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Computer Always Lagging


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#1 streetmike

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 03:13 PM

Hello, So we have a gateway from 2003. The computer seemed to keep lagging so real bad with errors going all over the place. so we had the whole computer wiped clean. We deleted everything and reinstalled XP and re formated the HD. It still seemed to lag, but all the errors and problems seemed to disappear. Once you log in it takes a good 10-15 minutes before you can even launch IE or any other app. We dont have any programs that start at start up other the the essentials. I have ran AVG free and Macaffy(sp?) and all I ever get is tracking cookies which I delete. I am wondering if it would be worth it to upgrade the memory(ram) as I only have 256. (is it hard to upgrade it). Its the family computer and is mainly used to surf the net, school, and maybe playing older video games(diablo 2, roller coaster tycoon 3.) I dont want togo and upgrade everything here unless thats needed. I have include the build sheet for the computer... please help.







Application CD

Applications CD Version 7.5 [Part #7513692] Support Docs
Cables

12-Inch Serial ATA Signal Cable [Part #8006679] Support Docs
17-inch IDE Cable for Ultra/66 Ultra/100 R0 [Part #8004683] Support Docs
Belkin 1394 cable [Part #8005117] Support Docs
Belkin 1394 Cable [Part #8005116] Support Docs
CBL FDD R0 [Part #8004685] Support Docs
CD-ROM Cable R0 [Part #8004682] Support Docs
HDW SERIAL ATA POW CBL [Part #8006680] Support Docs
Cases and Case Hardware
Aegis Desktop Tower Case R1 [Part #3501413] Support Docs
IEEE 1394 Assembly [Part #8006045] Support Docs
Communication Software - Find Upgrades

America Online 8.0 Plus [Part #9523477] Support Docs
AOL 8.0 Plus Pass Along CD [Part #7513710] Support Docs
MSN 8.0 [Part #9521517] Support Docs
Floppy Drives

Panasonic 1.44-MB Floppy Disk Drive Revision 1 [Part #5502540] Support Docs

Hard Drives - Find Upgrades

Seagate 160-GB 7200-RPM 80 GPP SATA Hard Disk Drive R0 [Part #5502618] Support Docs
Keyboards

Lite On Multifunction PS2 Keyboard [Part #7004357] Support Docs
Memory - Find Upgrades

MEM DDR 256 MB PC3200 [Part #5000693] Support Docs
Mice

Logitec USB Optical Mouse Black R2 [Part #7004410] Support Docs

Microsoft Software - Find Upgrades

Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition with SP1 (SR1) R2 [Part #7513624] Support Docs
Modems

Gateway V.92 PCI Soft Modem R2 (Palmer) [Part #6002176] Support Docs
Monitors

Gateway 18-inch LCD Flat Panel Display (FPD1830) R0 [Part #7004316] Support Docs

Motherboards

Intel (Wasp) Pentium 4 Motherboard No CPU R0 [Part #2519045] Support Docs

Optical Drives or DVD Decoder Cards - Find Upgrades

HLDS 16X DVD Drive 02ID R1 [Part #5502468] Support Docs

HLDS DVD-RAM/-R/-RW/CD-RW Rambo 2 Drive R0 [Part #5502420] Support Docs
Power Supplies

250 Watt ATX Power Supply 6.5/3.5A STF R4 [Part #6500703] Support Docs
Processors

Intel (Northwood) 2.8GHz/800MHz CPUMAC R0 [Part #2519020] Support Docs

Software - Find Upgrades

InterVideo DVD Software 4.0.11.237 (2-Channel Version) [Part #7513674] Support Docs
Media Player 9 for Windows XP [Part #9521826] Support Docs
Norton Antivirus 2003 Rev. 1 [Part #9521380] Support Docs
PC-Doctor 4.2 for Windows (Build 1.05.004) [Part #9523280] Support Docs
Sound Cards

Sound Blaster Audigy II Audio with IEEE 1394 Sound Card [Part #6002332] Support Docs
System Restoration CD

Gateway Drivers CD 22.7 [Part #7513751] Support Docs

Video Cards
ATI RV350LE Radeon 9600 (Fairlane) Graphics Card R0 [Part #6002443] Support Docs
Other

DirectX 9.0a [Part #9523325]
Gateway Do More Home [Part #9522160]
Gateway Ink Monitor Software [Part #9523066]
Gateway Music Vault R0 [Part #9521265]
HelpSpot 7.1 [Part #9522131]
Microsoft Works Suite 2003 DVD [Part #7513185]
Movie Maker 2.0 [Part #9522391]
MusicMatch 7.5 [Part #9522123]
Pinnacle Studio 8.6 SE [Part #7513616] (listen.com) [Part #9521301]
Sound Blaster Audigy II Sound Card Driver CD [Part #7513143]
Wild Tangent [Part #9522361]




I also have this when I click upgrade

Number of Memory Slots on Board: 4 (2 banks of 2)
Maximum Amount / Type of RAM that can be Installed:
4096MB DDR PC3200
Notes:

Installed in pairs of modules.



I know I can get cheap sticks at circuitcity or bestbuy, Just dont know what to buy or how much or even if it would help.




Thank you,
Mike

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#2 OldGrumpyBastard

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 03:25 PM

RAM upgrades will more than likely help your computer respond quicker provided you purchase the right ones...It appears that your system will handle up to 4GB of RAM and you only have 256MB...I don't think that I would fill it to the max unless you are doing some serious gaming or have some really heavy applications that burn up a lot of memory...I would probably upgrade to 2GB and see how that goes...

http://shop.crucial.com/1/crucial/41653-ga...ory-module.html

Notice the statement about 32-bit systems not recognizing more than 3GB RAM.

Run the scan available for the exact type of RAM needed. If you order more than one module, make sure that you get matching sets.

Edited by douglas martin, 31 May 2008 - 03:32 PM.

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#3 OldGrumpyBastard

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 04:15 PM

Other considerations about speeding things up:

How full is your hard drive? If your hard drive is getting almost full, it will cause XP to slow down as it needs approximately 15-20% free space to allow for swapping...I recommend about 25%...If you have kids, you are likely to fill up a hard drive with Music files, Photo files, Video files and Games real quick...You may want to take a look at either purchasing another drive to install as a slave or even an external (USB) to take up some of the slack...

How often do you De-fragment your drive? I am the sole user of my computer and I de-frag at a minumum of once every week or two...sometimes even more...depending upon what things I have been doing. De-fragmented files can cause XP to slow down to a crawl.

Even though your computer is getting older, if you do some routine maintenance and general clean-up of programs and files...not to mention the computer itself..It can still be made to perform decently...
Does this look like an OldGrumpyBastard or what?

#4 streetmike

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 04:39 PM

the HD is partitioned into 2. The main one has 45.6 gigs left out of 58.5 and the second has nothing on it. I defragged the other day and did the disk clean up. It didn't make much of an impact.


The computer just lags even on the web. I have a wireless router hardlined to that computer and use my laptop(school) and it is faster on the wireless then the main desktop is. It feelf like it needs a nice kick in the butt.

Also I saw in C. city ad for centon memory "desktop 512MB DDR 400/333Mhz PC3200 memory" for $25, so you recommended about 2 gigs. will that make a big difference?


Also when/if I upgrade the memory, will I have to DL and install the update fore Bios? I saw it on the Gateway site and it said the reason for the update was "fixed post code 7ch hang when installing Fedora Core 2"



Thanks again,
Mike


edit: just noticed the link you gave me, Im looking at it right now, Thanks.

Edited by streetmike, 31 May 2008 - 04:42 PM.


#5 streetmike

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 04:48 PM

so would it be better to go with (2) 1 gig sticks or (4) 512mb sticks?

or (2) 1 gig and (2) 512mb?


also i ran a scan of the computer through gateway and it came back at this

Memory
Upgrade
undefinedMB physical
90% free resources



the 90% mean that it doesn't need to be upgraded? or would the more ram make it peppier?

Edited by streetmike, 31 May 2008 - 05:21 PM.


#6 OldGrumpyBastard

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 05:44 PM

I'm not sure what these gateway scans all mean, but I can tell you from experience that increasing RAM will definately help with performance...That being said, I recommended 2 GB, that will increase what you have right now x 3...Again, it is up to you to decide which way to go.. If it was me I would buy 2 1GB sticks...You just need to be sure that they match. I would replace the 256MB module that you have with one of the new ones and put the other in the next slot. The only cautions are to either purchase a grounding strap (inexpensive) or make sure to touch metal surfaces on your case or a door knob or metal for 10-15 seconds to release any static electricy before touching these modules. Make sure to unplug the computer and let it set for a few minutes to drain any residual power that remains. Take care not to touch the metallic (pins) around the bottom of the modules because of contamination...They can only go in one way...Make sure that they are fully seated. Plug power cord back in and start-up the computer. If all is well it will boot up with no problem. If you do get errors. Just repeat the steps and reseat the modules...It's relative painless to do...As far as the BIOS update was concerned I would leave that alone (unless it is a critical update to address something else that can effect your computer). If it is designed to fix a known problem that you have go ahead and do it. Otherwise I would let sleeping dogs lie...

Edited by douglas martin, 31 May 2008 - 05:46 PM.

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#7 dc3

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 06:45 PM

Your hard drive is too full, you need to have about fifteen percent of free space on the hdd for swap space, this it what is slowing down your computer.

Backing up you hdd is very important, especially in an older unit like this, hdds are prone to failure do to the mechanical side of them. You should transfer all of your important files on to a removable media, like CDs, DVDs, a flash drive, or another hdd. If you back up your photos or music files to another source you will find that the computer will run faster. Defragging is another consideration, but as full as yours is at the moment you may have trouble doing something that simple.

Until you take care of the hdd problem adding more RAM isn't going to help.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#8 streetmike

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 06:49 PM

Your hard drive is too full, you need to have about fifteen percent of free space on the hdd for swap space, this it what is slowing down your computer.

Backing up you hdd is very important, especially in an older unit like this, hdds are prone to failure do to the mechanical side of them. You should transfer all of your important files on to a removable media, like CDs, DVDs, a flash drive, or another hdd. If you back up your photos or music files to another source you will find that the computer will run faster. Defragging is another consideration, but as full as yours is at the moment you may have trouble doing something that simple.

Until you take care of the hdd problem adding more RAM isn't going to help.




the hard drive isnt full at all. the HD is partitioned into 2. The main one has 45.6 gigs left out of 58.5 and the second has nothing on it.


thanks for the help everyone.

#9 dc3

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 07:27 PM

Sorry about that, I read this on the fly and thought that you had used that amount of the free space. :thumbsup:

What size is the partition that the OS is on, and how much space is left on it?

One of the considerations that you need to look at here is the age of your computer and how cost effective adding to this will be in comparison to investing in a new machine. For three hundred dollars you could have a new machine that would run circles around you old one, even with 2GB of RAM. Look at the cost of the new RAM verses the investment into a new one.

People equate the changes in computer technology as the following, each year of computer advancement is equal to five years of automotive advancement. Would you invest a turbocharger for a twenty five year old car?

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#10 Farbar

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 08:57 PM

IMO upgrading the RAM even to 1 GB more might do the job. When the windows is loading the burden on RAM is higher than when it has loaded all the processes into memory and then settles down.

Besides keeping the startup items at minimum, disable the auto-update future of all your applications (including and especially Windows update) except for your Anti virus.

Besides the disk defragmentation run also from time to time a page defragmenter, it defragment the loading items. Just check the option to defragment once at the next boot: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinte...s/bb897426.aspx

good luck!

#11 streetmike

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 11:55 AM

The OS is on the main partition, the one I listed... The other partition has nothing on it yet. We dont have alot of big thing to put on the computer, thats why its not that full.

My mom doesnt want to buy a new computer. We dont use it for alot of things other then making cd's, internet, school, maybe a older game here or there.




So I went shooping around today and the cheapest place I can find the stuff is on newegg.com. Everyone wants over $130 for the stuff. Newegg has it from 66 to whatever. So I need help choosing a good one. Im not going to overclock or anything like that(I wouldnt even know how :flowers: ) They all seem to be around the same price. Some are a little bit more but have rebates and free shipping so it brings it down to within 5-10 of the other ones. Please help me decide. The OCZ one is the cheapest after rebates, its only $64, but it recommends it for high performance and gaming. So would it still be fine on my plain desktop?



Thanks again for the help :thumbsup:
Mike



EDIT: forgot to give the link... Click here for newegg listing

Edited by streetmike, 01 June 2008 - 01:55 PM.


#12 hamluis

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 01:42 PM

Apologies if I missed it...but just what model is this Gateway system?

Louis

#13 streetmike

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 01:46 PM

Apologies if I missed it...but just what model is this Gateway system?

Louis




Opps look liked I never posted it... Gateway 700x

#14 hamluis

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 03:47 PM

If you add 1GB of RAM to that system, you should be fine...no need to even consider a new system.

http://www.crucial.com/store/checkout/cart...dd&type=2_3

There are, apparently, 3 different configurations for RAM for the model number you listed, the above link reflects what applies to your system.

http://www.crucial.com/store/listparts.asp...DDR%20PC3200%29

Louis

Edited by hamluis, 01 June 2008 - 03:48 PM.





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