First off, my sympathies for having to deal with a Sony Vaio (as you might be able to tell, they are not very high on my “most liked notebooks” list….)
But seriously – exactly what do you mean by “virtual memory overload”? I’ve never heard that term used before (but of course, there is a first time for everything…).
With WinXP, if you right click on “My Computer”, and select “Properties”, the main (general) tab will give you info regarding your system and the amount or memory: how much physical RAM do you have? From the properties window, select ” Advanced => Performance (settings) => Advanced => Virtual Memory => change”. What is/are the figures shown for your virtual memory (page file)? They should be 150% – 200% of your total physical RAM (ie: for 512MB physical RAM, you should have 768 – 1024MB Virtual Memory.
Next, go to your Task Manager (right click on the task bar and select “Task Manager”). Select the “Performance” tab and see what your CPU and Page File usage is. Are you really running out of virtual memory?
What errors do you receive when your V/M “overloads”?
Regarding what processes can be eliminated, your best bet for a good answer would be to download Hijack This, run the program, save the resulting log file and submit it to their discussion board for analysis.
Same as the moderators at the Hijack This site, I would have to see the log to be able to make any kind of statement or suggestions regarding what processes to end and/or what to keep running…..
Keep us posted.