Old PC running slow

Discussion in 'Gaming and Software' started by MuddyMettle, Dec 28, 2007.

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  1. Hi All,

    I have an old laptop that is very slow and was very full; I want to use this laptop for one thing Astronomy I.E. the only software that I want on it is Paintshop and software for controlling my Telescope.
    I have uninstalled all the software I don’t want, but it is still running slow so what I am asking is, would it be worth putting the master disc in and put the laptop back to how is came out of the shop or go and buy a cheap one for PC world?
    Thank you

  2. if you know how try defraging (defragmentation of the hard drive) it can be found start >all programs >accessories >system tools >disk defragmenter its worth doing, that will probs speed it up a fair bit, it could also be that the system doesnt meet the minimum requirements to run the programs and/or windows (im guessing you're using Xp?)
  3. Would suggest completly trashing the HDD and reformatting. Rebuild the OS from a new install and install just what you need. Consider the available memory and whether you can pick some up dirt cheap to increase performance.
  4. 1. What spec is the said laptop? OS, CPU, RAM
    2. Is your software compatible with laptop?
    3. Have you tried the obvious? de frag the HD and run anti spyware programms?
    4. Is it an old installation of windows?
    Always remember that laptops will always run dog slow compared to a decent desktop
  5. If there is nothing on the computer that you need, just format the hard disk and reinstall the operating system. That is probably the fastest and easiest way.

    Computers accumalate alot of crap over the years, expecially if one is less than conscientious about tackling spyware, viruses etc.

    Btw what are the specs of the laptop?
  6. You beat me to it Scabster_Mooch.

    That's what I would do.

    Remember to burn off anything you want to save first to a CD, or copy to a USB stick etc.
  7. Thanks for the help,

    1. Windows, Pentium 4?, 512MB DDR?
    2. Yes all software is compatible
    3. Yes tried all that.
    4. Windows XP Home Service pack 2

    This PC has C and D hard drivers as one (Can't think what you call it?) is there any way of making these one drive? as C drive the main one has 4 GB left of 30GB, and D drive has 16GB of 30GB.

    I still have office and some picture software on it, but i can't see how these are taking up so much space, i uninstall the program i did not want by add/remove programs, but some programs are not in there?

    Thank again
  8. Yeah seems like you had a partition on your one drive, I would suggest using a program called partition magic to merge the virtual gap between the drives! (make it one big HD again!)

    edit: To make the drives into one again, you would need to format them both....I think. Using partition magic is easy, but if you do need any help just ask.
  9. That’s your main problem.

    XP needs about 10GB free on C:\ to work correctly.
    You should also upgrade your RAM to at least 1GB as 512MB is useless.

    You can use a program called partition magic to merge your C and D drives but I wouldn’t recommend it if you don’t know what you’re doing.
    You’d be best off reinstalling the OS, ensuring that the C and D drives are formatted and merged.

  10. Bone question now...........

    If the HDD has, say, a capacity of 50Gb and the properties say that 20Gb are still free, are you suggesting that I have only effectivley got 10Gb left - or is the 10Gb that is required to run Xp already accounted for in the 30Gb that have been used so far....??

    Does that make sense...??
  11. Thank you all,

    The Master dics is in.

    Thanks again.

    P.S. I'll be back I'm sure, for some help that is?
  12. XP does not hide away the 10GB it requires.
    If your HD is saying that you only have 20GB remaining then in reality you really only have 10GB to use before your PCs performance starts to drop.

    Free HD space is used as virtual memory, of which a minimum of 10GB is required for best performance.
    If you go over that 10GB limit then your computer becomes more reliant on RAM.

    -edited to add

    I’m referring to the best performance of XP on it’s own.
    If you’re running demanding applications or high end games then you may need more free space.
    Software often lists in its requirements how much free space it needs to run.

    Also this is assuming you’re using DDR2 RAM, DDR3 has recently been released and I don’t yet know what impact it has on virtual memory.
  13. You may want to take a read of the following Goku.


    For simple browsing of IE and basic word docs of <500 pages, I doubt that the bench test would show much improvement. Media is where the improvement is most marked.
  14. Errrr..... not quite. Virtual Memory arose in the days when RAM was expensive stuff, and solved a knotty problem in multi-tasking operating systems. Read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_memory

    Say you have 256MB of RAM, and you want to run Word, open a 10MB document, and run a browser which opens several large documents, and an e-mail app, and a spreadsheet.... If the total memory used by these programs exceeds 256MB, you're screwed. Unless!

    The operating system "pretends" that you have access to the full range of the address bus - with a 32bit address bus, that's 2^32 storage locations - typically 4GBytes. The operating system then "pretends" to give each program you're running its own unique space within that virtual address space, but only keeps things in RAM if they're actually being used.

    As soon as something isn't being used, that page of memory can be "swapped out"; the OS keeps track of where things really are on your hard drive, and where they really are in RAM. As soon as you try an access a page that isn't actually in RAM, the OS swaps out another page, swaps in the one you want, and you carry on with a slight delay.

    This is why things slow down dramatically as soon as the programs you run exceed the available RAM; your PC is spending much of its time swapping pages between RAM and hard drive. Go too far, and your PC seems to be in permanent hourglass mode, because the OS is thrashing like f*ck. It's also why you can't stick more than 4GB of RAM on a 32-bit PC.

    (Have pity on an aged type - in 1984 my CS lecturers were explaining all of this, with cries of "but 4GB is huuuuge, no-one will ever need that much", while the first IBM PC had just 640KB of RAM.....)

    The Windows Task Manager will how you're doing on this front - in XP you right-click on the task bar, or choose it from the options when you give the PC the three-fingered salute (ctrl-alt-del).