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Why is my computer so slow now!?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema, Hi-Fi and Gadgets' started by Soupie69uk, Feb 15, 2007.

  1. Soupie69uk
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    Soupie69uk Owner

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    I have had my Dell laptop for two years now and it has been running so slow over the last few months.

    It takes forever to open a new program or to even start up and shut down.

    I have tried defragmenting it but that has not made any difference.

    Anyone got any other ideas?
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  2. Sinny71
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    Sinny71 S55 LKS

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    Are you running anything like Norton or some other 'helpful' program that slows things up??
    Its also worth scaning for spyware etc. but could be almost anything really. Try checking the Task manager to see what process is hogging resources when its on a go slow.
    #2
  3. inigoj
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    inigoj Member

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    The most likely reason is that you have too many programs running (not enough memory installed), disable any startup programs that are not essential.

    Alternatively you could have malware running on your pc.
    #3
  4. Soupie69uk
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    Soupie69uk Owner

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    I have mcAfee but only the virus scan.

    I also have AVG but just got that a few days ago so that has not slowed it down.

    How do you check your task manager.
    #4
  5. scrupes
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    scrupes bloody great extension bodger

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    press 'ctrl' 'alt' and 'delete' at the same time to bring the task manager up.....how much ram u got? might be worth upgrading?
    #5
  6. Soupie69uk
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    Soupie69uk Owner

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    The first reason is maybe the reason. I am not sure.

    How do I disable startup programs that I dont need?

    Also how could I find a malware?
    #6
  7. john2garden
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    john2garden Gonad

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    Download 'ad-aware se' from www.lavasoft.com

    This is a free spyware download, install it, update it via interweb then scan your computer.

    This should make a massive difference
    #7
  8. 951
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    951 Member

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    I second this ,i have used this for about a year now with no problems and you get free updates. Ive just done a scan 10 mins ago and its speeded my pc up even more.It does sound like you have to many programs running that start when you switch on. Look in the start up menu to see how many you have and if you need all of them running.
    #8
  9. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Another good one is Spybot
    #9
  10. Defratos
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    Defratos YouÂ’re Dethpicable!!

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    yeah I use spybot, is that the same thing as "ad-aware se"? As for laptop speed, my Toshiba one is like 4 years old and it's just not even worth bothering trying to use. I ONLY use it for Vag-com. I would say Ram Ram Ram, it has helped me tons. Also free up your hard drive :beerchug:
    #10
  11. shineydave
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    shineydave Member

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    it's not good having 2 anti-virus programs running at the same time as the way they work is similar to the way a virus operates so each thinks the other is baaaaaaaaad.

    download both spybot and lavasoft as they find different things (or at least they do on my pc)

    download tonyarts easycleaner, this will remove unnecessary files and registry entries that clog up your pc.

    look in taskmanager as stated before, go to processes then do a google for each listing to find out whether you can safetly disable them

    to disable them go to the start button, click run and type msconfig, this will open a box which lists all the start menu items, you can disable or enable them in here.

    run the defrag tool, it will only speed up the starting of your programs though as it places all the fragments of your programs next to each other on the hard drive making them easier to load
    #11
  12. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Spybot & Ad-Aware are two different utilities, but I use both, and they work very well.
    #12
  13. Soupie69uk
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    Soupie69uk Owner

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    I was looking through my add remove programs folder.

    Do I need all the updates for windows? There must be about 80.

    Called things like windows xp update hotfix KB88536 and security update for windows xp. Some are as old as 2005.
    #13
  14. scrupes
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    scrupes bloody great extension bodger

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    personally i leave them well alone, i dont think they would do much to slow the computer down, the things that will are the likes of camera applications that may well be running in the background, that you only need when you want to get the pics off your camera which i doubt you'll need all of the time? go to the arrow in the right hand corner of the task bar (next to the clock) click it and it will show which applications are running. (hover over the icons and it'll tell you what they are) my 5 diff camera apps. always startup on starting windows and they slow it down!!
    what's running there?

    if you recognise any of the applications which you feel you dont need right now, right clicky it and select the exit option. might be worth a go?

    which windows you running ? Xp pro, home?
    #14
  15. Soupie69uk
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    Soupie69uk Owner

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    xp home.

    Yeah have cleared lots of the ones i dont need. One I am unsure about is Dell Quickset. Its a power management or something.
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  16. Soupie69uk
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    Soupie69uk Owner

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    I also have AVG free edition, MSN messenger, local area conection (cable unplugged), 1394 connection, sometimes my wireless connection and the clock on the toolbar.
    #16
  17. scrupes
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    scrupes bloody great extension bodger

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    nah leave that be!!!! QuickSet is a dell power management suite that looks after the power supply and access to programe files.

    you looked for updates on the Dell websites and updates for windows?
    #17
  18. scrupes
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    scrupes bloody great extension bodger

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    you emptied your temp internet files etc?
    #18
  19. Soupie69uk
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    Soupie69uk Owner

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    no not looked for the updates on dell websites or for windows, why?

    Yeah all empty.
    #19
  20. scrupes
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    scrupes bloody great extension bodger

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    it might be worthwhile seeing if there's any updates, your pc is 2yrs old and there are masses of updates every month to help computers keep up to date. there have even been instances of microsoft updates that need updating and updates for them! confusing at times but it's worthwhile checking

    if you dont mind .. whats the laptop model number and specs? I'll try for ya if you'd like?
    #20
  21. Soupie69uk
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    Soupie69uk Owner

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    It is a Dell Inspiron 510m. Thank you very much for your help.

    I cant remember how much memory etc it had. How I find out?
    #21
  22. scrupes
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    scrupes bloody great extension bodger

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    It's still a good spec laptop even by todays standard, according to reviews the specs are:
    intel 1.7 gig processor and 512mb of SO DIMM DDR333 ram so it's not under rated! you can apparently fit 2 sticks of 1gb ram max which would speed it up no end! it must just be quite full of files and or programmes. the std harddrive is a 60gig 5200rpm which by todays stanfard is a little on the slow side but not uncommon (desktop pc's have harddrives of upto 10,000 rpm which means access to files etc is loads quicker). to check your computers specs:

    go to start then click control panelthen systemand under the general tab there should be something like windows xp homeversion 2002 service pack 2 and under that ( amd athlon 3600 (2.4ghz. 1024mgz ram )which is the processor speed and Ram capacity ((yours will be intel ????whatever it is ))
    #22
  23. scrupes
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    scrupes bloody great extension bodger

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    Another check for you is to see if your harddrive is full or nearly full:

    start then click my computer then right click local disk (c) select properties this should open a pie chart type thing.
    the purple portion is free space on your hard drive and the blue portion is used-up space. if the "pie" is almost all blue then your harddisc will be slow as it's got a lot of data to go through to find a programme file or whatever, if its got a largeish portion of purple then it should be ok!


    I have had a similay problem with a corrupted harddrive in the no so distant past ( a virus embedded itself into the windows files on my old hard drive) and i ended up having to get a new one. it was much faster after that but i also lost all my somgs, pics, games etc not to mention a valid xp pro and updates, consequently i also ended up having to buy a new windows xp with keycode as i lost the old keycode!! very frustrating i know :motz:

    hope some of this lot helps ya out.


    PAUL
    #23
  24. arthurfuxake
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    arthurfuxake Controversial & Contradictive

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    Don't discount quickset. It is the power management utility, but some settings in there could slow your pc down. The default settings in there slow your processor speed down in order to preserve battery life. Is your laptop slower when on battery?
    #24
  25. mickey_a6
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    mickey_a6 Member

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    When this starts happening to a computer, often enough the best (and quickest) thing to do is to start from scratch - reformat the drive and reinstall the operating system, then all your applications. If you still have all the original operating system, application and Dell utility disks etc., it is fairly straightforward. Obviously make sure you back everything up that you want to keep - external hard drives are pretty cheap now and are good for backing up pics, MP3s etc.
    #25
  26. coupe-se
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    coupe-se Member

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    Completely agree!! I always found that after about 12 months my windows based laptop has noticably slowed down and was getting glitchy. I always dug out the install disk that came with my machine, reformatted and did a complete re-install. Its easy to do but will take some time, but well worth it as it used to transform my laptop back to a reliable speed machine. :)
    #26
  27. Stringster
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    Stringster Missed gear

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    One of the best utilities you can get to free up resource is CCleaner (**** Cleaner). Deletes all the temp files and **** thats left in the background to free up your memory.
    Free from filehippo.com.
    #27
  28. Soupie69uk
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    Soupie69uk Owner

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    Right cheers for all the help guys.

    Think I am going to have to bite the bullet and reformat the drive.

    Anyone recoment a storage device I should buy to back up all my old files.

    Also I will have to write down all the programs I wish to reinstall won't I?

    What stuff do you guys back up?
    #28
  29. Caesium
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    Caesium My BM is fixed!

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    I wouldn't do a reformat unless you are absolutely sure it will sort the problem out, its a time consuming process and takes ages to get your machine back the way you had it before.
    How much RAM does your PC have?
    I use a handy program called Window Washer, it removes all sorts of **** from your hard disk, temporary files, IE cache etc. Its worth a run through.
    Also, if you go to start > run > type MSCONFIG the look at the startup tab, list what you have in there and i'll tell you if its essential or not. You can disable non essential programs (its totally un-do-able)
    Another thing to try is registry toolkit, it clears out all sorts of ****.
    #29
  30. meatychi
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    meatychi Member

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    Before reformatting your hard drive: try this

    Make sure you Virus scan is running on scan engine 13 and that you have downloaded the latest virus definitions and run a full system scan, then

    1. Open you task manager open the Precesses tab and click on the CPU column twice. This will osrt your precesses in order of highest CPU usage. Make a note of the ones that are bobbing up and down on the top of the list.

    2. remove any unused programs - Non dell applications only at first

    3. If still running like a dog then remove any other programs which you genrally dont use ( if you stick a list on here then I will help you determine which ones you can defo get rid of )

    4. Run disk cleanup and get rid of any excess ****

    5. defragment your harddrive

    6. Check your paging file isnt too big - right click your computer and goto properties then select the advanced tab,
    click on the settings button underneath performance and select adjust for best performance, clcik the advanced tab and press the change button underneath the virtual memory window - let me know what these are showing.

    7. Turn off system system restore, also found in the system properties

    Let us know the results of these!

    If this fails then you need to get your hands on an external hd to save all your gumpf on - lacie do great big drives which you can save all your porn on! lol sorry couldnt resist.

    Rather than load all that Dell **** back onto your pc try and get hold of the OS on its own and do a clean install.

    hope this helps!
    #30
  31. maxlbrown
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    maxlbrown Deep Blue

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    Try Prevx1 from WWW.prevx.com. Good malware removal full use for 1 month then 12 quid after . Run it once to clean the system up.

    If you are using XP check the size of your profile. C:\documents and settings\Your username. Right click and select properties. I expect its huge. Either move documents out of my documents and clear temp files etc. into another directory under your C drive first.

    If this does not help your profile could be corrupt. Create a new user transfer your data and delte the old user account. Log on as the new user after a reboot to clear the old account. then rename your new account to your old name if need be.

    Good luck
    #31
  32. inigoj
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    inigoj Member

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    Once you have everything installed and set up as you like it, its always a good idea to use 'Norton Ghost' or similar back-up prog, and save a complete disk image (windows and selected games/progs) on a second drive.

    That way if something starts going wrong you can simply re-write the complete disk image of your healthy drive.

    It will save you many many hours of reinstall time.
    #32

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