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My computer is quite slow. Do I need to upgrade?

by geebiesmommy / December 1, 2012 7:00 AM PST

Hi all. I have a Dell Inspiron 1420 with an Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU T7100 1.8 GHZ processor and 2GB Ram. I also have another 2GB back up drive and a USB HardDrive that is huge (not sure how to tell what that GB is). I'm sorry I am pretty new to computers and teaching myself :). The computer was purchased new from Dell in late 2007. It runs Windows Vista. It has been really slow for a long time. I ran the CCleaner (not the registered, just free). I haven't found other cleaners to fix the speed issue so I didn't upgrade, but will if that would help (?). I have read some of these threads and it was running 91 background programs. I have turned it off to where it is now only running the MS programs. All others in Services and Start up are unchecked. So it says it is now running 50 processes. I don't know if it helps but it says that it is using 30-45% CPU Usage and Physical Memory is 87%. The computer is faster than it was, but still quite slow turning on, off and moving from program to program. What else can I do to speed up this old girl? Or should I just upgrade? I upload a lot of videos, photos, etc and need it to be in optimum performance but do not have a lot of funds right now to put into the computer or purchase of another one.

Lastly, I am upgrading my virus protection right now. I am hoping this helps some what.

Thanks so much to anyone that can help me work through this :).

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I'd upgrade, but more RAM could help
by wpgwpg / December 1, 2012 7:17 AM PST

When a computer's 5 years old, it's probably time to upgrade, but if you're looking for quick cheap help, you could add another 1 GB of RAM. Since you have a 32 bit system, you can't use much more than 1 GB. RAM is very cheap these days, I just bought 8 GB for my laptop for $40. Another thing to check would be startup programs. Hold down the Windows key and press R, then type in MSCONFIG and hit enter. Click the Startup tab. Here you can uncheck everything but your antivirus program. These things can often slow a computer needlessly.
One other thing you need to carefully consider is that the time to get a PC with Windows 7 is rapidly coming to a close, and a lot of us really don't like Windows 8. So if you're thinking about getting a new PC, you should give careful consideration to that.

Good luck.

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The last Inspiron 14xx I encountered
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 1, 2012 2:36 PM PST
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Disabling the wrong services ...
by Edward ODaniel / December 9, 2012 12:28 PM PST

can also affect system speed.

Here is a link you can make use of to either reset your services to DEFAULT for your specific flavor of Vista (Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, etc.) or you can make use of what is shown in the SAFE column.

Although you just mention running Vista I hope you do have SP 2 installed and if not you should do so.

You can also take a look in Task Manager and see exactly which processes are using all those CPU cycles. I suggest that because just sitting there doing some web browsing the CPU utilization should be lower than 30 to 45% and you could easily have some malware problems.

It wouldn't hurt to download and run MalwareBytes and also Super Anti-Malware and I would suggest running them from Safe Mode the first time.

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