My experience to speed up my 8-year old PC
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February 2013

I have 3 PCs. The oldest one is 8 year old running Windows XP. As the year goes by, it has been becoming
slower and slower. The original RAM memory in this PC was only 0.5 GB. So, in 2008, I bought and installed
0.5 GB of additional RAM to increase the total RAM to 1 GB which is the maximum RAM allowed on that PC
with Windows XP. But it did not help much in my attempt to speed up this old and slow PC.

About 2 years ago, I bought, downloaded and installed one of the commercial software products which are
supposed to be good to clean up the old PC so that the old PC can run faster. I went through several cycles of
this software run but the speed improvements were still not very good.

Lately, I am getting warning of "Virtual Memory too Low" on the screen of this old PC. So, I looked into it and
found that the maximum virtual memory was set at 1.5 GB. The internal hard disk, C-Drive, of this old PC still
has more than 40 GB of free space. So, I changed the setting in this PC to increase the maximum virtual
memory to 4 GB. The procedure to increase the maximum virtual memory is described in Appendix B.

Wow! This hits the jackpot. Now, this 8-year old PC is much happier and is running much faster than it used to
be in last few years.

Appendix A

Feedbacks from readers who followed the procedure in Appendix B

You are a computer "wizard"!  I followed your instructions and readjusted the virtual memory settings.  The
computer has now regained its earlier faster speed!  An amazing accomplishment!  Thanks again for sharing
this valuable information with your friends!

I follow your instruction to increase the size of virtual memory in my PC and now it works a lot faster.  Thanks
for your help.  Have a nice day.

Holly Molly--it worked!  Thanks.

Thanks for sharing this information with us. I, too, have an eight year old computer and it is very slow. I
followed your procedure and transformed it to a "new machine". Thanks again.


Appendix B

Procedure to increase Virtual Memory in a PC running Windows XP:

Click on Start (at lower left corner of screen) > Click on Control Panel > Double click on System icon > System
Property Window open >  Click on Advanced tab > Click on Settings  (in Performance Box including virtual
memory) >  Performance Option Window open > Click on Advanced tab > Click on Change (in Virtual
Memory Box) > Virtual Memory Window open > Increase Maximum size (in MB) to 4096 and Initial size (in
MB) to 1024.

After setting the new sizes for virtual memory, click on OK > OK > OK etc. to close all these open windows
and the Control Panel. Then restart the computer.

This is assuming that there are enough free memory space on the C-Drive (hard disk) in the PC to spare. If the
C-Drive does not have enough free memory available, enter the amount of memory that can be spared, and
meanwhile seriously consider adding a second hard drive or getting a new hard drive with larger capacity. The
second hard drive can be internal or external with USB connection into the PC. Then move some stuff from C-
Drive into this second hard drive to free up some space in C-Drive.

When System Property Window opens, one can see the size of RAM memory in the PC. If it is much less than
1 GB, it is worthwhile to buy and install additional compatible RAM to increase the total RAM up to 1 GB.


Appendix C

Assign Virtual Memory to Secondary Drives Other Than C-Drive

According to the Microsoft Support website at:


the C-Drive (primary hard disk) in the PC is usually very busy with many tasks, it is not optimal to assign the
virtual memory on the busy C-Drive. If secondary drive(s) are available on the PC, it is desirable to assign the
virtual memory to those secondary drives to improve the PC performance further.

For my 8-year old PC, I do have a secondary drive which is an external hard disk with USB connection into the
PC. I use this secondary drive mainly to backup important data in the C-Drive. I run the backup software about
once a week to back up the important data. Otherwise, this secondary drive is idling most of the time. This
secondary drive also has more than 40 GB of free space. Therefore, two days after I increased the maximum
virtual memory to 4 GB on C-Drive, I went into the PC setting again to change the assignment of virtual
memory from the busy C-Drive to this secondary drive, hopefully, to improve the PC performance further.

To make such assignment, when the Virtual Memory Window is open in the procedure in Appendix B, there is
one line in that window to allow the user to assign the desirable drive for the virtual memory.