Anyway to refresh RAM without re-booting?

WildViper

Senior member
Feb 19, 2002
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A lot of times after running a lot of computer programs at the same time, I start to feel a lag on the computer. So I start closing the programs, but the lag remains.

Anyway to say to XP Pro...Dump the memory and processes and re-fresh without re-booting?? Any such miracle software?

I realize there would be system software that needs to run, but perhaps the software can determine that and just dump the other un-necessary processes.

THis happens on a system with 1Gig and Core Solo processor.
 

networkman

Lifer
Apr 23, 2000
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Admittedly, I'm not really familiar with Unix but is there ANY operating system that can do what you want? I'm not aware of anything.
 

MrChad

Lifer
Aug 22, 2001
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1. Look in Task Manager.
2. Find whatever poorly-written application or service is leaking memory.
3. Close or restart said application or service.
 

networkman

Lifer
Apr 23, 2000
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I read the OPs question as more of a "dump all and refresh" rather than stopping and restarting individual apps or services.
 

MrChad

Lifer
Aug 22, 2001
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Originally posted by: networkman
I read the OPs question as more of a "dump all and refresh" rather than stopping and restarting individual apps or services.

That's fine but it's usually unnecessary. He should be able to run for hours without losing performance over time. If he's not, it's the fault of a wayward app or service.

The other option is to log off and log back on. This will kill any user processes, but it won't help if a system process (such as a service) is causing the memory leak.
 

networkman

Lifer
Apr 23, 2000
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I agree that his problem is a poorly written application. I run various DC projects on my workstations, and they typically run 24/7 for weeks at a time with no degradation in performance.
 

kobymu

Senior member
Mar 21, 2005
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Not on any x86 hardware i know of, however what i don?t seem to understand is what exactly are attempting to accomplish technically.

If the problem is within the hardware memory subsystem, you don?t have to look for some kind of hot plug memory mechanism, simple memtesting it will do.

If the problem you are experiencing is at the software level (OS), then moving the code and data to a new 'hot plagued' memory will not solve your existing problem, because the problem is within the code and data.
 

kobymu

Senior member
Mar 21, 2005
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?If you want to isolate the problem, try hibernation, you keep the same code and data (at least 99% of it), and at the same time power off and then on the hardware.

edit
I just remembered a rare case, when a poor ventilated case and a very cheap ram caused some heat problems, the memory started to issue errors only after a few hours of intensive work, but that was with a prescott cpu.
 

WildViper

Senior member
Feb 19, 2002
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Well the problem is that even if my software is written poorly, I can't help that cause I have to use it and there is no alternative..it is proprietory.

Typically I use programs like Excel, PS CS2, Virus checker running in background and the proprietry apps plus Explorer(5 windows minimum).

Then after a couple of hours, the system starts bogging down. So I am not sure if it is memory(thought I think that is the case), it could also be the Page file. Something is causing the system to slow to a crawl. Even when I close out apps, it remains. So I have to reboot everytime.

I am looking for a solution that ..."Press a button and Windows refreshes everything and doesn't have to shut down and re-start.

From the replies, I do not think this is possible, but I am hoping there is something. Perhaps wishful thinking.
 

kobymu

Senior member
Mar 21, 2005
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Originally posted by: WildViper
I am looking for a solution that ..."Press a button and Windows refreshes everything and doesn't have to shut down and re-start.

From the replies, I do not think this is possible, but I am hoping there is something. Perhaps wishful thinking.
As it stands right now I can offer you only some general advice:

Option 1 (the easy way): Start using alternative application until the problem cease to exist, one application at a time.

Option 2 (the geek way): download, install, learn and use all kind of nifty utilities to track the problem down. Here is a good place to start - http://www.sysinternals.com/

 

manly

Lifer
Jan 25, 2000
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As MrChad said, log out and log back in. IMO, Windows is still not as efficient as UNIX in memory management, as evidenced by this issue.
 

ForumMaster

Diamond Member
Feb 24, 2005
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here's somethine that may help: i use a freeware program called FreeRAmXP. it basically frees ram and defrags it. usually keeps the system for long periods of time without lag. try it. go to download.com and search for it. am to lazy to link for it now.
 

CTho9305

Elite Member
Jul 26, 2000
9,214
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Bring up Task Manager, go to the View menu, choose Select Columns, and check the Virtual Memory Size box. Sort by that column. When it feels laggy, post a list of the top few processes. Even if it's a program you need to use, someone may know a way to reduce its usage.
 

Nothinman

Elite Member
Sep 14, 2001
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Anyway to say to XP Pro...Dump the memory and processes and re-fresh without re-booting?? Any such miracle software?

No, and you probably don't want that anyway because that'll just trigger a ton of paging as the system will immediately have to page back in all of the data and code that's currently being used. The best you could do is write a program to allocate a ton of memory, touch it all and then free it. This'll cause NT to push everything else out of memory so the allocation can succeed, but as I said it'll pretty much just cause a ton of paging as data is pushed out to disk and then paged back in a second later.

here's somethine that may help: i use a freeware program called FreeRAmXP. it basically frees ram and defrags it. usually keeps the system for long periods of time without lag. try it. go to download.com and search for it. am to lazy to link for it now.

Those programs are all snake oil, there is no possible way that they can free memory and defrag it without a kernel level driver and even if they do come with one of those I would never ever install it. All most of them do is the malloc, touch scenario I described above and it's not what you want to do anyway.
 

xtknight

Elite Member
Oct 15, 2004
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Originally posted by: WildViper
Anyway to say to XP Pro...Dump the memory and processes and re-fresh without re-booting?? Any such miracle software?

Hibernate is the closest thing I can think of. I'm not sure exactly how it works, but you can try hibernating and then booting back up and see if anything is any faster. I doubt that will fix it but it won't take long to try. It's possible it would rearrange your RAM? Obviously fixing the root problem is a better idea though. I would disable the virus scanner just to debug things. They can be intensive especially if they're realtime.
 

CTho9305

Elite Member
Jul 26, 2000
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Rearranging RAM has no effect - memory "fragmentation" exists by design and causes no performance penalties due to the way virtual memory works.
 

kobymu

Senior member
Mar 21, 2005
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Originally posted by: WildViper
Well the problem is that even if my software is written poorly, I can't help that cause I have to use it and there is no alternative..it is proprietory.
O.k. one more idea: if your proprietary app isn't graphically intensive (3D), try virtual PC, it's free. If you are on a corporate network don?t forget to ask your SysAdmin about it before you install it.

Install your proprietary app on a virtual PC and pay attention to the host OS, if the host OS performances is still degraded after you closed the virtual PC, then the problem is elsewhere (different app), you can try it with every non system application (not your firewall, anti-virus and so on).

In case it is your proprietary app that?s causing the problem, running it exclusively from virtual PC (or VMware) should only be a short term fix, you should in general, avoid using bad applications.
 

Nothinman

Elite Member
Sep 14, 2001
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Rearranging RAM has no effect - memory "fragmentation" exists by design and causes no performance penalties due to the way virtual memory works.

In general yes, but memory fragmentation can cause problems when relatively large amounts of physicall contiguous pages are needed. Granted userland applications never see this as they only ever get virtual addresses, but it's still an issue in some circumstances.
 

Nothinman

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Sep 14, 2001
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xtknight

Elite Member
Oct 15, 2004
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It allocates one big chunk full of spaces and pushes out all useful memory to elsewhere. Then, when you want to run an application, it will have to be paged back into the physical RAM. This just slows down things.