Will format improve old computer?

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by teabag, May 16, 2005.

  1. teabag

    teabag Guest

    My old pentium3 computer has slowed down to a crawl. No spyware, no viruses
    and no corrupt files just slow. The computer is five years old originally
    loaded with windows 98 2nd edition and upgraded to ME with no problems for
    five years of constant use. The support guy at Dell thinks that a complete
    disc format and reloading of operating system could speed things up. Dell
    is quite willing to take me through the steps of formating and then I can
    begin the yecky task of updating explorer, wmp ect ect.

    I have to admit I am a bit fearful that it won't work at all after the
    format. It is very slow but functional. Well what is your opinion on
    formating to speed up. I have second new computer but I don't want my
    family coming to fistfights over the second computer.....lol I am keeping
    that one to myself....my son will have a stroke if he can't listen to his
    ballgames on the old one. So what am I risking if anything and will it
    work? thanks guys and gals! Also what is the pros and cons of just loading
    windows 98 without ME...I know I know ME is trouble but honestly I never had
    a problem with it.
    teabag, May 16, 2005
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  2. teabag

    Mike Easter Guest

    Most installs go flawlessly.-- but sometimes they don't. It would be
    too bad if you couldn't wriggle out of install problems.
    I would.
    I would want 98se over ME over 98 vanilla.
    Mike Easter, May 16, 2005
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  3. teabag

    old jon Guest

    Hi T. Had ME for three years quite happily. Before you go mad on the old
    girl,. Why don`t you D\Load CCleaner (yes 2 Cs), read Carefully what it will
    clean out. (it`s good I promise you, cleans stuff out only Bill Gates knows
    about). then check for any progs you don`t need, and Uninstall them. Next do
    a Regclean, and finally do a Defrag. (You know you love her, and she`s worth
    it (grin)). And if you the make sure walign is set up in Scheduled tasks,
    she`ll go like the clappers. best wishes..J
    old jon, May 16, 2005
  4. teabag

    Toolman Tim Guest

    What hardware is it? Processor, memory, hard drive size, etc.

    Before reformatting, have you tried scandisk and defrag, and other basic
    maintenance? Check this web site:
    Mike's Basic Computer Maintenance:
    and search the Internet for other information regarding your "very slow but
    functional" problem.

    After all that, in my experience, yes, reformatting the drive and
    reinstalling Windows does improve the speed of the computer system. But
    that's only until you start putting back your applications. You can easily
    overload the system with apps. I don't put anything on that I'm not going to
    use at least once a week. Avoid the bloatware antivirus programs, like
    Norton and McAfee. Get some advice here about smaller, more efficient
    antivirus software. That's a whole new thread to start <g>

    I would stay with Win98se rather than doing the ME upgrade. I've had many
    more troublesome issues with ME than any other version of Windows.
    Toolman Tim, May 16, 2005
  5. teabag

    7 Guest

    Download and burn to CD a copy of DSL Linux.
    Then boot up from CD, look in drive C which
    under Linux is labelled hda1.

    Delete files in _restore hidden directory.
    Delete files in windows/temp directory
    Delete files in windows/temporary internet files directory

    7, May 16, 2005
  6. teabag

    Ron Martell Guest

    Totally useless advice.

    Ron Martell Duncan B.C. Canada
    Microsoft MVP
    On-Line Help Computer Service

    In memory of a dear friend Alex Nichol MVP
    Ron Martell, May 16, 2005
  7. teabag

    Ron Martell Guest

    It will, but probably only until you reinstall your application
    programs. After that it will likely be just as slow, or almost so.

    A reformat and reinstall is the computer equivalent of capital
    punishment and should therefore be reserved for only the most critical
    circumstances where all other options have failed.

    The two most common causes of slow performance are:
    - insufficient RAM, resulting in extensive swap file activity.
    - too many background "tools and toys" being loaded at startup,
    bogging down the CPU.

    1. Adding more memory can noticeably improve performance only if the
    added memory results in reduced usage of the virtual memory swap file.
    Therefore if the swap file is not currently being used to any
    significant extent then adding more memory will not provide a
    significant improvement.

    Before installing more RAM use the System Monitor utility that comes
    with Windows and use Edit - Add to set it to track "Memory manager:
    Swap file in use" for several days of normal to heavy usage. If "Swap
    file in use" regularly shows as 20 mb or more then the swap file is
    being used extensively and more memory would result in improved
    performance. Otherwise it is not likely to make any noticeable

    This applies regardless of how much or how little RAM is currently
    installed in the computer.

    There is a configuration setting that needs to be entered if you are
    going above 512 mb of RAM with Windows 95/98/Me and there are possible
    hardware related problems that can occur with more than 1 gb of RAM
    with these Windows versions.

    2. Use Start - Run - MSCONFIG and go to the Startup tab. Compare the
    list of items that are loading at startup with the following checklist
    web sites to see what can be safely dispensed with:

    http://www.3feetunder.com/krick/startup/list.html - has trojan related
    items listed

    Note: Please ensure that you fully understand the purpose of a
    startup item, how and why it was put into the startup, and the
    consequences (if any) of removing it before you make any changes.
    Some items are very important for the proper and safe functioning of
    your computer, including at least one item that is listed twice.

    Disabling an item by unchecking it in MSCONFIG should only be done for
    testing purposes or as a "last resort" when no other way of getting
    rid of the unwanted item can be found.

    Hope this is of some assistance.

    Good luck

    Ron Martell Duncan B.C. Canada
    Microsoft MVP
    On-Line Help Computer Service

    In memory of a dear friend Alex Nichol MVP
    Ron Martell, May 16, 2005
  8. teabag

    Toolman Tim Guest

    Well, not totally. I wouldn't do it *that* way, but definately cleaning up
    the system might help. Plus there's lot's more to it than just deleting the
    temporary files and restore points <g>
    Toolman Tim, May 16, 2005
  9. teabag

    7 Guest

    You pressed F1 and clippy told you to say that.
    7, May 16, 2005
  10. teabag

    teabag Guest

    I have already defrag, used norton utilitiy to get rid of corrupt files and
    pretty much have my startup items down to a minimum.
    My system tray is almost empty. Also I have dumped a bunch of programs. I
    even turned off pcboss and system restore which is not really necessary as I
    will just strip it down if necessary.

    Hopefully the old girl still has some life in her but I would rather have
    her faster than not. Dell is very willing to help me even though the
    computer is five years old which I consider pretty good service. The only
    single area I have a problem in is microsoft word. Tells me it can't find
    the file when I first try to open a document then I have to go in again and
    it shows opens no problem.
    Could a corrupt word file possibly be affecting my whole system. I doubt
    it. But I ask better minds than mine.
    teabag, May 16, 2005
  11. teabag

    old jon Guest

    You just mentioned Norton. No wonder the poor old girl is running slow.
    Norton is one of the biggest Hogs I know. ..J
    old jon, May 16, 2005
  12. teabag

    Plato Guest

    go for it
    Plato, May 17, 2005
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