Laptop Speed

  Millicent 15:17 01 Dec 2010
Locked

I bought my wife her first ever laptop as a 'learning' device. She is now quite proficient but rightly complains about its slowness. Is it possible to purchase extra 'memory' or whatever in order to improve its operating speed?
'Millicent'

  tullie 16:22 01 Dec 2010
  GaT7 17:38 01 Dec 2010

If you have not done this before, it will be best to let us know the make & model number of the laptop, its present amount of RAM & the number of free RAM slots. We may be able to suggest cheaper RAM & also provide instructions (e.g. a PDF service manual) for replacing the RAM.

Another thing to potentially quicken it is by doing a full system recovery or a fresh reinstall (make sure to do a thorough backup before attempting either). For this you'll need to have the relevant recovery/install partition &/or discs.

When you get back, also let us know the size of the hard drive & how much free space there is. The amount of hard drive space can also affect system speed (click here). G

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:59 01 Dec 2010

1. Software

a) Clear out all temporary 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
MicroSoft Security Essentials click here
Avast4 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

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.

  Bris 19:29 01 Dec 2010

If none of the above gives any improvement it could be because you are comparing the laptops speed with a desktop? Laptops almost always come with an HDD thats spins at 5400 rpm as against a desktop HDD which spins at 7200 rpm. In my experience its this that makes all the difference.
I have a new laptop with a core i5 processor and 64 bit W7 and also a desktop with a core 2 duo processor and Vista. The desktop knocks spots off the laptop for performance.

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