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> Installation of new software causes slow down?
James (Jim) Hill...
May 29 2009, 12:23 AM
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I have lost count of the number of times I have heard the comment...."I just installed such and such and my computer slowed down to a crawl so I uninstalled it and now all is well again". The inference is that the product in question was to blame for the sudden loss of speed. While that may sometimes be the case, it can, in many instances, be a completely incorrect assumption.
A lot of machines are being run with RAM usage close to the edge, i.e. running processes from existing software are already using a fair amount of available physical RAM. Any additional install is often enough to tip RAM usage over the edge and we all know what that means.....virtual memory and extreme speed loss. So, it is more often than not the combination of all software installed (running background processes) which is to blame, rather than just that one new product. On many occasions the newly installed program may actually be using a lot less RAM than some of the existing software; it's just that the last install is the straw which breaks the camel's back.
If you install a new application and experience slow downs do not automatically blame that product.....it ain't necessarily so! What is required under these circumstances is a review of all programs installed which have processes running in the background, locate the ones with the highest numbers (RAM usage)* and look for suitable replacement programs which are lighter on resources. Alternatively, decide which programs are most important to you and uninstall those which you can best do without or are deemed superfluous. Of course, the ultimate fix is to increase the amount of available physical RAM.

*A great free program for helping analyse which processes are using the most amount of RAM is ‘Process Explorer’ from Sysinternals. It is free and doesn’t require installation, just download the program, extract the files and run procexp.exe.

Once Process Explorer is running, you should see columns headed Working Set and Virtual Size. If not, just right click on any column header and click on Select Columns…in the resulting dialogue box click on the Process Memory tab, place a checkmark (tick) next to Working Set Size and Virtual Size and click OK.

Now click on the column header Working Size and all the running processes will be sorted by physical memory usage. If memory use is displayed with the least amount first, just click the column header again and the programs using the most physical memory will be displayed at the top.

Employing the same procedure using Virtual Size displays all the memory used by each process, including that which has been swapped out to virtual memory (paging file).

This can be very handy for diagnosing memory leaks too, just leave Process Explorer running as you use your machine and keep an eye out for programs which are continually using more and more memory and/or continually growing in virtual memory allocation.
 
marko
May 29 2009, 10:00 AM
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Couldn't agree more Jim, and Process Explorer can be found HERE, and as a compliment to process management I tend to use Process Lasso which will actually control the amount of resources a process will consume. We've all been there, like when windows update will kill a machine for a few minutes, etc, but Process Lasso will ensure that no process makes your machine unresponsive which for me is a great advantage.

It's also worthwhile killing certain processes outright and disabling them from the operating system itself when they are not required, but care is needed not to disabled those that the operating relies on otherwise it will affect the PC's functionality.
Cheers
Marko
 
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