the dell-eo

March 2, 2003

I know I haven’t wrote about any computer issues recently, mainly because I have gotten out (or at least tried to) of fixing computers on the side. One of my clients has a son who purchased a very expensive Dell system before heading off to college. Now, I’m not a big fan of Dell systems, because they tend to be a little more buggy than other systems. But they needed my help.

The system was crashing and just lagging, so I asked them to list what software was installed before all of this started, and the list amounted to one item that was deleted. So I suspected the errors were being caused by a simple solution, and I was right.

In the past 18 months, my first step is to run an anti-spyware tool. Normally AdAware, this time I decided to try SearchBot (Google it, I don’t feel like linking). I installed it and ran it for a while and really hated the interface. So I downloaded the latest edition of AdAware and it found things the Searchbot didn’t.

I believe we found about 50 pieces of Spyware, and once it (and the temp files) were cleared you could really tell a difference. Now I was really wondering why Gator was dragging down the system and I found out it was because this expensive Dell only had 128mb of RAMBUS memory. Between Norton AV, Windows XP, and all of this spyware, memory use only left about 15mb to run other programs.

I really hated to tell this family that they needed more memory. I came from the time when 16mb cost over $1,000 dollars. My recommended systems came with 128, until about 6 months ago. Then again, they never ran XP. If Windows 2k or 98/ME was installed, 128 should handle most everything. But if you’re running games, XP, and Movies you really need at least 256mb, otherwise get as much memory as you can afford. If you “build your own” on Dell, drop the processor down one below what is normally selected and use that cost to upgrade the memory. Most people only need a 600Mhz, but the memory matters.