Slow computer... help me speed it up

  Hoseman 10:06 20 May 2009

Hi, my computer is a few years old now. Its getting pretty slow now so I was wondering if there are any tips I can use to speed it up. I know Ram is an obvious one but i was hoping I could do it with a budget of ZERO. Im running XP and my startup isnt too clogged up with millions of programs. Any advice welcome... thx :)

  JanetO 10:16 20 May 2009

I've found the quickest way is to format and reinstall xp. I do it about once a year. You can spend days cleaning and tuning, whereas to reinstall plus updates takes just a couple of hours.

  Hoseman 10:22 20 May 2009

Thanks Janet. That sounds like a plan. I used to resintall XP via the disk and found it made a difference but the last time I tried I couldnt. I cant actually remember why but the format/reinstall sounds like a good idea. Ive got an external hard disk and I was wondering you actually carry out the backup and reinstallation.

  birdface 10:34 20 May 2009

Download and run here free or trial version.It will only repair 10 items at a time but you can run it as often as you like.Maybe a defrag if you have not already done it.

  birdface 10:37 20 May 2009

You want SIW on here it will tell you everything that you have on your computer.

  ztronicsalien 10:42 20 May 2009

Hi Hoseman,

As you have told that your PC is few year old.That might be reason to slow down your computer.
If you want to increase your PC speed please upgrade your PC(RAM, HDD and antivirus) with new OS on it.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:06 20 May 2009

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 :-
Superantispyware click here
Malware removal tool click here

Free Antivirus software
Avast4 click here
AVG antivirus click here

c) Clean the registry -- Free Registry cleaners :-
RegscrubVistaXp 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/\ 11:07 20 May 2009

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 or Vista, 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 .com click here will guide you through the process of slecting the correct memory. click here for a guide to fitting memory.

  Hoseman 11:44 20 May 2009

Thanks everyone and expecially Fruit Bat for the detailed reponse. :)

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

iMac Pro review

See iconic duo Smith and Foulkes' epic animation for the BBC's Winter Olympics coverage

iMac Pro review

Idées cadeaux pour geeks et tech addicts