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RAM « ZolexPC Blog About Us - Remote Computer Support & Help | Zolex PC

Keep your Email Archived

Recently I had a customer who was complaining of a Slow PC, especially when using Outlook.    The customer had Windows Vista with 1 GB of RAM.   The customer also had 15,000 emails in their Inbox.

These two issues combined will result in an extremely slow and sometimes non-responsive PC.    The RAM issue is easily fixed by adding more to it.   For Vista, we at ZolexPC usually recommend at least 2 GB of RAM for Vista.    In this case I recommended the customer go up to 4 GB for the machine provided it was in their budget.   Vista is very RAM intensive and the more the merrier.      With that issue solved, I was then ready to move on to her Outlook problem.

This customer had not only not deleted any emails for the last few years but also had never Archived their emails either.    This is a recipe for trouble and a slow PC.   Outlook is primarily one file which is called the .PST.   Everything in Outlook such as your emails, contacts, address book, calendar, and anything else you can think of is stored in this one file.   As time goes on this file gets larger and larger by using email etc.   I have seen some .PST files into 15-20 GB.    This is very large and will surely hamper Outlook from running smoothly.    In addition to this issue the customer had their Send and Receive settings for Outlook were set to 1 minute.  Because of how large her file was it would actually take longer than 1 minute for it complete the Send and Receive process.  Outlook was constantly Sending and Receiving thereby further bogging down the system.

To fix these problems is very easy.   First step is to set up your Send and Receive to something a bit longer than 1 minute such as 15 minutes.  This will give plenty of time to complete the process.   If you are expecting an important email, you can always do a manual Send/Receive.    The next step was to clean up the old emails.   At the customer's request all emails before Jan 2010 were ok to delete.    With the deletion of 10,000 emails Outlook became more responsive as the size of the PST file was reduced.   In addition the customer was informed to Auto Archive their files when prompted.  Archiving your files in Outlook moves them out of the PST file and into an Archive file.  This does not mean you lose the email or cannot retrieve it if you want to read it.  It may take a bit longer to access it but it keeps your Outlook running smooth and far less cluttered.    By Default Outlook will Archive your files. If you are not sure you can check yourself.  In Office 2007 go to Tools, Options, Other, and AutoArchive.  You can set how often and from how long ago you wish to archive your emails.

With these changes in place the Customer's PC is running very smoothly.  The Added RAM and Tweaking of Outlook has led to Outlook opening and closing faster, improved start up and shut down times for Windows and overall PC Performance.   Even if you are not using Outlook, be sure to Archive your emails.     Staying on top of items like this makes your time spent on the PC more efficient and hopefully more enjoyable.

As more and more programs and other functions are added to our computers, the amount of RAM you have on your PC is very important.    RAM makes it all go faster so do yourself a favor and add some RAM and Archive those emails.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week.




Why You Should Add RAM To Your Old PC

Adding RAM to an older PC is one easy way of extending the life and functionality of the machine.   Adding RAM will help out your machine with Starting up, Shutting down, surfing the net, watching videos, playing games, and just about everything else in between.   Every program on your PC needs RAM and the more of it to go around the more things your PC can do faster and more efficiently.    If your PC does not have enough RAM then programs will take longer to load, the machine may appear sluggish or slow to respond.     As computers get more advanced, there are more programs running behind the scenes of your machine then ever before.

Some of these programs you may see such as your Antivirus software.    These programs are designed to run on your PC at all times and are vital to the functioning of windows.   While some can be shut down with little or no harm, most should be left alone.   All of these process and programs need RAM to run and if there isn't enough RAM on your system to go around, then the programs have to wait their turn in line for the RAM to be allocated to them to perform their actions.    For example, if you have a total of 512 MB of RAM on your machine,     Normal required Windows process\programs  may account for 200-300 MB of this RAM.  You have approx 250 left for other programs on your PC.  If you open up Internet Explorer or Firefox, that may use up another 100 or so.  If you use a Chat program such as AIM or MSN Messenger that will use up additional RAM as well.   Before you know it your machine is slow to respond.   By adding additional RAM to your PC you safely run all of these with no slowdown in performance.  PC Games also require RAM, and have minimum requirements that must be met in order for the game to run properly.   If the game does not have enough RAM it may fail to install or load or just may play very choppy and crash a lot.

The decision to add RAM to your PC is a pretty easy one to make.  First off,  How old is your PC?   If your PC is 10 years old or more, it is probably not worth installing additional RAM.  The older machines can only handle so much RAM.  If this is you, it may be best to consider purchasing a new PC.    If your machine is only 5-8 years old, there is a good chance you can add some RAM to it.    RAM is not too expensive and upgrading your PC can cost you anywhere from $50-$100.    RAM is also something you may be able to do yourself.   This depends on whether or not you are comfortable with opening up your PC.    Even if you are not, the stores will not charge you too much to do this as the process is quick and easy.   You can bring your PC to the store, have the RAM installed and be ready to go in about 10 minutes.  This does not include waiting in line.

RAM comes in all different shapes and sizes so it is important to make sure you purchase the correct RAM.   A simple way is to go the website www.crucial.com and let the website scan your system.  It will give you the exact amount of RAM your machine can handle and type needed for the upgrade.  Using this information you can make the best choice for your needs and budget.     At ZolexPC we recommend Windows XP should have at least 1 GB or more.    If you are running Windows Vista, you should have at a minimum of 2 GB.   With Vista the more RAM the better off you will be.  Windows 7 for new PC's should come with enough RAM for your need but can also be upgraded.   If you can afford it maximizing the amount of RAM in your PC will certainly pay dividends.

If your PC is old and somewhat slow consider adding RAM to it today to improve performance, speed, and everything in between.  Your computer will be very happy and so will you once you see the difference adding RAM can make on your PC.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week.




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