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Windows 7: Avaiable Physical memory = 12mb, Physical memory total = 1gb

30 Aug 2012   #1

Windows XP Professional 32-bit
Avaiable Physical memory = 12mb, Physical memory total = 1gb

Hey guys,

This is my first post as i can usually find my answers elsewhere, but this time, ive had no luck.

I am running windows xp sp3 professional 32-bit and have recently upgraded my RAM from a 256mb(333) + 512MB(333) to a 512MB(400)+512MB(400) set up. When i did this upgrade i got an enjoyable multi-tasking boost so i again upgraded to a 1GB(333)+1GB(333) set up. Again another good performance boost!

But, over the last three days the pc has become slower and slower, today when i checked 'system information' i found that windows was recognising the 2GB physical memory as it had when i first installed it, but instead of having between 1600MB-1200MB of 'available physical memory' after a boot up, i was sitting on 52MB of available physical memory.

I tried reinstalling the two 1GB RAM sticks, changing their order, then returned to the 512MB+512MB set up but had the same problem, except i now have only 12MB of available physical memory! (Screenshots taken in system information are during this time)

I cannot find anyway to fix this and my computer has slowed to a virtually unusable state. Any suggestions would be fantastic!

Thanks in advance!


My System SpecsSystem Spec

30 Aug 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

It's been a while since I had to troubleshoot an XP system, but I'll give it a shot. it sounds like you have a memory leak, which means a program that uses more and more memory. What process in Task Manager is using up the memory?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2012   #3

Windows XP Professional 32-bit
Task Manager

Thanks Deacon,

I have looked at the processes tab in Task manager and haent found anything that seems to be taking up excessive amounts of memory, but it did task manager did suggested that it was reading that i was using 456/1356MB of memory, as if it was recognising the avaiable physcia ram correctly, but the system wasnt.

I'll post another screenshot of the task manager screen in a few hours, but it might be good to mention that i completed a windows xp clean install last week to clear out the computer as it had become rather clogged with registry errors and excess problems. In any case, i have installed very few programs onto the computer thus far, so it shouldnt be difficult to uninstall most of those if it needs it.

As i said, I'll try to post a screenshot up tonight,


My System SpecsSystem Spec

31 Aug 2012   #4

Windows XP Professional 32-bit

Just took another screenshot of the task manager and system info side-by-side. Still ticking along slowly, i think i might go back to the 2gb total RAM install while i try and sort out the issue so any pics from now on will probably have 2GB physical memory.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2012   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

This may or may not be related, but AVG has fallen way out of favor to do issues and memory hogging. You could try rmeoving that and running MSE to see if that solves any issues.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2012   #6

Windows XP Professional 32-bit
Have uninstalled AVG, no effects so far

A bit of background might help, i recently (last week) did a complete OS reinstall because as you noticed, the computer is fairly old, and had run enough different programs over the years that registry was beyond repair and the hard drive clogged with unnecessary data which was tied to programs long uninstalled. Any how, it was running pretty slowly i was also facing fairly regular BSOD issues. So, i completely wiped my hard drive, reinstalled Windows XP, updated the BIOS, installed drivers, and updated windows XP SP2 to SP3. Then i installed chrome, AVG 2012, and for a short time Windows Live Mail. Everything was running very snappily and i was having no issues. I then installed my RAM from the (1x512MB)+(1x256MB) DDR-333 set up to the (2x512MB) DDR-400 set up, then, wanting to run some programs which requested minimum 1GB RAM and more multi-tasking capability, went to the (2x1GB) DDR-333 set up. This final set up was even better and i was very impressed with the way the old beast was operating. Then, the strange memory situation occurred. I have now checked for malware, viruses etc, uninstalled Windows live essential, uninstalled AVG 2012 and run both CPU-Z and PC Wizard 2012 for some more system/memory specs and have linked them here.

I understand that the OS should be using as much memory as is available to make it run as quickly and smoothly as possible, but that is not the case as the computer is running terribly slowly, and struggles to open a single tab in Chrome, the user-interface of AVG(when it was installed) and took nearly 20 seconds to copy the screenshot I took into Paint to save it as .jpg.

I am still perplexed as to the issue and am considering just re-re-installing windows xp as i wont lose much data or be too much hassle as hope that the issue doesn't recur.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Avaiable Physical memory = 12mb, Physical memory total = 1gb

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