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Additional Memory

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Here is a question that should not promote arguments :-) . I've been having problems with the latest version of Autocad ADT 2006 that I received and  installed last week. It appears that the program is a memory hog, but I don't know for sure if others are having the same problem.

I cleaned my hard drive - a 60 gig drive on two partitions with approximately 30 gig each and with nearly 50% free space on each. The computer is my workhorse - a Dell  Inspiron 8500 - with 512Mb of Ram on a Pentium IV 266 Mhz laptop that has been working great with ADT 2005. The problem is that I have other programs running in the background that protect my machine which is connected to my Broadband and is online via a wireless LAN. So, I am running a memory manager to tweak out and control the unloading of DLL's when the programs are closed as well as Zone Alarm Suite, Executive Software's Diskkeeper, Webroot Spysweeper and GoBack. I've also closed down other programs that I think don't need to be running (such as a hard drive sensor such as Yahoo's Desktop Search that requires processing power).

As I use Autocad ADT 2006 certain features stop working properly. I can't set up a sheet for plotting unless I shut down Autocad and reboot, I have problems in View mode when walls I've draw disappear and while I know they are in the drawing, I can't make them appear.

I've gone as far as to change my desktop to operate as a standard computer rather than in performance mode to squeeze out every ounce of memory that I need. I checked for spyware and ran a Registry Manager to get rid of the unwanted programs that exist in the registry but have disconnected links.

Today I ordered a 1-gig DDR 266Mhz RAM chip for the laptop. Rather than replace both, the manual suggests that I can use any combination of memory up to 2-gigs. I am currently using two 256K memory strips (DDR PC-2100) and will end up with 1,256 Mb or RAM. My hope is that this will help control these memory hog programs and give me more processing power with fewer lockups waiting for some other program to finish processing so I can keep working.

I am running XP Home with Service Pack II and wanted to know if anyone has found the simple increase in memory to solve a similar problem and bring my computer back to life. Let me add that I do constant defragmentations and space recovery using Diskkeepers latest version. I should be able to multi-task a number of programs (even if they are not processing, I should be able to hold them in memory), but I am frustrated.

I'd like to hear from anyone who can offer additional suggestions that had worked for them and I may be missing here. I do use Desktop Object from Stardock (Windowblinds 4.5) and have used this without flaws for nearly four years (I get board with my Desktop themes and like this program as it beocmes more integrated into Windows. I am sure that this is not the problem as I've unloaded it and restricted it from skinning Autocad with the same results.


I spent $215.00 for the memory delivered and don't want to feel like I wasted the money if it should fail. Fortunately Memory4Less offers a 30day satisfaction guarantee and lifetime memory warranty. I do recommend it as it was the one of the lower priced vendors who I know has been in business for many years. I choose them over an out-of-state company in lieu of having to pay state tax because of their reputation and added $8.00 to the shipping so I could get it in Fed-Ex 2 day.

One final suggestion - I opened up my laptop and noticed that my fan was encrusted in dust as was the ANTEC double fan desk pad that my laptop sits on and cleaned both out to get the greatest cooling. I'm stuck to working on my chest for a while, but sit as I can tolerate it and I recommend the ANTEC double fan that is controlled by USB power - it is the one device that looks good and keeps my laptop cool - even on a pillow. Staples carries it and it was a great investment for the price. BTW, Risa3D released their single workstation version with a dongle. I can't argue with their need to protect their software as it appears to have been abused by piracy over the years. The new dongle is a simple USB device which requires one more USB port than I have. Staples carries a Belkin powered 7 port USB hub with two ports facing upward - ideal for the Risa Dongle. It takes up one USB outlet (2.0 or earlier) and I have to admit it was worth the $57.00 I paid since it is also powered. It cuts the number of wires going from my laptop and chest back to the wall to two cables. I do recommend this device to those who have a new need for a USB hub - neat!


Dennis S. Wish, PE
California Professional Engineer
Structural Engineering Consultant


760.564.0884 (office - fax)

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