View Full Version : how to improve software/window media player response time

11-16-2007, 03:11 AM
The video editing software that I purchased online a year ago has been responding very slow lately and I emailed to seek advice from the vendor.

I was told that "My guess would be that you have new programs running that start with Windows and less resources for video editing. Therefore, disk swap operations are taking place, which are much slower than RAM access."

I have since taken the following steps:
1) removed spywares/malwares using spybot and adaware
2) deleted cookies and temp internet files in my hard disk
3) defragmented my disk
4) removed unnecessary startup items from the System Configuration Utility and the Startup folder

Disk space is 26.6GB in my C drive and 29.8GB in my D drive.

After I have done the above, I restarted the PC but the video editing software is still very slow in its response as compared to 1/2 year ago. (Window Media Player has the same problem too -when I move the slider to a later position, it took quite a while to play the movie clip )

Query 1 : Is there other steps that I could take to improve its performance?

Also when I go to Add/Remove Programs I see the following 2 java programs:
J2SE Runtime Environment 5.0 Update 6 (size-145MB)
Java(TM) Update 3 (Size-133 MB)

Both progams are taking huge space.

Query 2 :I wonder if I could delete one of the program or do I need to keep both in order for the PC to function properly?

Many thanks in advance for any help.

11-16-2007, 03:30 AM
My suggestion would be to reformat your computer. Spyware and viruses, etc., don't get completely removed, nor does the damage they caused. Use, even proper use, will end up cluttering a computer. Reformat and I guarantee it will be somewhat faster, always.

Also, using a second hard drive (you'll need more space in time anyway-- video takes up a lot) could help. Using that will allow the program and system files to be separate from the video, making access times faster and the whole setup neater.

From what I can tell, those two programs just work with Java. For applets and Java programs, as well as perhaps related to programming in Java. Your system will run fine without both. Java will not. [Completely unrelated to Javascript.]

11-16-2007, 01:28 PM
Thank you very much for your prompt response, djr33.

I have not done any reformatting of my PC myself. I wonder if there is any other way out?

11-16-2007, 02:10 PM
the genuine factors that affect speed in a computer are.
CPU Speed - Processor
how fast is the processor. this doesnt necessarily require to be alot, however along with the RAM, this is one of 2 very crutial components.
RAM - Primary Hard Drive (memory)
this is the primary memory that a computer uses, on windows I believe its more commonly known as Virtual Memory. what it does is load the process' it believes will be used into a "storage bin" so it can access them faster rather then having to go to the ROM.
this is your "main hdd" as most people think, but really its the secondary HDD. currently you are using 89% of your allowable ROM. which I am sure you are aware of is alot. Deleting unused progams will definitely allow for more storage, however the only factor that limits speed on the HDD is placement, which can be fixed using Defragmentation (attempt to reorganize the data to use continuous blocks of storage instead of piece here piece there)
Currently Running Processees
some of these are native, meaning they must run or the computer will not function properly. generally the ones that are not crutial are "owned" by whatever your username is. if you open up the task manager you will see how many processes are currently active at the moment, and while its possible to hide a processee from the list, generally those are the ones running. A computer running in "safe-mode" on windows xp generally only reqires about 23-28 process' Thanks to Micro$haft the default for any given Windows version is 30 to 44... yes I have seen systems with 44 process' after initial installation.

4) removed unnecessary startup items from the System Configuration Utility and the Startup folder

start > run > msconfig
if you are using XP it comes installed on the machine, if not you would need to download it and install msconfig.exe before you could run it.

that startup folder? if so then thats the correct way to prevent unnecessary processee's from being initiated

After I have done the above, I restarted the PC but the video editing software is still very slow in its response as compared to 1/2 year ago. (Window Media Player has the same problem too -when I move the slider to a later position, it took quite a while to play the movie clip )

WMP uses alot of the cpu, but generally for all window's based programs the newer it is the more memory(ram) and cpu it requires, because the whole program is generally loaded into the RAM, rather then just the crutial start-up files/processee's. if you want to improve speed on wmp, then downgrade the version. v10 and even v9 can handle a very large percentage of operations and video/audio formats. so if you have v11, then downgrade

J2SE Runtime Environment 5.0 Update 6 (size-145MB)
Java(TM) Update 3 (Size-133 MB)
As djr33 stated, Java applets while they take up storage, only are used when a browser calls for them, generally for internet gaming / other e-media sites. You will know its being loaded because the team at Sun Microsystems created a white background with an Orange Box split in 2 that has the word "Java" on it and the box expands / contracts as the java applet is loaded into the memory.

one option to improve speed is to go out and get more memory.
another would be to upgrade your cpu
and a third would be to get an external hdd.

by what you stated as only having a 30g harddrive, this machine is probably a good 4/5 years old?
i am not saying that you must get a new one, but as a rule of thumb the technology industry is doubling in ability and speed every 18months, therefore after 1yr6mo on average the computer can do twice as much in the same amount of time.

11-16-2007, 03:10 PM
Thank you so much for your detailed explanation, Boogyman. I will downgrade WMP to an older version.

My C drive capacity is 76 GB (used space 50gb, free space 26.6gb)
D drive capacity is 37.2 GB (used space 9.69gb, free space 27.5gb )

Would appreciate if someone could advise on how much more RAM to add ?

11-16-2007, 03:26 PM
well it depends on what you want to run. the more intensive program you run the more resources it requires
for instance.

a programmer of a compiled language(c,c++,etc...)
need to have more memory because the compiling program requires alot of memory,

a gamer
need to have alot of memory because the most of the modern games are more memory intensive, also requires a good audio / video card

a movie watcher
cpu/memory doesnt have to be excellent, also doesnt need the excellent audio/video card of a gamer, but should have something that isnt too out of date.

a general check email user
doesn't require anything special. most email programs do not require a lot of resources so really it just depend on the patience of the user

as you can see the requirements for users depend. I would suggest either 512mb / 1024mb memory (ram) capacity will be fine, short of being a gamer / high-def movie watcher

when I was creating the list before I forgot to add the audio/visual card.
if you do have a decent amount of ram accessible (512mb) min you have a decent cpu (64bit 1.5 AMD/Intel) and your system is still slow, I would look into checking the audio / visual card there might be an updated driver that you can download, or maybe you would want to go with something that is more powerful... either way you would need to make sure the rest of your system can support the better quality card.

11-16-2007, 11:12 PM
Unfortunately, video work is about as intensive an activity as you can do on a computer. The only real "competition" for most processor/ram-intensive would be gamers who have life-like simulated games.


Anyway, the more RAM you have, the faster it will be. However, it will start to level off after a while. Adding 16GB of ram to a slow processor, or for that matter any processor, won't allow the system to run significantly faster.

The general rule of thumb for video work is that 2GB is good, and 3GB is great or recommended for High Definition editing. Pros may have 3GB. I do a lot of video editing (Standard Definition only, though, so far), and I'm quite happy with my 2GB of RAM.

I'm also not very convinced about this "magic of RAM" theory. The first thing most people toss out to fix a system is "get more RAM"... but that's not exactly true.

RAM stores the data as you work with it. If you are watching a 2 megabyte movie clip, you need at least 2 megabytes free to watch it. That's how it works. So, really, 256MB of RAM, very low for a computer, is quite a lot in some sense. But everything you have running, from the very basic framework under your operating system is stored in RAM.
When you restart your computer, RAM is cleared-- it needs to have power running through it to store stuff.
It's generally faster than hard discs, and more resilient for repetitive usage.
So, basically, anything you have "going on" on the computer uses RAM to do it. Some bigger operations, like copying files, are done in chunks (though still pass through the RAM, most likely), and then copied directly to the discs.
But the RAM stores everything as it happens.

Bottom line is that this means RAM dictates how much you can have open without the system having issues. Open a photo editor, or just a photo viewer, and try opening 500 images. Your system will get buggy and maybe even crash. That's why. This is also why the more things you have open, the slower everything runs. If you have a program that runs slowly, the simple answer is to close everything, including the somewhat hidden processes, like instant messengers without any open windows. Close all applications and run your editor-- it'll be faster, I'd think.

So, yes, RAM is very important and so is having enough. However, it isn't the most crucial piece.

Having enough RAM means that it isn't cluttered-- it's like a notepad where your computer takes notes. If you have 10 sheets of paper with plenty of space to make organized charts, it's a lot better than one piece with everything crammed together.

Minimum RAM requirements are mostly based on what you need to run something. This will take X megabytes to run, so it needs X megabytes free in RAM. More than that will make it run smoother, though.

So, adding more RAM is like cleaning your desk, or, rather, getting a bigger desk. Get two desks, and you'll start to have a lot more room. Already, it is easier to navigate. Get another, even better, but now you've just got a bunch of extra space. Get another.... well, what's the point?
I see that as a good analogy for RAM.

RAM doesn't actually affect the speed of processing; it can just slow it down if your computer is working too hard to balance what is in RAM, or not allow something to work/open if you have no space free in RAM (rare when it's an absolute; frequently it's just low on RAM, and confused, not actually out of RAM).

If you don't have 1GB, I would really recommend getting at least that. A basic video editing computer really should have at least 1GB, and preferably 2GB. More is likely a waste. For limited work, 1GB should be fine, too.

Aside from RAM:

The processor really does the hard work. It's only slowed down by components that aren't able to keep up. a 5,400rpm hard drive will also cause problems (an issue on most laptops, including mine), for playing back full quality footage. It simply can't keep up with the demand for data every second. It will do everything fine, though, just be a bit delayed, so it can't actually play back the uncompressed video. Wouldn't make it crash, though, or be slow as if the system is stalling.

Having a second hard drive is good like having more RAM is good (not just a partition as I'm guessing you have-- frequently new computers, especially Dells, come with two partitions on one drive (splitting the space in two, like adding a divider), one around 80gb, and the other about 30 for "ghosting" (backup), for a 120gb hard drive). A second drive allows two things:
1. More storage-- good. Video takes tons of space.
2. Separation of files and more space. Again, more organized, so defragmenting is less important, or, rather, like it has already been partially defragmented. What that will also do is help by keeping the files for the system and your projects separate and easily manipulated-- it won't need to wade through all of the config files to find your clips, nor all of the clips to find the config files.


As for reformatting, I highly recommend learning how. It isn't difficult once you know what you're doing, and not very hard to learn. It is a bit daunting, though, at first, and also scary because you really could screw up the computer-- kinda. (It would be really hard to actually make the computer not work, though you might end up getting stuck and needing someone to fix it if you can't find a way to reinstall windows-- so it wouldn't work until you did that.)

Reformatting requires a system install disc. If you don't have this, you can buy one, or you could use a friend's disc and use your serial number (on the bottom of the computer on a sticker). I'm fairly confident that's legal.

It will wipe absolutely everything. Backup your files (having a second hard drive, especially an external one, is great for this) first. IT WILL BE DELETED, so keep a copy somewhere else.

Then just insert the install disc, boot from it (you can do this on a PC by going into the boot order setup, usually F2, F8, or F12-- varies by machine, and it'll tell you in the corner-- just be sure to press it before the screen changes [about 10 seconds to do it]). Most of the time the disc will automatically know to boot from it.

Then you will need to partition your machine, once you have selected "reinstall windows", and gone through several options.

Partitioning is pretty simple. On this hard drive, do you want one "drive", or two, or more, and how much space should each have. If you're not great at math, have a calculator on hand, and you can type in the amount of space for each (I think it's usually in megabytes-- 1024 per GB).

Set it up as you want (and I'd say just toss it all on one partition unless you don't plan to get a second hard drive and want two separate sections). Note that you might need a second partition or drive for backup software. I'm guessing you may have a dell, with norton ghost as backup software. It will want a second drive to put all of it's backups, so that's why you have that second drive sitting there. However, it also takes up space you could otherwise use-- 30-40gb for backups? I prefer to just make my own. Completely up to you there, though.

Then press the right letter (L?), and it will erase everything on the hard disc and set the format as NTFS or FAT32-- you should use NTFS if this is going to run just windows. (NTFS isn't compatible with macs [and linux? I don't know that], but FAT32 limits each file to a max of 4GB.)

Warning: you lose everything, and this is setting up windows. If you do it wrong, you will be left with a nonworking computer.
However: it isn't a huge tragedy-- you can always just start the reformatting over, and it will work. (The data will still be lost, though.) If you can't figure it out in the end, you could ask a friend.

After your partitions are set, it should move right into the windows installation. Follow the friendly little boxes, click ok, etc. etc., enter your serial number, etc. Be careful because this will be how your computer is setup, but nothing is hard to understand in that. (The networking is the only annoying part-- just click ok through that, and don't worry too much, unless it happens to apply to you.)

I admit that reformatting is a hassle, but it's also very refreshing to have a clean system. You'll need to then move any files you want to keep on your computer (rather than archived) back, and reinstall all of your software.

Faster, but a hassle too. Most of the time formatting/installing is automated, though, so you can walk away and do something else.

[RAM is] ... more commonly known as Virtual Memory
Well, not sure on that. As I have come to know the term, Virtual Memory is more using the hard drive for storage. Set a section aside and basically add more RAM to the system. This is how it works on a Mac, and I think there are similar settings for a PC. Though, I may be wrong and windows might just use the term for "Memory" in general then. Note that RAM is frequently called "Memory" [not to be confused with storage space on the hard drive].

11-17-2007, 03:09 AM
Also, you need to be wary of the speed of RAM you get and what OS you are running.


It needs about 2GB of RAM minimum, 3GB recommended and 4GB if you're crazy enough to get it. Vista really performs well on 800MHz Speed Memory. 667MHz Speed Memory will perform pretty decently but will have a slight delay if you have PhotoShop open.

Anything less than DDR2, then forget it. DDR3 is fairly new (1333MHz Speed Memory - amazingly fast) and I'm wary about the stability of it.

ALSO, it is recommended that you get 2 memory sticks to achieve dual channel, ie. 2 x 512MB = 1GB; 2 x 1GB = 2GB etc.

Vista's OS already takes up around 1986MB to run (default installation), so I would be looking at the 3-4GB range.


XP takes up MUCH LESS memory compared to Vista. The whole OS takes up about 200MB (default installation).

You can generally get away with 667MHz Speed Memory on XP. Although, the more stuff you run, the more laggy it gets. 800MHz Speed Memory will show some benefits when you're using Photoshop, FireFox, Illustrator etc.


Also, you'll need more RAM if you're running plenty of applications at the same time. Each application SEEMS LIKE it doesn't take as much RAM, but here are the memory usages on my computer:

FireFox: 91MB
Windows Media Player 11: 18MB
Windows Live Messenger: 24MB
Dreamweaver: 69MB
Apache2: 17MB

Now let's see... on a standard configuration for XP and Vista with 2GB of RAM:

Vista: 2GB - (1986MB+91MB+18MB+24MB+69MB+17MB) = -157MB
XP - 2GB - (200MB+91MB+18MB+24MB+69MB+17MB) = 1629MB

On Vista, you'll need 157MB of RAM more so it doesn't need to rely on the page file as much (Virtual Memory - A big file that gets stored on your hard disk and acts as RAM)

On XP, you have 1629MB of free memory. Good news! You have plenty of RAM to run more applications and such.

Games: The latest games takes up a hell of a lot of RAM. Each game will cost about 500MB-1GB of RAM each. So If you play games, you better get more RAM.

11-17-2007, 03:44 AM
It should be apparent, but video editing applications are high in the RAM usage. I would assume it will peak at around 100MB, or more. And that's just enough to run it, not to process the video, etc.

11-17-2007, 05:33 AM
getting off topic here, I heard that Micro$haft is already developing and planning the release of its next OS somewhere around the range of 2009/2010.
Coded Vienna

11-17-2007, 06:54 AM
Hehe. I hope it's as stable as XP.
Oh, and it's Windows 7.

11-17-2007, 05:11 PM
Adding 16GB of ram to a slow processor...

Have they supported that? They highest board I have seen (newer 775) supports upto 8GB.. haven't seen 16GB yet :p

11-17-2007, 07:31 PM
How's it 7?

Ignoring NT.

You've got-
3.1 -- 3.1
4 -- 98
5 -- ME
6 -- 2000
7 -- XP
8 -- Vista
9 -- this and/or longhorn

11-17-2007, 08:13 PM
Well if you don't count failed attempts, you can drop Vista and ME off which puts the new one at 7... :D

11-17-2007, 09:21 PM
Vista does not exist. What's ME?


11-18-2007, 02:21 AM
i haven't the time to read all this, but as someone above mentioned reinstall windows, it slowly slowly will degrade itself, i know i had a windows machine not connected to the net for 1yr and is now pretty slow.

11-20-2007, 03:11 AM
2000 / ME were basically the same so you can make that case... but sorry to say while even more of a disaster then all the rest Vista is an OS. I just read that it was coded Vienna... but it really doesnt matter what the name is this early in the development.

heck it really doesnt matter what the Kernel is at all... its still going to be grade A MicroJunk

11-20-2007, 08:36 AM
Oh, no, not at all. 2000 was the best windows OS, and ME the worst. ME died, so they made 2000 quickly, to fix it. ME was worse than vista.

11-22-2007, 09:30 PM

11-23-2007, 12:05 AM
Makes no sense. Where is 98? 95? ME?