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Solutions: Getting rid of memory hogs on an aging Dell

I have a Dell Dimension E310 running an updated Windows XP, 2 GB of RAM, using Outlook Express 6, Internet Explorer 7 and Security Essentials antivirus. I have kept this computer running well by following your advice. I check the StartUp periodically using MSConfig. About once every couple of months, I run Malwarebytes in safe mode. My computer has started running slower recently. The task manager says the top memory hog is iexplore.exe, which uses 30 to 50 MB memory usage. Is this normal? If not, what should I do? The second CPU hog is MsMpEng.exe, which appears to be part of Windows Defender. I no longer have Defender on this machine. Is this part of Essentials? Is this an okay process to have on my computer? I ran ComboFix in safe mode, thinking this may help. It says McAfee Virus Scan is running and to stop it before continuing. I cannot find McAfee on my computer. Is it okay to run ComboFix with this error? If no, how do I find McAfee and delete it?

Fifty MB of RAM for Internet Explorer, plus an additional 50 MB for each tab opened is normal on Windows XP. MsMpEng.exe was part of Windows Defender, but it is also part of Microsoft Security Essentials. The Windows Defender version is automatically disabled by the Security Essentials install, but I also recommend going to Control Panel/Add Remove programs and uninstall Windows Defender just to avoid any confusion. The symptoms you're experiencing along with the ComboFix message all seem to point to possible remnants of a prior antivirus install. Go to tinyurl.com/SPTSolutions8 for the McAfee uninstall instruction page. If you still continue to have issues, go to microsoft.com/security and download the latest Security Essentials. Instead of opening and running the download, choose to save it (to your desktop). Go to Control Panel/Add Remove programs and uninstall Windows Security Essentials and then immediately follow that with the install from the latest executable you just downloaded and saved. This should correct any inconsistencies caused by a prior install or malware.

I have an old DVD called The Original LINKS Solid Gold Edition by Lasersoft Inc. made in 1994. I have Windows 7. Is there any way I can play this on my computer now?

You may be able to use the Windows 7 Compatibility wizard to get it to install and then run the older program under settings compatible with earlier versions of Windows. If it won't install, click Start, type "compatibility" and the "Run programs made for previous versions of Windows" selection will display at the top of the program list. Click it, select Try Recommended Settings and follow the instructions for "The program worked in earlier versions of Windows but won't install or run now" option.

If the program installs but won't run, go to the containing folder and right-click on the main executable and select "Troubleshoot compatibility." Try the Recommended Settings, or be specific with the Troubleshoot Program options.

Send questions to personaltech@sptimes.com. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: Getting rid of memory hogs on an aging Dell 08/07/11 [Last modified: Sunday, August 7, 2011 5:30am]

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