windows xp memory usage


i friend has a amd laptop from averatec with 480 mb of ram.
the problem is that when i let windows boot it uses up
190 mb of ram while it only uses around 70 mb in safe mode.

well as you can read i am not a windows expert. i just saw the
difference from around 120 mb of ram which is in my opinion
quite some amount.

i checked few websites to opt. the memory usage like with
setting cashing settings, fast user switch, etc. without any
significant help.

i also cleaned up her font folder with around 4000 font files.

now i can run photshop cs and firefox at the same time but when
i open two jp files the pc reaches already 510 mb of ram.

anybody has a good suggestion how i could lower the memory
usage or is it normal that xp uses up nearly 200 mb?


That’s pretty much normal for windows. It’s crazy that computers are still made with only 256MB of RAM when windows XP requires that much to run.

If you go to, click on Windows XP in the left frame, and then WinXP services in the right frame, you’ll see a list of processes, their functions, and if they’re necessary or not. I went through this and disabled a lot of useless features, some of which cause some pretty significant security risks also. It should free up at least a small amount of memory on the computer.


200MB is way too much for me. You probably have a bunch of useless processes being started up when your friend turns on her computer. Just go to the Start menu, then type “msconfig” (without the quotes), and a program will start up. Go to the “Startup” tab and disable all the processes that you don’t absolutely need. (Make sure you reboot after this). That should free up some memory. XP uses up about 60mb of memory with a fresh install on my laptop. It uses 100MB of memory with all of my apps installed.

EDIT: sorry Veach posted when I was typing do what he said.


i already went to msconfig and disabled nearly 90 without a big memory save.
the funny thing is my firend has a compaq laptop with less memory installed and he is able to run command and conquer generals fine while on my others friend it kills the memory usage.

but i will try to go to that website to see what i could remove.

it is amazing to see that even the explorer eats up 20 mb on its own and in process with all listed i do not get the same high memory count. so i dont know what is using up the ram.

A computer completely new from store, run it windows XP and it uses directly 125 MB Ram. When you start installing 3 programs to run on startup you’ll see it has been increased to 168 MB. Now when you get the package of the windows XP stuf, it says it has at least 256 MB ram needed to run XP properly, doing it with 128 MB Ram is a pain and having only 256 Ram is a pain as well when ahving Norton antivirus installed.
Get a 512 DDR4 card, that will help you out of the problems.

I run XP on 2Gb and even photoshop gets into spazes, it commonly uses 1.8Gb, i don’t think it is clearing its cache.


Have any of you ever used FAST defrag? I heard about it through techTV I think and I’ve been pretty happy with it. Here’s a link to a newer version which I haven’t tried yet.

Just click “Download” under “Useful Links.”


Don’t overlook the fact that most operating systems … Linux, OS/X, Windows, whatever … are “lazy” when it comes to memory. They want to see all of the RAM in the system used for something, all the time. If there’s some more free space, they’ll stick something into it, and they won’t bother to “clean up” anything unless they are forced to.

Does this make sense? Absolutely! “That is what memory is for!” When and if memory-pressure does occur, the system will begin to make choices about what to keep and what to replace. Until that time comes, it will not. If you have 1GB of RAM, and stuff’s happening or has been happening, and you see ~1GB utilization and no appreciable swapping activity, you’re sitting pretty. If you go to lunch, come back in an hour, and find that nothing’s different, again don’t be surprised.

Some systems will also pre-load information into the swap-file, again because the opportunity exists to do so painlessly. Information that’s present in the swap-file and in memory can be expunged from memory without an intervening disk-write. You may therefore see a certain amount of swap-file utilization when no actual swapping is occurring or ever has occurred.

the memory access of that laptop must be very bad, because i cannot open photoshop and two images without heavy delays when i switch between photoshop and firefox. on the more expansive compaq laptop things work a lot more smooth and faster.

however i noticed that windowsXP is pretty slow and terrible when it comes to systemresponse for killing a process. on both systems it takes sometimes ages to kill photoshop when it does not response anymore.

i guess this might be duo the memory problem but also on the dell xeaon workstations i noticed that kill an app might take more than few seconds …

That happened to me once on OS X. I installed a program that changed the permissions of my /Library/caches folder and it made switching apps have a delay of a few seconds. Once the app had switched, each app ran OK.

All I had to do was change the permissions to the right thing and flush the caches. You can try the same thing on Windows by using the disk tool. Go to Start-Programs-Accessories-System Tools-Disk Cleanup. Also check for spyware. That bogs down systems by a lot.

how much spyware and maleware is ther for os x at the moment?

havent worked with my own mac since 2 years.


i already went to msconfig and disabled nearly 90 without a big memory save

If you already disabled that many, my guess is you have way too many processes running at once.

Have you checked for spyware/malware etc?

Rule #1 Don’t load anything you dont NEED on your “good” machine.
get another old one and load all your tests and trials on that.

Rule #2 Get some good antispyware and antivirus software

Keep your machine clean and you can get away with a lot as far as memory goes. There is nothing worse than some little app running in the background using all your resources.

Currently, there are no viruses, adware or spyware for OS X. There is one piece of spyware software for OS X but I don’t think it gets used. I guess it depends on the definition of spyware though. Some software phones home like Adobe apps but it’s not invasive stuff. Plus you can stop it with Little Snitch if you really wanted to.