Slow PC – Vista

I worked on a system today that was not only infected with the dreaded System Tool Virus but the owner also complained about the system running slow. On investigation it turned out to be a Vista desktop running with only 1Gb system memory.

I’ve seen this a lot over the past 12 months. Vista machines that were sold at 1Gb, or in some cases 512Mb, that cannot now cope with the demands of the updated Vista operating systems and the security tools. The fix for this is easy and relatively low cost. Basically install more system memory.

For Vista you will currently need a minimum of 2Gb. If you are local to LITES PC then I would be happy to assist with this (refer However, if you would like to go it alone then the process is fairly straight forward.

(1) Find out how much memory you have installed in your system. Do this by Right Clicking on Computer on the desktop and selecting Properties. This will show you the operating system that you have and the amount of memory. You will need 2Gb (2048Mb) or more.

(2) Find out what type of memory you have and the number of slots available. There is a great little tool online that will do this for you. Check it out at

(3) Buy more memory. The tool above will link you to Crucial’s online shop where you can purchase the memory. However I tend to use You can also use local computer support providers or your favourite supplier. The new memory DIMMs will look similar to this.

(4) On receipt remove the side panel of the PC. This will likely be held on by two screws, top and bottom, and generally will then slide backwards slightly and can then be pulled off at an angle. Some modern systems make it even easier to remove the side panel by have a spring clip to secure it rather than screws.

(5) Inside the system you will see the memory dimms which will be installed in the memory slots. Most systems have either two or four memory slots. The slots look like this.

(6) On either side of the DIMMS there is a white fastener. Hold both fasteners and lever backward to lift the DIMM out of the slot. Do this for each one that you want to remove.

(7) You can now install the new DIMMs. Look at the Dimm and you will see a small cut out in the connector. This corresponds to a plastic key in the memory slot and prevents you installing the memory the wrong way around. Match the slot to the key. Place your thumbs along the memory DIMM and gently, but firmly, push down. The side spring connectors should pop into place and the memory should snap into place. You’re now done.

(8) You can now put the side back on and restart your system. Modern system will detect and automatically configure the memory.

(9) When Windows is back up repeat Step (1) to check that the system is now addressing the new memory. If not the most likely cause is that the memory DIMM has not been fully inserted in the slot.

(TIP: but take care. I always check the memory BEFORE putting the side panel back on. Be very careful though as this leaves exposed voltages and it is only recommended for the experienced. If you do this turn the system OFF again before you refit the side panel.)

About taffybach

Author of the young adult fantasy novel series, The Portal Chronicles, including The Spider Gem and The Shimmering Gate. When not writing and promoting Taff runs a small IT support company, LITES PC based in Bourne UK.
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