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What is making computer slow down???

by ambassadorhawg / December 3, 2008 10:23 PM PST

My 5+ year old Dell Dimension 4600 is slowing down overtime. It reacts slower and slower to requests. I bought it used for a friend a few years back and it responded much faster back then.

It's got: Pentium 4 2.8ghz processor
512 RAM
160 Hard drive (maybe more?)
McAfee Security Suite 2009

I am only using 25% of the hard drive storage capacity.

Everytime it changes from one page to another, there is a few second delay and then part of the old page and part of the new page are shown at the same time. It can take several seconds for the new page to fully show itself.

I do not think that the problem is associated with my DSL subscription because this condition is present even when I am offline.


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Tried A Little Cleanup
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / December 3, 2008 11:58 PM PST

First, open the computer tower case and use compressed air to blow out the dust and junk from around the processor, then heatsink, the power supply, all vents and all fans.

Next, hopefully you are aware that McAfee Security Suite is a major resource hog.. It's your choice, but try temporarily uninstalling the entire suite and I'll bet your performance increase is noticeable.. There are other options if you choose to move to other antivirus/antispyware programs. On the other hand, if you want to keep McAfee running, then I'll recommend kicking up your RAM to at least 1 GB.

Next, click on the link below and follow all of the procedures to check for malware, delete junk files, and disable the unnecessary startup programs and services. It may take quite a while to perform all the steps, but it should help substantially.:

Cleanup Steps

Hope this helps.


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R.A.M. Question
by ambassadorhawg / December 5, 2008 11:27 AM PST
In reply to: Tried A Little Cleanup

It did help some, thanks Grif.

What is involved in incresing the R.A.M.(as you have recommended) on my system? Is it a simple unplug the old and plug in the new or is there some reprogramming involved? I am not really even sure what R.A.M. does???


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Random Access Memory
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / December 5, 2008 12:11 PM PST
In reply to: R.A.M. Question

RAM allows the computer to quickly store and release, in any order (randomly), data that is needed to run the various processes on the machine.. Without enough RAM, the computer must transfer, store and access the data on the hard drive, generally through a "swap file" and such storage and access requires a lot more time, making the computer slower.. More RAM allows the computer to process data faster. (That's just a general statement as there is a limit to how much can be added based upon the system specs.) order to install more RAM, you need to confirm how much and what type is allowed for your system. One of the easiest ways is to click on the link below, then, armed with your computer brand name and model number, use the "Crucial Memory Advisory Tool" to determine those items..

The computer manufacturer's website will also tell you the specs of your computer if you want to check there.

After using the tools above to determine how much and what type of RAM you need for your computer, you also need to determine whether you already have one module or two modules installed in your computer.. The easiest way to do that is simply to look. Open up the panels to see the RAM modules.. For example: If you've got a single memory module installed and if it's 512 MB, and If there's an open slot, simply purchase and plug in the new 512 MB module which would upgrade the machine to 1 GB.. No "reprogramming" is needed.. Make sure the RAM types are compatible and go from there.

Hope this helps.


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