As many of you know, I am in Texas this week visiting the kids. Today I am trying — notice that word TRYING — to un-gunk a hard disk that has been completely filled to the brim with home videos. Let me start from the beginning. Upon our arrival on Monday evening, I was told that the household laptop was running slow. A check of the hard disk showed that it was filled, with only 1% of the drive available. This is a Windows XP machine with only a 60 GB hard disk.

I found a folder which contained 16.9 GB of video files. These were home movies of various family functions. I went down to Walmart and picked up a pack of DVDs to transfer the files to. But when you have a hard disk that has no room left for virtual memory, the process is slower than molasses. LOL.

So what is virtual memory and why is it so important? This is a very basic description:

Windows Virtual Memory is a portion of hard disk space which acts like RAM in your computer. For example, if you have a virtual memory of 100 MB, then this will act as 100 MB RAM in your computer in case your actual RAM installed is not sufficient for the CPU to carry on all the current running processes smoothly.

The bottom line is this. If you jam pack your hard drive full, there will be very limited room for your system to use virtual memory, and the system will run slowly. By removing huge files from the system, this will free up more space and will increase the efficiency of your computer.

Unfortunately this laptop I am working on also has a  virus!

I hope this helps someone out there in computer land.