Laptop performance + software issues

  novicepcuser2 18:10 25 Jun 2010
Locked

Firstly I have little knowledge of the underlying PC software. On advice I disabled some start up s/w a while back which improved performance but it is now back to sluggish web use etc. There are certain options I could take:

1. Use recommended CCleaner to tidy up but I am not experienced enough to delete files (e.g. if they are in Registry).
2. Agree to the Zone Alarm service upgrade (currently running v7) but have seen tales of issues with v8/9 and stories of 'bloatware'.
3. Upgrade to XP SP 3 - currently on SP2 and have been receiving updates which will now apparently cease in July. SP3 is not an auto update and investigation shows that some knowledge is needed for a clean install.

If anyone has any views on these and maybe what order I shouldtackle them I would be very grateful. Thanks.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:52 25 Jun 2010

1. Software

a) Clear out all temporary files and folders -- use Crap Cleaner click here
It will be fine on its default setings

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

Free Antivirus software
MicroSoft Security Essentials click here
Avast click here
or
AVG antivirus click here

c) Clean the registry -- Use the tool in Crap Cleaner its very safe and also allows you to back up the registry first.

d) Pagefile (Virtual Memory) -- Right click MY Computer - select properties - Advanced tab - Performance -

advanced tab - Virtual memory click change, you can put the page file on a different 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 start up -- Start - Run type msconfig - start up tab- untick everything

except for firewall, antivirus and antispyware

and the services that run in the background. click here

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:52 25 Jun 2010

2. Hardware

a) Hard drives /

i) IDE Channels:
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.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:57 25 Jun 2010

Leave Zone Alarm at V7 for now

Upgrade to SP3 for the security reasons
Do not let windows Express install Sp3 but download and save to disk then disconnect from the net, either reboot to safe mode or stop your Firewall and Antivirus / antimalware programs then install.
Reboot and reconnect to the net.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:57 25 Jun 2010

XP supported up to July 2014

  novicepcuser2 12:05 26 Jun 2010

Fruit Bat - thanks very much for the advice. There is quite a lot to work through but I am willing to give it a try.

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