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To fix/keep old computer or get a new one?


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11 replies to this topic

#1 Insaneman1731

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 09:29 PM

I have a Dell from around 2006 and its just starting to run really slow. Startup takes 15 minutes, programs take a while to load. Once the programs do load though it works pretty decent. I don't have the money for a new computer so if I could I would like to just add hardware (not sure what to add) to my current Dell to make it run faster. All I use it for is general web browsing/youtube etc, no gaming. Here are my specs. If anyone needs anymore information let me know. Thank you.


Windows XP SP2
Intel Pentium 4 CPU 2.80 GHz
512MB RAM
Nvidia GeForce 6600GT (I added this a couple years back)

Edited by Insaneman1731, 11 January 2012 - 09:30 PM.


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#2 caperdog

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 09:43 PM

add 1Gb RAM
keep the fans clean
surf away

#3 LucheLibre

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 11:15 PM

If you have the install disks, I'd recommend a reinstall. Make sure you completely update XP.

If it looks like I know what I'm doing, there's a pretty good chance the only reason for that is because
I once asked someone to run chkdsk /r and a BC Advisor smacked me in the back of the head.

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#4 pJ`

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 12:03 AM

If your motherboard can handle it get more RAM I'd recommend at least 2gb RAM it isn't very expensive anymore you could probably get 2gb for around $25. Also make sure your drivers are completely updated along with your windows XP service pack.

Slimdrivers will update your old drivers for you. To upgrade to windows XP service pack 3 make sure you have automatic updating on. Start > Control Panel > System > Automatic updates > Click "Install Updates automatically."

I'd also do a registry scan and virus scan.

Virus Scan - Malwarebytes Anti-malware

Registry Cleaner - CCleaner

Both of these programs take very little RAM to run so it shouldn't slow your computer down too much. But it will help speed it up. The main reason it's running slow is because of your low amount of RAM. Also which browser do you use? And do you use any tool bars?

But yeah definitely keep this computer you have a good CPU and GPU just low RAM. :thumbup2:

Edited by pJ`, 12 January 2012 - 12:03 AM.


#5 Insaneman1731

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 12:06 AM

Thanks for the responses and sugguestions. I use Google Chrome, do you reccommend something else? And no toolbars, I don't like the clutter in the browser.

#6 pJ`

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 12:22 AM

Google Chrome is currently the #1 quickest and safest browser. (It recently passed Firefox). So your good on that. One more thing I forgot that will speed up your system in XP. Is changing the appearance.


Click Start, click Run, type sysdm.cpl, and then press ENTER. > Click the Advanced tab, and then under Performance click Settings. > Click the Visual Effects tab. > Click Adjust for best performance to have Windows automatically adjust the settings for best performance.

It might be a little bit different then I described because that was based off memory and I'm using windows 7 and I'm not sure if everything's named the same. But once you've done that it should run fairly smoother.

Edit: Once you've done that all the eye candy settings on windows will be gone. It'll look something like windows 98 but run ALOT better.

Edited by pJ`, 12 January 2012 - 12:27 AM.


#7 lti

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 12:46 AM

Changing the appearance settings isn't going to have a noticeable effect on performance unless the computer's CPU and graphics card just meet the minimum requirements for Windows.

If the computer is that slow, it would be a good idea to reinstall Windows. Updating everything without reinstalling Windows will just make it slower. Whenever I updated a computer running Windows XP to SP3, the computer took twice as long to start up. Running a registry cleaner guarantees that you will eventually have to reinstall Windows due to a corrupt registry.

The study that found Chrome to be the most secure browser was found to be flawed and I don't see any speed difference between browsers, but Chrome is still a good browser.

#8 Jardon Tech Training

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 01:01 AM

I agree with adding more RAM and reinstalling your operating system. It will be good as new. Good luck!

#9 hamluis

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 02:19 PM

<<I'd also do a registry scan and virus scan.>>

Virus scan...yes, never hurts. Registry scan...no, see following.

Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers for several reasons:
  • Registry cleaners are extremely powerful applications that can damage the registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable.

    The Windows registry is a central repository (database) for storing configuration data, user settings and machine-dependent settings, and options for the operating system. It contains information and settings for all hardware, software, users, and preferences. Whenever a user makes changes to settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in this repository. The registry is a crucial component because it is where Windows "remembers" all this information, how it works together, how Windows boots the system and what files it uses when it does. The registry is also a vulnerable subsystem, in that relatively small changes done incorrectly can render the system inoperable. For a more detailed explanation, read Understanding The Registry.
  • Not all registry cleaners are created equal. There are a number of them available but they do not all work entirely the same way. Each vendor uses different criteria as to what constitutes a "bad entry". One cleaner may find entries on your system that will not cause problems when removed, another may not find the same entries, and still another may want to remove entries required for a program to work.
  • Not all registry cleaners create a backup of the registry before making changes. If the changes prevent the system from booting up, then there is no backup available to restore it in order to regain functionality. A backup of the registry is essential BEFORE making any changes to the registry.
  • Improperly removing registry entries can hamper malware disinfection and make the removal process more difficult if your computer becomes infected. For example, removing malware related registry entries before the infection is properly identified can contribute to system instability and even make the malware undetectable to removal tools.
  • The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous. In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in "unpredictable results".

Unless you have a particular problem that requires a registry edit to correct it, I would suggest you leave the registry alone. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.
Louis

#10 pJ`

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 02:55 AM

What are actually the chances of your system actually screwing up because of a registry cleaner? I've had one auto-run every single day for the past year and a half (Advanced Systemcare Pro). And never had a problem with it. I've also used CCleaner to clean the registry of several computers I've fixed.

Edited by hamluis, 13 January 2012 - 10:27 AM.
Removed unnecessary quote.


#11 LucheLibre

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 08:36 AM

If a registry cleaner generally gives no benefit and is occasionally a detriment, why risk it? It's like driving a car with no brakes on the interstate. Everything's great for a while until something unexpected happens.

Edited by LucheLibre, 13 January 2012 - 08:37 AM.

If it looks like I know what I'm doing, there's a pretty good chance the only reason for that is because
I once asked someone to run chkdsk /r and a BC Advisor smacked me in the back of the head.

~ LL ~


#12 rotor123

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 05:51 PM

What are actually the chances of your system actually screwing up because of a registry cleaner? I've had one auto-run every single day for the past year and a half (Advanced Systemcare Pro). And never had a problem with it. I've also used CCleaner to clean the registry of several computers I've fixed.


I have seen problems caused by registry cleaners. The benefits are minimal at best to detrimental. To requiring a reload of the OS.

Any software that finds all kinds of errors to be fixed in a clean install of the OS such as registry cleaners seem to do is suspect in my eyes.

Also since it is a Dell you just go to Dell downloads and enter the Service tag off of the back (desktop) or bottom (Laptop) and Quite often there are Certain Dell software utilities that should be loaded before the chipset driver is loaded.

I've seen some controversy with regard to Chrome being better than Firefox.

Have a Good Day
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