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How to make Windows XP faster?


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#1 ALSOAngie

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 01:48 PM

I am at work where I am a receptionist and we are a non-profit company so we have still old computers running Windows XP even though there is no more support for XP from Microsoft. The bottom line with the company is money so I am stuck using this POC. 

 

Anyway I would like some advice as I remember back when XP could run on this little memory but I don't know if it is because the net today is more demanding on systems or what not (using Microsoft Office 2003 (11.8330.8405) SP3 where we always have Outlook open for mail as well as use the MS Office Word 2003 for letters to go out in the mail from this office. We use Chrome version 44.0.2403.125m. The only other thing I see running is Trend Micro Security Agent which they take care of and I have no say what they should use or not. 

 

The computer itself is 

MS Win XP Pro v. 2002 SP3
Pentium 4 CPU 3GHz
x86 Family 15 Model 4 Stepping 3 GenuineIntel 2992 Mhz
RAM: 480 Mb (Total physical Memory is 512 Mb)
 
Memory as I look at System Information right now:
 
Total Physical Memory: 512.00 MB
Available Physical Memory: 159.71 MB
Total Virtual Memory: 2.00Gb
Additional Virtual Memory: 1.95 GB
Page File Space 1.52 GB
 

 

And yes that is not a typo with the memory. 

 

Looking at Display (I assumed it was onboard) reads:

 

SiS 661FX 32MB

Resolution 1024 x 768 x 60 hertz

 

The main HDD is WDC WD80 (NTFS):

 

75Gb with 27.84 GB free left on it. 

 

 

I do what I can but it is up to the boss and when we said we needed a newer computer he turned to facebook asking if anyone had any computers they wanted to donate to us... 

 

I don't really have much hope for a better computer and so here I am the receptionist stuck with Windows XP and less than 1/2  Gb of ram .. 

 

Any advice for how to speed up a slow computer That often hangs (especially if we have to do any research online which uses the browser .. which I have tried Firefox but the tech who works on the computer uninstalled it saying we only need IE and anything extra slows down the computer. The reason I installed Chrome 8was some of the sites we needed to access would not work on the version of IE we have. WE have IE 8.0.6001.18702 and cannot go any higher unless we upgrade the computer itself. 

 

At this business we help disabled people look for work and we look up jobs for them. The computer totally choked when I had to look up jobs for hospitality and opened up a company's site that was all flash and animated fanciness. 

 

I try to have very few addons since I know those slow down computers normally and this one can't take that but we do have one for making it easy for them to make fonts larger or smaller without having to know Ctrl+ or Ctrl- as well as one for printing edit that cuts out the added crap so we don't waste ink on printing out pages with ads on them. 

 

I also have cleaned the dust out of the case as much as I could without taking anything apart (just opening the case up with computer off and unplugged) since it seems a lot of dust is attracted to the case which is on the floor under the desk (no carpetting so that is good at least). What else can I do to help this aging computer?  I wish there was some way I could convince the boss that this computer isn't good enough for today's needs anymore... 



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 02:02 PM

Hello, and Welcome

 

I understand your situation but still using XP can put all of your client's personal information at risk. That being said the biggest bang for the buck would be to increase your memory from 512MB to at least 1GB.

 

How much free space is on the hard drive? Has the hard drive ever been defragmented? Publish a Speccy snapshot and post the url in your next post.

 

One of the first things you can run is TFC which is a Temporary File Cleaner. Then run the disk defragmenter and select Analyze. Does it say the disk needs defragging?



#3 ALSOAngie

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 02:37 PM

Okay I will have to log in on that computer then next. It is right beside me but temporarily I am using my coworker's laptop because I can't stand how slow it is. 



#4 Orange Blossom

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 02:38 PM

I'll second upping the RAM.  I have a Dell Dimension 2400 and I have been able to up the RAM to 2 GB.  It has made a HUGE difference.

 

Another thought: Run Firefox for the browser, then install the extension NoScript.  That will block a bunch of unnecessary junk from running on the websites.

 

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#5 Firehouse

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 02:40 PM

You can also use TimeFreeze by Toolwiz, it discards changes made to system on reboot.

 

You have also Wise Disk Cleaner (junk cleaner and disk defragger as well).



#6 ALSOAngie

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 02:45 PM

Hello, and Welcome

 

I understand your situation but still using XP can put all of your client's personal information at risk. That being said the biggest bang for the buck would be to increase your memory from 512MB to at least 1GB.

 

How much free space is on the hard drive? Has the hard drive ever been defragmented? Publish a Speccy snapshot and post the url in your next post.

 

One of the first things you can run is TFC which is a Temporary File Cleaner. Then run the disk defragmenter and select Analyze. Does it say the disk needs defragging?

 

Okay Here is the Speccy results:

 

http://speccy.piriform.com/results/npt3GMvwxn1gGxFoPn0jTjn

 

This computer is slow and I am almost done my shift (14 min left in my day) and I am not on here again til next Wed so trying to get all you ask for on here while I can. 

 

Also to the others who posted, I don't have the say to do what ever I want on this computer as in installing Firefox and using that instead (I have tried and the tech uninstalled it as I said in my first post). Also some of the work we do needs to be on here even after reboot. I will defrag next and leave a note for who ever is in tomorrow that just to minimize (I will use Defraggler so it won't interfere if not done defragging by tomorrow morning). 

 

Says it is 37% Fragmented. 

 

I have been telling them this computer needs more ram but they seem to think this computer is just fine because .. it boots up .. 

 

Also I cannot run OT because it says: 

 

You MUST be logged on as an administrator to use this utility.
 
While cleaning the temp files all open applications will be closed and the desktop will disappear.
 
When finished, if any files need to be removed by a reboot you will be asked to reboot. 
Otherwise the desktop will be restored.

 

 

I cannot get admin access because they feel the computer is fine as it is and I don't need it...  As you can see I am limited but in this department (reception area) they all turn to me to get the computer working better. However, reception is not like Admin .. we don't have the say... 


Edited by ALSOAngie, 05 August 2015 - 03:03 PM.


#7 JohnC_21

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 02:55 PM

I have not looked over the whole report but you should ask for a better graphics card in addition to more RAM. Your hard drive is good and you have enough free space.

 

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=SiS+661FX%2FGX+Mirage&id=1895


Edited by JohnC_21, 05 August 2015 - 02:56 PM.


#8 Phantom010

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 03:06 PM

I even recommend 2 GB of RAM for XP. Everything is more and more resource hungry.  I doubt you'll be able to speed up that computer in a noticeable way with only 480 MB of RAM. RAM is not very expensive. I'd suggest adding some.



#9 brainout

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 03:07 PM

Okay, well you've now left for the day, Angie, but instead of upping the RAM on your EXISTING machine it's cheaper to buy a used one.  I got a Dell Latitude D630 Win7 Ultimate 64-bit with 4 GB RAM and 250GB or so HD and DVD ROM for only $100, on Ebay.  That's cheaper than your cost of upgrading RAM including labor.  Surely there are 10 people each willing to donate $10.  Bear in mind, you can also get this same thing at dellauction.com which means Dell directly refurbishes.  I got a Dell Latitude 6510 with the same specs as noted above (except it was 32-bit Win7Pro) for $200.  That matters, as I swapped out the drive and installed XP instead on a brand new drive.  You can get XP Pro really cheap (under $20) now on Ebay, example here. Or here.  Or here.  Each of those are full retail 32-bit, just like the first one I bought 13 years ago; not System Builder, so you can transfer them from one machine to the next.  You'll still need the SP3 disk, which you can download from Microsoft.com, here.

 

That's all I needed to do two fresh installs on more modern laptops two months ago.  I didn't need to do more updates.  Doing a clean install will make your machine run MUCH faster.  Use Firefox for browsing, since IE is now out-of-date.

 

Reinstalling your programs shouldn't be too hard: you've got the dbx's from Outlook Express, the pst from Outlook, you should be able to transfter Office settings.  Also, you'll want to download fileformatconverters.exe from microsoft, so you can read the post-2003 file formats in Word, Excel, etc.

 

Or you can clone your current XP drive and possibly clone it back to another machine using Macrium Reflect Free.  Clone is a live bootable replica (think 'identical twin') so for XP you might just be able to swap it into the new machine but would need to get new drivers (which are usually free, if from Dell).

 

And better still, I got a Dell Latitude 6410 red laptop for $200 again same specs as the 64-bit above except Pro.  Ebay seller is panyp, a professional Dell auction buyer and reseller.  I was really surprised at how good that machine was.  The rest of them I bought directly from Dell, paying between $200-$800 each, mostly at the low end.  So you see, it's cheaper to buy used than fix what you have: and the speed difference is enormous.

 

All these machines are then eligible for free Win10, which possibly your organization might like.  All my XP programs run in 64-bit Win10, including Multimate Advantage II, DOS Lotus 1-2-3 version 2.01 (via DOSbox, a free program), MS Office Profesional 2003 (just like you have).  Win7 can run them also.


Edited by brainout, 05 August 2015 - 03:34 PM.

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#10 JohnC_21

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 03:11 PM

Okay, well you've now left for the day, Angie, but instead of upping the RAM on your EXISTING machine it's cheaper to buy a used one.  I got a Dell Latitude D630 Win7 Ultimate 64-bit with 4 GB RAM and 250GB or so HD and DVD ROM for only $100, on Ebay.  That's cheaper than your cost of upgrading RAM including labor.  Surely there are 10 people each willing to donate $10.  Bear in mind, you can also get this same thing at dellauction.com which means Dell directly refurbishes.  I got a Dell Latitude 6510 with the same specs as noted above (except it was 32-bit Win7Pro) for $200.  That matters, as I swapped out the drive and installed XP instead on a brand new drive.  So you can clone your current XP drive and possible clone it back to another machine using Macrium Reflect Free.

 

And better still, I got a Dell Latitude 6410 red laptop for $200 again same specs as the 64-bit above except Pro.  All these machines are then eligible for free Win10, which possibly your organization might like.  All my XP programs run in 64-bit Win10, including Multimate Advantage II, DOS Lotus 1-2-3 version 2.01 (via DOSbox, a free program), MS Office Profesional 2003 (just like you have).  Win7 can run them also.

+1 on getting a used computer.



#11 hamluis

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 04:39 PM

FWIW:  Amazon also would be a source of a decent refurbished system that would justify any expenditure of funds, IMO.

 

Louis



#12 Guest_JWebb_*

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 04:48 PM

I would just turn off all of those useless services.

 

Black Viper



#13 Phantom010

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 05:18 PM

Unless you're quite computer savvy, I wouldn't mess with the services, especially the ones from Microsoft. You can try it with third party software you've installed yourself, but I don't really recommend it, as some programs may not work properly after changing their Startup Type. With 480 MB of RAM, you won't notice any improvement anyway. Simply go ahead and compare prices between RAM and used computers.



#14 Guest_JWebb_*

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 05:24 PM

You're right.  512 Mb RAM is pretty slim for XP.  The best bet is to upgrade the RAM.

 

But Black Viper does a very good job at explaining what services do and which ones are safe to disable.



#15 Phantom010

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 05:27 PM

But Black Viper does a very good job at explaining what services do and which ones are safe to disable.

 

I do use that website from time to time. It gives a lot of info on Microsoft services.

 

As for third party software, THIS website can help.






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