How To Speed Up My 7 Year Old PC

  littlestar 16:10 18 Oct 2009

Hi Guy's, A Novice Looking for some advice please, I've got a 7 Year Old Sony RS322E PC, With Pentium 4 and 512 memory ( XP with the new IE ) and with 7 years of downloading programs it's kinda pulling to its limit, So my question is: Is it possible to upgrade my PC but keeping my C & D Drives where i have my programs located ? And what do I need to upgrade to make it quicker, ie: do i need to upgrade my Memory or my Processor or both ??

As am getting Virgin Media's 50mb Broadband, I would just like to speed up my PC to get the full effect of the high speed broadband.

Any advice would be much appreciated.


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:20 18 Oct 2009

On a 7 year old machine its probably not worth doing much.

However 512M is a small amount of memory and a memory upgrade to 1m is probably the thing worth spending any money on (check costs first as old memory is dearer than modern memory.)

there are some software things you could also try that will increase speed.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:22 18 Oct 2009

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 -- CCleaner has a tool for that and is very safe.

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/\ 16:22 18 Oct 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) Drivers
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.

  littlestar 18:42 18 Oct 2009

Thanks Fruit Bat, Much Appreciated, I will try what you said.


  cruiser2 19:16 18 Oct 2009

Hi littlestar
I had a pc which was only four years old. Startewd having a problem with it in February. Cost £50,00 to have it fixed. Developed another fault in June and another £50.00 to have it corrected. But still not functioning correctly. Took it to a local computer shop who allowed me £50 aginstthe cost of a new one built to my specifiaction. Cost £500 but is much quieter and quicker than the old one. I can phone them on a local number if I have a query. Have taken it back once to sort out a small problem. Very good service as you can speak to them and watch what they are doing.
If you live in Lancashire I can send you details.

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