speeding up an old laptop

  eysha 11:55 05 Sep 2010

Hi, is there any way to speed up an old laptop without wiping it?
I have an old Toshiba satalite A100-200 and it is a few years old now and very, very slow. It has only been wiped once, maybe twice.
Only have today to sort it out too so any help/advice would be great. many thanks.E.

  Nontek 12:05 05 Sep 2010

First thing is to increase RAM, especially if it only has the original 512mb.

Do a Disk Cleanup/defrag/make sure all vents clean and clear for starters.

  eysha 12:06 05 Sep 2010

Not sure what RAM to buy for it now - been too long. Have done all of the above on a regular basis but how do i clean vents?
Thanks E.

  birdface 12:11 05 Sep 2010

Download and run the trial version of Winaso it lasts forever.
It will only repair 10 items at a time but you can run it as often as you like.
Well worth a try.

click here

Try device manager to make sure there are no yellow exclamation marks beside any of the drivers.

  Nontek 12:12 05 Sep 2010

Vacuum cleaner to vents/with soft paintbrush. If you can go on-line with it, try click here run the scan and this will tell you exactly what RAM it could have -it can got up to 2Gb I believe.

Also running the one-click maintenance with this could help ... click here

  birdface 12:14 05 Sep 2010

Just let it scan your computer.

click here

  MAJ 12:24 05 Sep 2010

click here for your memory, and do a full cleanup.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 12:27 05 Sep 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.

  birdface 12:27 05 Sep 2010

I think we all use crucial then.

  T0SH 13:19 05 Sep 2010

Install one of the lighter versions of Linux it will run well on older harware and it has the advantage of being free

Cheers HC

  eysha 13:57 05 Sep 2010

Thanks for all the help.
Fruit-Bat will print out your advice. Have followed all your instructions apart from the services which i find a bit complicated.
My transfer mode is DMA nd the file system is in NTFS.
one problem in startup whn i untick all but what you advise it goes into selective startup not normal - is that ok? if not how do i get it to stay in win-startup?
does you post include help for vista and win 7 too or just XP?
Many thanks Fruit-Bat.

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