Advent 7201 Slower than slow.

  godriah 19:31 02 Dec 2011


Totally new here, but hoping someone can help. My folks have this laptop with 60g harddrive, not sure what working memory it has, but it is slow as hell. The hard drive says that it has used 40g however I have no idea what this 40g is made up of my folks literally only use it to surf the net (facebook, news sites etc.) They don't stream anything, have never used Youtube or downloaded anything (music, films etc.) They don't have any music or films stored on there. They don't run any large programms. They literally only ever have internet exlplorer open.

Can someone point me in the right direction as of what I can do to help them out?

Really appreciate any replies/advice.


  difarn 22:16 02 Dec 2011

Two things come to mind. What memory does it have? Even if there isn't much stored on the PC a lot of memory is needed to run the processes involved in surfing, updates, flash player, etc. Can I suggest that you have a look at this site which will tell you what memory there is on the PC and what it could be upgraded to. You will need to do this on your parents' PC as it will be scanned.

The second thing is that it may have picked up a virus so perhaps running something like malwarebytes may help.

If you have CC cleaner installed you could run the cleaner to clear any temporary internet files. This could also be used to uninstall any programmes that are not being used.

  mole44 05:04 03 Dec 2011

My advice is thus,save all valuable data and use the hidden partition to reinstall the operating system if it has one or the discs that came with it, press F10 on startup and do a system restore to get it back to factory settings.However try ccleaner first as this will get rid of all the junk.The spec does seem old and it might be time to give them a nice shiny new Christmas approaches and if you could afford £300 you can get a nice basic one from pc world.

  godriah 10:04 03 Dec 2011

Thanks so much for the replies and advice. I will try both the cc cleaner and the factory reset, however, will I be able to do this without the discs that come with it? And will the internet explorer programme still be on it, as I've said previously, this is all they use!! If not, I'm sure I can download it. I have installed some free anti virus software (AVG I think).

I have also suggested a new PC also!

Thanks again.

  Les28 10:19 03 Dec 2011

Is this the laptop? It says 80GB hard drive?

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Mentions of using hard drive built in restore above and here below, using F8 key.

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If it's running Vista with only 1GB of RAM and sharing up to 256MB with the graphics it could do with another 1GB of RAM being installed, I think 2GB is the maximum the motherboard will take, the Crucial site you've been sent will advise anyway, maybe only £10 for the RAM?

However as already suggested some housekeeping needed if its not been done before, windows own disk clean up utility

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or as suggested the free Piriform Ccleaner, then see how it performs after some cleaning and defragging, and after having a look at startup items and non microsoft services in msconfig.and perhaps running windows disk error scanner and checking primary ide channel hasn't reverted to the slower PIO mode from DMA mode

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Disk usage, the operating system and the systems hard drive reserved space for recycle bin, system restore and windows page file takes space up, as does the hibernation feature if used.

Something like Tree Size Free might show where free sapce has been used and what for

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Just read your reply, about free anti-virus software, surely if the laptop was used for going online it must have had an active anti-virus program running already?

  godriah 10:35 03 Dec 2011

Thank you again for such a comprehensive answer. I will be going through, step by step and trying each of your options (in relevant order of course!) It might be the 80g model (I asked my folks and they said 60g, very possible they were wrong!)

As far as the anti virus, they were paying for Norton, but weren't prepared to fork out 60 quid for the new version, so, just to give them peace of mind I installed AVG (not really knowing how much protection they were getting, but they seemed pleased!). The laptop actually seemed a lot slower after I had done this!

Again, thanks so much.

  Les28 10:42 03 Dec 2011

Malwarebytes as was suggested you download and run is an on demand scanner which will only run when you tell it to do a scan as opposed to a continuous background active scanner like AVG or Avast etc.

You don't want to install more than one active background scanning AV program at any one time, as they may conflict with each other, as they are trying to do the same job.

Running an on demand scan with Malwarebtes as was suggested shouldn't conflict with any existing background scanner.

All I was wondering is if you've installed AVG which is an active scanner, did you uninstall the active scanner that was already running on the laptop, ie McAafee, Symantec Norton, Avast etc, or wasn't there any active anti-virus program on the laptop?

You need to use the Norton removal tool for your Norton product from the Symantec site to remove Norton products before installing an alternative AV product.

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  godriah 10:55 03 Dec 2011

If I run the factory reset, will it automatically un-install all the software that has been installed (ie. Skype, McCaffe, Spotify etc)?

  Les28 11:14 03 Dec 2011

Try downloading and running the particular Norton removal tool for the Norton product that was installed before you installed AVG and see if things speed up afterwards, it may just have been conflict with AVG and remnants of Norton, ie Norton services that hadn't been uninstalled that's been causing the slowness of the laptop.

In the event of you using the hidden recovery partition and going back to factory settings, after saving any personal data, Internet Explorer that you mentioned will be installed as part of the Windows operating system, it may be an earlier version of IE but can be upgraded later from Microsoft.

Programs wise if you do a return to factory setting, it depends on what was bundled by the manufacturer as part of the original set-up with third party programs, I think the restore is a destructive restore meaning the drive is wiped and then windows installed.

Things like Skype are free enough to download again, may need to re-register accounts with some places, however a restore to factory is the next to last resort, last resort is buying a new laptop, see how you get on first tidying up the present set-up.

  godriah 18:23 03 Dec 2011

Right, so, I've run Ccleaner, uninstalled all programmes that aren't being used (surprised how much stuff was on there actually!), defragging as we speak, uninstalled Norton via the uninstall tool, and so far so good. Maybe won't need to resort to factory restore after all!

Thanks to all that advised me. Most appreciated.

  difarn 18:28 03 Dec 2011

Good so far - before you try anything more can I suggest that you get on to the site I suggested, Crucial, let them scan the PC (have used this many times) to ascertain what memory there is and whether you can add some more memory. Doesn't take long and is very efficient. Buying extra ram is very inexpensive and can make all the difference if the PC can cope.

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