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Crushingly slow computer = WHY?

by elinofa / October 2, 2005 10:30 PM PDT

I am working with a Dell freshly reinstalled with Windows XP - Pentium 4, 128 MB RAM, Service Pack 1, 18.6 GB currently free for use. I have loaded Norton Anti-Virus 2004, AdAware SE, Spybot, and Kerio Personal Firewall. I have loaded the Intel Chip Accelerator recommended for my chip.

This machine continues to be slow as molasses. I upgraded from my good old machine, nearly out of memory, running Windows 98 on a Pentium 2, and it was like lightning compared to this.

What is the deal?

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Slow System = 128MB Ram
by billzhills / October 2, 2005 10:41 PM PDT

XP needs min 256 MB of memory to run properly.


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Thanks, Dell
by elinofa / October 2, 2005 11:00 PM PDT

Is there a REASON Dell would have sold me a machine with less than enough RAM to run the included operating system? Is RAM something I can add myself?

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Re: Thanks, Dell
by Tufenuf / October 2, 2005 11:37 PM PDT
In reply to: Thanks, Dell

"Is there a REASON Dell would have sold me a machine with less than enough RAM to run the included operating system?"

The simple answer is to cut costs. It is easy to add more memory yourself. Just go to the link below and on the right side under "Crucial Memory Advisor? Tool" just use the dropdown arrow to put in Dell, then press the Go button and put in your Product Line, press the Go button and put in your Model Number and it will show you which RAM you need along with tabs which show you how to install it. Follow the instructions exactly. I'd go with at least 512 MB.

There memory is great and you get a lifetime guarantee and they ship it quickly and you'll probably get it in 2 or 3 days. I'm assuming that you live in the USA.


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I thank you
by elinofa / October 3, 2005 12:11 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Thanks, Dell

very kindly for your help. Computers are hard.

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Don't you mean "Thanks, Bill"?
by ackmondual / October 7, 2005 12:26 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks, Dell

As the poster's name is Bill, unless that was a sarcastic remark towards Dell for not giving you enough RAM in the first place.

Yeah, for PC beginners, upgrading RAM is the easiest hardware upgrade you can do. Highly recommend that all beginners pursue this on their own. IMO, it's just a few notches harder than popping a CD into the CD-ROM drive.

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by b8375629 / October 9, 2005 12:39 PM PDT

''As the poster's name is Bill, unless that was a sarcastic remark towards Dell for not giving you enough RAM in the first place.''

Actually, that's the way I read it. I'd be sarcastic towards Dell too if I felt they lowballed their machines in order to cut costs.

Too often they do this in order to sell more product. Just keep everything in fine print in order to make the customer think they're getting a great deal in the bargin, when in fact, that's not always the case.

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slow pc
by ddbpack / October 3, 2005 12:19 PM PDT

you in no way have enough ram! xp aloneeats up 64mb!

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You all were RIGHT
by elinofa / October 5, 2005 10:22 PM PDT

I went to and bought 512 MB - it did indeed come in two days (w/free shipping no less!) - I installed it all by myself in 5 minutes - and everything is well and groovy.

So simple, yet totally beyond a beginner. Thanks so much to everyone for kind advice.

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Worth a mention...
by Philip Clift / October 6, 2005 10:26 PM PDT
In reply to: You all were RIGHT

It's a subject not often aired, but anti-virus s/ware (absolutely vital, of course) can often cause a PC to slow down. Norton Internet Security 2005 is particularly bad, and 2004 was resource-hungry, too.

If you're already close to the minimum amount of RAM, (and I'd suggest that's 512Mb) it may be worth installing more. If you have any wish to multi-task frequently, 1Gb is not over-the-top these days. I notice that virtually all the UK system builders now specify 1Gb, and that's DDR2 on the latest machines! Even Dell are (at the time of writing, and on a "special offer") offering 2Gb of DDR2 RAM with the faster Pentium 4 and Pentium D chips. As a builder-for-the-masses, and thus a highly cost-conscious outfit, they are hardly renowned for over-speccing PCs!

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main problem...
by waihung / October 6, 2005 11:18 PM PDT

the main prob is the norton antivirus. i had a fren who had a HP with windows XP and 128MB ram. it worked fine. till i installed norton antivirus. the computer slowed down 90%!!.... i guess upgrading the ram is the best way...

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Slow Computers
by barbjoe / October 6, 2005 11:40 PM PDT
In reply to: main problem...

I've been reading this thread and wanted to add my two cents worth.
One is Nortons Email Scanner is a pain, its slows me doing anything else while it scans all in coming and out going mail.
Two I have a up to date HP Media Centre PC m7060m with 1GB and its still annoying but I found out it was my Internet Service Provider which is dial-up.
I am afraid to switch my email address as I have left it in a lot of genealogy sites.

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Off topic
by ackmondual / October 7, 2005 12:17 AM PDT
In reply to: Slow Computers

"I am afraid to switch my email address as I have left it in a lot of genealogy sites"?

blah? So you're saying if you switch email addresses, u won't have access to your genealogy sites, data, and materials?

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512MB RAM should be sufficient for winXP + Norton AV '04/'05
by ackmondual / October 7, 2005 12:23 AM PDT
In reply to: main problem...

I had a Dimension 8300, P4 3GHz, 512MB of RAM, winXP Pro SP1, and Norton AV '04. My system didn't really slow down that much. If it did, it was slight. During full scans, it would be noticeably slower, but not painfully so.

I have upgraded to 1.5GB of RAM and winXP Pro SP2. Normally, things seem to run just below silky smooth as far as I can tell. During full scans, again it's noticeably slower, but not painfully so. I could still surf internet, check email, and work on Office documents will the full scan is running in the background (don't know if this is recommended or not) w/o any significant bites out of my 'productivity'.

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Modem OK?
by BTT41 / October 7, 2005 4:48 AM PDT

I'm running a Dell Dimension 8300, 74GB, 512MB Ram, Windows XP SP2 with lots of virus/spyware programs. I use RoadRunner broadband. My upload/download speed was reaching the crawl point despite my constant cleaning out of junk files, caches, etc. I complained to Time Warner (Road Runner)and they gave me a new digital modem. I now have, as one product's ads say, blazing speed again.

Could an aging modem be your culprit?

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Besides the ram short and concerns about the "security" uses
by chinohills / October 7, 2005 6:21 AM PDT

I had similar problems and read somewhere about this: When clearing temporary internet files, you can often see remarkable gains by also checking the "Delete All Off-line Content" the box periodically. Ultimately I also deleted the Norton products and replaced them with others as well. That's not to say I didn't go without security, just chose other ways to deal with the problems, like using the Windows XP firewall, other AV programs, etc.

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by dend359 / October 7, 2005 7:11 AM PDT

one of my dad's friend opened my computer and looked at it. My dad asked him to see if he could add 1 Gb of RAm in my PC. I am now on a 512 but is it possible to unable add a 1 GB because the pc machine doesnt have room to store it in there?

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that depends
by davehm / October 7, 2005 11:24 AM PDT
In reply to: question

see your computer's manual. it should tell you how much total and how much per slot. unless you are doing a lot of memory intensive tasks 1.5GB of RAM is too much. just add an additonal 512MB. cheaper and you should be good for home use. if you don't have a manual get the motherboard manufacter's name and model number off the board and look at their site for specs. assuming it isn't a brand name box. if so the PC manufator has that info on their site.

you didn't say why your dad wanted to add RAM. depending on your normal useage you might not see much improvement even with the additional 512MB. the percenatge of productivity increase isn't equal to the percentage increase in RAM. especialy above 512MB.

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by decjenson / October 7, 2005 7:25 AM PDT

You only have 128 MB of RAM. You should upgrade to at least 512.

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by deejay_leigh / October 9, 2005 6:36 AM PDT
In reply to: ram

Great site!
Iv just been reading all the messages on this topic and would like to ask for help too.
I have similar problems and would like to add some memory (only have 192mb ram at mo)
I know where and how to put new mem sticks in but i how do i know what type and how much my pc will take...i only have 2 slots!!! and where is the best place to get it from(im in the UK)


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Leigh, Visit
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / October 9, 2005 10:36 AM PDT
In reply to: hi

Click on the link below and use the Memory Advisor Tool. Select your computer brand and model number. If you don't have a brand name computer, then you'll need to know your motherboard information. Crucial will tell you exactly which type of memory stick to buy. I've purchased RAM from the site a number of times and always been satisfied.

Hope this helps.


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slow computer
by swordfight40 / October 10, 2005 12:33 AM PDT

when you upgraded did you get a new power suply? you seem to have a lot of hightech things in that compiuter but without the proper amount of power there no good. if u diddnt upgrade the power supply just look on the power supply to see how many watts it supplies. if it is less than 300 watts you should get a new one.


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