Laptop keeps (almost) dying

  AylesburyGal 11:28 03 Sep 2011

I have an 18 months old Sony Vaio which has recently taken to practically stopping almost every time I try to use it. The only thing which seems to unclag things is running the Iolo system clean-up utility, which regularly flags up 21-24 Registry errors, and occasionally some hard drive corruption. After getting the software to fix these errors, everything is hunky-dory until the next time. I've tried uninstalling as many programs as I dare. I clear the cache twice a day etc etc.
I am useless at techy stuff under the hood so won't even consider trying to fix the Registry errors. What can I do??

The faults reported all seem to relate to invalid COM references

  Woolwell 12:00 03 Sep 2011

I regret that it is possible that the Iolo cleaner may have contributed to the problem.

Hard drive corruption is a major worry. Is everything fully backed up?

If Fruitbat is around then his advice is excellent about slow/badly performing systems.

Ultimately you may have to reinstall Windows.

What anti-virus?

  AylesburyGal 12:24 03 Sep 2011

Actually, it was playing up before I installed the Iolo software - it was kinda the reason I did install it. Everything is fully backed up. My anti virus is Kaspersky 2010. And is Fruitbat a regular contributor - do I wait for him to eyeball this or can I get to him another way?

  Woolwell 12:28 03 Sep 2011

Fruitbat is a regular. You'll have to wait.

  AylesburyGal 12:32 03 Sep 2011

Thanks - I did just run a search on him and found a couple of posts that seemed similar that he's answered, so I'll go play with that information in the mean time.

  northumbria61 12:36 03 Sep 2011

I agree with Woolwell on this especially with regards to Iola (System Mechanic) I used this many years ago when I had very little knowledge of computers and personally I found it did more harm than good.

In your own words Actually, it was playing up before I installed the Iolo software - it was kinda the reason I did install it.

Some registry cleaners are notorious for making things worse in my opinion and should be avoided if possible.

  northumbria61 12:39 03 Sep 2011

Personally I would do a file scan - run sfc /scannow at the CMD prompt (it takes a while to complete) but worth trying. (You may have to run as administrator)

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:19 03 Sep 2011

1. Software

a) Clear out all temporary files and folders -- use CCleaner

b) Scan for malware spyware and viruses --Free Anti Spyware :- Malwarebytes Superantispyware

Free Antivirus software MicroSoft Security Essentials Avast

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.

2. Hardware

a) Hard drives /

i) IDE Channels: (Not required if you have SATA drives) 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 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, Vista or Windows 7 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 will guide you through the process of selecting the correct memory. for a guide to fitting memory.

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