Low Memory Slows Computer?


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I know when a HDD becomes nearly full the computer is slowed down. Does that apply to SSDs as well? I have about 5GB left on a 250GB SSD.



Thanks,



Jim
 
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Yes, it can. The type of drive does not matter. Windows and running programs need a large chunk of free space to operate in. The page file needs space. Windows and your running programs need a lot of space for temporary files. So you need to clean out the clutter with Windows Disk Cleanup (or CCleaner if already installed). You need to uninstall programs you installed but don't use. And then consider moving some of your data files to another drive. I generally want to keep at least 30GB of free disk space available.
 
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While we are on the subject that is disk storage not memory. Memory is wiped clean every time the machine is shut down.
 

Trouble

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Yes, except in the case of virtual memory your swapfile (pagefile.sys) remains unless you're wiping it at shutdown. As well as hiberfil.sys (hibernation file) which can also consume space on the OS disk.
 
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Yes, except in the case of virtual memory your swapfile (pagefile.sys) remains unless you're wiping it at shutdown.
Good point. But the size of the PF is dynamic (if allowed to let Windows manage it, as most users should) and it needs room to expand, when needed. If restricted by a lack of free disk space, it can not expand as needed. This will force Windows to close files and save data back to normal disk space instead of "caching" it in the PF. Even with SSDs, caching and accessing ready-to-use data in the PF is much faster than saving and opening data files on the disk.

And Clifford is right. While disk space is still a type of memory (non-volatile to be specific), the word "memory" typically refers to your RAM (random access memory) which is volatile - meaning the data within is not retained when power is removed from the device.
 
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Well said all.

Years ago extensive tests were performed, that started seeing noticeable reduction in HDD access speed at about 75% of drive capacity. All having to do with how data is stored on the platters with head travel time increasing as the drive gets fuller. .

I don't know a heck of a lot about SSDs. I sorta picture the inside of one looking something like a circuit board full of a large bunch of memory chips. With no head travel, the 75% rule of thumb won't apply.

Besides the PF, windows has all sorts of things going on. busy writing temp files, more stuff in the garbage bin, updating, restoration points, a long list...

I had hoped that Ten would deliver some support for the SSD technology. They had bigger fish to fry...

Jim, given the hoopla about SSD's longevity based on write limits, did you happen to move all of the heavily 'written to', less critical, components off to an HDD?

Maybe you can revisit the SSD advice on line for ideas on how to re-claim some more SSD space.. combined with the other good recommendations on this thread.

cheers!


P.S. I have two 240 GB SSD drives. One at 40% (Ten) and one at 45% (7SP1). For the most part, they each contain only the OS and the Program files, while much data is stored on a larger HDD which is shared by both OS's. I didn't move the PF files because I got the SSD's for a speed boost... for all i know they may be obsolete before reaching their write limits.
 
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Trouble

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Windows 10 introduced "System and Compressed Memory" as a way of handling potential paging much more efficiently.
It seems to be a point of concern as I see post after post about how it's using CPU, Memory, Disk and on and on.
There is a very good explanation of it here
https://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/Seth-Juarez/Memory-Compression-in-Windows-10-RTM
Something that I can even understand as they provide some simple analogies that help my old brain.
 
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Hi Trouble,

Awesome class lecture! Being 38 minutes long, and me being on lifetime heavy meds, I saved a hi-def copy to watch again. :) Well worth watching until I can absorb it all. I found it very interesting. And I can see the definite benefit for SSD technology. I was unaware of this significant performance improvement. Thanks, I appreciate it.

My earlier comment was triggered by the way the update ignored my SSD optimization tweaks. I had moved many components off to an SSD. The upgrade ignored this, went about creating all new 'empty' user folders including a new empty Live Mail folder on my SSD . Although, I was backed up all over the place, and had a good idea of what had happened, I am sure others may have come completely unglued!

BTW, I am still struggling with Microsoft Live mail. It worked flawlessly until the upgrade. But I know first hand, that MS product or not, after speaking to an MS support rep that stated "We at Microsoft really want you to use our new mail product." , I can forget about help there. . Microsoft, I would if I could, I really would.

I know to expect a learning curve, with me still learning exactly what exactly Ten is writing to my SSD (different than 7), so I do welcome input. Thanks again.

cheers, allan
 

Trouble

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I've listened to it at least three times of the past 9 months or so and I think I hear something that I haven't heard before, each time.
Probably just not paying proper attention.
Still all in all, informative.
 
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I don't know a heck of a lot about SSDs. I sorta picture the inside of one looking something like a circuit board full of a large bunch of memory chips. With no head travel, the 75% rule of thumb won't apply.
There was never such a "rule". That is, it was never about "percentages". That would suggest you need to keep more than 125GB free with a 500GB hard disk. Or worse, 250GB free with a 1TB disk. Those would be HUGE wastes of disk space.

It was always about keeping a sufficient amount of free space to allow Windows to operate properly for temp files, System Restore, the PF and more. Windows on a 100GB disk takes up the exact same amount of space as it does on a 1TB disk. So again, it is not about percentages.

That said, you still need to keep a sufficient amount of free space whether using a SSD or HD. And it has nothing to do with "head travel". That only affected "access times", absolutely nothing to do with space.

The deal with head travel with hard drives is the fact the head has to travel past sectors to get to the storage location it is seeking. SSDs go directly to the storage location.

Visualize a file cabinet vs a mail sorting bin. With a file cabinet you have to open the drawer and thumb through from the beginning of the drawer, past all the other folders and files until you find the one you want.

With a mail sorting bin you just reach directly to the file you want.

Allan10 said:
Jim, given the hoopla about SSD's longevity based on write limits, did you happen to move all of the heavily 'written to', less critical, components off to an HDD?
Sorry, but you are living in the past. This was an issue with first generation SSDs years ago. Today's SSDs don't suffer from such limitations unless maybe, they are used in a very busy commercial data center. Note that many SSDs are now warrantied for 10 years!!!! or 150TBW (terabytes written to any given sector on the disk). No home and most business users will ever come close to 150TB written to a single storage location on a SSD. And no hard drive warranty comes close.

Plus, modern versions of Windows, in particular Windows 10, knows how to use SSDs optimally. There is no need for any third party applications (like Samsung Magician) or user tweaks. So again, because Windows knows how to optimize SSD use, that 150TBW to any given storage location will never happen - except again, maybe, in a very busy data center.

As for your Windows Live issue, this thread belongs to Jim. You need to start a new thread with your problem.
 
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When I said 5GB left on my SSD, that was including the page file and during operations. I seemed to get the most slowdown with the Adobe flash player. Sometimes it would take up to 400MB of space. When I did an end task on it, web activity sped up. Anyway, I'm now up to 25GB free, so I should be ok, for now. Thanks.
 
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Trouble

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There was never such a "rule".
Actually there was. If not exactly a rule than at least a rule of thumb.
I can even remember seeing a dialog box message back in the day.... It might have been Windows 95 or it could have been 98 but it said something to the effect that there was not enough free space to defag the volume.
A volume must have at least 15% free space for defrag to completely and adequately defragment it. Defrag uses this space as a sorting area for file fragments. If a volume has less than 15% free space, defrag will only partially defragment it. To increase the free space on a volume, delete unneeded files or move them to another disk.
SOURCE:https://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/defrag.mspx?mfr=true
Apparently a difference between "complete" and "partial"
No idea if it still applies. I would suspect that with todays huge hard disk it would hardly be applicable as it pertains to an actual percentage of the drive although it would probably depend on the size of the files that were being manipulated during the process.
Again, keeping 15% of a multi-terabyte drive free to perform a defrag operation on files that at best might be a couple gig movie, would, as Bill has said, a huge waste of space.
 
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How many GB do you have reserved for Restore points. You may want to try reducing the allotted size. I have 10.4 GB reserved for restore points. I just checked my restore history and I currently have 15 restore points 7.4% of the 10.4 GB. If I have to perform a restore for whatever reason, I don't want to go back a month or so. I want the most recent restore point.

Sorry Digerati for mentioning percentages. ;)
 
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Thanks Trouble. While that certainly does indicate a percentage, that was all about defragging with XP - a manual process when drives were much smaller. Later versions of Windows defragged automatically and much more frequently. And more frequently meant the demands on system resources was much less. When long periods elapse between defrags on a heavily used disk, virtually every single file may need to be moved temporarily to optimize the defragging process. That is not needed when defragging occurs on a regular bases. And regardless, that 15% is outdated with today's monster drives. Even when heavily fragmented, you don't need 75GB of free disk space to defrag a 500GB drive.

But still, even though the comment was about 25% and not 15%, my reply was prompted by the comment this was tied to "head travel". And it has nothing to do with head travel. And I was talking about free space just for Windows to operate in for the PF, temp files, and such. Perhaps I should have been more clear.

As for System Restore, you really don't have to mess with those settings either. System Restore will automatically delete older Restore points if free disk space becomes limited. And if free disk space becomes critical, System Restore will automatically disable itself.

But FTR, System Restore is disabled by default on many Windows 10 systems anyway because W10 has other capable recovery features.
 
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[QUOTE="Digerati, post: But FTR, System Restore is disabled by default on many Windows 10 systems anyway because W10 has other capable recovery features.[/QUOTE]

Sorry Digerati
I don't believe its wise to run with System Restore disabled. Restore creates a new restore point prior to installing updates and software. We will never know why MS disabled it by default. Restore useful tool, it's a quick and easy way to get your PC up and running after a bad update or install. I have always performed a regular manual restore and disk image. Of late, there are just too many bugs in MS updates. I also wonder just how many users out there are not even aware that their System Restore has been disabled?
Restore is a feature that we have all grown up with, a feature many users took for granted. I would bet that most users never ever looked at it as it performed a regular important service, or until they had a problem.
 
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Sorry Digerati
I don't believe its wise to run with System Restore disabled.
I never said or implied I did either - so no apology needed. In fact, I have ensured it is enabled on my own system - at least for my boot drive. That said, I don't recall the last time I needed it on any of my systems - it has been years, for sure.

As for WU, it is important the reporting of problems with WU are not blown out of proportion. The fact remains, automatic updating with Windows Update has been the default since Vista and by a very large percentage, the vast majority of the 1.5 billion Windows users out there have NEVER had a problem (at least not that a simple reboot didn't clear). And considering virtually every single one of those 1.5 billion systems out there became unique within the first few minutes of first use, with each user having their own computer hardware (from 1000s of HW makers) configuration, attached peripherals, their own security setup, their own network configurations, and their own installed programs, I'd say that is an amazing accomplishment! So the fact remains, there are very few bugs in Windows Update. The problem is, even 1/10th of 1% of 1.5 billion is still 1.5 million upset users. And 1.5 million upset users can make a lot of noise - especially when there are lots of wannabe journalists eager to blog with exaggerated, sensationalized headlines anything that bashes Microsoft. :(

Since keeping our systems fully updated is a, if not thee most paramount user responsibility to ensure our systems remain secure, I am all for automatic WU. The fact remains, the numbers of computers that are bricked after a Windows Update are miniscule and typically an analysis reveals other problems were pre-existing.

We will never know why MS disabled it by default.
We do have a pretty good idea - to save space (because it is becoming a universal platform) and because W10 has other very robust and effective recovery features built in making SR less important. Because we grew up with it or it has always been there is no reason we cannot change. Change is good as long as it is not just for the sake of change. W10 is not XP (or Windows Me in this case - where SR was first implemented) and should not be treated like it.
 
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I know when a HDD becomes nearly full the computer is slowed down. Does that apply to SSDs as well? I have about 5GB left on a 250GB SSD.



Thanks,



Jim
Well it depends. The reason your PC become slow is the paging file get to big for the drive. If your computer has lots of memory it caches to memory instead of the HD. I remember when I first got a SSD I read not to have a paging file on the SSD but recently iI you should have at least some paging file. The best setting fot a paging file is to let Windows determin the paging file size and have lots of memory.
 
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The reason your PC become slow is the paging file get to big for the drive.
Ummm, not really. When free disk space becomes limited (HD or SSD) the problem is Windows has no room for temporary files. And Windows opens lots of temporary files when running and more temporary files are created whenever other programs are loaded. Any time you open any file for editing, a temporary copy of that file is created. And of course, browsing uses a lot of cookies and temporary internet files too.

While the page file size is dynamic (if you let Windows manage it - and that is recommended) it does not change size dramatically enough to impact performance significantly. By far, the problem is a lack of space for temp files.

@ Jim If you only have 5GB free, you should definitely try to free some up. If you have CCleaner installed, run that. If not, run Windows own Disk Cleanup. Uninstall any programs you installed you don't use. Clean out your Downloads folder. If that still does not give you 20 - 30GB of free space, you will need to move some personal files or programs to a different drive.

I remember when I first got a SSD I read not to have a paging file on the SSD
Whoever told you that was wrong. SSDs and Page Files are ideal for each other.

See Support and Q&A for Solid-State Drives and scroll down to, "Frequently Asked Questions, Should the pagefile be placed on SSDs?" While the article is getting old, it still applies - even more so now since wear problems of early generation SSDs are no longer a problem.
 
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Ummm, not really. When free disk space becomes limited (HD or SSD) the problem is Windows has no room for temporary files. And Windows opens lots of temporary files when running and more temporary files are created whenever other programs are loaded. Any time you open any file for editing, a temporary copy of that file is created. And of course, browsing uses a lot of cookies and temporary internet files too.

While the page file size is dynamic (if you let Windows manage it - and that is recommended) it does not change size dramatically enough to impact performance significantly. By far, the problem is a lack of space for temp files.

@ Jim If you only have 5GB free, you should definitely try to free some up. If you have CCleaner installed, run that. If not, run Windows own Disk Cleanup. Uninstall any programs you installed you don't use. Clean out your Downloads folder. If that still does not give you 20 - 30GB of free space, you will need to move some personal files or programs to a different drive.

Whoever told you that was wrong. SSDs and Page Files are ideal for each other.

See Support and Q&A for Solid-State Drives and scroll down to, "Frequently Asked Questions, Should the pagefile be placed on SSDs?" While the article is getting old, it still applies - even more so now since wear problems of early generation SSDs are no longer a problem.
Below is from this link - http://www.allsandiegocomputerrepair.com/575/full-hard-drive-slow-computer/

I pagefile is used for multi tasking and caching data.

…this idea of a full hard drive slowing down your computer does have “some” basis in reality. You may be aware of something called a system cache, pagefile or superfetch. You may have also heard it called “virtual memory.” Here’s what that’s all about…

The RAM memory chips in your computer are fast, but they don’t hold enough to do everything the computer needs to do, so the “overflow” that the RAM chips can’t support gets sent to the hard drive.

A certain portion of your hard drive (literally, about 1% – maybe even less) needs to be reserved for this function.

If your personal data begins encroaching on this space that is reserved for system files (the “prefetch” or “cache”), your computer most certainly WILL get slower and slower – very noticeably so. But that isn’t going to happen until your computer’s hard drive is SOLID BLUE, you won’t run into any problems.
 

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