Painfully slow PC

  GBL 12:07 03 Feb 2008

I have my daughters old PC as a second one, it is an emachine with a 1.7 ghz intel celeron processor, 128 mb of ddr, running on XP home with a 40gb HDD.
When I got it it was so slow and the HDD was continuously active so I replaced that with another 40gb one I had spare. Initially it was quite quick but since I have installed AVG and Zone alarm it is so slow you can cook and eat a meal whilst waiting for it to do something. It wasn't all that much better before i put Zone alarm on and even disabling it doesnt make much difference.

Could this be the processor or would increasing the RAM to a reasonable size do the job??

  lisa02 12:10 03 Feb 2008

Increase the RAM.

XP really needs at least 512mb to make it run ok.

  rossgolf 12:10 03 Feb 2008

increasin the ram would help but you need a bigger hdd and run a program called ccleaner
click here

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 12:14 03 Feb 2008

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
Windows Defender 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

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 12:15 03 Feb 2008

2. Hardware

a) Hard drives / IDE Channels:

i) 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, 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) Divers
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.

  rossgolf 12:21 03 Feb 2008

if you typed all that out fruit bat,
ur a legend lol

  dagwoood 12:35 03 Feb 2008

From a hardware standpoint, increasing the amount of RAM you have is the cheapest bang for buck solution, so lisa02's advice is spot-on.

You will also suffer a system slow-down the more you fill your hard drive; when a drive gets to about 50% full it will start to become noticeably slower and at 75% it will be very slow.

  GBL 12:49 03 Feb 2008

I think one of the problems is that it is updating Win XP as when i put the HDD in I had to reinstal from the recovery disk, also ZA has been updating and scanning.

I agree that a larger HDD would improve things but it is only a second machine and I don't really want to spend a great deal on it unless necessary. I will invest in more RAM though. We are not putting too many programs on it only what we need as teh main PC has more on. It is only so we don't fall out with who want to get on th enet at the same time etc.

Thanks to all so far.

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