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Thread: New user - -super low RAM + computer has frozen a few times. Advice?

  1. #1
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    Question New user - -super low RAM + computer has frozen a few times. Advice?

    This is the outcome of free -m
    Code:
    mimi@Isis:~$ free -m
                 total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
    Mem:           874        767        106          0         32        345
    -/+ buffers/cache:        390        484
    Swap:          893         12        881
    mimi@Isis:~$
    Someone had mentioned that maybe it's that the actual RAM stick has failed or came loose but I am not sure how they came to that conclusion.

    I just want to see if there is another option since I have gone through a lot of computer issues recently and need to have something stable for work.

    Related to the issue-I'd like to get rid of unity interface and switch to something that is lighter if anyone can tell me how to do that....
    someone had given me Gnome classic no effects as an option but I had to reinstall.

  2. #2
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: New user - -super low RAM + computer has frozen a few times. Advice?

    I don't seem to understand the question. How much RAM do you think you have? If you say, for example, "I have 2 GB of RAM installed", I would probably say that most likely one of the RAM chips is defect. If you have 1 GB installed and there is also an integrated graphics card that takes its memory from the installed system RAM, the output you post looks reasonable.

    On lighter desktop environments, you should look at Xubuntu or Lubuntu. Both desktops can be installed without re-install by installing the packages xubuntu-desktop or lubuntu-desktop on top of your current installation.

  3. #3
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    Re: New user - -super low RAM + computer has frozen a few times. Advice?

    I agree with 2F4U: how much RAM have you got? You can see it during boot. Or run the script http://www.appelboor.com/dump/check-my-hardware.py to see all memory details of your system.

    Unity is too heavy for 1GB of RAM (which you seem to have), so choose Lubuntu or Xubuntu.

    Computer frozen? How "frozen": for tens of seconds non-responsive and then it works again, or frozen-frozen and (edit NOT coming back again. If the latter, run memtest86 from your GRUB menu to see if your RAM is OK.
    Last edited by sanderj; June 3rd, 2012 at 12:51 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: New user - -super low RAM + computer has frozen a few times. Advice?

    thank you that's really helpful I didnt even think to mention how much RAM I should have nor did the person helping me ever ask. Under details however, it says I have 857MiB which he said was very very low and thought a card had failed. Your explanation has at least made me understand how to find out where the problem lies.

    I dont know anything about graphic cards but I did have a message awhile back (before this install) it was something about and error with gnome and my graphics card or lack there of. Not too sure. But my disk drive isnt working so I need to have the computer opened up anyway I will check on the graphic card. And thanks again for those suggestions, very much appreciated going to look them up now.

  5. #5
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    Re: New user - -super low RAM + computer has frozen a few times. Advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by mimicatastrophe View Post
    thank you that's really helpful I didnt even think to mention how much RAM I should have nor did the person helping me ever ask. Under details however, it says I have 857MiB which he said was very very low and thought a card had failed. Your explanation has at least made me understand how to find out where the problem lies.

    I dont know anything about graphic cards but I did have a message awhile back (before this install) it was something about and error with gnome and my graphics card or lack there of. Not too sure. But my disk drive isnt working so I need to have the computer opened up anyway I will check on the graphic card. And thanks again for those suggestions, very much appreciated going to look them up now.
    You don't need to have a look at your graphics card; its memory usage is just a detail.

    The real interesting thing is how much RAM you have installed in your system. If it is 1GB, the information provided by "free -m" is correct.

    So, run the script from http://www.appelboor.com/dump/check-my-hardware.py and you'll know.

    Here's what the script reports about my 4GB laptop:

    Code:
    sander@R540:~$ sudo python check-my-hardware.py 
    [sudo] password for sander: 
    check-my-hardware.py - version: SJ 2012-03-05
    OK, you're root
    ANALYSIS:
    Total of physical memory modules found 4096 MB in 2 memory module(s)
    BIOS offers 3890 MB as usable
    Memory seen by OS 3753 MB
    BIOS version 06/21/2010
    CPU is PAE enabled
    CPU is x86_64 64-bit enabled
    OS is x86_64 64-bit
    
    SUMMARY:
    Memory difference between DIMM hardware and BIOS offering 206 MB
    Memory difference between BIOS offering and memory seen by OS 137 MB
    Memory difference between DIMM hardware and memory seen by OS 343 MB
    
    ADVICE:
    Nothong unusual found, so no advice for your setup
    
    Finally: show more detailed memory info from lshw. This can take up to 30 seconds ...
           description: System Memory
           size: 4GiB
              description: SODIMM DDR3 Synchronous 667 MHz (1.5 ns)
              size: 2GiB
              description: SODIMM DDR3 Synchronous 667 MHz (1.5 ns)
              size: 2GiB
              description: SODIMM DDR3 Synchronous [empty]
              description: SODIMM DDR3 Synchronous [empty]
    
    Finished
    sander@R540:~$
    HTH

  6. #6
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    Talking Re: New user - -super low RAM + computer has frozen a few times. Advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by sanderj View Post
    run the script http://www.appelboor.com/dump/check-my-hardware.py to see all memory details of your system..
    sorry is there a way to do that i see it looks like a terminal input but if i copy and paste into mine i imagine it would not work because of the user name?

    Computer frozen? How "frozen": for tens of seconds non-responsive and then it works again, or frozen-frozen and coming back again. If the latter, run memtest86 from your GRUB menu to see if your RAM is OK
    Nope it freezes for very long and I am unable to do anything. This has happened multiple times a day but has been spaced out where it hasn't been a huge problem but I do save a lot of important drafts I would hate for it to be an issue so if it is just RAM would it be the lack of RAM, and installing more (uninstalling faulty ones if any) fix this?

    thanks so much!

  7. #7
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    Re: New user - -super low RAM + computer has frozen a few times. Advice?

    hahah sorry sanderj each time you replied I was replying! thanks for being so detailed! i will go through your last response and do anything there you have recommended.

  8. #8
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    Re: New user - -super low RAM + computer has frozen a few times. Advice?

    Open a terminal, then type:


    Code:
    wget http://www.appelboor.com/dump/check-my-hardware.py
    sudo python check-my-hardware.py
    HTH

  9. #9
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    Re: New user - -super low RAM + computer has frozen a few times. Advice?

    nice! i have never ran wget. thanks for that and here is the outcome:

    Code:
    ANALYSIS:
    Total of physical memory modules found 1024 MB in 2 memory module(s)
    BIOS offers 894 MB as usable
    Memory seen by OS 874 MB
    BIOS version 08/11/2005
    CPU is PAE enabled
    CPU is x86_64 64-bit enabled
    OS is 32-bit with PAE
    
    SUMMARY:
    Memory difference between DIMM hardware and BIOS offering 130 MB
    Memory difference between BIOS offering and memory seen by OS 20 MB
    Memory difference between DIMM hardware and memory seen by OS 150 MB
    
    ADVICE:
    Your physical memory is less than 3200 MB, and your system does not need special memory treatment
    
    Finally: show more detailed memory info from lshw. This can take up to 30 seconds ...
           description: System Memory
           size: 1GiB
           capacity: 2GiB
              description: DIMM DDR 266 MHz (3.8 ns)
              size: 512MiB
              description: DIMM DDR 266 MHz (3.8 ns)
              size: 512MiB
    
    Finished

  10. #10
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    Re: New user - -super low RAM + computer has frozen a few times. Advice?

    wow is there a reason my BIOS is from 2005? I had a wiped clean hard drive before installing ubuntu 12.04 if that matters...

    and not sure what that DIMM thing is or means but I noticed a large difference.

    your script is nice though, I like how easy the output was to read even for someone like me who doesnt know much about commands.

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