Using Recovery Discs

  Conny 20:02 26 Apr 2011

I have a HP Pavillion Desktop that is running very slow. It also takes an age to load FF or IE8. When I bought it about 6 or 7 years ago, (may be longer), I made 8 recovery discs. Can I use these to try to restore it back to its original state, and hopefully speed, without losing all the info/pictures etc I have on the hard drive or does it basically wipe everything out and reformat the hard drive? I have run all my AV/Spyware/Malware programs etc but they don't seem to have made much improvement. OS is XP Home Edition pre-installed so I don't have an original disc, just my recovery ones. These will probably contain Norton which I will want to remove if the restore is successful.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:28 26 Apr 2011

Can I use these to try to restore it back to its original state, and hopefully speed, without losing all the info/pictures etc I have on the hard drive

No it will wipe the drive and return it to the day you got the machine.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:29 26 Apr 2011

Speed up your PC

  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.

f) Force Windows to Unload DLLs from Memory
Windows Explorer caches DLLs (Dynamic-Link Libraries) in memory for a period of time after the application using them has been closed. This can be an inefficient use of memory on low memory systems, and may cause problems or delays for programmers developing with Windows DLL files.

Open your registry and find the key [HKEYLOCALMACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer]. Create a new sub-key named 'AlwaysUnloadDLL' and set the default value to equal '1' to disable Windows caching the DLL in memory. Restart Windows for the change to take effect.

  1. 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 .com will guide you through the process of selecting the correct memory. for a guide to fitting memory.

  woodchip 20:32 26 Apr 2011

Best way is get all your Photos etc of the drive then use your Backupo Recovery discs, you will also need to download and install all windows backups after

  Conny 20:55 26 Apr 2011

Thanks Fruitbat & Woodchip. Photos on Picassa are already backed up on DVD Discs and have already perfrormed a, b, and c, tasks in your Software section. Will have to see if I can find time and do e, f and g, later tonight. Regarding the Hardware section, I have already defragged and I'm fairly sure it is NTFS but will also check this later. Mainly want it to run better for my two eldest grandchildren to use, (both 5 yrs old). They play a lot of games/drawing/colouring etc on the ceebeebies site but they get so frustrated waiting for it to load and then perform an action when they do something. Once again, thanks guys, I will work my way through all these tasks and hopefully by the weekend they will have smiles on their faces. Cheers and keep up the good work.

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