This weekend I was investigating the capabilities of the two NVIDIA graphics cards in my laptop and a password cracking application called oclHashcat. The oclHashcat application uses OpenCL, the Open Computing Language, to utilize the processing power of your graphics cards GPU’s to crack passwords. My laptop is a Dell Studio XPS 1340 which utilizes Hybrid SLI technology to offer a good amount of graphics power while using the least amount of battery life possible. The laptop accomplishes this by mostly using an NVIDIA graphics card, which is a NVIDIA 9400G M, that is installed on the motherboard and only calling the second graphics card, which is a NVIDIA G210M, when it needs to render something in say 3D or higher quality than the 9400G M is equipped to handle. One thing I happened upon during my research was an NVIDIA utility that will easily allow you to overclock your NVIDIA graphics cards which I describe in more detail below.
I was troubleshooting a Windows XP computer that had been brought in to my friends computer shop this afternoon and noticed something odd going on with the Windows Task Manager. The computer had multiple issues including various viruses, Norton Internet Security installed, hadn’t been upgraded or patched for over a year, and numerous other items going wrong. I will say that Norton Internet Security is probably the worst antivirus software I have ever come across because not only does it take over every aspect of your computer but on top of that it doesn’t even save your computer from getting infected by viruses. After getting the computer in working shape by removing Norton Internet Security and beginning the installation of Windows XP patches I launched Windows Task Manager to view something and when I did the list of running applications displayed but I could not click other tabs that normally appear at the top of the Task Manager. Below I display an image of what the Windows Task Manager looked like and how I easily resolved the issue.
You can stop Windows XP from using the pagefile.sys file for SWAP memory however it is not typically recommended. Most suggestions on the Internet say that you should always make the pagefile 1.5 times the amount of physical memory you have in the Windows PC. It is also mentioned that you should have at least 1GB of memory if you are going to disable the Windows SWAP. Windows should not use SWAP (pagefile.sys) unless it has run out of RAM (memory) to use however I noticed on my PC that it appeared as though SWAP was being used after only 20% or so of my actual physical memory was being used so I decided to try disabling the SWAP and so far it has made most things faster on my PC.
To disable the Windows SWAP memory usage follow the below simple steps which will require a reboot at the end of configuration.
After upgrading the RAM on your Windows XP or Windows Vista computer (laptops and desktops) you should review your performance settings. The primary concern will be your pagefile.sys size to make sure it matches or exceeds the amount of RAM you have in the computer. For those of us that are familiar with Linux more so than Windows the pagefile is also called the swap file in Windows. The pagefile or swap file is used for anything that won’t fit into RAM so technically it is an overflow for RAM so the excess has somewhere to go.
RAM: Random Access Memory