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making computer faster

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hyroboarder

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I'm trying to make my old Dell go faster without making any physical upgrades. I have 1gb of ram and a 2.8 ghz processor. what do you do when your computer is starting to lag?
 

Sparkee

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Back it up and reinstall the operating system.

Over time you make changes to your system, install buggy software and collect spyware and viruses off the net. This process also helps me clean out all the programs I install to experiment with and never un-install them when I'm done. It may be over kill in allot of cases but it's the fastest way to refresh a computer and replace any system files that may have become corrupted. You probably have a restore CD with your Dell, I make a similar restore CD with Norton's Ghost for my custom built PCs to speed the process up. Some experts suggest a re-install 2-3 times a year, I do it annually.
 

kyussmondo

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Regular de-frags and clean outs are good. I use Advanced System Optimizer (run it about once a month), fixes registry, clears out temporary files, does a defrag...Norton Systemworks also does the same thing. Try these options before a complete reinstall of Windows. My computer is 4 years old and I have only had to reinstall Windows twice and it still runs great.
 

bdb

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I agree with what pohatu said - cleaning out all the temp junk helps a lot. I don't know why Windows doesn't do a better job of that. A registry cleaner can help as well.

If you think you've been hitting sites with viruses, get a virus scanner. If you've been sticking to sites you know, you probably haven't.

I can't imagine re-installing Windows once a year. That'd drive me nuts!
 

pohatu771

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I'd imagine there is some sort of program that will let you move your most-accessed data (programs or files) to a physical sector on your hard drive, so that the disk doesn't have to search quite as much... I believe that's what a defragmentation does (partially).

And hey, a free promotion, before I even responded!
bdb said:
I agree with what pohatu said
 

kylo4

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For deleting useless files get the trial for CyberScrub. Not only does it erase temporary internet files, useless hidden files etc, but it can scramble them beyond recovery. I freed up about 1GB using it.

Edit: Thanks skateboarder for the link to steven gould. It does for free almost what cybersrub does for money. Very good program that just freed up 2GB of HD space. The only thing I always worry about is that it might delete iTunes files or something.
 
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GuitarRocker

Old iPods Rock!
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Well, like many others said, re-install Windows will help alot, but remember, BACK UP YOUR DATA!!! With that said, before you re-install Windows try using a linux live CD , try ubuntu, it is very nice. This Live CD should run only if it is in the drive when you start your computer and it will not harm your Windows install or files at all. If you are willing to install it on your computer, re-install Windows, then look for a guide on dual booting Windows and Ubuntu. Many people will tell you that linux runs much much faster than Windows, however there is a slight learning curve, like switching from Windows to a mac, but once you get past that, Linux is much nicer than Windows, but you will still have Windows if you want to use it anymore. Trust me, you won't be sorry.
 

pianomanss87

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Go to start run and type in msconfig go to the start up tab. There will be a lot of stuff there that is checked that you do not need. Uncheck a few and click apply and ok. You will have to restart.Right down what you uncheck in case you unceck something you need. What you are doing is turning off programs that run in the background. most of them you don't need.

Piano Man
 

skateboarderx24

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kylo4 said:
For deleting useless files get the trial for CyberScrub. Not only does it erase temporary internet files, useless hidden files etc, but it can scramble them beyond recovery. I freed up about 1GB using it.

Edit: Thanks skateboarder for the link to steven gould. It does for free almost what cybersrub does for money. Very good program that just freed up 2GB of HD space. The only thing I always worry about is that it might delete iTunes files or something.
It's never deleted any of my "vital files" just crud the computer makes for temporary use
 

Pikemann_Urge

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Two words: speed holes.

Okay, seriously, to add to the above ideas: after a defrag or fresh install, change your swapfile (virtual memory) from dynamic to fixed size (about 1.5x the amount of RAM you have). If you don't know how just ask.

You can get an app called TweakXP (but I don't have it installed ATM).

File allocation units can to some extent increase HD performance. Very small units are space efficient, very large ones prevent fragmentation of small files. Experiment.

pianomanss87, that's a good suggestion, but some specifics would help. ;)
 

kylo4

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This is absolutely ridiculous now. I have 1GB of ram and an IntelCore2Duo processor with 1.86 and I can't use iTunes and yahoo messenger at the same time. It lags like you wouldn't believe and the computer is virus free etc and just keeps getting slower. iTunes is ram hungry.
 

Pikemann_Urge

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kylo4 said:
This is absolutely ridiculous now. I have 1GB of ram and an IntelCore2Duo processor with 1.86 and I can't use iTunes and yahoo messenger at the same time. It lags like you wouldn't believe and the computer is virus free etc and just keeps getting slower. iTunes is ram hungry.
Mate, there's something wrong with your setup somehow. My comp is older than yours (512MB DDR266, Athlon 1800XP+) and iTunes 7 doens't interfere with anything.

When you got the new hardware did you keep your older OS installation or did you freshly install it?

EDIT: Oh, and hydroboarder, make sure you have 80-wire cables if you're using IDE/ATA. They aren't necessary for the optical drive so much but are handy for the HD. Also, make sure the HD and optical drive are on separate channels (again, if using IDE/ATA).
 
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kylo4

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Pikeman, the computer was purchased in November at MDG and came with its software installed (mdg didn't give us the disks) with Windows XP Media Center Edition. Its been running fine but has been getting slower of late. They probably put shoddy hardware in it. It can skip in an iTunes song if I just have that open with coverflow and I'm listening to something and scrolling through songs.
 

pianomanss87

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In the start up tap of msconfig, it shows all the programs that are running on your computer. These are programs that run at start up. An example would be, if you have Real Player, there is a box that would be checked for somethnig that says Real player. Coudl be an auto up date. Uncheck that box. There are very few items that need to be checked for your coumputer to run properly. All of these programs slow your computer down. You do want to uncheck a few at a time and write them down in case you uncheked something you should not have. Make sure you do not uncheck anti virus programs. You can Google the items and that will help you know what is what. Also some icons on the right hand side of your task bar will dissapear as you shut programs off.

Hope this helps

Piano man
 
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