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Looking for a little advice


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#1 snow scorpion

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 03:47 PM

My computer: a 4 year old Dell Dimension 3000

It works fine but it's slow; I mean sloooow .. it takes more than 8 minutes to reboot. (I presume the main reason is it has 512MB of RAM -- hey, didn't your parents teach you it's not nice to laugh at others? :thumbsup: )

Which course of action would you take: (1) upgrade to 2GB of RAM - that would cost about $75 at newegg or (2) buy a whole new 'puter since this one is already 4 years old?

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#2 fairjoeblue

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 06:28 PM

Right now I think you would benifit more from a heavy duty cleanup then more memory !

Download CCleaner,

http://www.filehippo.com/download_ccleaner/

Install & run the cleaner.

Next download Malwarebytes,

http://www.download.com/Malwarebytes-Anti-...4-10804572.html

Install , run, & let it fix/remove all it finds.

When you are done defrag the hard drive.
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#3 snow scorpion

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 07:52 AM

Thanks for the reply, fairjoeblue, but I'm a step ahead of you.

Hard drive has already been defragged and I've run all of the following:

CCleaner
Yahoo Anti-Spy
Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
SUPER AntiSpyware
Ad-Aware
Spybot
SpywareGuard

In addition, I installed Spyware Blaster about 3 years ago.

I check for updates and run each of them at least once a week.

So, does that take us back to the original question - upgrade the RAM or upgrade the entire computer?

#4 garmanma

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 12:49 PM

Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers for a several reasons:

:huh: Registry cleaners can damage the registry by using aggressive cleaning routines. Many users (including some Staff Members) have reported problems after using registry cleaning tools - to include those tools released by Microsoft. This can cause your system to become unbootable.

:huh: Registry cleaners generally don't do anything significant for your system. This topic discusses it in greater detail than we could address here: http://www.windowsbbs.com/showthread.php?t=61015 Although the topic discusses the XP registry, the concepts there apply to all other versions of Windows.

:thumbsup: Not all registry cleaners create a backup of your registry before making changes. If the changes prevent the system from booting/logging in, then there's no backup to restore in order to regain functionality. A backup of the registry is essential BEFORE making any changes to the registry.
--------------------------------------------------------------

Have you checked to see how many items are listed at startup. That is what normally slows down boot time. You usually of many programs that do not need to be there
One application to disable items not needed at startup is Codestuff Starter:

http://www.snapfiles.com/reviews/Starter/starter.html

Edited by garmanma, 17 February 2009 - 12:50 PM.

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#5 snow scorpion

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 11:48 PM

I appreciate the advice garmanma and I don't want to seem like an idiot, but...

... I've downloaded Codestuff Starter and the Readme says "After the successful installation you can run the program from new "CodeStuff" program group."

Well, I double-click it, it opens up, and it just sits there. Readme doesn't say how to run it. What exactly is Codestuff Starter supposed to do? :thumbsup:

#6 fairjoeblue

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 12:01 AM

A simple to use program for stopping unntccessary programs from starting with Windows is StartupCPL ,

http://majorgeeks.com/download619.html

When installed it puts a icon named Startup in the Control Panel.
Open the Control Panel & double click the Startup icon.
You can stop programs from starting with Windows by taking the checkmark out of the little box by the program.
Any program/app you stop will still work when manually started.
If you stop something that causes a problem simply put the checkmark back in the box & restart the computer.
StartupCPL won't work on Vista.

You can also do the same thing by going to Start>Run & typing in msconfig
Click OK
When the box opens click on Startup .
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#7 snow scorpion

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 08:01 AM

Oh!

Maybe I didn't need to download it at all. I've already gone through all the processes ... but I did it that hard way: I opened the task manager and checked each process one-by-one at liutilities.com and processlibrary.com. All the processes running (task manager says I have 63 of them) are either vital or the websites advise not to touch them unless I'm sure they are causing trouble.

But I'll try getting rid of some of the startups. I can't imagine why I need Adobe reader running all the time or my printer/scanner running all the time when I usually have the thing turned off.

Thanks for the tip fairjoeblue. I'll give it a shot when I get home tonight and see what happens.

#8 dpunisher

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 08:47 AM

Anytime you have 63 processes running with 512meg of RAM, then it will take 8 minutes to boot.

Normally I look for 32-35 processes at idle with XP, anywhere from 55-60 in Vista. You have a ton of startup programs choking your system.

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#9 snow scorpion

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 06:25 PM

Anytime you have 63 processes running with 512meg of RAM, then it will take 8 minutes to boot.

Normally I look for 32-35 processes at idle with XP, anywhere from 55-60 in Vista. You have a ton of startup programs choking your system.


32-35?!?! :thumbsup:

Looks like I have some work to do.

Thanks for the tip, dpunisher.

#10 uByte

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 07:10 PM

In my opinion I would backup your data and reformat and reinstall. There is nothing like the feeling of virgin installation of windows. If you are thinking about purchasing a new computer this will help you in that decision. With the cost of computers as low as 200.00 its hard not to. I have found a great little program that helps to back up your data called Fab's Auto Backup.
Fab's Auto Backup

Hope that helps.

uByte

#11 snow scorpion

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 03:20 PM

... reformat and reinstall.
uByte


:huh: That's a bit above my paygrade.

I'd be worried that the 'puter would end up :thumbsup:

But I have been able to cut the 63 processes down to 45 and I think I can get rid of a few more.

#12 the_patriot11

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 03:50 PM

reformating and reinstallation is actually extremely easy provided you either have a OEM or recovery disks, not hard to do at all. :D

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#13 uByte

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 05:43 PM

IMO formatting and reinstall its the best way to speed up the computer without having to buy anything.

uByte

#14 hamluis

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 06:46 PM

It is, in some cases.

But ridding the system of unnecessary programs, startup items...conducting routine maintenance...and adding RAM to the max capability of the motherboard/OS...would be better, IMO.

A clean install is good for speeding up a system where the user does not necessarily intend to immediately establish the same habits which formerly crippled the system.

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#15 usasma

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 09:11 AM

A format and reinstall will give you that "new Windows smell" (sorta like "new car smell")

Seriously, over time Windows gets "bloated" with all the stuff that's been added to it. A look inside Autoruns (free here: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysintern...s/Autoruns.mspx ) and Process Explorer (free here: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysintern...ssExplorer.mspx ) will show you the incredible amount of stuff that's loaded onto your system.

While you can clean stuff off - it's a labor intensive operation that requires a lot of research before removing anything. And the result usually is a bit of an improvement - but (IMO) it's just not worth the effort that it takes.

To further improve performance on a clean install, you can use nLite to customize the installation and can choose not to install some of the stuff that Windows comes bundled with.
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