Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Please select a question from the list below:

This list contains commonly asked questions about FreeRAM XP Pro related to software features, installing, uninstalling, memory and performance optimization, and more. If your question is not here, you can try asking us on our Feedback page.

Q: Why use FreeRAM XP Pro?

A: FreeRAM XP Pro frees and optimizes your computer's RAM (Random Access Memory). Oftentimes, other applications may hog or incorrectly use RAM, which decreases your computer's performance. FreeRAM XP Pro frees this RAM so your computer can run faster and more smoothly. The need to reboot is also less frequent.

How does it work? FreeRAM XP clears junk out of RAM and flushes less-often used items to the swap file. There they do not take up any RAM, and are reloaded from the swap file on a need-to-use basis.

FreeRAM XP Pro's unique AutoFree feature enables it to clear out no longer useful data from RAM without affecting RAM still used by programs and applications. See also: "Q: But wait! Freeing up RAM is useless or can even decrease performance, especially on Windows XP."

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Q: But wait! Freeing up RAM is useless or can even decrease performance, especially on Windows XP.

A: This is simply not always true. Used RAM may be legitimate application data taking up memory, or it may be data that is no longer useful but is still stored in memory. Trying to free up the first kind of used memory does not help, because data must be loaded again later from the swap file. However, freeing up the second kind of used memory helps performance because then that memory does not have to be cleared before use; it is already free to be used immediately by newly loaded applications and data on demand.

Almost all other RAM-freeing programs do not distinguish between the two types of used RAM. However, FreeRAM XP Pro employs the intelligent AutoFree algorithm to compute the optimal amount of RAM to free. It uses a variety of system metrics to assess the current state of your computer, such as swap file size, to try to free up as much no longer used memory as possible while minimizing the amount of useful data that is freed and stored in the swap file. And one of the best parts about FreeRAM XP Pro is the customizability--if you don't like AutoFree, you can set your own amount to free, along with a slew of other configurable options to suit your tastes and computing environs, and such options can be called up easily with just a few keystrokes (i.e., a Windows shortcut) or by right-clicking on the system tray icon. We ourselves use FreeRAM XP Pro to monitor and optimize our RAM on the Windows XP computers we use for software development.

As an example of FreeRAM XP Pro's effectiveness, it works even without a swap file--that is, if Virtual Memory is disabled on the system. In such cases, free RAM is often gained through AutoFree or manually specifying an amount to free. Systems with virtual memory sometimes even see their virtual memory usage decrease. Additionally, FreeRAM XP Pro's memory compression technology (new in ver. 1.50) represents an entirely new way of freeing RAM by directly reducing applications' memory requirements. It works instantly, without relying on the swap file, and swap file usage often even decreases following Global Memory Compression using FreeRAM XP Pro 1.50. Reducing the Load metric displayed by FreeRAM XP Pro is often a more effective goal than increasing free RAM levels; a decrease in the Load represents a true decrease in the amount of memory required to support everything that's occupying your computer at the moment. FreeRAM XP Pro's various functions usually ensure that the Load decreases as a result of freeing memory or using memory compression.

Finally, we'd like to say that Windows XP is, undoubtedly, a step up above Windows 95 and 98 in terms of memory management, and that FreeRAM XP Pro will most likely not, of course, do "miracles" for your computer (although some users have reported improvements close to that level). Actual results will vary according to your own computer, as can be expected. But we think that in almost all cases, whether your computer is running 32 MB or 1024 MB of RAM, FreeRAM XP Pro's ease of use, RAM-freeing effectiveness, extensive features, AutoFree functionality, and comprehensive data reporting will enhance your computing experience in, most likely, more ways than one. And since FreeRAM XP Pro is completely free (and we mean completely--not something you find often these days!), you really have nothing to lose.

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Q: What is FreeRAM XP Pro's Global Memory Compression technology, and why is it so awesome?

A: FreeRAM XP Pro is unique in featuring Global Memory Compression technology; it's a whole new way of freeing memory that no other program has. Other memory programs free RAM by allocating a large block of it and then releasing it all at once (FreeRAM XP Pro can do this too, but intelligently through AutoFree functionality--see above). By contrast, in Global Memory Compression FreeRAM XP Pro asks each of your programs how much memory they are currently taking up but don't really need. Then, this "unneeded" memory is released, instantly--there's no allocation process to wait for, no writing of data to the disk or a swap file, and best of all, no slowing down of your system. If it sounds too good to be true, then you need to try Global Memory Compression technology for yourself. We often see gains of 5 to 50 MB of free RAM through Global Memory Compression alone, which of course works instantly. A name we considered for it was FlashFree technology, but we started calling it Global Memory Compression and the name stuck!

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Q: The program icon doesn't show up when Windows starts.

A: This is a possible issue recently identified with Windows XP SP2. On a small minority of systems, installing Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Windows XP will result in the FreeRAM XP Pro tray icon not showing up properly when starting with Windows. The number of Windows XP SP2 systems affected appears to be a relatively small percentage, and it is not known what system factors cause this issue on affected computers.

If you experience this problem, there is currently no sure fix, but you could try:

  • Enabling the troubleshooting tray icon option, on the last tab in the Settings window, to delay the tray icon by a certain number of seconds ("Delay tray icon by ... seconds")
  • Disabling automatic startup with Windows, and moving a shortcut to the FreeRAM XP Pro program file into the Startup folder of your Start Menu.
  • Disabling automatic startup with Windows, and starting the program manually once Windows has finished loading

All of these are only potential workarounds, and are not guaranteed to work.

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Q: FreeRAM XP Pro is interfering with Windows shutdown.

A: The program does not act in any manner that might interfere with Windows shutdown, and it is unlikely that FreeRAM XP Pro is the cause. Common causes of shutdown difficulties include hardware or driver issues, power management issues, and sometimes other software.

Nonetheless, we recognize that no software program can work perfectly on all system configurations. Therefore, if you believe FreeRAM XP Pro to be the cause of the shutdown issue, it may be helpful to uninstall the application and perhaps try similar software from other vendors.

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Q: I can't get FreeRAM XP Pro 1.50 or 1.51 to start: it keeps saying "One of the following two errors has occurred..."

A: The error occurs if you attempt to start FreeRAM XP Pro outside of the folder it was installed to. For example, you may have moved the program file to a different location, or you may have attempted to run the installation file as the program file itself. You must keep FreeRAM XP Pro in the folder that it was installed for it to properly function. The default install folder is "C:\Program Files\YourWare Solutions\FreeRAM XP Pro". If that is not the issue, and you are using version 1.50, upgrading to version 1.51 may help.

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Q: The program takes too long to start.

A: The program can sometimes take a long time to start (up to a minute or two on some systems) due to the initialization of components needed to perform certain program functions, such as collect the data displayed in the freeing results report. The program has not frozen and will operate normally after loading is complete. Most of the time, however, FreeRAM XP Pro will not require more than a few seconds to initialize.

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Q: My System Resources (displayed in System Properties) are unchanged after freeing RAM.

A: Your System Resources (displayed in System Properties under Control Panels) are not optimized by FreeRAM XP Pro. FreeRAM XP Pro optimizes and frees RAM, which are separate from System Resources.

Nonetheless, FreeRAM XP Pro can help monitor your System Resources on Windows 95/98/ME (see the program Settings). If System Resources become too low, your system could become unstable. On Windows 2000 and XP, System Resources are not applicable.

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Q: Why doesn't AutoFree seem to be effective?

A: AutoFree intelligently scales how much it frees according to the current state of your system. This ensures an optimal balance between RAM availability and swap file usage in response to user feedback. Thus, depending on your current system status--for example, if you already have a reasonable block of RAM free, or if your computer is currently heavily taxed--then AutoFree may free up little to no additional RAM.

AutoFree ensures a higher level of overall system performance. If you would still like to free up more RAM, you can set the amount manually, or you can choose to enable the old AutoFree engine (found in Lite and Pro 1.1x) in the Settings.

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Q: Is FreeRAM XP Pro safe?

A: Yes. FreeRAM XP Pro is very safe. Usually the freeing process will only take a few seconds. Occasonally, however, it may take longer and appear to pause at times. Generally this is NOT a freeze, and it is recommended you wait for the process to continue. If in several minutes it does not continue, use CTRL-ALT-DEL to exit the program. Note that the program contains fail-safes that guard against freezing; nonetheless, YourWare Solutions (TM) is not responsible for any damage or lost data caused by using this software.

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Q: Is FreeRAM XP Pro really free?

A: Yes. It is completely free of cost. We are supported entirely by voluntary donations.

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Q: How do I install FreeRAM XP Pro?

A: The downloaded file is a zip file containing the program file. To extract zip files, you will need a program that can handle zip files, such as the popular Winzip. For versions up to and including version 1.40, you must extract the program file from the zip file to a permanent location of your choosing, such as the Desktop. The program will run from that file in the future.

For current version 1.50, full Windows install/uninstall is supported. That is, simply run the setup file, and the program will ask you to install itself to the Program Files folder and create optional shortcuts in the Start Menu.

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Q: How do I upgrade from a previous version of FreeRAM XP Pro?

A: For versions up to and including version 1.40, replace the older program file with the more recent program file (extracted from the downloaded zip file).

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Q: How do I uninstall FreeRAM XP Pro?

A: Click on the Information menu. You must access the Information menu in the program window and not from the system tray icon (near the time display in the task bar). Then click on the Uninstall option. Click here for a screenshot showing where to access the uninstall option.

For versions up to and including 1.40, you can then delete the program file. For current version 1.50, the program file will delete itself.

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Q: How do I use FreeRAM XP Pro?

A: It's easy--all you have to do is start FreeRAM XP Pro (by default, it starts automatically when Windows starts) and it automatically does the rest. You can fine-tune the program's automatic behavior in the program Settings.

You can also free RAM at any time by pressing the blue "Go!" button. You can set it to either AutoFree or free up an amount of your choosing in the "Memory Mode" options, right beneath the blue "FreeRAM XP Pro" text. Click here for a screenshot showing the location of the Memory Mode options.

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Q: I'm a novice user--what is there for me?

A: FreeRAM XP Pro is very easy to use! FreeRAM XP Pro configures itself upon running for the first time for optimal performance and automatically frees up RAM as needed in the background. You can also free RAM manually at any time. Simply select either AutoFree (recommended) or manually set how much RAM to free in the "Memory Mode" options right under the blue "FreeRAM XP Pro" text, then press the blue "Go!" button. Click here for a screenshot showing the location of the Memory Mode options.

When not freeing RAM, the FreeRAM XP Pro program window displays information about your computer, such as a meter with the percentage of unused RAM. You can control the display and other program options through the program Settings.

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Q: I'm an advanced or power user--what is there for me?

A: First: FreeRAM XP Pro is constantly evolving and improving; if you would like to see a feature or option that is not currently included, feel free to tell us about it on our Feedback page.

FreeRAM XP Pro offers much for the power user or advanced user. Explore the Settings window to access the program's customization options. For instance, FreeRAM XP Pro can monitor virtual memory, CPU usage, and true adjusted memory load, as well as Windows uptime. Other options include the ability to specify tray-clicking actions, how FreeRAM XP utilizes the CPU during freeing, a diagnostic log file, and of course how and when FreeRAM XP Pro starts and how and when FreeRAM XP automatically frees memory. Hover the mouse over any item in the Settings window or in the main program for a brief description of the item. To return all of FreeRAM XP's settings to their initial values, just click Revert All at any time under the Settings window.

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Q: Is FreeRAM XP Pro compatible with Windows NT 4.x? Windows 2003 Server? Another version of Windows?

A: FreeRAM XP Pro is generally not compatible with Windows NT 4.x. It is likely compatible with Windows 2003 Server, but has not been tested on that platform, and so we cannot guarantee correct functionality. The same applies with other versions of Windows not mentioned in the supported platforms on our software download page.

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Q: Why does FreeRAM XP Pro sometimes connect to the Internet?

A: FreeRAM XP Pro automatically checks from time to time for updates and newer versions. Absolutely no information is sent to us about your computer; information only flows one way from our update server to FreeRAM XP Pro. You will be prompted before the first time that FreeRAM XP Pro automatically checks for updates. If you wish to turn off this option, visit the last page of the Settings window.

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Q: I'm having problems moving to the new version--both my older version and version 1.50 won't start now! Is there a way to "reset" my configuration?

A: Yes. If for some reason you are unable to start any version of FreeRAM XP Pro, you can remove all references to FreeRAM XP Pro in the registry, which will "reset" the status of the software on your computer. To do so, click on the Start Menu, press Run, type in "regedit" (without quotes), and then hit Enter. Delete the "YourWare Solutions" key located under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software. You can then start version 1.50 of FreeRAM XP Pro to install the new version. NOTE: Editing the Windows registry is done at your own risk, and misuse of the Windows registry can result in problems with Windows. Backing up the registry prior to editing it is recommended.

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Q: Can I put your software on a CD, list it in a database, etc.?

A: We permit and encourage the free distribution and listing of FreeRAM XP Pro as long as the distributed package remains complete and unchanged as that officially distributed from YourWare Solutions (as available from our website); the software itself is available free and without cost to the end user; the user is given notice of our company website, http://www.yourwaresolutions.com; and the user understands that FreeRAM XP Pro is freeware. For further questions on distribution and listing, please contact us.

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Q: What if I have any more questions, concerns, problems, or bugs?

A: Due to technical, logistical, and practical issues, we are no longer able to provide e-mail based support. However, please feel free to submit bug reports, feature requests, and other suggestions on our Feedback page.

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