Windows Legacy OS forum


computer is slow drives me nuts

by Chrystal_Dawn / October 29, 2012 2:13 AM PDT

is there any way i can speed up my pc and not screw things up its slow to start and then its just laggy and drives me insane i have a emachines with windows xp on it. i don't know if it has virus or what but its just slow and then a thing pops up about virtual memory

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All Answers

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About virtual memory
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 29, 2012 2:36 AM PDT

That message on Google gives the usual suggestions. I want to add that sometimes I find a full hard drive and the owner won't clean it off.

Unless we do something such as change CPUs, video card, hard drives the machine will still be the same speed so that may not be your question. If it's running slower than when it was new and a reinstall of the OS does not restore it to it's former speed then you look at things like cpu heatsink cleaning and more.

If you can't install the OS fresh, always figure out why since eventually it is needed.

In parting, here's Grif advice for scans for pests.;msg5099421


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reply to slow pc
by Chrystal_Dawn / October 29, 2012 2:39 AM PDT
In reply to: About virtual memory

yes its just not running like it did when i first got it i don't have no cd's to reinstall the os this pc didn't come with any and i really don't know where to go from here i don't want to lose anything i have on here like pics and music and stuff but the slow lagging crap drives me insane

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You say you don't want to loss stuff yet
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 29, 2012 2:43 AM PDT
In reply to: reply to slow pc

Yet you seem to not have backup copies of what you don't want to lose.

-> It appears that getting the things safe on backup COPIES (plural!) is your first task.

Later you fix the missing restore media BEFORE you do anything else since some pests when removed cause the OS to not work.

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How much RAM?
by sweiss / November 2, 2012 11:37 AM PDT

I also have Windows XP, which originally had 1 gb RAM on it. After 6 years, and many downloaded programs, it became sluggish. After adding 2 gb more of RAM, it's running much faster.

You didn't say how much RAM your system has -- maybe adding to it will speed up your computer, in addition to the other suggestions already provided here.

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Computer is slow
by blaineclrk / November 2, 2012 3:18 PM PDT


#1, Regular backups are a must. Get DVDs or USB pen drives.
#2, Regular defragging, once a week is normally good unless you're a heavy editor or add and delete many files.
#3, Regular anti-virus updates & scans including using other malware removal tools.
#4, Regular Registry cleaning, especially when you install/uninstall programs or make some major settings changes.
#5, Regular scandisk checks for disk errors, then either fix or mark the errors for not using.
#6, Check disk capacity and if over 70%, move pics and other personal files permanently to other media. Many will say 80% but give your XP disk space to use for memory.
#7, Make a habit of creating regular Restore points.
#8, Make an installation and a recovery disk and keep them in a SAFE place.

All of these can help keep a hard drive running in good shape or bail you out of trouble.

If these don't do the trick, for sure you need a full backup of all your personal files and give Linux a whirl. I have an old XP Pro box that regularly slowed and froze with updates several years ago. I'd have to restore and run all sorts of fix-ups through the Run dialog until I got fed up with it. It was either a new computer or ditch Microsoft. I ditched M$ and installed Ubuntu. Since then my wife and I have both migrated to Linux-Mint. We don't miss M$ at all. You can reload all of your personal files back into the Linux /home folder and you're as good as new, unless you have some hardware trouble. In that case, ask Santa for a new computer.

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Slow computer
by Wim_Damstra / November 2, 2012 6:39 PM PDT

You're giving not too much information but something about a pop-up about virtual memory may indicate your hard drive may be too full to use the virtual memory in case of temporary needing to write memory to your hard disk or the setting of the virtual memory is too small (Start, Config, System, Advanced, Performance, Settings and Advanced).
The fuller the hard disk the slower; keep it under about half the total capacity of the drive for smooth use.
If your drive is too full then moving away files to for instance an USB-drive is the best solution; after that you than best can defrag your C-drive.
I assume that you have of course installed and updates the needed safety software like anti-virus and anti-spyware.

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There Are Lots of Things to Try, but...
by Flatworm / November 3, 2012 12:21 AM PDT

First of all, what antimalware application are you running? Old versions of Norton, McAfee and others are HORRIBLY burdensome on older computers. If you are using one supplied by your ISP, get rid of it. Removal of these, and replacement by something cleaner like Panda Cloud, Avast or Avira might speed up your computer quite noticeably.

If that's not the problem, the first thing is to run a couple of anti-malware programs. You need to scan for viruses and run something like Spybot Search and Destroy to rid you of adware, spyware and whatnot.

The second thing is to check out which programs you're running at start-up. This is not just what's in your Start-Up folder. There are many applications that will provide you with a list of your start-up applications and that allow you to deactivate them. But make sure you know what you're doing here -- you should only make one change at a time unless you KNOW that what you're preventing is not going to affect your system adversely. But basically, get rid of everything you don't actually need.

But probably the best advice is that, well, it's probably time to consider getting a new, more modern computer and retiring your old XP warhorse.

If this doesn't help (or doesn't help enough), first get a disk cleaner like Windows Washer and clean the disk, wiping all the free space. Then get a decent drive defragmentation program (Raxco PerfectDisk is the best I've found) and do the "smartest" defragmentation of the drive that the application will allow. Also defragment the system area.

If this doesn't help (enough), get a decent registry cleaner and clean it up, then use something like NTREGOPT to optimize the registry. Note two things about this: 1. It is dangerous -- back up the registry first and be VERY careful, and; 2. I have never yet seen a PC speed up appreciably by cleaning or optimizing its registry -- it seems to be pretty much a myth.

Now I've got to tell you, a lot of times, even after doing all these things, the computer may still run slow. In this case you may have to bite the bullet and, making sure you've got everything backed up, do a wipe-and-load of the O/S from initial distribution. This is a ROYAL PAIN IN THE REAR END, because, for one thing, you have to update the O/S to current over many, many time-consuming runnings of Windows Update until one FINALLY comes up clean, even before reloading and reconfiguring all your apps, but it gives you a computer that, unless there are hardware issues, is actually better than new.

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