The Digital Life, Houston We Have a Problem, 058 27/10/07


Virtually Running Out of Memory

I am running Professional XP on my recently acquired laptop. I have had several warnings about 'low virtual memory' even though the computer does not appear to be accessing more than one or two programs. Would you recommend a ‘Registry Fix’ program to sort it out, preferably one I can download for free?

Geoff Neale, Hereford


Steady on! The Windows Registry is responsible for a lot of Windows woes but many, like this one can often be put right with a simple user tweak.


‘Virtual memory’ is simply space on your hard disc drive that Windows uses to temporarily store files for running programs. The idea is it takes the strain off your RAM memory, which is much faster and better employed for more demanding tasks. Applications like Microsoft Office tend to be quite greedy for virtual memory and use rather a lot of it, sometimes more than Windows allows, so the trick is to make more available.


Open System Properties by pressing Winkey + Break (or right-click My Computer and select Properties), select the Advanced tab then the Settings button under Performance Options, select the Advanced tab then under Virtual Memory click Change. Check the item ‘Change Size.’ and enter a higher value. There is no right or wrong number, Windows will advise you of the maximum size it can allocate but as a general rule aim for between 1.5 and 2x the size of your RAM memory. For example, if you have 1Gb or RAM set the Virtual Memory to 1.5 or 2Gb. You will need to reboot for the change to take effect. 




Shut Up Vista!

I run Windows Vista Home Premium on a desktop PC. Not too many gripes except that the Shut Down button, which was on the Taskbar, has disappeared. It's not just hidden it has gone, together with the Lock function.  I'm not worried about the latter but I'd like the Shut Down button back. Any ideas?

Peter Birkett, by email


The quick and simple way to get Vista’s Start switch-off options looking like Windows XP is to right-click on the Start button, select Properties and select Classic Start menu. If you want to stay with the Vista look then you have several choices (arguably too many...). There are actually nine options -- two icons, and seven menu actions – but Microsoft would like you to learn to love Vista’s new and improved ‘Sleep’ mode, which is what happens when you click the Off button on the Start menu (or the Off button on your PC).


The Shut Down option has been moved to the small drop-down menu to the right of the padlock icon (the missing Lock mode). If you want to make the Off button on the Start menu shut down the PC go to Search on the Start button and type ’power’ then select Power Options. Under your selected Power Plan click ‘Change Plan Settings’ then ‘Change advanced power settings’. Scroll down the list to Power buttons, double-click ‘Start menu power button’ and change the setting from Sleep to Shut Down.



Favicon Fix

In Internet Explorer I find today that quite a number of the icons in my Favorites are mixed up, your own Daily Telegraph entry has the icon for the BBC home page and Amazon has that for Wikipedia.  What has happened?   My laptop is just weeks old running Vista Home Premium and I have been adding to Favorites all the links from my old laptop. Is this anything to do with it?

Colin Brown, Milton Keynes


Those little icons are called Favicons; Internet Explorer has never been very good at handling them and this can happen if data in the Temporary Internet Files (TIF) folder is corrupted. When Favicons start messing around the trick is to delete the contents of the TIF folder by going to Tools > Internet Options > General, under Browsing History click the Delete button, note that this will also zap any web page passwords and forms you‘ve saved. The correct Favicons will be restored the next time you visit the sites concerned.



Annoying Addresses

I have a very annoying problem with my computer. We run Windows XP, and every time I send or reply to an email to someone new it adds their name to my Address Book. Please could you let me know how I can stop this happening as it is driving me mad!

Julie Holman, by email


Outlook Express is just trying to be helpful… To stop it just go to Tools > Options, select the Send tab and uncheck ‘Automatically put people I reply to in my Address Book’, and click OK.





Perhaps you can help a confused silver surfer?  When I boot up my computer (Windows Vista Home Basic), I get the following meaningless and unhelpful message that I have Christened ‘Googledegook’:


Incorrect DLL Loaded! x GoogleDesktop.exe,



All I can do is click OK and make it go away.

John McGrath, by email


I suspect this is linked to a known bug in Google Desktop, which has been fixed and should disappear when you upgrade to the latest version from: http://desktop.google.com/





© R. Maybury 2007 1510


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