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PC is soooo slow

kilburncat
Grafter
Posts: 90
Registered: 06-02-2008

PC is soooo slow

The PC is around 6 yrs old, operates XP and the 80GB hard drive is around half full. I've run Windows Live One Care, CCleaner, Windows Defragmenter,I delete old e mails from Thunderbird and empty the Recycle Bin and keep icons on the desktop to a minimum. Is there anything else I should do/buy/run to speed things up a bit ?Or do I need a new PC? What about another different defragmenter, would this help? Undecided
20 REPLIES
barky
Grafter
Posts: 166
Registered: 21-01-2009

Re: PC is soooo slow

step 1 - get a decent defragmenter -- something like defraggler or jkdefrag
step 2 - find a registry cleaner - a pc of that age could have 1000's of remnants of old programs slowing things up
step 3 - find out how much ram you have - might be possible to upgrade cheaply
live one care .. what's that exactly? -- if it's what I think it is & pc is for home use switch to freeware antivirus (& firewall if you like)
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,830
Thanks: 250
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: PC is soooo slow

Step 4 - Get yourself Linux.  Smiley
Forget buying programs to fix the bits that Microsoft forgot to put in.  Cheesy
BTW How fast is your CPU and how much main memory do you have?

Community Veteran
Posts: 17,488
Thanks: 1,486
Fixes: 17
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: PC is soooo slow

CCleaner has a reg cleaner,,,,  it is on the left side of the "home" page...
ABEXO FREE registry cleaner works well with XP
I also use EUSING FREE REG CLEANER  ..... Use all three and you will clear out a lot of crud....
Also have a look at AVG 8 FREE  antivirus,
And
SUPERANTI SPYWARE.....
I run ccleaner every night before I shut down, to clear all the crud for the next day.... I also do the reg clean every week. and defrag once a month.... using DEFRAGGLER....
I also run a reg cleaner whenever I have uninstalled a program....
By the way.... look at the settings in CCLEANER, and set them to erase 3 passes, to ensure any sensitive info is well and truly overwritten.

kilburncat
Grafter
Posts: 90
Registered: 06-02-2008

Re: PC is soooo slow

The PC uses an AMD Athlon XP 2000+, 479 MB RAM, Used 36.4 GB and Free Space 36.2 GB.
Funnily enough I was thinking of using defragger as Microsoft products are so hopeless. I also thought about Linux and have always wanted to see how it works but everyone I know can barely send e mails. I have a spare laptop I could experiment with, how do I find out about Linux? I still would like to speed up this, my main desktop.
kilburncat
Grafter
Posts: 90
Registered: 06-02-2008

Re: PC is soooo slow

I've just run CCleaner Registry cleaner, I've not run it before because I was not sure what it did. I've just run it and things seem a bit better already.
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,830
Thanks: 250
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: PC is soooo slow

Quote from: kilburncat
The PC uses an AMD Athlon XP 2000+, 479 MB RAM, Used 36.4 GB and Free Space 36.2 GB.
Funnily enough I was thinking of using defragger as Microsoft products are so hopeless. I also thought about Linux and have always wanted to see how it works but everyone I know can barely send e mails. I have a spare laptop I could experiment with, how do I find out about Linux? I still would like to speed up this, my main desktop.

You don't need hardware!
If there's a chance you might install Linux (possibly as a dual-boot) I would investigate one of the major distributions of Linux.
Personally, I'd recommend Ubuntu.
You can run it as a trial directly from CD (without danger to your data on the hard disk) - although it will run much slower than normal (479MB would be borderline for this feature).
Otherwise, install from CD and 479MB would be adequate.
You will be pleased to know that:-
Linux has no defragger (the file systems don't get severely fragmented)
Linux has no registry (and hence no registry cleaner)
Linux needs virus checker and no anti-virus updates...
Download from http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download
Choose Desktop edition - I'd recommend you choose the 8.04 LTS (Long Term Support) version.
See http://www.ubuntu.com/products/whatisubuntu/810features/ - this is a later version, but the differences are mostly minor.

kilburncat
Grafter
Posts: 90
Registered: 06-02-2008

Re: PC is soooo slow

When I get my hands on this laptop, do I keep Windows and install Ubuntu as well, or should I erase Windows XP, and will it boot up from the Ubuntu CD that I have created with no software already present?
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,574
Thanks: 3
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: PC is soooo slow

HD is ok CPU is ok but the ram is low buying 2 gig of ram would make all the difference and not expensive.
A complete reinstall would make a huge difference.
What do you have running at startup? Down starupcpl form http://www.mlin.net/StartupCPL.shtml  and post what you have running at startup a lot of problems come from loads of rubbish running at startup
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: PC is soooo slow

Quote from: kilburncat
479 MB RAM,

Strange amount, can you explain it?
Often RAM is taken for video, so if you had 512MB and 32MB was used by video that leaves 480.....
More importantly how much RAM is used? If you don't know run Task Manager and click on the Performance tab - PF Usage bar will tell you, or Commit Charge.
To run TM do Ctrl-Alt-Del or right-mouse click in the Taskbar and choose it on the menu.
480MB (or 479) is getting a bit low for XP these days, depending what you run. 1GB is safe or 2GB for a heavy user as Samurai suggests. RAM is so cheap that there's no point messing about with this, just do it!
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,830
Thanks: 250
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: PC is soooo slow

Quote from: kilburncat
When I get my hands on this laptop, do I keep Windows and install Ubuntu as well, or should I erase Windows XP, and will it boot up from the Ubuntu CD that I have created with no software already present?

There are two modes - the "Live CD" mode which runs from the CD and uses memory, but doesn't care about disks - indeed it won't touch your disks.
This is really to get a quick idea of whether you like it or not.
The other mode is the usual install type mode.
Depending  on how much free disk space you have, you can
(a) Defrag your XP partition,
(b) Reduce the size of your XP partition
(c) Create a new partition for Linux.
The installer will help with (b) & (c)
Or...
If it is easy to wipe the disk - provided you have a backup, I would go for this as the easier option.
If you have applications/data installed you may prefer to leave XP in place.
After installation
Ubuntu will automatically create a menu for you to choose XP or Ubuntu at boot-time.
Note that it is easy for Ubuntu to read/write to XP files - but XP can't easily write to Ubuntu.
This is a good thing. Smiley
I would encourage you to try out the "Live CD" as this is a painless way to find out if you want to proceed.

Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 18,094
Thanks: 2,628
Fixes: 193
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: PC is soooo slow

@praxisofevil
Not got into Linux yet - still not sure if I will but I decided to follow your links above and have a further read.
Something in the first paragraph (2nd link) at the top of the page worried me:
It states that you get the benefit of free updates for 18 months. I can't see anywhere where you would have to pay after this time or even pay for the initial download (except a CD/DVD if you want it).
What happens at the end of the 18 months? Are you expected to pay for further updates? As I said above, Linux is new to me.

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

kilburncat
Grafter
Posts: 90
Registered: 06-02-2008

Re: PC is soooo slow

I have installed and run most of the programmes as recommended by the nice people at the top of the page and I have to say that the PC is now running at a speed that I think is quite acceptable. However I could increase the RAM but I've only opened the cabinet to clean the inside and change the battery so far. Do I just go to PC World and buy 2Gb of Ram, find the similar piece of hardware in the cabinet and swop it round?
Incidentally, from Task Mgr my Commit Charge (K) is:
Total  473,000
Limit 1,152,736
Peak 48,736
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: PC is soooo slow

go to http://crucial.com and do the check, it will tell you the spec of what fits your machine and the cost, then compare that with PCWorld, probably cheaper direct from crucial
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,830
Thanks: 250
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: PC is soooo slow

Quote from: Mav
Not got into Linux yet - still not sure if I will but I decided to follow your links above and have a further read.
Something in the first paragraph (2nd link) at the top of the page worried me:
It states that you get the benefit of free updates for 18 months. I can't see anywhere where you would have to pay after this time or even pay for the initial download (except a CD/DVD if you want it).
What happens at the end of the 18 months? Are you expected to pay for further updates? As I said above, Linux is new to me.

Don't worry - see http://www.ubuntu.com/products/whatisubuntu
Especially the bit about
Quote
Ubuntu is and always will be free of charge. You do not pay any licensing fees. You can download, use and share Ubuntu with your friends, family, school or business for absolutely nothing.

Periodically, a new version is released (with an easy upgrade path - it's not like Windows).
All your old programs runs exactly the same as before.
After 18 months it is no longer supported in the sense that upgrades for potential security flaws are no longer issued.
Every 6 months a new stable product is released - that's why you have a choice of 8.04 (April 200Cool or 8.10 (October 200Cool.
Those releases with LTS after them are intended as extra-long support releases.