Dell laptop final legs maybe

  Blubottle 11:42 15 Feb 2009

My daughter's Dell Inspiron 1000 laptop has become very slow to the point that it will not boot into a full working desktop. The Hd activity light seems to be permantly on and I cannot here any fan running this is the culmination of a long period ( couple of months) of slow boot times and slow running in general. Is it worth replacing the hard drive and starting over.
O/S XP Home with added ram memory.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:48 15 Feb 2009

Is it worth replacing the hard drive and starting over.

There are many things you can do it depends on how extreme you want to go.
Wipe the drive and a clean install of windows or even try running an old machine on Linux.
Some suggestions to try first:-

1. Software

a) Clear out all temporay files and folders -- use Crap Cleaner click here

b) Scan for malware spyware and viruses --Free Anti Spyware :-
Superantispyware click here
Malware removal tool click here

Free Antivirus software
Avast4 click here
AVG antivirus click here

c) Clean the registry -- Free Registry cleaners :-
RegscrubVistaXp click here
Regseeker click here
TweakNow RegCleaner 1.3.2 click here
Easycleaner click here ( Use with care, It advises you to back up the registry first, this is a good idea as it cleans rather aggressively. )

d) Pagefile (Virtual Memory) -- Rght click MY Computer - select propeties - Advanced tab - Performance - advanced tab - Virtual memory click change, you can put the page file on a differnt drive (if you have one), click custom size and set Initial size to one and a half times the amount of memory you have fitted i.e. 512MB memory = set to 768MB, set maximum to double your memory amount i.e. 512MB memory = 1024MB click ok.
If your hard drive is full and there is not enough room for the pagefile this can slow down, freeze or even cause the PC to crash (restart).

e) Cut down on the programs that load at startup -- Start - Run type msconfig - startup tab- untick everything except for firewall, antivirus and antispyware

and the services that run in the background. click here

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:48 15 Feb 2009

2. Hardware

a) Hard drives / IDE Channels:

i) Check the transfer rate, you need to have the transfer mode set to DMA not PIO.
Right click My Computer - Properties - Hardware - Device Manager - Expand (click the + ) IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers right click Primary Channel - Advanced Settings Tab -
If transfer Mode is PIO then follow the instructions at click here to change.

ii) Check for errors and defrag your hard drives -- My Computer - select drive - properties - tool tab - Error checking / Defragmentation.

ii) If you are using Windows XP or Vista, it's a good idea to convert your system drive to the NTFS file system if you have not already. In addition to providing numerous security and data recovery improvements over FAT32 (the file system of choice for Windows 9x/ME and XP Home) it can also speed up your system slightly.

In fact, the only real reason for sticking with the FAT32 file system for any of your data is if you have more than one operating system on your PC and the other OS's can only see FAT32 partitions (as would be the case with Windows 98, for example, which is incapable of reading NTFS data).

To convert your drives to NTFS:
Right click on 'my computer' and select 'manage'
From the computer management window, expand storage and select 'disk management.'
Using the 'file system' column of the upper pane of this window, you can easily check what file system each of your logical drives is using. Make a note of this information.
Now open a command prompt window by going to 'start\run' and typing 'cmd'
To convert a disk to NTFS, type 'convert (drive letter): /fs:ntfs'
So for example, if you were going to convert your C: drive, you would type 'Convert c: /fs:ntfs' at the prompt.

b) Divers
Obtain the newest drivers for your hardware
This may seem a bit obvious, but keeping your system's drivers up to date can give both your performance and stability a boost. Video card manufacturers release updates especially often, and these can often give "significant boosts" to gaming performance as video card in question is "optimized."

Don't neglect the other components of your system either. Your motherboard manufacturer may have released newer versions of its Input/output drivers for your board, and sound cards and other peripherals can also benefit from newer software.

c) Memory
Add more physical memory, this of course means opening the "box" and fitting a memory module, make sure you buy one that is suitable for your PC. Crucial .com click here will guide you through the process of slecting the correct memory. click here for a guide to fitting memory.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 11:50 15 Feb 2009

I wouldn't even bother with the above. Do a re-install and if you still have problems then it will be hardware associated.


  Blubottle 13:26 15 Feb 2009

I have just done a system restore taking it back to November 08, rebooted I get to the desktop with all icons showing the task bar is populated as it was before problem, but the HD activity light is on permantely and i cannot get any response from the touchpad or keyboard

  Blubottle 13:27 15 Feb 2009

I should have added I can get it to work in safe mode to some extent.

  MAJ 13:31 15 Feb 2009


  Blubottle 16:15 16 Feb 2009

O/S came pre-installed therefor no disks, I have taken it back to manufacturers settings no joy there. In safe mode it works I have run a anti virus scan plus an anti spyware scan, still no joy. During the bootup process I can get to my desktop I can move the cursor around using the touchpad I cannot click on anything and get it to work and the HDD activity light is on constantly. I have my own legal XP home disk and I am thinking of using it to do an install maybe,

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:01 16 Feb 2009

Use your disk to do repair.

Repair XP by install over the top of existing system

1. Boot the computer using the XP CD. You may need to change the boot order in the system BIOS so the CD boots before the hard drive. Check your system documentation for steps to access the BIOS and change the boot order.

2. When you see the "Welcome To Setup" screen, you will see This portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft Windows XP to run on your computer:

To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.

To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.

To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.

3. Press Enter to start the Windows Setup.

To setup Windows XP now and Repair Install , press ENTER.

DO NOT choose "To repair a Windows XP installation using the Recovery Console, press R", (you Do Not want to load Recovery Console).

4. Accept the License Agreement and Windows will search for existing Windows installations.

5. Select the XP installation you want to repair from the list and press R to start the repair.

6. Setup will copy the necessary files to the hard drive and reboot.

Do not press any key to boot from CD when the message appears.

Setup will continue as if it were doing a clean install, but your applications and settings will remain intact.

Repair XP
click here

  Blubottle 17:14 16 Feb 2009

Many thanks fruit bat I will give it a try.

  Blubottle 14:09 17 Feb 2009

No joy at all I am now trying to reformat the drive so I can put win 2k on it. but it won't let me do it...... now going mad!!!!!!!

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