PC manual upgrade

  axew01 20:50 04 Dec 2010

Hi all

I have a desktop PC that is getting slower by the day. It runs Windows XP and contains a Winfast K7S 741MG-6L motherboard with a Athlon XP2700+ 2.00GHz, 480MB RAM. Could I fit a new motherboard and processor to impove my system?

I would rather have tinker with stuff than just buy a new desktop but admit I am a novice!



  robin_x 21:32 04 Dec 2010

A RAM upgrade will work wonders. Say an extra 1 or 2GB.

Crucial will scan your PC and tell you which chips and offer to sell you some as well.

click here

But if you're likely to buy a new MB soonish, and the new RAM is not compatible, it may not be worth doing that.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 10:35 05 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
AVG click here

c) Clean the registry -- Use the tool in Crap Cleaner its very safe and 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.

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

f) Force Windows to Unload DLLs from Memory
Windows Explorer caches DLLs in memory for a period of time after the application using them has been closed. This can be an inefficient use of memory on low memory systems.

Open your registry and find the key [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer].
Create a new sub-key named 'AlwaysUnloadDLL' set the default value to equal '1' to disable caching the DLL in memory.
Restart for the change to take effect.

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, Vista or Windows 7 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 it can also speed up your system slightly.
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
keeping your system's drivers up to date can give both your performance and stability a boost. Video card manufacturers release updates 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 drivers for your board, sound cards and other peripherals can also benefit from newer software.

c) Memory
Add more physical memory, make sure you buy one that is suitable for your PC. Crucial .com click here will guide you through the process of selecting the correct memory. click here for a guide to fitting memory.

  gengiscant 10:36 05 Dec 2010

You could certainly tinker as you put it, but looking at your Mobo,CPU and ram I am more inclined to go with some thing like this.click here you would also need to consider updating your PSU as I would imagine judging by your listed components that will perhaps,lack the wattage needed for any upgrade.

  spuds 11:57 05 Dec 2010

You are well down on ram, and this is possibly the reason that you are getting slower results.

When upgrades are considered then it is essential that costing and compatibility of components come into the equation. Sometimes it is just not worthwhile in spending time and money on something that as reached its time span in modern terms.

If you do decide to buy new, then keep the unit you now have for tinkering. At least you should then have one unit working satisfactory!.

  axew01 13:36 05 Dec 2010

Thanks for the replies. I will look at each one in detail over the next few days.



  GaT7 15:55 05 Dec 2010

I'm surprised no one has mentioned a fresh install. Saves all the cleaning, tweaking, etc that may not get you very far in the first place.
Does for me most often than not.

Before attempting though, make sure you have/done the following:

1. Your original XP install disc & Producy Key. If you don't have the disc, you can borrow one - needs to be the same type (retail/OEM) & version (Home/Pro/Media Center). For the latter you can use the free Belarc Advisor click here (also works to get the product codes for many other licensed software you may have installed)

2. Need to download & save all the drivers for your hardware, especially motherboard

3. Do a thorough data backup to another hard drive / removable media

Like the others have said, increase the RAM (to at least 1Gb in total), & a larger hard drive (click here) wouldn't hurt either - especially as prices have dropped so much for the latter. G

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