Another "slow computer" complain

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

i recently bought a 256 RAM, 3.06 GHz Dell Inspiron
notebook for my studies...but it has been running very
slowly since the beginning. i've installed Service Pack 2
and already have antivirus and spyware removal
software...maybe it's because im a novice at this and
don't know what the heck is going on, but is it normal
for XP to take this long to load? it also takes quite
amount of time to start up any programs, such as MS
Office and Internet Explore...maybe it's because of the
limited 256 MB RAM?

any help (or explanation) would be greatly appreciated...
thank you!
13 answers Last reply
More about another slow computer complain
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

    256mb should be ok.

    Spyware/Virus Removal and Prevention:
    http://www.fixyourwindows.com/windowsxpsolutions.htm
    (Links to online virus scans on the same page)

    How to optimize Windows XP, 2000, ME
    for the best performance (Step-by-step Visual Guide):
    http://www.fixyourwindows.com/optimizewindows.htm

    Good Luck!
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

    TK wrote:

    > i recently bought a 256 RAM, 3.06 GHz Dell Inspiron
    > notebook for my studies...but it has been running very
    > slowly since the beginning. i've installed Service Pack 2
    > and already have antivirus and spyware removal
    > software...maybe it's because im a novice at this and
    > don't know what the heck is going on, but is it normal
    > for XP to take this long to load? it also takes quite
    > amount of time to start up any programs, such as MS
    > Office and Internet Explore...maybe it's because of the
    > limited 256 MB RAM?
    >
    > any help (or explanation) would be greatly appreciated...
    > thank you!
    >
    >

    You don't say how long it takes to load. You can clean out the files in
    c:\windows\prefetch to speed up the loading of Windows. Also, empty your
    temporary internet cache files in IE or whatever browser you're using.

    If your PC is connected to a network, that can take additional time to
    boot up. Also check Device Manager to see if there are any problems
    reported there.

    Check msconfig to see what is loading on bootup - you may be able to
    speed up the boot process by eliminating unnecessary programs from loading.

    Also, right-click My Computer, select Properties, select the Advanced
    tab, click the Settings button in the Startup and Recovery section and
    decrease the time to display operating systems choices, etc.

    --
    The reader should exercise normal caution and backup the Registry and
    data files regularly, and especially before making any changes to their
    PC, as well as performing regular virus and spyware scans. I am not
    liable for problems or mishaps that occur from the reader using advice
    posted here. No warranty, express or implied, is given with the posting
    of this message.
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

    Cleaning out the pre-fetch folder has no effect on the day to day
    performance of a computer. Pre-fetching was designed to help Windows start
    more quickly. In this regard, clearing out the pre-fetch folder will make
    the computer start slower, not faster. Eventually (usually a matter of
    days), Windows will re-build the pre-fetch folder and the performance
    advantage offered by pre-fetching will return.

    Someone might want to clear the pre-fetch folder is if it contains a
    reference to a virus or spyware. In that case you'd be following the
    instructions from an antivirus or antispyware web site for manually removing
    an infection

    There are good reasons for clearing Temporary Internet Files, but speeding
    up the computer isn't one of them. Windows works just as well whether the
    TIF folder is empty or filled with files. Of course, if you have so little
    free space on your hard disk that the addition of Temporary Internet Files
    interferes with Windows' ability to operate - for example, there's not
    enough space for a sufficient paging file - then you either need to do
    serious housekeeping or buy another hard disk.

    As for reducing the length of time to select another operating system (the
    default is 30 seconds): That only saves time if there is more than one
    operating system on the computer.
    --
    Ted Zieglar


    "null" <null@planetzero.com> wrote in message
    news:OSroSqn%23EHA.1524@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
    > TK wrote:
    >
    > > i recently bought a 256 RAM, 3.06 GHz Dell Inspiron
    > > notebook for my studies...but it has been running very
    > > slowly since the beginning. i've installed Service Pack 2
    > > and already have antivirus and spyware removal
    > > software...maybe it's because im a novice at this and
    > > don't know what the heck is going on, but is it normal
    > > for XP to take this long to load? it also takes quite
    > > amount of time to start up any programs, such as MS
    > > Office and Internet Explore...maybe it's because of the
    > > limited 256 MB RAM?
    > >
    > > any help (or explanation) would be greatly appreciated...
    > > thank you!
    > >
    > >
    >
    > You don't say how long it takes to load. You can clean out the files in
    > c:\windows\prefetch to speed up the loading of Windows. Also, empty your
    > temporary internet cache files in IE or whatever browser you're using.
    >
    > If your PC is connected to a network, that can take additional time to
    > boot up. Also check Device Manager to see if there are any problems
    > reported there.
    >
    > Check msconfig to see what is loading on bootup - you may be able to
    > speed up the boot process by eliminating unnecessary programs from
    loading.
    >
    > Also, right-click My Computer, select Properties, select the Advanced
    > tab, click the Settings button in the Startup and Recovery section and
    > decrease the time to display operating systems choices, etc.
    >
    > --
    > The reader should exercise normal caution and backup the Registry and
    > data files regularly, and especially before making any changes to their
    > PC, as well as performing regular virus and spyware scans. I am not
    > liable for problems or mishaps that occur from the reader using advice
    > posted here. No warranty, express or implied, is given with the posting
    > of this message.
    >
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

    Ted Zieglar wrote:

    > Cleaning out the pre-fetch folder has no effect on the day to day
    > performance of a computer. Pre-fetching was designed to help Windows start
    > more quickly. In this regard, clearing out the pre-fetch folder will make
    > the computer start slower, not faster. Eventually (usually a matter of
    > days), Windows will re-build the pre-fetch folder and the performance
    > advantage offered by pre-fetching will return.

    Boy, are you on a tear. Prefetching was NOT designed to help Windows
    start more quickly. It's designed to setup applications so THEY start
    faster. Yes, it will rebuild itself, and if the PC slows down again,
    clean it again.

    >
    > Someone might want to clear the pre-fetch folder is if it contains a
    > reference to a virus or spyware. In that case you'd be following the
    > instructions from an antivirus or antispyware web site for manually removing
    > an infection
    >
    > There are good reasons for clearing Temporary Internet Files, but speeding
    > up the computer isn't one of them. Windows works just as well whether the
    > TIF folder is empty or filled with files. Of course, if you have so little
    > free space on your hard disk that the addition of Temporary Internet Files
    > interferes with Windows' ability to operate - for example, there's not
    > enough space for a sufficient paging file - then you either need to do
    > serious housekeeping or buy another hard disk.

    I've also seen the need to empty the temporary internet cache files
    because it slows down certain apps run through the browser. It doesn't
    hurt to clean it out as a precaution.

    >
    > As for reducing the length of time to select another operating system (the
    > default is 30 seconds): That only saves time if there is more than one
    > operating system on the computer.

    You will notice the 'etc.' at the end of that sentence. It refers to the
    option to reduce the boot time for showing recovery options in that
    window. This WILL save time.

    --
    The reader should exercise normal caution and backup the Registry and
    data files regularly, and especially before making any changes to their
    PC, as well as performing regular virus and spyware scans. I am not
    liable for problems or mishaps that occur from the reader using advice
    posted here. No warranty, express or implied, is given with the posting
    of this message.
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

    thanks to everyone who replied.im going to try all the
    suggestions and check out the links.
    thanks again!
  6. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

    ~ FreeSpirit ~ wrote:
    > "null" <null@planetzero.com> wrote in message
    > news:OSroSqn%23EHA.1524@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
    >
    >>--
    >>The reader should exercise normal caution and backup the Registry and
    >>data files regularly, and especially before making any changes to their
    >>PC,
    >
    >
    > $$ How can we do this when the tool to back them up is not installed on PCs
    > from companies like Compaq, Dell or HP? We don't get the WXP disk either,
    > just a disk to reinstall the OS if that becomes necessary.
    >
    > as well as performing regular virus and spyware scans. I am not
    >
    >>liable for problems or mishaps that occur from the reader using advice
    >>posted here. No warranty, express or implied, is given with the posting
    >>of this message.
    >
    >
    > FS~
    >
    >

    There are free Registry utilities out there, and you can export the
    entire Registry from Regedit, if so desired.

    You can easily backup data files to CD-R or other media if you keep them
    all in one location.

    --
    The reader should exercise normal caution and backup the Registry and
    data files regularly, and especially before making any changes to their
    PC, as well as performing regular virus and spyware scans. I am not
    liable for problems or mishaps that occur from the reader using advice
    posted here. No warranty, express or implied, is given with the posting
    of this message.
  7. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

    "TK" <anonymous@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote:

    >i recently bought a 256 RAM, 3.06 GHz Dell Inspiron
    >notebook for my studies...but it has been running very
    >slowly since the beginning. i've installed Service Pack 2
    >and already have antivirus and spyware removal
    >software...maybe it's because im a novice at this and
    >don't know what the heck is going on, but is it normal
    >for XP to take this long to load? it also takes quite
    >amount of time to start up any programs, such as MS
    >Office and Internet Explore...maybe it's because of the
    >limited 256 MB RAM?

    The RAM is certainly out of scale with the processor speed, but
    shouldn't be so very bad. I wonder if there's a hardware issue. If
    processor cache is switched off, it will perform like an old 486.
    Worth asking Dell, I'd say.
    ----------------------------------------
    Aandi Inston quite@dial.pipex.com http://www.quite.com
    Please support usenet! Post replies and follow-ups, don't e-mail them.
  8. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

    On Fri, 14 Jan 2005 16:21:25 -0500, "Ted Zieglar" <teddyz@notmail.com>

    >Someone might want to clear the pre-fetch folder is if it contains a
    >reference to a virus or spyware. In that case you'd be following the
    >instructions from an antivirus or antispyware web site for manually removing
    >an infection

    As at Jan 2005, I know of no relevance of .PF files to malware. If
    the malware's there and integrated, it's going to run irrespective of
    whether there is a .PF for it or not. If the malware's gone, then the
    ..PF points to nothing and can do nothing.

    It's important to remember that .PF neither contain code, nor are they
    shortcuts that launch code (unlike .PIF, which are supposed to be
    shortcuts but will run as raw code too).

    >There are good reasons for clearing Temporary Internet Files, but speeding
    >up the computer isn't one of them. Windows works just as well whether the
    >TIF folder is empty or filled with files.

    I disagree entirely; duhfault huge TIF size allocations, repeated one
    per user account, fragments the file system when ancient tiny files
    are finally purged out on FIFO basis. Not only that, but even
    multiple cache dir branches will be long, fragmented, and particularly
    slow to traverse on FATxx (as that uses linear lookup).

    I'd set cache size to 20M, to 40M tops. Your 'net access is either
    too slow to fill that in a short enough time for the oldest cached
    material to be relevant, or it's fast enough not to need caching.

    >Of course, if you have so little free space on your hard disk that
    >the addition of Temporary Internet Files interferes with Windows'
    >ability to operate - for example, there's not enough space for a
    >sufficient paging file - then you either need to do serious
    >housekeeping or buy another hard disk.

    Or shrink the cache, duh. Like that material is soooo crucial, one
    just has to throw money at hardware to accomodate it?

    >As for reducing the length of time to select another operating system (the
    >default is 30 seconds): That only saves time if there is more than one
    >operating system on the computer.

    Or more than one mode of the same OS. Or if you aren't there to press
    Enter, in which case you prolly won't care about the 30-second
    delay... unless you're running unattended, and if you are, waiting for
    AutoChk to wade through one huge C: will take so long that the extra
    30 second delay won't seem so significant anymore :-)


    >---------------- ----- ---- --- -- - - - -
    Cats have 9 lives, which makes them
    ideal for experimentation!
    >---------------- ----- ---- --- -- - - - -
  9. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

    While you may be technically correct about traversing fragmented cache, I
    challenge anyone to measure the amount of time saved by clearing the cache.
    As for using FAT32 with XP...well, it's a free country, but the consensus is
    that most users would obtain greater benefit with NTFS.

    --
    Ted Zieglar


    "cquirke (MVP Win9x)" <cquirkenews@nospam.mvps.org> wrote in message
    news:7sptu0dsiojt732d4jnjhqvhm74q31esrg@4ax.com...
    > On Fri, 14 Jan 2005 16:21:25 -0500, "Ted Zieglar" <teddyz@notmail.com>
    >
    > >Someone might want to clear the pre-fetch folder is if it contains a
    > >reference to a virus or spyware. In that case you'd be following the
    > >instructions from an antivirus or antispyware web site for manually
    removing
    > >an infection
    >
    > As at Jan 2005, I know of no relevance of .PF files to malware. If
    > the malware's there and integrated, it's going to run irrespective of
    > whether there is a .PF for it or not. If the malware's gone, then the
    > .PF points to nothing and can do nothing.
    >
    > It's important to remember that .PF neither contain code, nor are they
    > shortcuts that launch code (unlike .PIF, which are supposed to be
    > shortcuts but will run as raw code too).
    >
    > >There are good reasons for clearing Temporary Internet Files, but
    speeding
    > >up the computer isn't one of them. Windows works just as well whether the
    > >TIF folder is empty or filled with files.
    >
    > I disagree entirely; duhfault huge TIF size allocations, repeated one
    > per user account, fragments the file system when ancient tiny files
    > are finally purged out on FIFO basis. Not only that, but even
    > multiple cache dir branches will be long, fragmented, and particularly
    > slow to traverse on FATxx (as that uses linear lookup).
    >
    > I'd set cache size to 20M, to 40M tops. Your 'net access is either
    > too slow to fill that in a short enough time for the oldest cached
    > material to be relevant, or it's fast enough not to need caching.
    >
    > >Of course, if you have so little free space on your hard disk that
    > >the addition of Temporary Internet Files interferes with Windows'
    > >ability to operate - for example, there's not enough space for a
    > >sufficient paging file - then you either need to do serious
    > >housekeeping or buy another hard disk.
    >
    > Or shrink the cache, duh. Like that material is soooo crucial, one
    > just has to throw money at hardware to accomodate it?
    >
    > >As for reducing the length of time to select another operating system
    (the
    > >default is 30 seconds): That only saves time if there is more than one
    > >operating system on the computer.
    >
    > Or more than one mode of the same OS. Or if you aren't there to press
    > Enter, in which case you prolly won't care about the 30-second
    > delay... unless you're running unattended, and if you are, waiting for
    > AutoChk to wade through one huge C: will take so long that the extra
    > 30 second delay won't seem so significant anymore :-)
    >
    >
    >
    > >---------------- ----- ---- --- -- - - - -
    > Cats have 9 lives, which makes them
    > ideal for experimentation!
    > >---------------- ----- ---- --- -- - - - -
  10. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

    Ted Zieglar wrote:
    > I challenge anyone to measure the amount of time saved by clearing the cache.
    >

    As I said in a previous post, I know of at least one application that is
    slowed down considerably if the temp internet cache files aren't cleared
    out on a frequent basis.

    --
    The reader should exercise normal caution and backup the Registry and
    data files regularly, and especially before making any changes to their
    PC, as well as performing regular virus and spyware scans. I am not
    liable for problems or mishaps that occur from the reader using advice
    posted here. No warranty, express or implied, is given with the posting
    of this message.
  11. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

    On Wed, 19 Jan 2005 18:21:40 -0500, "Ted Zieglar" <teddyz@notmail.com>

    >While you may be technically correct about traversing fragmented cache, I
    >challenge anyone to measure the amount of time saved by clearing the cache.

    Inasmuch as any head travel or file fragmentation is relevant to
    performance, so would be the impact of large wads of tiny late-purged
    files. The fragmentation effect would become most pronounced when the
    file system fills up, so that new files are created in gaps between
    user clusters instead of at the end.

    >As for using FAT32 with XP...well, it's a free country, but the consensus is
    >that most users would obtain greater benefit with NTFS.

    Well, we've had plenty of dubious consensuses in the past ;-)

    IMO, it's up to the particular useage and situation, when it comes to
    FAT32 vs. NTFS; what problems you want to manage, etc.


    >--------------- ----- ---- --- -- - - -
    Error Messages Are Your Friends
    >--------------- ----- ---- --- -- - - -
  12. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

    No need for us to rehash our respective well-made points. I'm just posting
    to point out to anyone else who might be reading that your sig - Error
    messages are your friend - is so true.

    Ted Zieglar

    "cquirke (MVP Win9x)" <cquirkenews@nospam.mvps.org> wrote in message
    news:da83v0114pcj8qat65qrfmj3ndu7q0d8hs@4ax.com...
    > On Wed, 19 Jan 2005 18:21:40 -0500, "Ted Zieglar" <teddyz@notmail.com>
    >
    >>While you may be technically correct about traversing fragmented cache, I
    >>challenge anyone to measure the amount of time saved by clearing the
    >>cache.
    >
    > Inasmuch as any head travel or file fragmentation is relevant to
    > performance, so would be the impact of large wads of tiny late-purged
    > files. The fragmentation effect would become most pronounced when the
    > file system fills up, so that new files are created in gaps between
    > user clusters instead of at the end.
    >
    >>As for using FAT32 with XP...well, it's a free country, but the consensus
    >>is
    >>that most users would obtain greater benefit with NTFS.
    >
    > Well, we've had plenty of dubious consensuses in the past ;-)
    >
    > IMO, it's up to the particular useage and situation, when it comes to
    > FAT32 vs. NTFS; what problems you want to manage, etc.
    >
    >
    >>--------------- ----- ---- --- -- - - -
    > Error Messages Are Your Friends
    >>--------------- ----- ---- --- -- - - -
  13. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

    Another thing to consider is that Dell, HP, etc. load a whole bunch of
    utilities, trial software, etc. on the PC. I've seen quite a few new laptops
    that are slow loaders (IMHO) mainly due to these "extras". I often wind up
    disabling them in the interest of speed.

    "Aandi Inston" wrote:

    > "TK" <anonymous@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote:
    >
    > >i recently bought a 256 RAM, 3.06 GHz Dell Inspiron
    > >notebook for my studies...but it has been running very
    > >slowly since the beginning. i've installed Service Pack 2
    > >and already have antivirus and spyware removal
    > >software...maybe it's because im a novice at this and
    > >don't know what the heck is going on, but is it normal
    > >for XP to take this long to load? it also takes quite
    > >amount of time to start up any programs, such as MS
    > >Office and Internet Explore...maybe it's because of the
    > >limited 256 MB RAM?
    >
    > The RAM is certainly out of scale with the processor speed, but
    > shouldn't be so very bad. I wonder if there's a hardware issue. If
    > processor cache is switched off, it will perform like an old 486.
    > Worth asking Dell, I'd say.
    > ----------------------------------------
    > Aandi Inston quite@dial.pipex.com http://www.quite.com
    > Please support usenet! Post replies and follow-ups, don't e-mail them.
    >
    >
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