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Old 13. May 2010, 02:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Red face It's getting slower and slower by the day...

Hi,

I was wondering if anyone could provide any suggestions as to do to speed up my laptop. I know XP is supposed to degrade after a while but this is just ridiculous.

I use Windows XP SP3. My Sony laptop is VGN series 1.73GHZ, 795 MHZ, 2GB RAM (an upgrade) and Intel Pentium M. (OK so i know compared to the latest on the market my laptop is pretty crap)

Also, I defrag my laptop every week using Diskeeper so that's not an issue but can anyone suggest anything else i can do to speed it up? It was never this slow before.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 13. May 2010, 03:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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1. How old is this machine and how long has it been since it was reformatted and windows re-installed? Eventually, no matter how meticulous you are or how much you defragment, you need to do a reformat and re-installation of windows. Most people recommend it yearly or at least every 2 years. (Some people here probably do it more often than that.)

2. Are you sure that you don't have some type of virus or malware on your system? Have you tried HitmanPro or HouseCall to make sure?

3. Are you cleaning out your temporary files/folders and using something like CCleaner?

4. One little known secret for emptying temporary files is as follows:

Click on Start, and then Run.
Type %temp% (exactly as written. percent sign, temp, percent sign)
Click ok or run

What should show up is a list of all your current temporary files/folders. I do this weekly. I then delete everything that is usually over 3 days old.

Another area for finding normally a lot of temporary files is C:\windows\temp. I usually try to clean out this folder weekly as well.
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Old 13. May 2010, 04:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by kendall View Post
....
1. the machine is very old, i'd say about 6yrs+ and windows was lastly installed about 2 months ago and it has never been reformated as i just bought a new harddrive.

i was actually considering reformatting today, but i have to transfer all my old files to my external HDD.

2. Never heard of those two programs, but i have a-squared pro, avira free and malwarebytes which all do weekly virus checks....is that sufficient?

3. yes, i also have emprun as a backup which does those two folders mentioned in 4. every 10 mins.

i think reformatting is my only way really, i was trying to avoid it because im being lazy about copying my files and making backups but it looks like i have no choice haha.

thanks very much, quick question, i'm a bit of a security freak, reformatting the drive with the intention of using it should be safe in terms of someone being able to recover my files? or do i not need to worry about this?

thanks again!
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Old 13. May 2010, 05:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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2. Never heard of those two programs, but i have a-squared pro, avira free and malwarebytes which all do weekly virus checks....is that sufficient?
I am a believer in multiple "on-demand" scanners. I very much like HitmanPro as it uses 6 separate scanners at once (I think it's 6). HouseCall is the best, in my opinion, online scanner. Be advised, however, it takes hours to complete. I also really like SAS.

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i think reformatting is my only way really, i was trying to avoid it because im being lazy about copying my files and making backups but it looks like i have no choice haha.
If you've gone 6 years without a re-format and re-installation of Windows consider yourself VERY lucky. No amount of tweaking, defragging, registry cleaning, etc. can make an impact on system speed like a reformat and re-installation. I strongly encourage you to do so; just plan well ahead and plan on taking a day off work.

Quote:
thanks very much, quick question, i'm a bit of a security freak, reformatting the drive with the intention of using it should be safe in terms of someone being able to recover my files? or do i not need to worry about this?
This is not my area of expertise, but as I understand, for all intent and purposes, yes you should be safe. I do know that there are some very sophisticated programs or companies that can pull data off of a reformatted HD, but most hackers I don't think could. (I'm sure that one of our true experts will correct me if I'm wrong.)
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Old 13. May 2010, 09:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Personally I would :-

Clean junk files (CCleaner)
Scan for malware (using more than one security app)
Uninstall any unnecessary software
Disable any unnecessary start ups (Codestuff Starter)
Defragment
Optimize registry (NTREGOPT)
Defrag pagefile (Pagedefrag)

If no improvement, format and reinstall.
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Old 13. May 2010, 11:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atonement View Post
Hi,

I was wondering if anyone could provide any suggestions as to do to speed up my laptop. I know XP is supposed to degrade after a while but this is just ridiculous.

I use Windows XP SP3. My Sony laptop is VGN series 1.73GHZ, 795 MHZ, 2GB RAM (an upgrade) and Intel Pentium M. (OK so i know compared to the latest on the market my laptop is pretty crap)

Also, I defrag my laptop every week using Diskeeper so that's not an issue but can anyone suggest anything else i can do to speed it up? It was never this slow before.

Thanks in advance.
You say you recently installed a new HD? If so, have you run a diagnostic on it? One thing that will make a drive appear "slow" is if it's dying. It needs to do a bunch of retries to get the data. I'd check to see if you got a defective drive. Or there could be a problem where it's not cooling sufficiently. It may have different cooling requirements than the original.
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Old 14. May 2010, 03:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sope View Post
Personally I would :-

Clean junk files (CCleaner)
Scan for malware (using more than one security app)
Uninstall any unnecessary software
Disable any unnecessary start ups (Codestuff Starter)
Defragment
Optimize registry (NTREGOPT)
Defrag pagefile (Pagedefrag)

If no improvement, format and reinstall.
Great post Sope!
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Old 14. May 2010, 03:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by atonement View Post
Hi,

I know XP is supposed to degrade after a while but this is just ridiculous.
Oh boy. I would like to kill that myth right here and now. If updates and patches are performed as needed, the System is kept free of malware and properly maintained, you should experience no slow down. I'm using XP SP3 on an 8 year old machine and the OS performs better, faster today than it did when I first bought it.
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Old 14. May 2010, 06:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Great post Sope!
Thanks,
I've found this approach works well for me on my own 6 year old XP install and similarly on other peoples machines I've been asked to help out with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taurus View Post
Oh boy. I would like to kill that myth right here and now. If updates and patches are performed as needed, the System is kept free of malware and properly maintained, you should experience no slow down.
I would tend to agree with you on this point.
Of course it also depends on the amount of "customization", registry tweaking and trialling of software the system gets subjected to along the way

From my own point of view, It would really hurt to have to re-install my XP system from scratch as it's evolved over the years with innumerable tweaks and customizations. I tend to rely on disk images now as insurance against the need to start over.
Having said that, I've got a new Windows 7 system now so at some stage I may do a reinstall of the XP machine to test the theory. That is, once I'm sure that the migration is complete and I don't feel I might have a need to go back!
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Old 15. May 2010, 03:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I tend to rely on disk images now as insurance against the need to start over.
Having said that, I've got a new Windows 7 system now so at some stage I may do a reinstall of the XP machine to test the theory. That is, once I'm sure that the migration is complete and I don't feel I might have a need to go back!
Disk images are now part of my maintenance routine for my own machine.

There are still a lot or people out there with XP and when one ends up on my door step with a "help me" sign attached to it, I make use of each one of the tools you mentioned in your previous post. I also use them on my own machine.

I know Win 7 is just an eventuality for me personally. But this older machine has got quit a few more miles in it and does everything I need it to.

Again, a well maintained, malware free XP machine should not slow down over time. If it does, then something is wrong.
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