Too many laptops are cast aside for singular broken parts, for “running too slow”, or other problems that shouldn’t require a rent-sized new purchase. All this week, we’ll detail fixes and upgrades that save otherwise functional laptops. Today, we’re installing new memory.
I’ve got some old RAM lying around that I’m looking to use. What are the rules on mixing RAM? As long as they’re the same modules (DDR, DDR2, etc), should I experience any performance issues?
It’s not hard to turn an extra USB stick lying around that’s collecting dust into extra memory for your computer, allowing it to run speedier and manage more applications better.
Firefox with Windows only: While travelling the internet, sometimes we don’t realise how much memory our browser is hogging until it starts acting sluggish, hangs or crashes altogether. Firefox extension Memory Fox optimises your memory so you can surf without slowing down.
With the price of upgrading system RAM extremely low these days, people are always asking me whether it’s really worth it to upgrade beyond 4GB; today we’ll answer that question for everybody.
GoogleUpdate, ctfmon, iPodService—these rascally, auto-starting services and others like them can drive a memory-sensitive Windows user bonkers. Process Blocker does what it sounds like, with a DIY but simple method of choosing targets. As noted in the instructions, Process Blocker runs as a system service, watching for certain processes and killing them off if it finds them running. The app won’t provide you a list of background services or apps for selection, though—this is a text affair. If you look in your Task Manager (Control-Shift-Escape), or your super-charged Process Explorer replacement, and notice that, for instance, GoogleUpdate.exe refuses to stop starting up, even after you’ve told it not to do so with Revo Uninstaller or another app, simply add it to the list.txt file included in Process Blocker’s program folder. More detailed instructions on adding and re-starting the service are at the program site. You’ll know it’s working if you see a system tray pop-up noting that “SuchAndSuch.exe is blocked” when it tries to jump in and drink up a little memory. You’ll definitely want to make sure the processes you’re trying to block can and should be blocked off, so making a few trips to Process Library wouldn’t be a bad idea. And if you just want to throttle back an auto-starting app’s memory use, not kill it entirely, try the previously mentioned Process Lasso, or dig through our guide to reclaiming memory by mastering Windows Task Manager. Process Blocker is a free download for 32- and 64-bit Windows systems (2000 and later). Process Blocker for Windows [via gHacks]