Fixing a generally messed up computer

  [DELETED] 13:13 21 Mar 2006

Hello there,
I have a problem, in that my computer is running far to slow (its a P4 2.8, 1G ram, 256mb graphics). It takes several minuites to load up each time, and generally is far to slow for the spec that it appears to be. I have checked using multiple spyware checkers and anti virus (including online based in case mine were comprimised) but theres nothing (well occasionally something but i remove it). I did take it to someone and they said it was the best looking (as in virus etc) but still knackered PC they had seen.
The solution would point towards a reinstall (there are other things going wrong, software based), however through a long story that i wont go into I do not have a copy of XP or the associated code. Having seen prices for a full XP home at £120+ I have just seen that they are going, supposedly genuine with codes for under half that on ebay. Does this sound right? Anyone got experance of this? Even via ebay this is still a £60 outlay, which I'd rather not pay (unless it will fix all my probs, well computer based probs). Also I'm running XP Pro at the mo. will i notice ay major differences if i buy Home.

I know i've written a lot but any help would be greatly appreciated

  bruno 13:32 21 Mar 2006

Have you defragged your computer?You could also try Disc Clean Up,from System tools.This will get rid of a lot of excess files.I use CCleaner to keep mine clean.You will find the address on Google.Get rid of all the programmes you do not use.
I changed from XP pro to XP home when I bought a new computer and I can honestly say I have not noticed the difference.I believe Pro has some more advanced operations,but I think they are more for commercial use(could be wrong on that,though).I can do everything on it that I could before.

  Giggle n' Bits 13:38 21 Mar 2006

Microsoft Software and Ebay is a bit risky for buying software. There are loads of online retailers.

There is a correct way and a wrong way to install Windows XP, its not just sticking the disk in and installing the software, ok it will work but it will also give you grief down the line like Send error reports, Etc.

You can buy a geniune OEM windows XP Home with a Mouse (to meet the oem aggreement) from click here

Perosnally if you do not know how to configure XP research or take it to a local computer shop.

You may have Hardware problems and a clean install of XP will show this.

Windows XP Home is more suitable you will not see much difference, apart from the name and a few features which you will never use unless you have 5 or more systems networked.

  [DELETED] 13:40 21 Mar 2006

"There are other things going wrong, software based..."

Therein probably lies your difficulty

Two ways forward..

You can buy a new computer box for not much more than going out to buy a copy of Windows. Look at Novatech for some examples.

Alternatively, remove the programmes that are giving trouble and get back to the original system. See if that speeds things up

  Giggle n' Bits 13:41 21 Mar 2006

but I was going to say all these extra tools that claim to clean this and remove that are also pretty useless. there are a few that actually do a good job but downloading frebbie tools can add more spyware/adware or malware even if they claim to remove it. They may remove some but not all.

  Giggle n' Bits 13:42 21 Mar 2006

becase of a faulty HDD or maybe a optical drive may be faulty but going out and buying a new base unit is extreme your spec seems fair.

  [DELETED] 14:11 21 Mar 2006

how fulll is your hdd. if it is near full that would have an impact. also check the number of processes you have running. this is done clicking on run/ type in msconfig/ press enter.

there should be any thing around 36 running. anymore and i would look at them to stop unecessary ones starting up

  [DELETED] 15:41 21 Mar 2006

Thanks for the replies, In response to some of the querries, my HHD is no where near full, I'm using adaware, spybot & norton antispyware, of which the general consenus seems to be that they arn't malware. I did borrow some expensive PC diagnostic software which checked all of my components and they were all ok (my hunch was that my RAM was gone, but it wasn't the case). Thanks for the link to the shop, however this seems to be pretty much the same deal as on ebay (I know i would prefer the shop though).
Any additional comments on the "right way" to reinstall windows would be appreciated, but i may start a new thread.
Finally in my moments of greif I have considered buying a new base unit, mine is no longer top spec but it isn't really bad enough to start again (mind if its not fixed in a years time ill reconsider)

Thanks for the help and any more comments would be welcome


  woodchip 15:50 21 Mar 2006

norton will slow your computer down. You would be better with Free Avast, click here

  [DELETED] 16:32 21 Mar 2006

Like woodchip says, download free avast and the up to date virus files, then go off line, unload Norton and install avast

If you don't have a firewall download free zone alarm

If you have any programmes you no longer use, uninstall

You also need Spywareblaster and Microsoft antispyware and a squared. All free. download and run for spyware

Then run regseeker and crap cleaner (both free downloads), use windows diskcleanup and then reboot and defrag

Do all this and see how it goes before even thinking of reinstall

After all that let's know how things are going

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:08 21 Mar 2006

1. Software

a) Clear out all temporay files and folders -- use Crap Cleaner click here

b) Scan for malware spyware and viruses --Free Anti Spyware :-
Adaware click here
Spybot S&D click here
Spywareblaster click here
a2 click here
MSoftAntispy Beta click here
Ewido click here

Free Antivirus software
Avast4 click here
AVG antivirus click here

c) Clean the registry -- Free Registry cleaners :-
RegscrubXP click here
Regseeker click here
TweakNow RegCleaner 1.3.2 click here
Easycleaner click here ( Use with care, It advises you to back up the registry first, this is a good idea as it cleans rather aggressively. )

d) Pagefile (Virtual Memory) -- Rght click MY Computer - select propeties - Advanced tab - Performance - advanced tab - Virtual memory click change, you can put the page file on a differnt 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 startup -- Start - Run type msconfig - startup tab- untick everything except for firewall, antivirus and antispyware

and the services that run in the background. click here

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