A few questions about speeding up/improving my PC

  Bennythejet 13:15 27 Feb 2003

Hi all, I have a few questions I hope someone can help me with.

I have a Patriot PC with a Pentium 500Mhz processor. I have upgraded the memory with 512MB, but the motherboard only recognizes 480Mb of it. I have recently been looking to upgrade, i.e get another motherboard, processor etc but my budget has been vastly cut (as in almost gone). Mt main problems are speed and reliability. I have Win 98 on it and everything is taking an absolute age at the moment. I am also getting a lot of errors, often my computer cuts to the blue screen error warning and then all I can do is reboot. I get other errors as well, when trying to access Outlook Express, Internet Explorer etc. It is becoming a right pain. One of my friends said that if I get a new hard-drive, the computer will speed up as he thinks the hard-drive is the root of my problems. I have Norton Utililities installed and run the SpeedDisk and DiskDoctor normally once a week but it does nothing to help. Can anyone give me advice on how best to speed up the computer without getting a new motherboard/processor/memory etc.

  powerless 13:37 27 Feb 2003

Hard way or easy way?

Hard - Name all of the errors and we'll fix each one (try to anyway).

To save time. Goto Start > Run > type: SFC > click ok. This will check your files to see if there is a problem.

Norton utilities maybe the problem. Stlealing alot of your RAM.

Go to Start > Type: MSCONFIG > click ok > Startup > Take the tick out of everthing apart from "Explorer" and "systray" > Click ok and reboot

Easy - Format the hard drive to give you a fresh install of windows 98.

You memory problem maybe due to the fact that you have shared graphics. Your graphics are shared with your memory. 32 MB is for graphics an 480MB is for RAM. Not really problem...

Use windows scandisk and defragmenter.

In scandisc select "Thorough" then scan.

To run these

Scandisc - Start > Run > Type: scandisc > clcik ok

Defrag - Start > Run > Type: Defrag > Clcik ok

See it helps.

  Bennythejet 15:29 27 Feb 2003

Thanks, I will give those ideas a try. I am a bit sceptical as to the easy way though, as I did a complete format and re-install only 4 months ago, that's why my friend thinks the hard-drive might be playing up. He also mentioned that Norton would be using a lot of memory so I will uninstall that. On the graphics side of things I have a seperate graphics card and have disabled the on-board graphics so in theory that shouldn't be causing the problem. I will let you know how I get on.

  woodchip 15:39 27 Feb 2003

I would say you have onboard graphics that's whare the ram as gone

1/ remove all software that you do not use, not impotent.

2/ run SFC from Start/Run typ SFC in box press ok you need your windows disc in the computer for this stop it running setup go to the settings page and tick look for deleted files and changed files box's then run and restore what it finds.

3/ If you have IE5.5 or above go to Add/Remove Programs Double click on Microsoft Internet Explorer and choose repair

run scandisk and Defrag

  flecc 16:28 27 Feb 2003

I'd start by getting rid of the Norton, it adds as much as it saves.

Then download the 98Lite software from click here and apply it.

This comes in two forms, the free issue which you can use to remove Internet Explorer and System Information, and the Pro version for about sixteen pounds with which you can remove a whole lot more from 98SE.

Internet Explorer is the biggest drain on your resources by far. Replacing it with either Netscape or Opera will speed things up by about 10%, and using the Pro version to remove more of the redundant content of 98SE will boost you to about 15 to 20% faster.

Be aware that IE provides your thumbnails and preview though when you're in Explorer, so you'll lose those with IE gone. A program like EZ-Pix can give back those functions but it will cost about twenty pounds.

The alternative approach of using the pricey HyperOS system isn't really open to you. Although your computer is theoretically fast enough, I've found it needs at least a 1 gb CPU to give it's best.

There are further tweaks you can apply to give even more speed, but that's enough to be going on with at present. Post back or mail me when you've taken those steps and want more performance.

  flecc 16:30 27 Feb 2003

Using my suggestions also greatly improves the reliability since 98SE doesn't have the same work to do once it's had some of it's software stripped from it.

  flecc 16:33 27 Feb 2003

Your motherboard is almost certainly a UDMA 66 model, so a new hard drive with UDMA 100 or 133 wouldn't gain you anything since it would still run at your motherboard's limits.

  wee eddie 18:44 27 Feb 2003

on you HD. Sometimes when the HD becomes close to full, the SwapFiles become a problem.

What are you using the PC for?

I am running a K500 and have just upgraded to Office Pro XP and upgraded from 128 to 256Mg. It's OK. Not as fast as the new Laptop but it does in the Office.

  Bennythejet 10:26 28 Feb 2003

I have done all the things mentioned above (apart from remove IE which I will have to do over the weekend), however I am still getting errors, particularly when trying to open Outlook Express (I have started another thread about that under my name.) One suggestion I was given was to not upgrade but by a 40GB hard-drive and put Windows 2000 on it as it's more stable. To answer the questions above, the PC is basically used for Desktop work, writing articles, and Championship Manager! Should I go with the Windows 2000 option. (By the way, the Scandisk took 2.5 hours, should it really take that long, even on Thorough?)

  powerless 10:31 28 Feb 2003

It does take its time on Thorough. It scans the whole drive for errors.

If your just using your computer for that, Win 98 is fine. Although you are having lots of problems. I would try a format again...

Win 2000 is more stable.

  Bennythejet 10:38 28 Feb 2003

Thanks powerless, I have basically written-off this weekend as I know I will be de-fragmenting, scanning and formatting my hard-drive for hours! I have started another thread as I have found what seems to be a relatively cheap hard-drive. I am still concerned that I only formatted my existing one a few months ago with a complete re-install and yet it is already giving me all kinds of hassle.

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