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  • Turn them off?

    There's probably been a thread on this before but I can seem to find it right now.(you watch I'll find it after I've posted this, lol)
    Even though I have a lot of memory I'm finding that I' running out of resources quite regularly. It seems the more memory I put in the more the computer seems to use. I can't afford to update the computer just yet so I'm wondering if I should start turning things like printers and scanners off when they are not in use. The scanner doesn't have a on/off switch but I can pull the power out if need be. I run two printers a Epson 760 and an Epson 2000p, only the 760 is turned on most of the time.
    I'm wondering if turning these pieces of hardware off would help improve performance or is it a waste of time?
    Any suggestions on improving speed and memory usage?

  • #2
    Leaving devices on shouldn't affect your resources. What OS are you running? How much memory do you have installed? What's the size of your swapdisk? (OS, not Photoshop)

    "Resources" isn't the same thing as memory. The most common culpret for this kind of thing is programs that run in the background, or that won't free up resources once you've exited them. So take a look at what runs at startup (look in your startup menu).

    A useful tool if you're using Win98 or WinME is MSCONFIG (go to 'run...' and just type it in and run it. This has a 'startup' tab that will show you everything that starts when you boot, and has a checkbox to temporarily disable it.

    Also, this is a known problem with WinME, so if you're using it this is a good excuse to upgrade.
    Learn by teaching
    Take responsibility for learning


    • #3
      A few suggestions.....
      (1) Use Disk clean up (under Start> Programs>Accessories>system tools) to delete needless files.( Dont delete any WINDOWS/TEMP files other than the ones in the folder labled {TEMPORARY INTERNET FILES} as some programs put files there which are necessary for proper function of applications..Epson 2450 scanner wont work if you delete the TEMP files,( requiring a reinstall of the Drivers and Twain interface from the CD)
      (2) Run scandisk and defrag at least once per week
      (3) Check your Startup group and disable any programs which autoload at start up. This link takes you to a site which explains what the cryptic abbreviations mean in the startup list as well as which can be turned off and which must remain active;

      (4) Get a program called Adaware and run it ( its free ..just type the name and hit search to find the site). This program cleans out spyware which can really drag your computer down.

      The small amount of memory taken by the peripherals isnt your problem....too many programs running in the background probably is!
      Oh, to find the startup group if you use Win9.x or ME open " RUN" from the Start menu and type " msconfig " ( without the quotation marks) then click the tab labeled startup. Uncheck the programs you dont need to load at startup.
      One more thing you can do is to use the " Close Program" panel by pressing Ctrl+Alt+delete once then closing unnecessary programs one at a time...sometimes you have to "close" a program 2-3 times until it Really closes.... Tom


      • #4
        The message I've been getting is "your system is dangerously low on resources"
        I'm running win98 on a PIII 550mhz Gateway with 384mb of Ram.
        I'm not sure of the swapdisk, I've never attempted to adjust it.
        I run Scan disk weekly and defrag often.
        I'm going to look at the start up, your're both probably right about that being the problem.
        I have a lot of icons in the task tray which I disable or turn off before I start doing any work. I would like to remove some of these but attempting to do so on a previous occasion left the program unuseable.


        • #5
          Sometimes, badly written programs don't release memory back to the system, even after you/ve closed them.
          You can experiment to find out which ones, by noting the times when you receive the memory messages, and then backtracking to see what you've been running.
          Other programs such as Direct CD cannot be removed, even if you select to "end process" in the task manager.
          Also, just because you remove something from your start up, doesn't mean it still doesn't load anyway. Some programs write a "run" (startup) command in your win.ini file - another place to look.
          Too many fonts is another possible offender as well.
          The one that I always remove whenever I see it in someone's start up, is the Office shortcut bar, and "Fast Find".
          Good luck


          • #6
            2 very small programs I use are taskkiller and cacheman. They are free. task killer finds programs tht ctrl-alt-delete does not. cacheman helps free up memory and unloads dll's (libraries) that don't shut down when the program does.
            I use a system with the exact same config as yours. Regulary I go to the start/find and type the extensions of files that should be gone and aren't. These are the ext. type each one exactly in the find box. When you see all the files there you'll be shocked. Delete all those then do the same for the next extension and so on.: *.---
            All of these can be safely deleted.
            I also went through all my jpg and tiffs, made copies and moved them to cds. That cleared a whole lot of space and freed some resources. Norton System Works is a good program that has options for getting rid of a lot of slack. For your task bar glut, Most of those can be deleted, they are only shortcuts. But to be on the save side go to each program and go to their options button. There should be a check box for putting icons on task bar, Uncheck it. I have only 3 icons there and everything runs fine. Vikki is right about fonts. Look for a font manager that can hold fonts in reserve until you need them. Almost every program installs their own fonts and when the number nears or passes 300 resource problems can occur.
            I can email you the two programs I mentioned above. they are very small and free. I will also go through my lists and send any more cleanup tips I have. Right now I'm working off the top of my head.



            • #7
              You might want to be a bit careful about deleting files with .bak extension as these are backup files which in some cases are there in case the regular file becomes corrupted. In that case you can replace the corrupted file with the .bak one by inserting it in the proper path and changing the extension in one of the editors.
              Nortons System works sometimes will be responsible for the message you get, but usually the blue screen will point to Nortons as the culprit.
              Again, be wary of deleting " .tmp " extensions also. While some can be safely deleted, there are some which are needed to run applications and if you delete them you will have to do some reinstalling.
              If you get this message while you have most of your peripheral devices turned on, go to " Device Manager" ( under My Computer>(Rt. Click)>Device Manager tab (Lt. click it) and look for any device will see a yellow "splat" over the device. This may indicate there is a conflict with IRQ/DMA assignment.
              Vikki is right about the Win.ini can act as a sort of "hidden" start up group. If you feel comfortable editing it you can get to by selecting "RUN" from the Start menu, typing in sysedit and looking in the Win.ini file for lines which begin " LOAD= or RUN= " if you find an application there which keeps loading and you dont want it to, simply put a semicolon {;}in front of line ( Like { ;LOAD =....}. this comments out the line and prevents it from loading at start up. Close out and restart your computer. You can go back in and remove the semicolon if you want to and the application will then load at start up.
              One thing though, its a good idea to back up the registry files before going in and editing..if something goes wrong you can replace the altered file with the backup ( which is usually given the extension .bak...thats why you want to be careful about deleting .bak files!) Tom
              Last edited by thomasgeorge; 08-28-2002, 08:47 AM.


              • #8
                If I may, Tom, registry files are backed up with the extension .reg
                not .bak. The bak files that will come up on find are safe to delete, but a safer would be to rename each file with the ext .old and place them in a separate folder before deleting the bak file. Run computer during the month and if any thing goes wrong, just rename old back to .bak and redirect. This is what I do for clients who get a bit antsy when I do computer maintainence. After a month, if everything is ok then delete the .old files as well. You can do the same with tmp files. If there's going to be a problem it should surface within that month. And you can always zip the files to a floppy or cd to keep them handy.

                More importantly all of us should be doing backups of our systems on a regular basis. Many of these multimedia programs on older systems can cause loads of problems. With a full system backup you can often save disaster.


                • #9
                  Sorry...I didnt make myself clear..I use the .bak extension when backing up (generally manually) as do many of the folks I know and you are correct about the .reg...however, before deleting its a good idea to have a pretty precice knowledge of what it is you are dumping and your renaming to .old is an excellent way to prevent disaster.. My reason for using the .bak extension is that all the files I manually back up get sent to a folder named...what else...Backup...just easier for me to find that way... sorry I wasnt very clear...Tom


                  • #10
                    Wow what a great lot of information. I know I have a lot of photos on my hard drive which I already have backed up to CD, I just hate deleting things. I'm going find a day when nobody is around and I don't have a restoration job to do and spend it cleaning up my system.
                    Vikki I know I have a lot of fonts and dingbats, they are a hang over from when I made graphics and web pages for other people. I know over half of them are useless to me now. I'll clean those out too.
                    Looks like I have a lot of work to do.
                    Thanks everybody, you're great.


                    • #11
                      Thanks for starting this thread Sandra. I've noticed that my computer is not as fast as it used to be when the file size gets large. I'm pretty much computer illiterate, so this really helps me too. Thanks to all for posting the good info.



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