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1. I have a laptop that is about 6 years old.

 

2. It used to be very fast, but over time it slowed to an "unusable crawl." Why? < That is question No. 1.

 

3. I haven't used it in months and just turned it over to the girlfriend to play with.

 

4. If I reinstall XP, which I would assume would wipe the hard drive clean, what should I expect for her as far as speed?

 

Mucho thanks.

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Without knowing the tech specs it's hard to say.

 

Any way you could post what processor it has and how much RAM + Hard disk space it has, also include what operating system?

 

Without looking at it I would say restoring the whole machine (delete everything and start from scratch) is a good start. It may be worthwhile taking it to TukCom and getting some RAM installed but it all really depends on the technical specs as described above.

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Thanks for that.

 

So you're saying re-installing the operating system (Windows XP) is not going to make a big difference?

 

I am not really interested in spending money on this old machine. It's just for the girlfriend to learn on and play with.

 

Thanks again.

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Thanks for that.

 

So you're saying re-installing the operating system (Windows XP) is not going to make a big difference?

 

I am not really interested in spending money on this old machine. It's just for the girlfriend to learn on and play with.

 

Thanks again.

Yes it will make it quicker. The more programs you install the longer it takes to start and turn off. It should become as quick as when you first bought it.

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Yes it will make it quicker. The more programs you install the longer it takes to start and turn off. It should become as quick as when you first bought it.

 

Thanks. That's what I thought.

 

You would be stunned at how long it takes this thing to fully boot up. Close to 9 minutes!!!

 

Just started it today for the first time in months.

 

Again, all she really needs is the ability to open a browser and use Google.

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Reinstall windows XP.

It's back to the start.DONE

 

Extra RAM is always a good idea, but as you say, you want it simply for browsing, so just reinstall XP and everything should be working fine, This is the easiest and fastest way.

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Reinstalling XP might make a difference if the hard drive is near full, very fragmented, etc (but mostly importantly still healthy, i.e. no bad sectors).

 

But if you do not want to reinstall some other things to check/try…

 

1. Make sure the airflow/fan is clear, no dust, etc, this could cause over heating and hence slower performance.

2. Defragment the hard drive, instructions here http://windows.about.com/od/maintainandfix/ss/defragment.htm

3. Run a registry cleaner, such as Ccleaner http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/download (free download)

4. Run a check for viruses, adware and spyware, AVG is free antivirus software, spybot is good for spyware or here is a free adware and spyware removal software combined http://download.cnet.com/Ad-Aware-2007/3000-8022_4-10766151.html?tag=lst-1)

 

5. Clear your Windows cache files, this is your temporary file. It can grow up to a large volume and stop your computer from using RAM properly. In a sense slow it down by preventing it from using free space.

Here is how:

 

1. Quit Internet Explorer, Firefox, or any other web browser

2. Click Start, click "Control Panel", and then double-click "Internet Options".

3. On the General tab, click "Delete Files" under Temporary Internet Files.

4. In the Delete Files dialog box, click to select the "Delete all offline content" check box , and then click OK.

5. Click OK.

 

3. Manage your startups. Any excess CPU usage is due to too many programs running in the background. You can cut these to barebones by altering your msconfig.

Here is how:

 

1. Open your Start menu.

2. Click Run

3. In the command screen type "msconfig.exe"

4. In the "system configuration utility",click either "service" or "startup" tab

5. Uncheck all programs that your are no longer using.

6. Click "OK

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Thanks. That's what I thought.

 

You would be stunned at how long it takes this thing to fully boot up. Close to 9 minutes!!!

 

Just started it today for the first time in months.

 

Again, all she really needs is the ability to open a browser and use Google.

 

I do my laptop every six months or so. It's easy when you are already in the routine of backing files up etc and if you do it regularly.

 

It takes a few hours to do but is well worth it.

 

If you have recovery discs or a recovery partition restart the machine and hold F8 (I think) as it boots up.

 

Once the menu has loaded make sure you choose the destructive recovery otherwise it will keep all your old files and just try to "repair" windows.

 

Of course, make sure you backup anything important before starting.

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As mentioned by others a good Disk Cleanup and Disk Defrag can do wonders. Also using msconfig to get rid of crap you don't want to start automatically on bootup can help too.

 

Another fairly out there solution is to download Linux Mint (better at wireless I'm told than Ubuntu - I use both) and install it and put Firefox on the desktop for you gal to use.

 

I did this with an old laptop that had a lot of stuffed sectors on it from years of using XP with minimal RAM. It was forever caching stuff out to disk and it just wore it out.

 

However Linux Mint makes do with minimal resources, works well boots quick and using Firefox is the same as using Windows.

 

It's worthy of doing, and if it doesn't work for you just reinstall XP :-)

 

Cheerz Sharky.

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Reinstall will make it faster , I like to do my Desktop every 6 months also.

Make sure you have the Recovery Discs or at least download the drivers so you can reinstall them after you install XP

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  • 5 months later...

run advanced systemcare.

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6 years old XP machine, it'll very low spec compared to today's standards. If it's just for your GF to play around on there's not much point in spending money doing upgrades, laptops are so much cheaper these days. If it was me I'd give it a format, reinstall XP, put the bare minimum software on it. If there's enough HHD then partition off a space and put portable software on that. Not much else you can do without spending money.

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You can by a "copy" of windows 7 from many stores in Tukcom. Win 7 is much quicker at loading than XP and will work on older machines. If you have copied all the data that you want to keep from the hard drive, format the drive first to erase all the data and do a clean install of win 7. Just one thing to be aware of is that mostly the win 7 discs from Tukcom stores will install win 7 but usually they wont have all the necessary drivers (for wireless and sometimes for network cards etc) so ask before you leave the shop if you will need to buy a separate disc with zillions of drivers on it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

If your laptop is older (you said 6 years), it probably does not use a sata drive, but an EIDE drive. This goes through your EIDE ATA/ATAPI Controller. Over the years, your hard disk will incur many I/O and disk errors in general. In general, the disk and disk controllers adapt, mark off areas and do various other things to keep running. BUT, there is a threshold, and when it hits that threshold, the disk will change it access "method" from Ultra DMA Mode 5 (if I remember correctly), to PIO mode. You will see TREMENDOUS slowdown in all your applications, even easy things like windows explorer, because your disk access has now slowed down to a crawl. Your 9 minute boot made me think of this, as certainly this would be one of the symptoms. This happened on my old HP numerous times and I got to be familiar with the symptoms and would fix it whenever it slipped into that mode.

 

You can check if you are in this mode by going to device manager (on XP, it's in control panel/system/device manager), and then selecting your EIDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers, going to properties, and then looking at advanced settings. In an older laptop, the only devices on these controllers are the hard disk and the DVD/CD Drive, the hard disk should be DMA 5, and the CD/DVD drive should be DMA 3 (again, working from memory, if I remember correctly). If the hard disk is in PIO mode, you have found your problem.

 

How to fix. Really easy, in device manager, deinstall the hard disk. Trust me on this, deinstall your hard disk and shut down. When you reboot, the system will re-recognize your hard disk and automatically reinstall it in DMA 5 mode, and voila, your system will be fast again.

 

So, this is really easy to diagnose, and easy to fix, but this is often overlooked, even by computer professionals.

 

I totally agree with what another poster said about the dust buildup, etc, on the fan and cooling areas, but this will cause the PC to slow up because of overheating and possibly blue screen. However, this would not contribute to you 9 minute boot issue, since the laptop is not hot as yet. That is why I focused on the issue above since most of the boot time is spent in reading stuff off the disk, I/O time is an eternity when compared to process (CPU) time. The problem is, to clean this, you basically have to take a laptop totally apart since this HW tends to be next to or on top to the laptop motherboard which means removing the screen, keyboard and other essential parts. Not that hard to do if you have a shop manual and little Asian hands, but certainly not for the novice to try.

 

Also, you might try running a CHKDSK and see if NTFS is OK. Sometimes the indexes get screwed up, and they can be fixed, but again, probably not a cause for a 9 minute boot. If the indexes for the the OS get screwed up, you won't boot anyway, and you are in repair mode. If the indeses for some of the starte d programs and services are screwed up, either they won't strt, or there may be some delay as some of the data might be read sequentially, but again, not a 9 minute boot, unless you are actually going through some disk error recovery and this would appear on the screen during the boot telling you that things are being fixed. You usually don't get this in NTFS, but it happened quite often back in the FAT and FAT32 days of Windows 98.

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you take it to TUKCOM, ask them to give it a good dusting and check the fans as they can slow down with dust over time. Maybe even clean the CPU and reseat the fan with some fresh heat transfer compound.

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  • 2 months later...

I'm afraid that if your laptop is 6 years old you will waste more time and money to come to same conclusion you need a new one. Do not even consider win 7 unless you have min 1G RAM (DDR2), 16GB free space on your C: drive a decent graphics card etc. If you are able download malwarebytes from cnet.com and do a scan, also ONLY use ccleaner to unclutter your drive and fix your registry, you can also stop programs auto starting and it's free I suspect you have malware which is dangerous not just for yourself but others. If you have an infection reinstalling XP would involve reformating your drive and is far more trouble than it's worth. In my humble opinion your best bet would to try and save all your important data on a USB memory stick/external HD ( CD's/DVD's SD cards will all work) and scrap your machine. You can pick up a new laptop/notebook now very cheap or if your budget wont stretch there are plenty of second hand bargains to be had. To check if your present computer is win 7 compatible google "windows 7 upgrade advisor" and download the program which will scan your computer and give you the news. If you decide to go for a new one Google "windows easy transfer" which will allow you to keep all yor XP settings (not programs) for yor new machine. As mentioned a budget laptop will not cost much and will hopefully give you a few years of trouble free computing. You can get good free antivirus/malware and most of the software you will need free. Again Google is your friend, try "best free video player cnet" (VLC), "best free, anything you want cnet" but always use cnet, it will give you a review and virus free download. I know it's difficult in pattaya but please try to avoid dummy software from the stores, it's all out there free. If you have a friend who knows their way around you can get what you want using file sharing (torrent etc). Let yor GF keep your old one and dont let her near your new one. Good luck

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The basic point is its 6 year old and we can guess the average specification.

 

I think it should be like

 

Intel Celeron processor or pentium IV.

Ram should be 512 MB.

Hard disk might be 120GB max.

OS : Window XP

 

Without few hardware change don't expect much better performance and i feel replacing these will defiantly work out.

 

RAM : 2GB DDR 2 (Now we get mostly DDR3 RAM but again i don't think your motherboard will support DDR3 RAM) Price: less then 1000Bhat

 

Hard disk : Its a 6 year old and i think it is better to replace it with a new one 500GB Price: Less then 2000 Bhat

 

Ohh i guess the CD writer wont be much of use so you can get a DVD writer for the laptop Price: Less then 1500 Bhat

 

Install a fresh Window XP and it will be a brand new one.

 

Cheers.

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to save everything on your disk before formatting and re-installing ...

start your pc in safe modus, open winzip and make a zip-file of your complete c-drive.

Save that zip-file on an usb-drive or stick, or, on, another partition.

Then format your c-drive and re-install winxp.

Then open the previous made zip-file and unzip it in some map, special made for it.

When unzipped, you wil find everything what was on your old c-drive in that map.

Out from that map, you can "move to" or "copy to" or drag & drop whatever you need

to whatever place you need it.

This is not exactly about speeding up, but, all data wil be secured and usable from that zip-file.

The speeding-up comes together wit a fresh winxp-reinstall.

But, remember, only in safe modus.

If you cannot start your pc in safe modus, download and use http://www.superadblocker.com/bootsafe.html

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I had a similar thing, and I do know a fare bit about computers…

 

Rule of thumb for me..

  1. If its that old just get a new one,
  2. Reinstalled windows xp, and very few other programs, then gave to kids to play with… internet / home work etc … works a treat

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