advance!

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What to check...
by John.Wilkinson / May 17, 2006 2:31 AM PDT

Go Start->Settings, tap the System tab at the bottom, and tap Memory. On the Main tab it will show you a breakdown of memory, including how much is free, how much is used, and what it's allotted for...programs or storage.

If most of the memory is for storage, tap "Find large files using storage memory" at the bottom, then move any you can (particularly audio and video files) onto your storage card to save space.

If most of the memory is for programs, find out what's running by tapping the Running Programs tab. From there stop any/all programs you don't need running, including ActiveSync.

Go back to the Main tab and adjust the slider as appropriate. Remember, RAM is used for storage (including PIM data such as addresses, calendar, etc) and for running programs under Windows Mobile 2003 SE (CE 4.2). In WM5.0 Microsoft used RAM only for running programs, moving all storage into ROM. This is good for two reasons. First, data stored in RAM will be lost if the battery dies, whereas it won't if it's stored in ROM. Also, RAM is better served for running programs, enabling you to multitask and run memory-intensive programs...if it's split for storage as well it won't do as well.

Finally, note that tapping the 'X' does not truly close out of most programs, but instead minimizes them. Thus, they are still running in the background, taking up memory. To solve this problem, I recommend the free program Magic Button, which will make the close button actually close the program.

Hope this helps,

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by RHammerman / May 17, 2006 6:11 AM PDT
In reply to: What to check...

John when I check it looks like I have activesync. calendar and contacts running and it takes almost the entire bank of memory, it states that I have 1.23 MB free of storage memory and only 5.86 MB of prgram memory with NOTHING running in the background...any thoughts? I am running a flight GPS package called anywherre map that is not too memory intensive but ehy reccomend at least 10 MB, why is it so low?

Thanks Robert

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How much allocated and used for each?
by John.Wilkinson / May 17, 2006 6:53 AM PDT
In reply to: Checking...


What you have available (a total of 7MB) isn't good, but what I'm concerned with is what's using the memory. Check the memory usage again and let us know how much RAM is being used and allocated for Storage, and how much for Programs. There are several different possibilities here, and knowing what's listed for all three categories, not just free, should pinpoint it.


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by RHammerman / May 17, 2006 9:03 AM PDT

Storage Alocated 41.47
In use 40.24
Free 1.23

Program Allocated 20.81
In Use 14.86
Free 5.95

Deos that help?

Thanks for ALL of your assistance! Robert

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Search for the files...
by John.Wilkinson / May 17, 2006 9:57 AM PDT
In reply to: Answers...

The good news is that your PDA is correctly identifying and using the RAM. That means your PDA's in good health.

The 14.86MB of RAM being used for programs is normal...mine's using 14.59MB right now with no programs running. It will normally fluctuate between 12MB and 16MB.

The problem is that over 40MB is being used for storage, which is quite a lot and over 2/3 of your RAM. I like to make sure mine never used more than 15MB, that way I have enough to run programs. If you want it to operate normally again, you've got to get that number down.

To start, go into My Documents and cut-and-paste any files that don't have to be stored in RAM over to your memory card. The first ones to go should be any sound or video files, as well as pictures, since they take up the most space.

Next, look under Program Files. Note any programs that are listed. Most programs could care less where they are installed to, but by default they are placed into Main Memory, which is your RAM. You need to uninstall some of these programs (Start->Settings->System->Remove Programs), then reinstall. When prompted where to install them to, select your Memory Card from the drop-down list unless the program specifically states you must install it to main memory. This means that the program won't run if you take the memory card out, but it's a necessary step to regain control of your RAM.

Finally, if you use Pocket Internet Explorer, launch it, go Tools->Options->Memory and delete your temp files, which can take up considerable room.

That should drop the amount of RAM used for storage to an acceptable range, hopefully under 15MB. Once that's done, go back into Memory and adjust the slider to reallocate the free memory. I'd leave almost 10MB free for storage and the rest for programs.

Hope this helps and let us know how it goes.

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You're the Bomb!
by RHammerman / May 21, 2006 10:42 AM PDT


I moved the files and after all was said and done...I got a total of 17 additonal megs! THanks a million!


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(NT) (NT) Np...glad I could help and thanks for posting back!
by John.Wilkinson / May 21, 2006 10:57 AM PDT
In reply to: You're the Bomb!
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