My three year old laptop has started to decrease in performance significantly recently. When I first got the PC, it ran fast and smooth to me. I didn't have to change my Windows appearance theme to the boring standard to have it run faster, and I didn't have to change my desktop background to some plain, single color. I don't remember what the physical memory usage was when I first got it, but it certaintly wasn't 40% or higher, which is what it is at right now. Overall, I feel my computer has just slowed greatly performing tasks, running programs, surfing the web, and just booting up.
I do frequently disk degragment, use disk cleaner, use CCleaner, and run virus scans. I have gone into "msconfig" through run and deleted useless programs which startup during the boot, such as iTunes or DivX, etc. I have also turned off the Windows search feature/indexing so that my computer can run even faster. And yet, I feel that computer is still really slow.
Normally, when I boot up my computer, the number of processes is at 70 or more, and the CPU usage is extremely high for the first 10 minutes or so. When I play online games like MapleStory, the CPU usage sky rockets to 60% or higher. It was never like this when I first got my laptop. So can someone explain to me what has happened to my laptop?!
Also, I don't wish to upgrade any hardware on my computer.
Operating System: Windows Vista™ Home Basic (6.0, Build 6002) Service Pack 2 (6002.vistasp2_gdr.100608-0458)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: Dell Inc.
System Model: Inspiron 1525
BIOS: Phoenix ROM BIOS PLUS Version 1.10 A13
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU T5750 @ 2.00GHz (2 CPUs), ~2.0GHz
Memory: 3062MB RAM (basically 3 GB)
Page File: 1483MB used, 4841MB available
Windows Dir: C:\Windows
DirectX Version: DirectX 11
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
DxDiag Version: 7.00.6002.18107 32bit Unicode
You seem to be using a lot of swap file - 1.5GB when you have 3GB RAM. That's not right; no wonder your system is running slow if it's having to use the swap file. Some program is using a lot of memory. Use Task Manager to check which one it is.
Best way to speed up a system without upgrading hardware, re-install Windows.
Over the years I'm sure you installed, uninstalled tons of software, utilities, crapware, etc... Another issue you may be seeing, the video card. Newer games are more demanding, yet your laptop video card will not get any faster to keep up with the games.
Install Windows fresh, get new drivers, intall one anti-virus program, the software you need, laptop will be good as new again.