Why does my computer take long to boot up?

Question

My computer will be 5 year old in March. It has the original 128mb RAM stick installed. A few years ago I added a 256mb stick.(Total 384mb) Everything worked just fine until a few days ago when my computer started taking almost 10 minutes to boot up. This happened regardless if the computer was turned on from the "power off" state or when doing a simple restart.

After contacting my computer manufacturer's support desk, the technician had me physically remove and re-seat the RAM memory cards (sticks). This seemed to resolve my slow boot up problem, for several days. (6 to be exact) The problem has since returned. Another call to tech support was made and this time I was told that the RAM is getting old and could be "worn out" and that I should replace it with new sticks.

How long is a RAM memory card (stick) expected to last?

Will purchasing and installing new memory cards (sticks) really resolve my slow boot problem?

Memory stick = 128mb P100 168 pin (non-parity) 256mb is the same.

I have also trimmed down the programs on the startup list to the bare minimum using the 'MSCONFIG' feature in my version of Windows. I use AV software and anti-spyware software and scan frequently so I have ruled out these as possible causes.

I would like your advise before I go out and purchase new RAM.

Answer

This question was answered on November 16, 2004. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Top quality RAM usually continues to operate properly for decades Because it has no moving parts, RAM really doesn't wear out, and your RAM will probaly continue to work just fine long after you've gotten rid of your current computer If RAM is going to fail, it usually fails near the beginning of its life

Lack of memory or bad/incompatible memory can limit a computer's effectiveness When you have a lot of applications open, your system tends to slow to a crawl

Solution:

More memory When a PC uses all the available space in RAM, it begins to offload information to the computer's hard drive Accessing information from a hard drive is much slower than accessing data from RAM, resulting in a performance loss Doubling the amount of memory, in most cases, should solve the problem Alternatively, you can try running fewer applications

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Author

Posted by Henry of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on November 16, 2004