Slow computer

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  #1  
Old 12-20-10, 08:48 AM
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Slow computer

I am using an old HP Pavillion with windows XP.
We are with a cable provider. I use disk cleanup and defrag on a regular basis. I also use ccleaner at least once a day.
But it is still running pretty bad.
I am considering downloading one of these clean-up softwares.
I am aware some of these can wipe out things you don't want to lose, but it's time to do something, and during the times we are in a new computer is not an option.
Can anyone recommend one of these softwares?
If I did use one would setting a restore point bring things back if things didn't work out?
Rich
 
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Old 12-20-10, 05:36 PM
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I would open task manager (ctl-alt-del) and see what is hogging the resources. If you have Spybot installed and they tricked you into allowing them to open Tea TImer, there goes 233MB of it right there, and that is a constant load on the computer. Firefox runs at 17MB, so you can look and see what is dragging it down. Don't disable them in task manager. Find out what they do first, then eliminate them if you don't need them.
 
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Old 12-22-10, 10:53 PM
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Hi, You could also have a very cluttered registry. This can and will slow down a computer. I have been using PC Tools Registry Mechanic for several years and am happy to spend the $40.00 / yr. There are 5 / 6 features in the package.

There are others out there, trials, that you could download on a trail basis, or they'll do the scan and give you the report. No fixy tho..

Look into them.
 
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Old 12-23-10, 04:16 AM
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CCleaner does this, and it's free. DIYrich is already using it.

Download HijackThis and post the log to one of the help sites. They'll tell you the stuff that's clogging the box.
 
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Old 12-23-10, 08:03 AM
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I've heard of CCleaner, never tried it. Will give them a try for myself, thanks for the leads - could save me a few $$.
 
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Old 12-24-10, 06:55 AM
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CCleaner's registry cleaner is pretty good, I also like to look at the startup tab in the msconfig to disable all of the unneceesary crap in there as well (make sure it's set to selective startup on the main tab as well)
 
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Old 12-24-10, 07:45 AM
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You can also go to speedtest.net and check your internet speeds. Nothing to download. Just click on a server on the map and compare speeds to what your paying for.
 
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Old 12-24-10, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
You can also go to speedtest.net and check your internet speeds. Nothing to download. Just click on a server on the map and compare speeds to what your paying for.

i do that, but sometimes my box is still kinda slow.

 
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Old 12-24-10, 08:27 AM
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Holey moley, condo, is that your speed test results?? I'm lucky to have 3 Mb/s down and .64 up on DSL. Of course they told me I was at the end of the world for service. Beyond me is National Forest, so I guess it goes with the territory.

What are you guys getting on up and down speeds in your locations? Curious.
 
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Old 12-24-10, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
Holey moley, condo, is that your speed test results??
yes, it is, just before posting it. it is average. before they started throttling it, i was 30+ at times.
but for what i am paying, it sure as heck better be that fast. about $60 month.

if i had the choice, i would get what you have, for about $15 a month = plenty fast for what i do. i am smack dab in the middle of suburbia, and i cannot get dsl. i guess its not worth it to them to cross the street to my little complex.

after i move, i will get the dsl. we have dsl at work, and is just fine.
 
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Old 12-24-10, 10:37 AM
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This is in the office, kind of surprised at the download number, thought it would be a lot higher
 
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Old 12-24-10, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by mitch17 View Post


This is in the office, kind of surprised at the download number, thought it would be a lot higher
that is arse backwards :confused"
 
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Old 12-25-10, 04:21 AM
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I agree, Mitch, your download speed should exceed your upload by a whopping big number. BUT, I see you are served in NJ, not in Minn.

[/IMG]

That's mine on average.
 

Last edited by chandler; 12-25-10 at 05:49 AM. Reason: add stuff
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Old 12-25-10, 07:43 AM
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Old 12-25-10, 12:15 PM
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I am curious how "old" this machine you have is.....Can you advise us how old, type and speed of processor, type and amount or RAM and what type of video card you have? Might just be that the machine just is no longer up to task, given the huge amounts of memory needed to run newer programs such as explorer, virus protection, etc. All of these programs grow and evolve over time and if you are running a pentium 2 or 3 with a small amout of ram (<1gig) you won't be able to do much. You might even have a machine that "shares" RAM for video as well. Even an older pentium 4 will be slow if resources are small nowadays, we are seeing machines now with 8-12gigs of ram, 2x 4x and 6x core processor designs so that is a consideration.
 

Last edited by JimElectric; 12-25-10 at 12:17 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 12-25-10, 12:47 PM
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Not to get sidetracked (anymore than we already have)...but I have an old Hp with a 1.8 Athlon and 1.5 G of ram and it does everything I need it to do and then some.

If your PC is running slow with nothing you opened running (multiple apps like Office, video players, or similar)...most likely you have malware taking up resources. Sometimes a complete power down will free things up, depending on OS and programs installed.

We haven't heard back from Diyrich...so speculation is moot I guess.
 
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Old 12-25-10, 01:53 PM
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Sorry folks that I havn't replied, needless to say things have been a little crazy this week.
This computer is about 9yrs old.
It has 1.8GHz and 736MB of ram(we added a memory card several yrs ago from crucial.com, was only around 256 prior to that).
It has sp3 installed.
We don't use spybot or firefox.
Our cable provider is wowway and we also use F-secure that they provide to us. Our connection speed is supposed to be 8MBs.
Speedtest showed download of 8.49 and upload of 1.12.
Are some of the other scans on that site free or not?
Didn't try hijackthis yet.
In the meantime thank you all for your responses and Merry Christmas to all.
Rich
 
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Old 12-25-10, 02:11 PM
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Rich...what processor (cpu) do you have. Pentium 2,3,4...Athlon, etc? Sounds similar to mine...what model?
 
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Old 12-25-10, 02:18 PM
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Based on that I would suspect your ram is shared then, as it should read 768K (256 +512) so part of your ram is already taken by video needs. Also that is not near enough ram, especially for an older computer. I suspect if you could "wipe it clean", start over and upgrade to 1.5+ gig of ram, add a separate video card, and keep a watch out for spyware etc. you could get some better speed out of it, but realistically you will need a better machine eventually. I am using a 2.0 GHZ pent 4 with 1 gig of ram and my machine crawls when compared to son's machine (quad core processor and 4 gig ram), and the wife's I just bought her(similar in power). I keep mine clean but you still have to have anti spyware and anti virus programs and all of this slows down the machine. Internet requires more and more too. Other things such as a smaller, older and slower hard drive contribute to this. You can get by for a while, don't get me wrong, but plan on a newer machine when you can. I was fortunate enough to get a six core AMD powered Dell for my work with 8gig of ram and a 1 gig video card and it is amazing what these newer machines can do. Wish I had it here, LOL.
 
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Old 12-25-10, 02:45 PM
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I'll say it again if I didn't already...it all depends on what you use it for. For web browsing and general use....an older machine can be just fine.

If you want to play newer standalone games or online games, video chatting, while you have a spreadsheet and a word processing program open...then sure, you need better stuff.

If you just read email, look at a few websites, come here sometimes.....then basic is just fine. Just need to keep the boogers out of your system.
 
  #21  
Old 12-25-10, 04:39 PM
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Here is what I found.
HP Pavillion 543x
AMD Athlon XP 2200+
735mb ram
S3 Graphics ProSavage DDR
And yes I am aware some of the ram is used to drive the monitor.
Vic you are right, we use the machine for just what you said.
We do store a handful of pictures and other documents as well.
For seniors like us one of the most important things is researching our healthcare options at this time of year.
How a lot of seniors survive this mess without a computer in this day and age really baffles me.
Even the monitor size drives me crazy, it's a 16" model. Since upgrading to IE8 I have to cut the zoom level to 85% to avoid scrolling back and forth all day.
That's not a good size picture for us old timers.
Rich
 
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Old 12-25-10, 06:44 PM
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An Xp2200+ is a decent processor. All I think you need is some additional RAM since you are using it as described. I am not a big fan of IE8 either, so I keep my older machines at work and mine on ie7. The reason you need more ram is that the machine will create "virtual ram" to make up the difference and use part of your hard drive as ram, slowing it down. I would add another 512 chip, and if you only have two slots for ram replace the smaller one to get you to 1 gig. Save memory by disabling screen savers, slideshows etc. that require memory and be sure to clean out old stuff using the system cleaner program and you should be fine. One thing I have seen people do is add an anti virus program and not delete the old one. Just mentioning that in case someone has possibly done that somewhere along the line. My granddaughters are using a machine with the same processor in it. I formatted the drive and set the ram at 1 gig and it does fine.
 
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Old 12-26-10, 04:54 AM
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The main cause of slowdowns I've seen on older computers is new software. The machine was designed to run the software of the day, not the resource-hungry software of today. IE8 has a huge hunger for system resources. Download and try Firefox. It uses less resources. You can import all of your Favorites to its "Bookmarks".
 
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Old 12-26-10, 08:35 AM
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here is a nice little program
Belarc Advisor - Free Personal PC Audit
 
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Old 12-28-10, 06:46 PM
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I am looking into another possible solution. One of our daughters is a professional photographer and showed me her external hard drive. Hers is 2T and I would not need anything like that, but I see there are ones out there that are 500gb. Then I could get pictures, documents, and who knows what else off our old computer.
What do you all think?
Rich
 
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Old 12-28-10, 07:28 PM
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With the low cost of storage drives today it is a good idea to get one. Bigger is always better so I suggest a 1TB drive.
Here is even a 1.5TB external drive for $90! How can you go wrong? Newegg.com - Western Digital Elements 1.5TB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive WDBAAU0015HBK-NESN
 
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Old 01-01-11, 06:02 PM
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Rich - I just left MI after spending the holidays with family in Detroit, Lansing and GR. I was sorry to hear about the vandalism at Bronners up in Frankenmuth. After reading all of these posts, everyone seems to have something to offer of substance, but there is more to it. Here is my analysis and advice:

1) You definitely do not have enough memory in your system. Hopefully you have DDR memory and not PC100/133 DIMMs. (At that age it's doubtful you have DDR2.) Over time, your registry grows larger and larger, and although helpful, programs like CCleaner and PCtools do not solve this problem. Every time your computer starts it has to load the registry into memory. In addition, simply browsing the Internet requires more RAM today than it did 7-10 years ago due to the increase of client-side applications used by website developers. Adding 1 GB of DDR memory will likely be your best dollar-per-performance investment.
2) I bet your hard drive is also at or near capacity also. This would be my second investment. However, beware of using hard drives between 1 TB and 2 TB. Most of the reasonably-priced drives in this size range will either not have a compatible interface for your system, will need a BIOS update, or have a block size that isn't compatible. Going with a 320 GB to 500 GB hard drive with a compatible interface (yours is probably IDE/PATA, not SATA) will probably be light years ahead of what you currently have.
2) Using an external drive will probably not increase your speed much, since most of the used space on your system drive will probably be from updates, program installations, etc. Furthermore, your old system drive will still suffer from slower spindle speeds and slow access/seek/writing times compared to a newer drive. If you get one for free it might be worth it.
3) If you can't afford ANY new hardware, backing up your documents/pictures/bookmarks and email DB (if using a client like Outlook) and formatting then reinstalling Windows will truly take your registry back to the original size, as well as fix any file corruption problems that might be affecting the speed. Just make sure you have all of your original installation discs BEFORE you begin. (Belarc Advisor, Produkey or SIW can help you get your license keys for all programs.)
4) Check the size of your paging (swap) file. If you upgraded your memory but never increased the size of the paging file to correspond, you are losing free performance. The size should be at least the minimum recommended by Windows (approximately 150% of system RAM). If the paging file is properly sized, it might be corrupt or fragmented (which cannot be fixed by Disk Defrag). To fix this: delete the paging file by telling Windows to not use it, restart system, defrag your hard drive completely, turn paging file back on to "custom size" that Windows recommends, then restart again. You will have a fresh, nonfragmented paging file that will supplement your RAM when necessary.
5) Using MSCONFIG to properly manage your startup programs is easy and effective. If you accidentally disable a necessary program, it is easy to re-enable it upon restart.
6) I haven't seen anyone mention a malware scan yet, although a couple have mentioned the precursor HijackThis. I would bet money that if you installed and ran a full scan with the current Malwarebytes (MBAM) version you would find some spyware affecting your speed.
7) Last but not least, you can probably pick up a system 3-5 years old for around $150 with a monitor from companies that upgrade their systems regularly. I am a network engineer and support over 3000 workstations and 600 servers in almost 100 companies, and even in these times they still upgrade their systems on a regular basis. Start pressing your contacts you've made over the years to let you know when someone is going through an upgrade, and you might get one for almost nothing.

Also, the difference between the dl/ul speed that Mitch saw is probably explained by the fact that this was in his office - I'm betting that they have a 20/20 pipe and because of that quite a few users in the office were downloading and streaming msuic & videos; that can eat up bandwidth in a hurry if there aren't perimeter restrictions set at the firewall.
 
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Old 01-02-11, 05:37 AM
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Jim,
Thanks so much for all this great advice.
Just looking at things when I defrag, it says the C drive has a capacity of 32.23gb and currently we have free space of 21.86gb, or 67%.
I have printed out all the info you posted, and now will probably go to cruciual and see what I can order. The last time they were really good.
And you are right, the vandalism at Bronners was terrible. I heard the damage was about $40,000, but they caught the jerks that did it.
If I might ask where were you visiting around here? We live in a township about 30mi north of Detroit.
I am a retired engineer but sure not a computer expert, so I will enlist the help of one of our son-in-laws.
Thanks again,
Rich
 
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Old 01-13-11, 10:28 AM
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I've run CCleaner, defragged the disk, ran chkdsk and my virus scan shows not viruses but my dell with 2mb memory is still very slow especially to load programs. I am running XP home addition, I have XP pro and wondering if I upgrade to that it will help. Can you suggest anything to fix the problem. I am ready to wipe the C drive and start all over with XP pro if that will fix the problem!! please help
 
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Old 01-13-11, 10:38 AM
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Not sure if pro will run any faster but a clean wipe and reinstall always makes for a snappy computer.
 
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Old 01-13-11, 10:40 AM
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guess thats my best option, hafta back up all my files first!
 
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Old 01-13-11, 10:43 AM
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Is best way to do this, del c:*.* and just reload the XP pro from the disk, then add back all my programs?
 
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