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Q: Losing Memory in Windows 98? ( Answered 2 out of 5 stars,   7 Comments )
Subject: Losing Memory in Windows 98?
Category: Computers
Asked by: vla1-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 03 Jun 2004 19:35 PDT
Expires: 03 Jul 2004 19:35 PDT
Question ID: 356197
I am using Windows 98 on a Compaq Presario AMD-K6 w/ 92Meg RAM.

Recently, my system resources have severely diminished, and just
booting up, I find that the "System Resources" show just 40% - 45%
free.  Sometimes less.

I can't figure out where the memory is being used.

Is there a "Task Manager" like in W2K that I can see what programs or
services are live that are taking this memory?

Where else should I be looking?  It seems like some kind of program
got in from the Internet, but I'm not sure.  I've looked thru the
registries, but I'm not sure what to look for.

Please help!
Subject: Re: Losing Memory in Windows 98?
Answered By: aceresearcher-ga on 03 Jun 2004 19:45 PDT
Rated:2 out of 5 stars
Greetings, vla!

The first thing you want to do is check for the presence of scumware
-- also known as spyware or adware.

Please download, install, and run the following free utilities:

Spybot Search & Destroy


The first time you run them, or if you already have Spybot and/or
AdAware installed on your PC, be sure to download the latest updates
first **each time you run them**.

Something to keep in mind is that even if these programs give your
system a "clean bill of health", it does *not* mean that you can be
absolutely sure that your system is clean. It is only a *reasonable
assurance* that it is clean.

Before Rating my Answer, if you have any Questions about the above
information, please post a Request for Clarification, and I will be
glad to see what I can do for you.

Please let me know whether you are able to resolve your problem, or
whether you need more assistance.

I hope that this Answer provides exactly the information you were seeking!



Request for Answer Clarification by vla1-ga on 05 Jun 2004 17:23 PDT
Spyware is one possibility, but I'm also wondering if somehow some
other component or service got onto my computer.....or if there's
something loading up at startup time that I'm not aware of.

I can go to Task Manager via CTL-ALT-DELETE, but it only shows the
programs, not how much memory or CPU they're using, or where they got
into the "startup" from.

What I want to know is what programs are running, how much memory
they're taking, and where their startup request came from.

Clarification of Answer by aceresearcher-ga on 06 Jun 2004 10:36 PDT
vla, you can download a free 30-day trial of Warecase's
eXtended Task Monitor 1.0

(this may require free registration)

Clarification of Answer by aceresearcher-ga on 07 Jun 2004 23:09 PDT

I just want to check back with you and see whether you've been able to
resolve your problem.

If not, let me know what you've tried, and where we're at, and we'll go from there.


Clarification of Answer by aceresearcher-ga on 25 Jun 2004 09:32 PDT

I've found a nice little freeware program called "Process Explorer" by
Mark Russinovich, which will provide you with the ability to see which
processes are currently running, along with real-time monitoring of
CPU usage. I've played with it a little bit, and I think you will find
it useful. You can download it here:

Best Wishes,

vla1-ga rated this answer:2 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: Losing Memory in Windows 98?
From: mister2u-ga on 04 Jun 2004 06:27 PDT
You can access Task manager by pressing CTRL-ALT-DEL same as Windows
2000.See what's running at start up by using Msconfig
Subject: Re: Losing Memory in Windows 98?
From: bkmyers-ga on 04 Jun 2004 10:04 PDT
Here are some general tuning tips for Windows. Following some of these
suggestions should free up some of your system resources.

 Wallpaper - It costs memory and processing time to keep wallpaper on
your system. To remove wallpaper, right click on a blank area of the
desktop and select "Properties" to access the Display Properties
dialog box. Under the "Background" tab, select "None" for "Wallpaper"

 Colors - The number of colors in your display directly affects the
amount of memory it uses. A 16-color display uses roughly half the
memory of a 256-color display. You can use the "Settings" tab of the
Display Properties dialog box to set your display colors.

 Screen Resolution - The resolution at which you set your display
affects processing speed, and to a much smaller degree, memory.
Changing your screen's resolution should probably be a last-ditch
effort to get that last bit of needed performance. Microsoft assumes
that you have a minimum of an 800x600 display for standard
applications and a 1024x768 display for advanced applications such as
programming languages.

 Utility programs - Many systems load unneeded applications programs
when Windows starts up. Look for icons in the taskbar tray. You'll
find that these icons connect to applications that you may not use
very often, but start automatically when you start Windows. See if you
can turn the application off and start it manually when you need to.
You can see what programs are loaded when Windows starts up by running
"msconfig" from "Start / Run". To find out what some of these programs
are, go to the Web site at: This site has
color-coded (green, yellow and red) program names indicating safe,
caution and danger. It also has comments explaining what the program

 Icons and other graphics - Every icon on your desktop consumes
memory. The same is true for any other form of graphical image or
window. Organize your data into folders and open only the folders you
need at any given time.

 Leaky applications - Some programs "leak" memory. They receive
memory from Windows but never give it back, even after they terminate.
After a while, you won't have enough memory to run programs, even
though you should. The Windows 98 data-centric interface tends to
accelerate the rate at which memory dissipates if you open and close
an application for each data file. You can alleviate this situation by
keeping leaky applications open until you know you won't need them
again. You can find a leaky application by checking system resources
and memory before you open and close it. Open and close the
application a few times (make sure you also open some documents while
inside), then check the amount of memory again after the last time you
close it. If you find you have less memory (a measurable amount - not
a few bytes), the application is leaky.

 DOS applications - Nothing grabs memory and holds it like a DOS
application under Windows. Unlike other applications, the memory used
by a DOS application usually can't be moved around to free space. You
might have a lot of memory on your system, but Windows won't be able
to use it because it's all too fragmented. If your system has so
little memory that it can't tolerate even the smallest amount of
memory fragmentation, avoid using DOS applications.

How to monitor your system performance

Windows 98 provides several tools that you can use to monitor your
system's performance. The two most useful tools that Windows 98
provides are the Resource Meter and the System Monitor.

 Resource Meter - The Resource Meter enables you to monitor system
resources. The Resource Meter can be found on the Start Menu /
Programs / Accessories / System Tools / Resource Meter. When started,
an Icon will be placed in the taskbar tray. Placing the mouse cursor
over the icon for a few seconds displays a quick readout of the
various levels. This display tells you the status of the three
memory-related areas of the system.

 System resources: This tells you the amount of memory you have left
in the smaller of the two 64KB memory pools used for windows, icons,
dialog boxes, and other system objects.

 User resources: This tells you how much memory Windows 98 is using
for interface-related objects such as windows and dialog boxes.

 GDI resources: All icons and other object-memory usage associated
with the graphical device interface appear in this level. This level
always pertains to graphic system elements rather than an interface
element such as a button or a window.

 System Monitor - The System Monitor utility enables you to track a
variety of system statistics, including CPU usage and actual memory
allocation. Monitoring these statistics tells you whether a certain
optimization strategy was successful. System Monitor also detects
performance-robbing hardware and software errors on the system.

You can use the Add button (Edit / Add Item...) to add new items to
the list. Use the Edit button (Edit / Edit Item...) to change the way
System Monitor displays a particular value. Use the Remove button
(Edit / Remove Item...) to remove an item for the monitor list.

The System Monitor utility also gives you the ability to create a log.
You can start a System Monitor log by pulling down the "File" drop
down menu and selecting "Start Logging". Be sure to give each log a
unique name.

I suggest using the System Monitor to monitor the following items on your computer:
 Memory Manager: Unused Physical Memory
 Memory Manager: Swapfile size
 Memory Manager: Swapfile in use
 Kernal: Processor Usage

Pay particular attention to the "Swapfile size" and "Swapfile in use"
items of the System Monitor. This information can be used to create a
permanent Swapfile, which can be de-fragmented for optimum system

I realize that this is a lot of information. Start by looking at the
utility programs that are being automatically started with Windows.
Turn off any that you don't absolutely need. If your resourses are
still low after turning off the utility programs, try removing any
Wallpaper, reduce the number of icons on your desktop, and reduce the
number of display colors (use the minimum required for Metastock.

Hope this helps.

Subject: Re: Losing Memory in Windows 98?
From: crythias-ga on 08 Jun 2004 12:55 PDT
Start, Run, MSConfig [OK]
Click the Startup tab
Each running thing tells you where it's located (unless it doesn't,
then it's in the path, either C:\Windows or C:\windows\system or
system32, usually.

In general, you can safely uncheck anything and everything, although
some things, like Antivirus AutoProtect, are necessary to keep

As I check clients, I remove the checkboxes for any one-word program in startup...

If I remove something that I *know* is a virus and it comes back
(msblast is one), I'll restart the Windows 98 in safe mode, and again
remove any checks for suspicious software on startup, then reboot.

This is reasonably safe because you merely have to click the checks
for things you need.
Subject: Re: Losing Memory in Windows 98?
From: sanjay_bhardwaj-ga on 14 Jun 2004 00:22 PDT
Press Alt+Ctrl+Del key and you will be able to see what process and
programms are running (like u have in taskbar in win2k), see which
program you think is fishy and choking your RAM, if you see CMEsys
kind of program end that program, search for CMesys.exe in your HDD
and delete the directory.
Hope this will solve ur problem.

Subject: Re: Losing Memory in Windows 98?
From: thirstymate-ga on 21 Jun 2004 12:51 PDT
It was unclear from the comments if any of the suggestions offered
resolved your problem.  If they did please disregard this post.

I have seen the exact problem you are describing with a Win 98 system
losing system resources when it is running Netscape Navigator version
7.1.  If you are using Netscape 7.1, it would be worth looking at
going back and using 7.0, as it does not have the system resource
problems that are in 7.1.

good luck
Subject: Re: Losing Memory in Windows 98?
From: vla1-ga on 24 Jun 2004 20:03 PDT
Sanjay -

True, the "Task Manager" that ctl-alt-del brings up does show what's
running, but in W98, it doesn't tell me about memory usage in any way
(unlike W2K & beyond).  I should probably know all about all programs
that are listed, but there are a couple that I don't know what they
are.  I did do this earlier and found some suspects, and after much
searching via HDD and registries, did get rid of a few things.  It
seems better right breath is held.
Thanks for your tip, tho!

Thirstymate -

One of the things I suspected was Netscape 7.0; interestingly, I did
download and am now using 7.1 w/o problem.  Hmmm...
Subject: Re: Losing Memory in Windows 98?
From: aceresearcher-ga on 24 Jun 2004 23:51 PDT

If you still have questions regarding programs that are running on
your system, please post a Request for Clarification above; let me
know what you've tried, and where we're at, and we'll go from there.


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