0

I know a need a new computer but I thought I would get a second opinion on what is causing my Firefox to stall when I'm trying to view sites (like this one). Also, it slows down on project playlist. Sometimes I see the java icon when it slows down. This can happen when I'm trying to swich tabs, but on this site for example, it's slow even to to scroll; when I try to drag the scroll bar it takes it a couple of seconds. The hard drive light is not coming on excessively.

I suspect the problem is due to low memory, but I was wondering if it could be anything else. Here are the specs:

Pentium 4, 1.5ghz
256mb RDRAM (I believe it is 800mhz)
40 gb hd
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200
Windows XP sp2

I guess I can look on ebay for some more RDRAM. Thanks for any suggestions.

3
Contributors
37
Replies
38
Views
9 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by explodinghead75
Featured Replies
  • [QUOTE=explodinghead75;487073]I know a need a new computer but I thought I would get a second opinion on what is causing my Firefox to stall when I'm trying to view sites (like this one). Also, it slows down on project playlist. Sometimes I see the java icon when it slows down. … Read More

  • [QUOTE=explodinghead75;488642]I thought this was the same thing. I looked up the memory again and supposedly it is RAMBUS (it uses RIMMS in pairs). 256mb new was like $70. What a rip off! I could buy a refurbished Dell on ebay with 512 for $200 lol[/QUOTE] The problem with Dell is … Read More

  • [QUOTE=explodinghead75;491768]The problem is still happening though; when I click on a thread I noticed that the CPU goes up to 100% and apparently that is why I can't scroll anything because the CPU is busy. It stays at around 100% for several seconds while loading something; that's why I suspect … Read More

0

Hi again.

Although youy prolly answered your own question, just about evrything matters when you have little memory.

Like the amount of stuff on your desktop (especially full size files rather than shortcuts); the size of your pre-fetch cache.

Also there is the possibility of a graphics driver problem, like it's Windows driving your screen not the nVidia card.

Or even that your last problem hasn't gone away. Whaddaya think?

Anyway, 256MB is pretty lame these days!

0

Hi again.

Although youy prolly answered your own question, just about evrything matters when you have little memory.

Like the amount of stuff on your desktop (especially full size files rather than shortcuts); the size of your pre-fetch cache.

Also there is the possibility of a graphics driver problem, like it's Windows driving your screen not the nVidia card.

Or even that your last problem hasn't gone away. Whaddaya think?

Anyway, 256MB is pretty lame these days!

Well the interesting thing is that it's not happening right now, but it wasn't an isolated problem either. Last time I had project play list open on another tab. Maybe Firefox was using too much memory? I don't have too many actual files on my desktop, not sure about the pre-fetch cache. I think I have fire fox set to clear temp files each time I exit.

I noticed something else too with the project play list player and I've seen this before (since you mentioned graphics):

When the I would open the player window it would take a couple of seconds and I would see parts of the desktop background through it. Is that another symptom of low memory or something else?

0

OK I checked the memory usuage and the Page File usage is 375mb. But I'm kind of confused on what the number means. That means it has reserved 375mbs? Which should indicate low memory since I only have 256 I'm assuming. Let me check the processes:

Firefox says it's using 145K
How much does XP Pro use on average?

0

Firefox will be using 145MB. Windows will use what's left and splay itself over page files on disk if you have anything else running. In fact everything gets rolled in and out according to what's needed at any time.

You've probably got a 2.5GB page file setting (in System/Advanced/Performance-->Settings/Advanced.

This means you've got that plus your 265MB to play with. When you do play with it, the disk will be hit, depending on how much of Windows your application (e.g. Firefox) uses.

This could lead to disk thrashing although you say that the HDD light isn't coming on "excessively" whatever that means. if it's a slow drive (< 5,400 RPM), stuff'll take time to come round to the read head. Plus the time it takes for the seek arm to reach the correct cylinder, etc.

ANyway, I wouldn't waste a lot of time if you've only got 256MB. But then, do it properly and get at least 1GB.

0

Well it would be worth paying for what 1GB of RDRAM would cost since I have only a 1.5ghz CPU; but it may be a while before I can start over with another computer. What I meant about the hard drive light is it doesn't always look like there's disk thrashing when the computer freezes up for a couple of seconds; but earlier I did see it happen and it was taking forever to switch between tabs so I guess I should assume it's low memory.

0

So that one's solved!

But I believe that RDRAM is very expensive, especuially 2 x 512MB.

So if you can hang on and get a new PC soonest ....

0

Yes, I think it's solved however the CPU might be lagging as I just noticed that the project playlist is taking up to 60% of it, which was surprising. I guess that means I need a faster CPU lol

0

Uh oh I think there is something else running because with the player not running I'm getting 55% CPU spikes now and all I have open is 2 tabs in firefox. That doesn't sound right.

0

I'm still not sure if I've figured it out. It just happened again and I had no CPU spikes before and hard drive light is not coming on, so I'm not so sure that it's related to memory. I did find out that the project playlist player was not spiking CPU by itself, cause after I closed this site I checked it again and CPU use was only around 5%

0

What processes are shown in Task Manager as spiking CPU?

What is the periodicity?

For example is anything set to update itself at certain times like AV software?

Thing is that anything that wants or needs to run will heave out whatever's already running. The paging system itself will spike the CPU, although I note that the HDD light didn't come on.

Doesn't Project Playlist do stuff across the web and in conjunction with a media player? Are there any settings here that could be involved or could it be firing off Windows functions?

We do need to know what proceeses are recorded as spiking CPU.

1

I know a need a new computer but I thought I would get a second opinion on what is causing my Firefox to stall when I'm trying to view sites (like this one). Also, it slows down on project playlist. Sometimes I see the java icon when it slows down. This can happen when I'm trying to swich tabs, but on this site for example, it's slow even to to scroll; when I try to drag the scroll bar it takes it a couple of seconds. The hard drive light is not coming on excessively.

I suspect the problem is due to low memory, but I was wondering if it could be anything else. Here are the specs:

Pentium 4, 1.5ghz
256mb RDRAM (I believe it is 800mhz)
40 gb hd
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200
Windows XP sp2

I guess I can look on ebay for some more RDRAM. Thanks for any suggestions.

Have you tried the obvious yet? FireFox is now at version 2.0.0.11 and Java is at Version 6 Update 3. I know it is a pain but I would recommend updating to the latest software first. I would do clean installs of both programs.

FireFox - http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/?from=getfirefox - click on the link and save it to the hard drive.
Java - http://java.com/en/download/manual.jsp (Click on Windows XP/Vista/2000/2003 Offline link and save it to the hard drive)

Download the latest version of FireFox and Java and save them on your system. Before you reinstall FireFox export your bookmarks and take a snap shot of all of your plugins.
1) Open FireFox Click on BookMarks and select Organize Bookmarks
2) In the Bookmark Manager window click on File and select Export and save the bookmarks .html file in a folder of your choice or on the DeskTop and close the BookMarks Manager window.
3) In FireFox click on Tools and select AddOns - Take a snapshot of all of the plugins you have installed.
4) If you have customized the options in FireFox click on Tools select Options and make a note of all of the settings you use for FireFox.

I use LViewPro to capture the screens and save them as JPG files for future reference. You can use any screen capture program you want to do the same if you like.

1) Click on Start / Settings / Control Panel and select Add Remove programs to uninstall FireFox and all versions of JAVA
2) Manually delete all Mozilla folders found on the hard drive - you will find Mozilla folders in C:\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Application Data\Mozilla
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Mozilla
Make sure to check every user Administrator, All Users, <user name>, system etc...
3) Delete any FireFox or Mozilla FireFox folder in C:\Program Files

After you have completed steps 1 - 3 you can now initiate clean installs of FireFox and Java.
1) Install the latest version of JAVA.
2) Install FireFox - the first time FireFox starts up you will know you have a clean install when it asks you if you want to import bookmarks. If you don't get this message then there are some Mozilla \ FireFox components still hanging around on the drive. If you get the message reply NO and let FireFox continue to start up.
2) After FireFox starts up click on the bookmarks tab and select organize bookmarks. In the Bookmarks Manager window click on File and select Import.
3) Click on Tools select Options and update the setting using the information you saved earlier.
4) Install the FireFox plugins - https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/ you can use the search feature to find the plugins from your saved screen shot / list and re-install the plugins

After all of this is completed you should now have the latest versions of JAVA and FireFox installed.

Finally 256MB of memory for todays applications is not enough. I would recommend 1gig of memory as the starting point, however any upgrade you can make at this point will make a significant difference. I am making the assumption since you are using RDRAM memory that the mother board and CPU 1.5ghz are fine. I currently run Win2K on a Pentium 4. 2.6ghz Intel Processor, D850EMV2 Intel Mother Board with 1gig of RAMBUS memory (more expensive than RDRAM). In the long run, depending on what you have, it is still cheaper to buy memory than to purchase or build from scratch a new PC.

Votes + Comments
I almost like this guy. I'd really like im if he'd mentioned me (the common courtesy on these forums) when more or less repeating my advice in his last paragraph. But otherwise, the "obvious" is something I missed.
0

What processes are shown in Task Manager as spiking CPU?

What is the periodicity?

For example is anything set to update itself at certain times like AV software?

Thing is that anything that wants or needs to run will heave out whatever's already running. The paging system itself will spike the CPU, although I note that the HDD light didn't come on.

Doesn't Project Playlist do stuff across the web and in conjunction with a media player? Are there any settings here that could be involved or could it be firing off Windows functions?

We do need to know what proceeses are recorded as spiking CPU.

I don't know how to see the exact process on a graph in task manager; maybe I should use process explorer next time. All I can see that is using CPU is firfox. I suspect it is the ads on this site. lol So that would mean java?

0

OK I did some trial and error research on CPU usage by opening task manager and found that it was using up to 50% of CPU with just project playlist running; although strangely enough it was running at less than 10% yesterday. Just now I opened only this site without project playlist and CPU usage is very low at the moment, however when I first load the thread (when it freezes) the CPU usage goes up to 100%. So am I correct in assuming that is what is causing the lag? I don't see the hard drive light coming on, and firefox is not using much memory. It's only about 58K now, so that makes me not suspect it is a memory issue; however I could be wrong. What do you think? My next step is try reinstalling firefox and Java, but maybe my CPU is just too slow, or does this sound unusual?

0

OK I tried to see if it was Firefox by using IE7, however I could not do this because IE7 has a different issue: It lets me log in but as soon as I try to access control panel it logs me out and says "This is for members only". I thought maybe it was privacy settings and I restored them to default but this didn't work either! This is pissing me off!

0

"Finally 256MB of memory for todays applications is not enough. I would recommend 1gig of memory as the starting point, however any upgrade you can make at this point will make a significant difference. I am making the assumption since you are using RDRAM memory that the mother board and CPU 1.5ghz are fine. I currently run Win2K on a Pentium 4. 2.6ghz Intel Processor, D850EMV2 Intel Mother Board with 1gig of RAMBUS memory (more expensive than RDRAM)."

I thought this was the same thing. I looked up the memory again and supposedly it is RAMBUS (it uses RIMMS in pairs). 256mb new was like $70. What a rip off! I could buy a refurbished Dell on ebay with 512 for $200 lol

0

OK I reinstalled Firefox and I completely removed Java and still having the same problem so obviously it's not Java, cause I haven't even reinstalled it yet.

1

I thought this was the same thing. I looked up the memory again and supposedly it is RAMBUS (it uses RIMMS in pairs). 256mb new was like $70. What a rip off! I could buy a refurbished Dell on ebay with 512 for $200 lol

The problem with Dell is even though they are Intel Mother Boards they are specifically modified by Intel for Dell. IE part of what makes them different than an Intel Boxed set is they will have less features on the board - less expansion slots, less USB ports, cheaper on board audio / video chip sets etc... So your $200 dollar investment is exactly what it is worth. From your description it also appears you have 4 memory slots. I have 3 desktops that all use RAMBUS memory which I built from scratch when the first Intel 850 chip set mother boards became available. All of them are still heavily used today. The only exception to these desk tops has been the replacement and addition of peripheral devices (DVD Dual layer burners, additional hard drives etc..). They have been solid performers for years so I wouldn't recommend throwing the baby out with the bath water.

One way to find out which processes are chewing up the CPU is to open up Windows Task Manager and click on the CPU tab. You can sort the processes by clicking on the heading titles. In this case click on the heading that says CPU. The first click will sort the processes from low to high usage. A second click will sort the processes from high to low usage. To get a more detailed picture I might suggest that you download and install a free utility "What's Running 2.2" - http://www.whatsrunning.net/whatsrunning/main.aspx The application runs on Win2K. WinXP, and 2003.

0

The problem with Dell is even though they are Intel Mother Boards they are specifically modified by Intel for Dell. IE part of what makes them different than an Intel Boxed set is they will have less features on the board - less expansion slots, less USB ports, cheaper on board audio / video chip sets etc... So your $200 dollar investment is exactly what it is worth. From your description it also appears you have 4 memory slots. I have 3 desktops that all use RAMBUS memory which I built from scratch when the first Intel 850 chip set mother boards became available. All of them are still heavily used today. The only exception to these desk tops has been the replacement and addition of peripheral devices (DVD Dual layer burners, additional hard drives etc..). They have been solid performers for years so I wouldn't recommend throwing the baby out with the bath water.

One way to find out which processes are chewing up the CPU is to open up Windows Task Manager and click on the CPU tab. You can sort the processes by clicking on the heading titles. In this case click on the heading that says CPU. The first click will sort the processes from low to high usage. A second click will sort the processes from high to low usage. To get a more detailed picture I might suggest that you download and install a free utility "What's Running 2.2" - http://www.whatsrunning.net/whatsrunning/main.aspx The application runs on Win2K. WinXP, and 2003.

Yes, I have 2 slots with 128mb RIMMs installed and 2 free. Thanks for warning me about the Dells; I would certainly want to put a graphics card in my next computer because I like to play games, so that is one of the problems with this Compaq; the 1.5ghz P4 is too slow for newer games, even if I upgraded the memory. I think it will play World of Warcraft at least, but I'm not sure about Halo 2 and other first person shooters. However, I have to admit it has performed decently for being 7 years old and considering it is low on memory. It is a deskpro so it has a large case which easy access to components (no removing screws for most things). I didn't like the SCSI hd and it was too small so I put in a regular IDE and a new video card to support direct X 9 (I think it's version 9) and had no problems with the upgrades. I definitely want something I can upgrade. Well thanks for the advice I will look at my processes again when I get home from work.

0

Yes, I have 2 slots with 128mb RIMMs installed and 2 free. Thanks for warning me about the Dells; I would certainly want to put a graphics card in my next computer because I like to play games, so that is one of the problems with this Compaq; the 1.5ghz P4 is too slow for newer games, even if I upgraded the memory. I think it will play World of Warcraft at least, but I'm not sure about Halo 2 and other first person shooters. However, I have to admit it has performed decently for being 7 years old and considering it is low on memory. It is a deskpro so it has a large case which easy access to components (no removing screws for most things). I didn't like the SCSI hd and it was too small so I put in a regular IDE and a new video card to support direct X 9 (I think it's version 9) and had no problems with the upgrades. I definitely want something I can upgrade. Well thanks for the advice I will look at my processes again when I get home from work.

I can tell you that the D850MV Mother Board with a 2.0Ghz Pentium 4, 384MB of memory and an ATI Radeon 7500 series graphics board with 64MB of memory plays World of Warcraft very well. My son can attest to it - Personally I don't play the game. As for the gaming scenario that you are after most of the processes have been moved off of the mother board and onto the graphics card. Investing in a good graphics card with reasonable memory is pretty much a requirement for some of the newer games coming out. Specifically those that run in a VISTA environment. VISTA with it's AERO features is very graphic intensive which in my opinion is not what I'm looking for in an OS. Graphic intensive applications are a different matter though. All they really need is a stable OS environment and a good graphics card. 64MB of memory in a graphics card for todays gaming environment is now teetering on the very minimal of requirements. I suspect I'll be upgrading my video cards soon. On another note the reason RAMBUS memory is so expensive is because of the patent litigation issues that originated in 2000 and as for OEM vendors that make the claim of Intel inside it's the biggest joke that is being played on the public. Although the parts are Intel manufactured they are manufactured for the vendor by Intel based on the vendors specifications. There is one company that I know of that uses Intel box sets in there PC's and that is the PowerSpec sold by MicroCenter. If you ever intend to build your own PC don't go looking to Intel to buy the boxed sets. Intel does not sell to the general public and the boxed sets can only be purchased through a retailer.

0

You gonna buy a new PC or talk about the damn awful expensive RAMBUS?

Hehe.

Well it looks like it might be a while before I can buy another PC, so I guess I'll have to be happy with World of Warcraft lol. Maybe I will check the specs for Halo 2. I think I will look on ebay for 512 mbs of RAMBUS. Hopefully it's just my arm and not my leg, or at least not both legs! lol In the mean time I will run process explorer and see if the CPU is spiking now.

0

The only thing I see on the graph is firefox.exe, averaging 30% CPU usage with project playlist running.

0

You say you're looking at the graph which I assume is under the performance tab in task manager. What is in the processes tab under the CPU heading?

0

You say you're looking at the graph which I assume is under the performance tab in task manager. What is in the processes tab under the CPU heading?

OK I will tell you; What is the easiet way to take a screen shot again? Because I can't copy and paste processes. There are not that many processes running now, maybe 29.

0

I'm confused because in task manager it had a processes tab but I don't see a CPU heading? I mean, I do at the top but this doesn't give me any additional info, except in the column which processes are using the CPU, which I already answered there is not much CPU usage besides firefox. So I'm not sure if I understand where you want me to look.

0

In Task Manager / Processes there are 4 columns, the third of which is "CPU".

So:

Task Manager / Processes / CPU / CPU

The above is the sequence to get the list of processes ordered by CPU utilisation. The "Image Name" listed at the top is the process and in the "CPU" column is the % of CPU utilised by the process.

0

OK in the task manager it now shows the system idle process is using 85-95% of CPU, which looks good to me. I don't see anything suspicious using it.

0

The problem is still happening though; when I click on a thread I noticed that the CPU goes up to 100% and apparently that is why I can't scroll anything because the CPU is busy. It stays at around 100% for several seconds while loading something; that's why I suspect the ads; the threads shouldn't use all that CPU to load should they? Anyway, I don't think this should be normal but I wonder if adding more memory would help?

1

The problem is still happening though; when I click on a thread I noticed that the CPU goes up to 100% and apparently that is why I can't scroll anything because the CPU is busy. It stays at around 100% for several seconds while loading something; that's why I suspect the ads; the threads shouldn't use all that CPU to load should they? Anyway, I don't think this should be normal but I wonder if adding more memory would help?

Clicking on the process shouldn't excite the CPU at all other than the Windows process servicing the act you have just performed.
Sure more RAM will help - but you need so much more than it is economical to buy unless you can get it cheap somewhere. And always suspect nything of this type offered on Ebay.

This question has already been answered. Start a new discussion instead.
Have something to contribute to this discussion? Please be thoughtful, detailed and courteous, and be sure to adhere to our posting rules.