Multiple Web Pages casues crash

Question: I own a six-month-old IPC Pentium 133 with 256K pipeline cache, 16MB RAM, 1 Gig hard drive, 2 Meg video card, 6X CD-ROM, internal 14.4 modem and running Windows 95. Ever since it was new, it crashes with invalid page faults, GPFs and segment load failures, if more than four or five windows are open, or while surfing the Net and opening new sites. If I run the system monitor with the free memory graph open, it appears the computer runs out of free memory when it crashes. The motherboard has been replaced and Windows 95 reloaded by the vendor. The RAM chips were not replaced. The problem still exists and the vendor does not have any ideas why. The computer does not do this while running games such as Duke3D. I don’t have any out of the way software loaded and have approximately 600 MB free on the hard drive. Do you have and suggestions as to what the problem might be?
— B.L.

Answer: Two of my usual experts point to two possibilities and two remote ones.

“I would suspect either the memory or the cache memory,” said Jeremy Schmuland at the West Edmonton CompuSmart store. “You can test the cache on most motherboards by disabling it in the CMOS setup.” CMOS, by the way, is short for complementary metal oxide semiconductor and is pronounced “sea-moss.” Despite it’s weird name it isn’t a component of Pacific Rim cuisine and it’s a bad idea to put it in a fish tank. CMOS memory on your computer holds the date, time, and system setup parameters and can be accessed by hitting a specific key on boot up. On some systems it’s accessible via a function key (F1 through F10) when the computer starts. “Alternately, you can try actually removing the RAM chips and seeing if the problems go away,” added Schmuland.

Schmuland’s CompuSmart cohort Kirk Reid also points to the memory but suggests looking at the processor. Ask the company that replaced your motherboard if the chip was changed at the same time. If it was it could be the culprit. Reid also suggests: “It is remotely possible that the problem is with one of the software drivers, but I don’t consider this to be likely.”

Probably the best place to start though is by testing the system with software packages such as Norton Utilities or Checkit. These tools check hardware and software integrity.