Slow Evesham PC

  tonyq 14:52 13 Aug 2010

I have a 7yr old Evesham PC which as got slower and slower. I know it will not be up to todays computers standards but should be ok for my uses.
I thought it may benefit from a clean out (dust/fluff ect),but I am stumbling at the first hurdle,removing the side,there is a key to unlock it on the rear,so that it can be removed. When unlocked I presume the side cover should just slide off but I am having problems getting it off. As you may tell I'm not used to delving inside computers.

  gengiscant 15:00 13 Aug 2010

If you have never had the side of the case off your PC no wonder it is stiff.
There is no universal way to remove the side of a pc.I have had them slide to the back and to the top, I have had them so you lift the bottom then slide.
You will just have to experiment and don't be afaid to use a little force as it is bound to be stiff.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 15:04 13 Aug 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 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.

  tonyq 15:57 13 Aug 2010

I've managed to remove the cover,and cleaned out the inners, not to bad to say it's 7 years of use,but is still very slow. Would it be worth my while reloading Win XP ? which I have not done before or get a new PC. I have done all the usual cleaning E.G CCleaner,antivitus,Malwarebytes ect.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:19 13 Aug 2010

How far through my list have you got? 1b or 1c?

If its slow before 2c then a reload may help but remember you are going to have to reinstall all the updates and reinstall all your programs.

  gengiscant 16:21 13 Aug 2010

Always worth a go but a little preparation will go along way to making the process go a little easier.
First and foremost backup all your personal files etc to an external harddrive.

Make sure you have your Windows XP COA number,probably on a silver sticker on the PC somewhere.
Make sure you have all the necessary drivers, motherboard, graphics card etc etc.
Download and copy to disk XP-SP3 which will shorten the whole installation process quite a bit.
You can use this to install many of the popular software all at here

If you make sure that you have as much as possible ready to hand before you start,that is half the battle.

  tonyq 17:08 13 Aug 2010

Fruit Bat,
I have got done to "Services" not sure what to down load from your link with regards to what to disable, "Safe" or "Default" (Win Xp)

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:24 13 Aug 2010

You do not download anything the link is there to show you what which services are safe to disable for normal use.

Bring up the services plugin and work your way down the "safe" column on the link XP SP3 click here
and set yours to the same as shown.

  tonyq 18:34 13 Aug 2010

Fruit Bat, when I go to:
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 -

There is no Primary Channel - Advanced Settings Tab -

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:55 13 Aug 2010

What do you have listed under IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers?

What kind of hard drivers / DVD drives are they SATA or EIDE (parallel)

  tonyq 19:15 13 Aug 2010

Under IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers:

Nvidia nForce(TM)IDE Controller

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