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Old 03-19-2005, 10:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default RAM and backing up data

I've got a Presario 900 with XP. My laptop has 240 MB of RAM and I was wondering what are some of the advantages of adding additional RAM and what could this cost? Also, what is the best way to back up data, especially since I am considering buying a desktop in the next year. What is a way that I can back up both of my systems for relatively cheap. Thanks.

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Old 03-19-2005, 10:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Basically, getting more RAM can improve your computer's performance.

There are two ways I can think of backing up that would be practical.
1. Get a tape drive and backup your files to that
2. If you don't have that many files you need backed up (<600MB) you can burn them to a CD.


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Old 03-19-2005, 11:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Adding RAM will make opening programs faster, and you will notice a difference in the time it takes for Windows XP to load. CD-RW is probably your best bet.

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Old 03-19-2005, 11:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The only way it would improve your performance is if you were running enough programs to fill your ram and dump over onto the swap file. Do this..

Right click my computer
left click properties
go to advanced
click settings listed under performance
go to advanced
click "change" at the bottom under virtual memory settings
See how much space it is using, if none (at full load) then more ram will not improve your performance.

If you change the swap file size to initial size 768 and maximum 768, it will give you less lag if the system does use the swap. By not allowing it to increase or decrease the size, it doesnt have to find new sectors to expand the swap file to. Not giving you the nasty lag associated with expansion of swap.

Cancel out of that window and go back to performance options
under advanced click "by default, the computer is set to use a greater share of processor time to run your programs." Set this to background services. Because your windows services have plenty of room to run, your programs are allowed to max out the rest of the cpu/memory giving you a smoother overall performance.

The best way to backup data is by using a program like ghost (2003 or later), acronis, or pc-angel. These programs can create a compressed image of your entire harddrive small enough to fit onto a single dvd, or a few cds. Also small enough to be able to transfer and store somewhere else on the internet. If something were to happen, (even complete hd failure). You can still go buy a new hd and take the image off the cds and put it onto the new harddrive, in a few minutes your system was up and running as it was at the point that you made the image.
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Old 03-19-2005, 11:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'd add at least another 256 MB and 512 MB if you can afford it. Open the Task Manager (right-click on the toolbar at the bottom of the screen and choose Task Manager) and click on the Performance tab, it will show you how your memory is being used. Look at the Physical Memory numbers - especially Available. If that's a small number, your system will likely be swapping memory to disk a lot. Since laptop disks are generally slower than desktop machines, that hurts you even worse.

My experience is that a clean install of Windows XP uses about 200 MB of memory just for itself. Add a few things like a virus checker, sound card panel, etc. and you'll push past 240 MBs before you even open Excel. (You proably have 256 MB of RAM, btw, but 16 MB of it is reserved for your graphics card.) I would be willing to bet real money your system is starved for RAM.
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Old 03-20-2005, 03:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Window xp is the most memory consumed in the windows' family.
Therefore, adding more ram will boost up your system performance.

For backing up, u can try on some softwares.
If afforadble, i think raid 0 is a good choice.


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