My work computer is not an Intel machine. It is the AMD equivalent of
the pentium three I believe. It is running windows 98. When using it
to listen to streaming music over the DSL connection it will stop
working well after about 4 hours. If the computer is not re-booted
every twenty hours or so it gets real slow. Where should I look to
solve these problems? The place where I bought it is less than
helpful. So much for supporting THAT local business.
Eric R Snow,
who is better at machining than computers
As you use your computer, RAM gets used up in the different applications
that you work with. You need to reboot to free up this RAM in windows
98. I have Norton Systems works in my pc, and I can watch as the ram
gets used up. I would say that shutting down at night would be the best
thing anyway. It doesn't have anything to do with AMD or Intel processor.
Eric R Snow wrote:
Does the machine still slow or stop working after extended periods
without the music player running or loaded? What you're describing isn't
normal even for windows 98. It's often difficult to see whats causeing a
slow down because the tools you need to run often can't, but basically as
suggested you've got a memory issue, a cpu utilisation issue or a slim
possibility of something overheating(?) and so locking up.
IS your PC behind a firewall or do you have any firewall between the PC
and the DSL modem? Do you have the latest fixes from MS for win98 and
explorer? This could be any number of viruses or Trojans which could
slow your system like this, although it would be an extreme case. If you
haven't already done so do a virus check and get the free copy of AD-
Aware and do a spybot/trojan check too. Do you have means to see how much
of your bandwidth is being used?
From a different perspective most OS's including windows 98 try to use
all the available RAM by design. RAM is used by the different apps but it
is intended that the OS use as much of the available RAM as possible to
speed up the machine and waste time doing disk accesses to the paging
file. Windows 98 and 98se are not very good or efficient at fully
utilising more than 256Mb of RAM but it still runs fine with more.
The problem comes when programs require RAM, or more correctly more pages
of data to be sourced preferably from RAM or from the page file or
ultimately from system or data files on disk. To make space for program
demands pages are swapped out in favor of other data. If you have a
program that doesn't allow it's pages to be released then you get slower
ad slower RAM access as the space fragments. This especially a problem
with long running programs..
First thing I'd suggest is checking for viruses and spybots
Then, if possible I'd test whether the machine locks up without the music
program running. IF so then try another version or another vendors
program because the version you have probably has a memory leak.
When the machine slows see if you can get in to check the cpu
utilisation. If it's pegged at 100% then see whats using it. The same
program will allow you to view columns to see the reads and writes from
memory and disk too.
If it's not virus related, slows up without the music program running and
cpu isn't at 100% then check how hot the thing is, if things get too hot
then it's possible that a PC could slow as you describe, but more
normally they would just lock up. Make sure the insides are clean, fans
are running and the cpu, disk and memory are cool enough to run. AMD's of
the P3 equivalent draw a lot of power and produce a lot of heat.
"Robert Swinney" wrote in
You might try a different application for handling the streaming audio feed.
You also might upgrade to Windows 2000 Pro. If you want to do that, Eric,
contact me off-line -- I *just* went through that exact thing.
Eric R Snow wrote:
Thanks for the reply. I do shut the machine down every night but
streaming radio will cause the slowdown and failure in about 4 hours.
Does this mean I just need more ram? It's cheap enough, so if that's
what is needed to fix the problem I'll do it.
It slows even when not streaming. And with the streaming software
closed. I've run adaware and spybot. It occurs when the dsl modem or
whatever it's called is off too. I think Jim has the answer. More ram.
Switch to Linux. I often leave my Linux system running 3 months and more!
I run Win 2K in a virtual machine using the vmware program. Windows
runs a lot more reliably in a "perfect" virtual environment. Linux is WAY
more secure than Windows, although I've been hacked twice in the past
3 years it has been online.
Eric, I don't do much with streaming radio, so I can't help much more
from experience. As one other poster mentioned, you can install more
ram. I have 512 in this system with windows 98. Of course, your
motherboard has to support it, etc.
Eric R Snow wrote:
[ ... ]
And here is my OpenBSD on a Shuttle S51G (with a Celeron CPU,
instead of a Pentium):
12:23AM up 58 days, 12:23, 2 users, load averages: 0.14, 0.11, 0.09
And a unix box on a 2.4 GHz Celeron really *screams*. (It is
amazing how much Windows slows down a system. :-)
And here are some other unix boxen:
ceilidh up 267+07:27, 0 users, load 0.04, 0.10, 0.13
izalco up 56+03:59, 1 user, load 0.02, 0.08, 0.11
popocat up 276+09:48, 0 users, load 0.15, 0.02, 0.01
Those uptimes are days+hours:minutes, and the uptime on popocat goes
back to the last time I had to replace the batteries in my UPS after too
many long power outages and several years of service. Izalco has gotten
more recent hardware changes (an added array of disks), hence the
shorter uptime on that.
Running almost full time since I built that machine. The OS is
OpenBSD 3.5, one of the more secure OS's around -- though a bit less
user-friendly to a Windows user.
This, I can't tell you. I've been using various flavors of unix
(including at home) before ever having a PC -- back in the MS-DOS days.
I will tell you that *I* find any unix flavor easier to use than Windows
(current version is Windows 2K.) But then, I *like* command-lines. And
I do understand that any unix is a bit of a paradigm shift for a new
user after Widows or MS-DOS.
However -- once you know *one* unix, it becomes very easy to
move to another one, as most things work the same -- and most new
programs (free on the net in source code form) can be compiled to run on
the older machines too.
I would suggest that you find someone who knows unix/linux to
help you get started, if you opt to go this way.
While Unix/Linux is pretty stable, the best O/S for stability
(in my not-so-humble opinion) is VMS (aka OpenVMS). I have
systems at client sites that only go down if a power failure
outlasts the UPS batteries, or we *absolutely* need the features
of a new O/S version. Uptimes of two years or more are common
for single systems. If we cluster them, then it becomes
essentially unlimited. For example, the Irish national railway
VMS cluster stayed up 17 years. Individual CPUs were upgraded
over the years by removing them from the cluster, doing the
upgrade, then returning them to the cluster. VMS runs on VAX,
Alpha, and now Intel's IA64 (Itanium) CPU. All three can be
members of the same cluster.
I'm sorry for polluting r.c.m with non-metalworking stuff, but
VMS consulting is what gives me the time and money to do what
is even more fun: work with metal in my shop.
the windows 9X series have known problems that suggest that a reboot every
once in a while is a good idea, but a problem in 4 hours is not a windows
problem I've seen (usually it's closer to 24 to 48 hours) - I'd see if there
is a different version of the straming audio applicaiton. Also, even on a
PIII, you will find windows 2000 is quite a bit more stable and a lot faster
(if you have enough RAM)
and, while Unix is wonderful, switching to unix from windows just to listen
to audio is probably not good advice - without help, setting up a linux
system will take you days (I'm reasonably computer literate, and it took me
many tens of hours to bring up red had version 5 and get it to work with my
print server and other stuff).
Dump Win98. Switch to Win2000 Pro or Win XP. Or, if you're really
smart, switch to Linux. The problem is memory leaks, ie memory that
gets allocated via OS calls but is never freed after the requesting
program or shared library exits. Win98 is notorious for this problem.
2000 and XP are better, Linux better yet.
Gary has it.
I have XP and XP Pro - for win boxes they are stable.
Pro is needed for some advanced CAD I installed.
It does have some software that XP doesn't.
Both are stable.
In the late 70's I used to Call Bill Gates and report bugs and get patches.
This was before Microsoft was a outsource from the company. One of them was
called shuffle - the stacks from used calls would be marked but still use
memory. From time to time, they would shuffle and change the stacks. Shuffle
is like cards and had to be in one straight flow operation less something is
I had to know how to turn it off (once it was programmed to work) for machine
programs running with his o.s. and programs. I got the address to poke one way
back - and it was good.
Several years ago, I turned in a major bug on win95 that had a bad stack to
I added a note to pass it on up to Bill and state this is like address shuffle
of control. A patch came out. :-) I think he remembered the issue and knew
Chances are good that your problem IS due to "resource leaks" cause by
some programs not releasing memory they've apportioned to themselves
when they are done and/or shut down.
I'm still running Win98 on my home computer because from several past
experiences each time I've tried to upgrade to a newer version of
Windows than the one which came with the computer when I bought I've
bitterly regretted that decision.
There is a "Resource Meter" in Win98 you might want to use. It's
accessed from Start>Programs>Accessories>System Tools>Resource Meter.
It puts a little "sight glass" style indicator near the clock at the
right end of the task bar so you can see how many "gallons of resource"
you have left.
If you find that gauge is real low when things slow down you've located
the source of your problems, but I'm far too ignorant about such things
tell you how to fix it other than rebooting and trying a different
application program to accomplish what you need to do.