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How do I speed up my computer?

(27 posts)
  • Started 2 years ago by profitbyjuan
  • Latest reply from maggie1985
  • Topic Viewed 2294 times

profitbyjuan
profitbyjuan
Posts: 6

I have been struggling with a slow computer for sometime, but it seems to be getting progressively worse. I've done some searching for an answer, but with minimum results. I ordered extra memory when I bought my computer about 18 months ago, so I don't think it's a hardware problem.

In a recent post alishathomaz says:
"To speed up computer you need to perform the following tasks
Scan Laptop for Viruses
Fix Registry Errors
Run Check Disk
Stop Unnecessary Background Programs
Run Disk Cleanup"

These are excellent suggestions, and I think I have implemented several of them. Except,
I have not been successful in stopping unnecessary background programs.
I have identified some of them, but haven't been able to prevent them from
opening up automatically.

If anyone has any suggestions, I'd sure welcome them!

Posted 2 years ago
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raphoenix
raphoenix
Posts: 14920

Use this FREE program and check for auto startup programs.

http://technet.microsoft.com/e.....s/bb963902

Rick P.

Posted 2 years ago
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Xhi
Xhi
Posts: 6298

Scan for Malware with Malwarebytes antimalware
Run CCleaner To Run Disk Cleanup (Cleaner), fix Registry Errors (Registry), Stop Unnecessary Background Programs (Tools, Startup) disable all but your security programs. Add back in any you find that you specifically know that you want to run at startup.
Run Check Disk (Command Prompt Chkdsk /r -- answer yes to do it on restart.)
If you still use IE, go to Tools -> add-ons and disable all add-ons except Java and Flash.
Try a faster browser -- Google Chrome or Firefox.

Things will run much faster.

Posted 2 years ago
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youknowita
youknowita
Posts: 360

extend the system partition with partition wizard, give more space to your system partition. :0

Posted 2 years ago
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profitbyjuan
profitbyjuan
Posts: 6

Thank you guys for the great suggestions...I will definitely try them.

I forgot to be more specific before, but there are two issues with my computer speed that I don't understand, or know how to correct.
1. My browsers will quite often be very slow to open. I use IE for personal emails, and I was using Firefox extensively until Google Chrome came out...I am hooked on Chrome now. All 3 browsers are slow to open most of the time.
2. The browsers will frequently freeze (not responding) even during the most simple tasks.

I hope following the steps you folks outline above will do the trick. Thanks again for your help, Juan

Posted 2 years ago
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alishathomaz
Posts: 74

To stop programs from running automatically:

Start > write msconfig in search bar > select Startup tab

Deselect the programs you don't want to run.

Posted 2 years ago
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ispalten
ispalten
Posts: 6259

Some computer spec's are needed here...

RAM size
CPU speed
Computer make and model
Network type (wired or wireless) and speed type if wireless (G or N)

Also Vista version (32 or 64 bit) and ISP speed.

Irv S.

Posted 2 years ago
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youknowita
youknowita
Posts: 360

enlarge system partition.....................................

Posted 2 years ago
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profitbyjuan
profitbyjuan
Posts: 6

Hey Guys,

Sorry I haven't been back for several days (I was busy with my slow computer!)

Great suggestions above...sorry I'm not responding to each post directly.

Irv S. has a good point. I should have provided computer specs upfront. Here's what I have:

Computer brand: HP (desktop) Pavilion Slimline
Processor: ADM Anthlon (tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 5200+
Vista 64 bit
Memory: 4.00 GB
HP C drive: 452 GB (326 GB still free)
Network: wired, with high speed connection

Well, I never said I was techie, but to implement YOUKNOWITA's suggestion: how do I enlarge the system partition? What commands do I use, or where can I find a reference? The "Help" resources provided by HP have been useless to me because they are too general.

I've had my computer for about 18 months...it was really fast when I got it...I made sure I had extra of memory, (at the time) now the standard RAMs are much larger even in laptops.

Regarding the suggestions made by Xhi, the HP "Help" guidelines tell me that Registry errors are fixed automatically by the factory installed software. It also tells me that a defrag run is automatically done often...I forget the frequency, but it's like once a week or once every 2 weeks.

I have PC Tools Spyware Doctor with antivirus. It does a complete scan at least once a day, so I don't think I have any viruses right now...(hopefully!)

The only program that I believe I have to have open all the time I'm on the computer is SugarSync which provides me a very frequent, offline backup of all my files.

I look forward to your comments, Juan

Posted 2 years ago
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owen123
owen123
Posts: 800

your system looks good hardware wise, my opinion would be;

GET RID OF VISTA

if you upgrade to 7 or downgrade to XP it should run a lot better.

Owen

Posted 2 years ago
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ispalten
ispalten
Posts: 6259

Spec's are fine. Vista can is slow compared to W7 (don't go back to XP), but in your case you said it was fine before speedwise.

So, what that means is that over time it has slowed down. Usually suspect here, is just what Rick P. told you to do. Find out what is AUTO STARTING. That said, that will generally have 2 effects on you. Assuming 'junk' is auto-stating, it will first take longer to boot. Once booted however, with 4GB's of RAM and runing x64 Vista, you'll use ALL RAM (32 bit versions will not), so unless you start swapping, those auto-starts will have NO effect. We'll almost no effect. What some programs will do is 'wake up' at some pre-arranged period of time and check to see if they are needed. That could cause slowdowns. Your processor may not be the fastest and can't handle this happening. It could be something as simple as a program checking to see if it is the lastest version or not? It could be a GADGET you've enabled getting the latest news. Rick's program will tell you what is Auto-Starting, and once we know that recommendations can be made.

You don't have to worry about extending any disk partition either, C: is large enough with enough free space.

Vista has a RESOURCE MONITOR, on the START ORB type that in on the SEARCH and run it. Look at what is going on. Find the high memory users, and IF you are actually swapping or not. Here are some pages on how to use it :

http://www.vistax64.com/tutori.....nitor.html
http://www.techrepublic.com/ar.....ta/6121730

Lastly, can you define why you think it is 'slow'? What is it that makes you think it is, operational wise?

Irv S.

Posted 2 years ago
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Xhi
Xhi
Posts: 6298

Regarding the suggestions made by Xhi, the HP "Help" guidelines tell me that Registry errors are fixed automatically by the factory installed software. It also tells me that a defrag run is automatically done often...I forget the frequency, but it's like once a week or once every 2 weeks.

There was nothing it the things I recommended about defragging. One of the biggest slowdowns in these computers is all the HP crapware. I would remove most of it.

If you have a constant backup running it also takes time out of the system. Most folks have no need of such a process.

The most important thing I recommended is to disable startup programs. None of the programs in startup are programs that must run for the system to operate. They are just for the convience of starting something that the user would immediately start manually if it did not. Like, for example, an antivirus program. Please try your system with all but antivirus disasbled.

I do not believe that Dell cleans your registry no matter what they say. In any event running CCleaner WILL NOT HURT and might help.

A browser once started should start faster the next time you start it. The biggest cause of slow browser starts is the number and type of add-ons. I recommended that you disable all add-ons besides Java and Flash. This will help load speed. If you have any "Toolbars" disable them.

Check the space available for virtual memore it should be about 1.5 times your memory size. Go to Start -> Right click on Computer select System protection then the advanced tab then the advanced tab again. click change... Automatically Manage page file size... should be checked.

How much free disk space do you have in C:

Posted 2 years ago
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ispalten
ispalten
Posts: 6259

@Xhi, he has a 450GB C: and only using about 130GB's... more than enough free space. Its an HP, not a Dell... my wife has an HP and recall it has something for the Registry too, but I don't think it does any repairs.

My startup folder DOES contain 'things' I need to run. Only 6 programs, but one is my wireless keyboard/mouse manager. Yes, I can work without them, but I'd lose both function and warnings when I need to re-charge the mouse battery. Another is my e-mail screener, and my Dell Dock is started via it.

With 4GB's he may never swap depending on what the computer is being used for.

I seen reports on what any Registry cleaner actually does in terms of performance of computers. Almost all will remove items that just get put back, MRU's, histories, etc. Yes, things are faster but eventually these removed items are regenerated, as is the lower performance. Since the registry is basically a partitioned dataset that has random access, compressing/defrag'ing shouldn't help much. 'Bad' entries that of course cause s/w problems should be removed, but ones for missing files, well, they might try to be loaded, but nothing happens if they don't but a miniscule loss of time doing so, probably not even noticeable. See these links :

http://www.techrepublic.com/bl.....eaning/370
http://www.pcworld.com/article.....ur_pc.html
http://askbobrankin.com/do_i_n.....eaner.html

Irv S.

Posted 2 years ago
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Xhi
Xhi
Posts: 6298

My startup does contain the things I, repeat I, would start any way. Autohotkey, and Jing are a couple of examples, But certainly no manuacturer bloatware. I did not mean that the only thing he would eventually have is antivirus, but just to start and check that there is no bad stuff in it. Cleaning out a browser always helps browser loading. But, if you want the add-ons, then you have to accept slow loading.

Posted 2 years ago
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profitbyjuan
profitbyjuan
Posts: 6

Wow! You guys are awesome! I feel like I'm not just getting help, but an education!
A question was asked above about what I consider "slow"
1. Slow loading for programs like browsers
2. Fairly frequent freezing (ex. "Firefox not responding" message, and it happens with all 3 browsers I have, Chrome, Firefox and IE. Normally I only have one browser open) usually I can wait it out...takes one minute or less, but sometimes I have to shut down the browser and reload, and it will then open up quickly.

I just checked the listing of open programs in my computer, and I counted 7! I know, I know, you guys told me to set them to manual setting for opening them...and I will do it. One program that opens up automatically is "Safety Remove Hardware." I had to use it once months ago and the sucker opens up automatically every time I reboot.
I read somewhere, probably in the HP Help function, that I should shut down programs that open up but I don't need. I have been afraid to do that because I thought it might screw up the operation of another needed program.

But based on what you all are telling me, I should open these programs manually if and when I need them. A real concern I had was with SugarSync for my data backup. Problem is, I'm pretty sure it slows down my computer when it's uploading files/updating files. I'm going to see if I can open it like once at the end of the day.

So far as add-ons, I have resisted the temptation to get any, unless the items that now open automatically are also considered add-ons. Also, I do not care to to add various browser tool-bars. I had one sneak by me, and after an hour or so I found it to be such a nuisance to me that I permanently removed it.

BTW Xhi, I will have to remember your term "manufacturer bloatware" Oh, I was just re-reading and I like even better the descriptor "all the HP crapware" ...love it!

Also, the only reason I mentioned de-fraging, is that I knew it was done automatically for me AND from time to time I get offers of "crapware" to speed up my computer by running somebody's de-fraging program that they want to sell me. I'm sure you all get the same junk emails.

"ispalten" says: "with 4GB's of RAM and runing x64 Vista, you'll use ALL RAM (32 bit versions will not)" if I understand this correctly, it's really upsetting to me. The reason I went with a 64 bit configuration is that in the sales pages that HP had for me to compare one model/version vs. another, they plainly stated that in order to get greater operating speed, I should go with a 64 bit option, and I remember vaguely, and I may be wrong in this, that they said that 64 bit was the wave of the future.

BTW, this is an awesome forum. You guys have all been generous with your time, and super helpful in everything I've posted. I visited another forum looking for the kind of help I'm getting here, and I was promptly "escorted out the door" with a comment from a moderator something along the lines of "I don't know what you're doing here asking irrelevant questions. You're obviously not a software developer." Pardon me! (You guys are not software developers, are you?) I don't think so. You are too nice and friendly. Thanks again for everything. I'll try to implement as many of your suggestion as I can; then I'll report back on my results. Juan

Posted 2 years ago
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GuiltySpark
GuiltySpark
Posts: 4024

profitbyjuan ,

What Irv meant by "with 4GB's of RAM and runing x64 Vista, you'll use ALL RAM (32 bit versions will not)" is that a 32 bit machine will use a maximum of 3.6 Gigs of Ram no matter how much is installed where as a 64 bit machine will be able to use (if needed) the full whack in fact you could in theory keep adding memory to a 64 bit machine and providing you use a hell of a lot of programs you could use all of that, for example :

32 bit = 3.6 max (some models will only take 3 Gig max depending on Hardware)

64 bit = Theoretically an extremely large number but you could have 4 Gig Ram upgrade to 8 Gig Ram and it will still use however much of that 8 Gigs it needs to perform.

Posted 2 years ago
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profitbyjuan
profitbyjuan
Posts: 6

Thank you "GuiltySpark"! That sure changes my understanding of Irv's comment. I had it all wrong. Tkx!

Posted 2 years ago
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GuiltySpark
GuiltySpark
Posts: 4024

NO worries, incidentally 64 bit machines may be the Future in their (sales) eyes. However it may interest you to know 64 bit machines were around in the 80's but there were so few (if any) 64 bit Programs to use it never caught on til now.

Posted 2 years ago
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alishathomaz
Posts: 74

STEP 1: Make Computer Faster by Upgrading RAM
Step 2: Make Computer Faster by Removing Computer Viruses, malwares
Step 3: Make Computer Faster by fixing registry errors
Step 4: Make Computer Faster by Minimizing Startup Programs

Go to Start > Run.

Type msconfig and press Enter.

The General tab helps diagnose if the problems encountered are with drivers, services, or startup items by unchecking the appropriate boxes and restarting. The Startup tab allows you to individual disable or re-enable startup items.

Posted 2 years ago
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ispalten
ispalten
Posts: 6259

I suspect some of us here were/are developers and programmer's. Some have very detailed OS knowledge.

One other thing about RAM, W7 (and Vista too to a lesser degree) will attempt to use ALL RAM, both the 32 and 64 bit versions. Older versions didn't do that, it attempted to discard RAM used as soon as the application was done with it. What this meant was when you looked at the PERFORMANCE TAB in TASK MANAGER in you'd see actual RAM in use. In Vista and W7 you could see ALL RAM 'used', but it really wasn't. Under these 2 OS's, the SWAPPING or PAGEFILE usage would be the determining factor if you used all RAM up.

As for the 4 steps above, yes, generally one would have to do this, but at this point 'we' don't know if these are necessary to 'worry' about.

RAM, you have enough, unless you are SWAPPING. Task Manager will show that info, or the Resource Monitor that you can reach from the Performance tab in Task Manager.

We'll assume it isn't a virus at this point until there are other indicators that it is possible.

Registry, maybe it could use some cleaning, but that is NOT necessary. Errors in the registry, you've got no indications of that probably.

Startup's, not unless you've run out of RAM. Startup's 95% of the time do 2 things 'harmful'. One is INCREASE boot time, they get loaded into RAM, do something, and either find nothing to do (time lost is seconds on booting), do something (takes more time), or just hangs around waiting to do something (takes up RAM space). Once in RAM they could on a time 'trigger' do something, check for an update, change something on your screen (check the temperature and update), or monitor the stock market such as a gadget would do. We can exclude these until we think this is the problem for now. Even if left in RAM, if they are dormant, they will be discarded if you should use all RAM up.

Now let's review what you consider 'slow'?

------------------
1. Slow loading for programs like browsers
2. Fairly frequent freezing (ex. "Firefox not responding" message, and it happens with all 3 browsers I have, Chrome, Firefox and IE. Normally I only have one browser open) usually I can wait it out...takes one minute or less, but sometimes I have to shut down the browser and reload, and it will then open up quickly.
----------------

#1, not all programs? Just the browsers? Smells of a network connection issue?

#2, sort of confirms this.

Are you on 64 or 32 bit Vista? What versions of each browser are you running? If you boot to SAFE MODE WITH NETWORKING, does the browser work better? What Firewall and Anti-virus do you have? If you disable these for a few minutes does the browsers work better?

-----
I just checked the listing of open programs in my computer, and I counted 7! I know, I know, you guys told me to set them to manual setting for opening them...and I will do it. One program that opens up automatically is "Safety Remove Hardware." I had to use it once months ago and the sucker opens up automatically every time I reboot.
I read somewhere, probably in the HP Help function, that I should shut down programs that open up but I don't need. I have been afraid to do that because I thought it might screw up the operation of another needed program.
------

Where did you see the list of OPEN PROGRAMS? On TASK MANAGER? MSCONFIG? Details please?

Safely Remove H/W, DO NOT CHANGE THIS... if you attach ANY removable media (not a CD/DVD disc) you must USE this to be able to take the device out without the possibility of losing data (external USB drives, flash drives, digital camera's, etc.).

DO NOT CLOSE ANYTHING unless you KNOW what you are doing. At best you could hang the system, worst case, lose data!

Defrag'ing is done by the OS without any intervention by you. It is a SCHEDULED TASK on Vista and W7. Older versions required YOU to do this manually. With today's newer FileSystems, disk access and rotational speeds, large size disks, and CPU speeds, this isn't as important as it was before anyway. Yes, a defrag'ed disk does work better, but with the system spec's of today, the effect of a non-defrag'ed disk isn't as apparent as it was before. Basically this is due to the layout of a modern filesystem such as NTFS vs. the old FAT filesystem. The disk heads don't need to travel as far to find data, and the filesystem does a better job of handling file part locations.

Irv S.

Posted 2 years ago
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