Computer too slow for my liking.

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Sal_55, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. Sal_55

    Jimbo Guest


    As many have said, increase the RAM and that will make the largest speed
    improvement. I would go with a min. of 512meg.

    As far as increasing the amount of Virtual Memory goes, this may help a
    little bit if it was manually set too low or too high.
    Keep in mind that what virtual memory does is use your hard drive in place
    of RAM. A hard drive is many, many times slower than RAM so it will not give
    you a great increase in the speed of operation of your programs. Using
    virtual memory can be a bit tricky. You must balance between what is best
    for running the software and OS with the amount of available hard drive
    space. Unless you know what you are doing, it's best to let the OS controll
    the amount of virtual memory. If you try to set it yourself, you could
    actually slow down the machine. Many factors come into play when adjusting
    virtual memory.

    If you are using graphics programs then you might want to look at the video
    card as well. If the video is onboard (built onto the motherboard) then that
    might also be part of the problem. An onboard video circuit will usually
    share some of the systems RAM which is slower than the ram used on a good
    video card. If this is the case, you may be able to increase the speed a
    little by installing a video card. You can get good boards cheep for your

    For example, one of the systems that I use at work was running slow, 1.8
    ghz, onboard video, WinXP Pro and 512 RAM. We often have M$ Word, Adobe
    Illustrator and sometimes also Photoshop running at the same time as well as
    a web page or two. I added another 512 RAM, a 128meg video card, total
    upgrade about $100. Now the system seems to run more than twice as fast when
    working with drawings and noticeably faster when simply using non-video
    intensive programs.

    Of the long list of MANY things that can slow down a system, here is one
    A few of our systems had McAfee antivirus and were a year or two expired. I
    uninstalled McAfee, ran a couple utilities to clean the system and installed
    AVG. I noticed that Quickbooks now loads in less than a minute. Before I
    uninstalled McAfee it would take as much as three minutes to open
    Quickbooks. There are many, many, many software issues that can slow down a
    system and getting those under control can make a big difference in the
    speed of a system.

    All that said, 128meg of RAM in a system using XP is like trying to pull
    stumps with a Yugo!

    I would do the following . . .

    * set the OS to control virtual memory.
    * clean out the system tray. Uninstall any utilities that you don't use
    which load at startup.
    * Get rid of Norton Utilities and/or McAfee if you are using them.
    * Defrag the hard drive.
    * Upgrade the RAM to at least 512meg.
    * Add a video card if, you're using graphics programs and have onboard

    Last of all, and the most important,






    let us know what you did and how well it worked for you!
    Jimbo, Mar 20, 2008
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  2. Sal_55

    Johnw Guest

    Sal_55 formulated the question :
    One thing we need to know, is the slowness new?

    You can play around in here, I personally use these settings, but it
    depends on you own requiements, mine are very basic.
    Right-click "My Computer", then "Properties".
    Choose the "Advanced" tab. Under "Performance" click "Settings".
    In Visual Effects, click on Custom & untick everything, except these 2 >
    Smooth edges of screen fonts & Use visual styles on windows and buttons
    ( Default has everything ticked, except > Smooth edges of screen fonts
    Click Apply & then OK.
    I select Programs for both.
    I use > System managed size
    Johnw, Mar 20, 2008
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  3. Sal_55

    mike Guest

    I'd like to understand how this helps. If virtual memory is big enough,
    it is as big as it needs to be. If it's too small, it increases itself,
    or the system refuses to load anything else.
    There have been some threads suggesting that one should defrag the
    virtual memory and set min and max numbers the same to reduce overhead.
    But that relates
    to getting stuff on/off the drive quickly and not the actual size of the VM.
    OK, but there's been lots of discussion about manually setting VM
    speeding up things.

    Many factors come into play when adjusting
    mike, Mar 20, 2008
  4. Sal_55

    Johnw Guest

    Sal_55 explained :
    Fast User Switching and Automatic Updating,1697,1153279,00.asp
    Available on XP Home Edition and on Professional when it's not part of
    a domain, fast user switching lets users of the same computer switch
    between accounts without logging off. It's a great feature when Mom,
    Dad and the twins all share the same computer, but keeping multiple
    user accounts active is a burden to a PC's memory usage.
    When more than one user is logged on, each user's settings remain
    active and the programs activated through his or her account remain
    open--even if someone switches to another user account. Sally left
    Word, Excel and Barbie Fashion Designer open and Bobby comes along,
    switches over to his account and attempts to play Red Faction, he will
    notice a definite degradation in performance compared to the last time
    he played it when Sally wasn't logged in.
    Windows XP automatically disables fast user switching during
    installation if the computer has 64MB of RAM or less. For best
    performance, make sure only one user is logged in at a time, and if
    that becomes a nuisance, disable the feature altogether: go to Control
    Panel\User Accounts, click the "Change the way users log on or off"
    button, and uncheck "Use Fast User Switching".
    Johnw, Mar 20, 2008
  5. Sal_55

    Johnw Guest

    Sal_55 laid this down on his screen :
    Ok, here is more of my info, sorry about the volume of stuff, but as
    you are on a budget, these all help.

    Disable Indexing Services
    Indexing services is a small program that hogs HUGE amounts of RAM and
    can often make a computer endlessly loud and noisy. This system process
    indexing and updates lists of the files on your system, so you can
    search for them quickly, but it's completely unnecessary.
    To disable it, go to the Control Panel and click Add or Remove
    Programs. Click the Add/Remove Window Components. Simply untick the
    Indexing services and click Next!
    1. Browse to your hard drive either through Windows Explorer or through
    My Computer.
    2. Right click your hard drive icon and select Properties.
    3. At the bottom of this window you'll see "Allow Indexing Service to
    index this disk for fast file searching," turn this feature off for all
    of your drives by unchecking the box and clicking Apply.
    4. After that a window will appear, Select "Apply changes to subfolders
    and files". If any files can not be updated select "Ignore All".
    How to Disable the Find Fast Indexer;en-us;q158705
    Not networking, this will help.
    1) Control Panel -> Internet Options
    2) Connections tab
    3) LAN Settings
    4) Uncheck "Automatically Detect Settings"
    Just like Windows 2000, Windows XP still fails to set the DMA mode
    correctly for the IDE device designated as the slaves on the primary
    IDE and secondary IDE channels. Most CD-ROMS are capable of supporting
    DMA mode, but the default in XP is still PIO. Setting it to DMA won't
    make your CD-ROM faster, but it will consume less CPU cycles. Here's
    Open the Device Manager. One way to do that is to right-click on "My
    Computer", select the Hardware tab, and select Device Manager.
    Expand "IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers" and double-click on "Primary IDE
    Under the "Advanced Settings" tab, check the "Device 1" setting. More
    than likely, your current transfer mode is set to PIO.
    Set it to "DMA if available".
    Repeat the step for the "Secondary IDE Channel" if you have devices
    attached to it. Reboot.
    Enabling DMA in XP
    Problems enabling DMA in XP
    If the computer persists on having only PIO after reboot even though
    the hard drive is a flashing super-duper ATA133 and transfer mode set
    to “DMA if availableâ€, then you have to do the following:
    Remove the primary device in the device manager and reboot! Voilà, now
    the harddrive should be running in DMA mode.
    Repeat on the secondary IDE channel if necessary.
    Disable XP support for zip files
    Windows XP has built-in support for .ZIP files, so that you can view
    them as normal folders. However, the system uses a sizeable portion of
    resources doing this, so disabling this feature can increase
    performance. It's easy to do, you just have to un-register the
    zipfldr.dll, by going to Start -> Run... Copy & Paste > regsvr32 /u
    zipfldr.dll < then press Enter. You should see a message telling you
    the command was succesfully applied.
    Simple File Sharing is enabled by default if your computer is NOT a
    member of a domain
    To disable Simple File Sharing:
    1. Start > My Computer > Tools > Folder Options.
    2. Select the View tab.
    3. Clear the Use simple file sharing (Recommended) box in the Advanced
    Settings area.
    4. Press Apply and OK.
    How to Disable Simple File Sharing in Windows XP Home Edition
    Unknown hard drive activity.
    Right click an empty part of your desktop > Properties > Display
    Properties > Desktop > Customize Desktop > Desktop Items.
    Down the bottom of that screen, uncheck > Run Desktop Cleanup Wizard
    every 60 days.
    Auto Delete Temporary Folder
    First go into gpedit.msc ( only available in the Pro version of XP )
    Start > Run, copy & paste > gpedit.msc & press Enter
    Next select -> Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates >
    Windows Components > Terminal Services > Temporary folders.
    Then right click "Do Not Delete Temp Folder Upon Exit"
    Go to properties and hit Disabled.
    Now next time Windows puts a temp file in that folder it will
    automatically delete it when its done!
    Make icons in Windows appear quicker
    In Windows XP everytime you open My Computer to browse folders XP
    automatically searches for network files and printers. This causes a
    delay in displaying your icons. You probably see the "default" windows
    icon and as you scroll it changes to the correct icon. This is how to
    stop that...
    1. Open My Computer
    2. Click on the Tools menu and select Folder Options...
    3. Under Folder Options select the View tab.
    4. Uncheck the very first box that reads "Automatically search for
    network folders and printers".
    5. Click "Apply" or "OK"
    You should see a dramatic increase in speed when Windows displays your
    Johnw, Mar 20, 2008
  6. Sal_55

    Johnw Guest

    Sal_55 brought next idea :
    Doing this in between watching footy, these are worth doing, everything
    I have given you I have done myself on XP Pro, 2.8 GHz & 1 gb of ram.

    If your computer is NOT a laptop/notebook then you can stop Hibernate.
    Hibernation, reserves disk space equal to your RAM.
    The mysterious hiberfil.sys
    For those that may notice that Select All, includes Prefetch, there are
    some occasions when you have to clean prefetch, this is one of them.
    ATF Cleaner
    This program is for Windows 98/ME/2K/XP and Vista!
    Double-click ATF-Cleaner.exe to run the program.
    Under Main choose: Select All
    Click the Empty Selected button.
    If you use Firefox browser
    Click Firefox at the top and choose: Select All
    Click the Empty Selected button.
    NOTE: If you would like to keep your saved passwords, please
    click No at the prompt.
    If you use Opera browser
    Click Opera at the top and choose: Select All
    Click the Empty Selected button.
    NOTE: If you would like to keep your saved passwords, please
    click No at the prompt.
    Click Exit on the Main menu to close the program.
    For Technical Support, double-click the e-mail address located at the
    bottom of each menu.
    This will remove all files from the items that are checked so if you
    have some cookies you'd like to save. please move them to a different
    directory first.
    Johnw, Mar 20, 2008
  7. Sal_55

    Sal_55 Guest

    Thanks for the all the advice folks. you're so kind.
    If I do an anti-virus/spyware/defragmention etc, then immediately
    the system runs quite quickly. But within about 24 hours the system
    slows down again.
    I know this suggests I should set automatic defragmentation,
    antispyware checks to run
    every night,but I can't be bothered to do that. So until I can buy
    some more RAM, I think
    I will have to find a program that enhances the speed of my computer.
    In the past
    System Mechanic has done quite a good job,but I wonder if there's an
    even better
    program out now?
    When I say that when I run 3 proceses or so, the system runs slow,
    it's not only that.
    For example,when you minimize Realplayer, it should minimize almost
    and this happens most of the time, but sometimes it takes 1 whole
    minute (!) for the
    program to minimise.
    Maybe I'm expecting too much, but this is the kind of performance
    you'd expect from
    one of those old Pentium 120 MHz computers, not a 1.5 GHz one. I'm not
    really into
    conspiracy theories, but I wonder if there's some top-secret cartel
    which is ensuring
    computers keep on crashing, in order for them to keep selling
    customers newer and
    newer,better and faster machines. I mean, televisions don't crash like
    Thanks again and sorry for the conspiracy theory.
    Sal_55, Mar 20, 2008
  8. Sal_55

    Johnw Guest

    Johnw, Mar 20, 2008
  9. Sal_55

    Johnw Guest

    Johnw, Mar 20, 2008
  10. Sal_55

    Sal_55 Guest

    Sorry if this is a stupid question,but if I stop hibernation mode,
    then can I resume it later on?
    Also, what is hibernation mode? Is it the same as standby?
    Sal_55, Mar 20, 2008
  11. Sal_55

    baynole2 Guest

    Yes this is true. Older, slower memory costs more than the newer stuff
    (I bought a gig of Kingston Value PC5300 recently at Office Depot for
    $25!!).I guess because the older memory isn't being mass-produced for
    baynole2, Mar 20, 2008
  12. What is Hibernation Mode?

    Understanding the difference between Hibernate and Stand By.

    How to disable and re-enable Hibernation.

    Brian Arthur Robertson
    Brian Arthur Robertson, Mar 20, 2008
  13. Sal_55

    Holz Guest

    My lawn mower has 1 GB RAM, does it tell you anything?
    Get memory! If you give the asset tag I will send you some for free due
    to your mentioned condition. I do a lot of charity work for schools,
    retirement homes and disabled associations, I will be more then happy to
    help you.
    Holz, Mar 20, 2008
  14. Sal_55

    Holz Guest

    Xubuntu Linux. Made for low end computers, no virus scanner spyware
    scanner or anti anti needed.just work.
    Holz, Mar 20, 2008
  15. Sal_55

    Sal_55 Guest

    Now you really shocked me! A lawnmower with 1 GB RAM! Soon the
    lawnmowers will be smarter than us and take over the planet! Please,
    don't give them too much memory. I don't want to die being chased by a
    super-intelligent lawnmower, Terminator style.
    Thanks for being so grateful to donate me some memory for free.
    Youy're very kind. But what's an 'asset tag'?
    Thanks again.
    Sal_55, Mar 21, 2008
  16. Sal_55

    Holz Guest

    On the side of you computer or in the BIOS, there is a Dell service tag,
    usually 6 or 7 digits. That tells you what are the correct parts for
    the PC.
    look at this example:
    then send me an e-mail to:
    Holz, Mar 21, 2008
  17. I could use some of the special coppermine-type ram for a couple of
    machines that I have, which is unfortunate. I was able to pick up the
    computers cheap; they're "industrial-strength" Dells. But their capacity
    is limited and this wacko memory requirement is a bummer.

    I remember when this design came out; I found that there was some
    special circuitry on the memory SIMs, so regular memory wouldn't work --
    there must have been a cheaper advantage to get hardware makers to go
    for it.

    In fact, I was talking with a computer store owner who I had liked, and
    when I discovered that he wanted to sell me a machine with this wacko
    system, I got pissed at him, went to Costco, and bought a machine from
    them instead. But, as you can see, I wound up with these cooppermine
    boxes anyway!



    Richard Steinfeld, Mar 21, 2008
  18. Actually, for many people with XP, those minimums are quite OK. It
    depends on what you want to do with the machine. My son is using 256.
    I'm using 520 on two machines, 256 on a third. My ex and her new husband
    are both running three laptops with 128.

    All are running MS Office, espially MS Word, with good-sized documents.
    It helps to keep the load on the lean side, but who wouldn't benefit
    from that anyway? One of these laptops was slugged way down. I found
    that antichristian, George Bushian, thoroughly disgusting Real Player on
    her system: it, amazingly, came with its own uninstaller. Off came that
    damn tool of the devil. She gained speed immediately with Word and
    everything else, too.

    Richard Steinfeld, Mar 21, 2008

  19. RAM & Virtual memory have nothing to do with each other and even if
    you could increase virtual memory (you don't have enough disk space),
    it wouldn't make your computer run any faster. I'm not sure what the
    hell a broken foot has to do with the simple task of installing
    additional Ram unless both your hands are broken as well.
    E. Barry Bruyea, Mar 22, 2008

  20. You could be right; the poster is either a spammer, or really very
    E. Barry Bruyea, Mar 22, 2008
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