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Speeding up Windows XP?

worcsdave
Grafter
Posts: 72
Registered: 15-08-2007

Speeding up Windows XP?

Hi - does anyone have any tips for speeding up WIndows XP? My hard disk is barely 1/4 full, yet opening most files seems to take ages. I regularly run 'Clean disk', and also the Defrag utility from time to time. I have good anti-spyware software running... So what's up?
Basic Googling seems to throw up the idea that the Registry probably needs re-setting (if that's the right word) but I'm nervous about using any commercial programmes for doing this.
Does anyone have any good suggestions to get this PC running at half decent speed again?!!

Thanks
15 REPLIES
Midville
Grafter
Posts: 376
Registered: 05-04-2007

Speeding up Windows XP?

Not sure if it will speed XP up any, however CCleaner is a good piece of software which gets rid of.......crap! Works well for me.

http://www.ccleaner.com/ccdownload.asp

Edit - At first I was unsure of using it, but I am glad I did - no problems with it so far!
N/A

Speeding up Windows XP?

what are your PC stats?
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,312
Thanks: 972
Fixes: 57
Registered: 15-06-2007

Speeding up Windows XP?

As well as providing your PC stats can you advise your virtual memory settings and also whether the hard drive is formatted in NTFS or FAT32
worcsdave
Grafter
Posts: 72
Registered: 15-08-2007

Speeding up Windows XP?

ooerrr
what sort of stats? (where do I find them?) and how do i know whether the harddrive is formatted in NTFS or FAT32?
sorry - dimbo here...
holdtight
Grafter
Posts: 1,634
Registered: 15-06-2007

Speeding up Windows XP?

Pc stats include processor and memory type and speed motherboard make and model etc

To find out your file system type right click on your hard drive in my computer select properties and it will tell you whether its fat32 or ntfs



Bill.
worcsdave
Grafter
Posts: 72
Registered: 15-08-2007

Speeding up Windows XP?

What I have managed to find out is that the file system is NFTS.

The hard disk has 80GB capacity; the processor is an AMD Duron processor. Not sure what these next bits mean, but they were there - 1.60GHz, 192 MB of RAM.

Does this help at all?

Thanks for your input.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,878
Registered: 04-04-2007

Speeding up Windows XP?

It looks like its your processor and RAM that are at fault. The cheapest thing you could do is up the RAM to as much as it will take. If you had 512mb that would be a big improvement. With only 192 it will use the swap file (a special file on the hard disk) instead of using RAM if you run lots of programs. This uses a lot of system resorces moving stuff from ram to the disk and vice versa. The best thing though long run that you could do would be look at getting a P4 or AMD equivilent processor, ram and motherboard or just buy / build a totally new machine.

Chris
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,312
Thanks: 972
Fixes: 57
Registered: 15-06-2007

Speeding up Windows XP?

I have an old machine running an AMD 1700+ processor which runs at 1.47Mz which is even slower than yours.
I had a similar problem to you and increased the memory to the motherboard maximum of 512MB and this made things a lot quicker.
The fact that your system is showing 192MB tells me that it probably has onboard graphics which is eating into your available memory (you probably have a 256MB memory stick).
If you are unsure as to what you can put in, this web site is very useful indeed.
http://www.crucial.com/uk/
Brickinit
Grafter
Posts: 450
Registered: 06-08-2007

Speeding up Windows XP?

if you had decent speeds previously it most probably have lots of programs running in the background when you start up your machine these can include office calender, realtime, nero, etc.
your first port of call would be to click start then run and type in msconfig then hit GO you will see about six tabs click the one that says startup go through the list and tick the box next to any item you think should not be running if you are not sure do one item at a time and if you find that something that you need to run at startup ie. your modem for your broadband just unclick the box.
bear in mind you will need to do a restart each time you make a change, when it restarts a box will inform you that you are using selective startup ignore it until you have it working just right then click the box to stop you seeing it each time you startup.
it's worth doing this every few weeks if you have been instaling new programs. you will be suprised just how many programs think they have a right to startup, everytime you turn on.
hope this is of some help.
worcsdave
Grafter
Posts: 72
Registered: 15-08-2007

Speeding up Windows XP?

Cheers everyone. All of this is confirming my suspicion that it is probably time to make a move to a better machine. If you were buying from new - what spec would you go for as a useful minimum? I don't use my PC for games or any really resource hungry programmes - just word processing and internet. All suggestions welcome!
Thanks again for the advice.
holdtight
Grafter
Posts: 1,634
Registered: 15-06-2007

Speeding up Windows XP?

HI
If thats all you use your system for then the one you already have will do you just fine for some time yet

Take the advice of putting in more memory first and you will be surprised at what a huge difference it will make to the speed of your machine as you are running nowhere near enough for XP to be happy

At 192 MB XP will run like treacle 512 MB as a minimum is recommended


Bill.
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Speeding up Windows XP?

For your needs you don't really need a faster processor. A new basic spec PC will cost you maybe £300, a memory upgrade will cost about £20 for a 256Mb card and will probably make a big difference on its own, so I would try that first.

Go to the Crucial site in Holtlanes link and it has a selector thing ("Scan my system") that will look at your PC and make sure you get the correct memory type - its easy!
N/A

Speeding up Windows XP?

Maybe somthing like this

http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?action=c2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=1...

I mean thats a Beasty Spec and will last you for a while.

Just have to use your old monitor or buy new one, tis upto you
N/A

Speeding up Windows XP?

if you run XP with antivirus, antispyware and firewall software running in the background, the sort of memory you currently have will be all used up even before you open a single window. And when you start opening windows, your PC will be using more memory that you have installed, so the hard disk will be used as memory, making everything very slow.

The advice you have received to install more RAM is a very good one, but be aware that your motherboard will not accept certain combinations.

These people have an excellent memory configurator:

http://www.crucial.com/uk/index.asp