Okay, so here is the skinny. I'm trying to fix my 83-year old grandmother's computer. Ack! It is bad, but not horrendous. I hope.
Gramgram complained of her computer running slow, so I asked her how long it had been since she ran a virus scan. She told me, and I quote, "Oh, the guy who set up my computer made it so all that stuff ran automatically."
Looking more closely at her system, she DIDN'T EVEN HAVE ANTIVIRUS INSTALLED.
So, I've been working to get this system up and running. Here is what I have so far.
Dell Dimension 2400
Intel Celeron 2.40 GHz Processor
512 MB RAM
Windows XP SP3
Before I did anything else, I cracked open the case and (doing my best to avoid ESD) cleaned the system thoroughly with canned air.
I installed the following programs, updated them, and ran scans where applicable:
- Avast! Antivirus
- Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
- Spybot Search & Destroy (w/o Teatimer)
- Auslogics Disk Defrag
- Piriform CCleaner
While cleaning up the system, Avast! and Malwarebytes' didn't find a single thing, and Spybot only detected a few small tracking cookies. I'm not surprised by this; the woman is in her eighties, and uses her computer exclusively for her online banking and occasional email conversations with a handful of people. She literally does nothing else with it. Still, the system is running slow like Windows 3.1, and desperately needs work.
After cleaning the system of what I could find, I went to Microsoft Update and installed the most recent updates, as well as a more recent video driver found on the Dell website. Still nothing. The computer still takes six to ten minutes to boot, and stutters on almost every application that it runs.
I ran Memtest86 from a bootable CD to test the integrity of the RAM and received no errors.
I ran HotCPU to test the Mobo and peripherals and received no errors, but only used the trial version. I don't want to buy full versions if I can help it. This isn't a job for me, just a hobby ;)
As of now I'm thinking the slim 512 MB of RAM just can't handle the demands the PC places upon it. What I'm looking for is a second opinion before I spend some money and upgrade the RAM. Any other thoughts on what I should do to get this system up to speed? Did I miss any steps in cleaning out possible viruses or malware? A few helpful hints here would be great.