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What is the life of a pc

Last response: in Windows XP
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May 16, 2012 1:59:12 AM

Hello, I have a Dell Dimension 5100 for about 7 yrs now. It is starting to get very slow all of a sudden this yd othear. It had almost the best configuration I could get at that time so that I could work on Adobe Creative Suite. Photoshop etc..
Lately I think because of all the upgrading of software for windows and other software. It has become very slow. The system is not coping well with upgrades. Suddenly the Mozilla is slow, Outlook 2003 is slow, and even MS Word. I would like to get back to my old windows version before the last upgrade, I think all the upgrading has slow down my system. Any ideas to help my system speed up abit. Much appreciated.

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May 16, 2012 4:37:22 AM

first backup any data you want to keep, then to a factory restore to make it exactly like you first got the computer. Usually you are given the option to do that during bootup BEFORE the windows screen appears.

honestly though if the computer has lasted 7 years you have gotten your money's worth. You should consider a new computer :) 
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May 16, 2012 12:15:14 PM

Also, check your disk space. Once the boot drive gets over 80% full it tends to slow down. The less disk space you have, the less space their is for the page file to grow.

Delete unecessary programs, run disk cleanup, and defrag your hard drive.
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May 16, 2012 1:32:09 PM

would agree with all of the above just want to add in answer to you Q the life of a PC
is a bit like Triger and his broom
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbha4XclSMU(in case yo dont know what i mean)
A Low range PC without any hardware upgrade work = 2-4 Years
A mid range pc without any hardware upgrade work = 3-5 Years
A High End PC without any hardware upgrade work = 4-7 Years
if you are talking high end users and gamers you can take 50% off all of them
and IMO Intel's burn out a year quicker then AMD's and the more rpm you have on the HDD the faster they slowdown over time
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May 16, 2012 3:51:08 PM

mrfatbox said:
IMO Intel's burn out a year quicker then AMD's and the more rpm you have on the HDD the faster they slowdown over time


In my 20 years of working with computers, I have never had either an Intel or AMD "burn out" or a hard disk physically slow down over time. Hard disks do fail though because they have moving mechanical parts. The slow down the OP describes is very common with windows systems.
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May 16, 2012 6:22:20 PM

From my experience a 3-5 year upgrade timeline is not unreasonable. Other than it being slow from software updates over the years that require more of your PC's precious resources, you do have to worry about mechanical failure as nhasian pointed out (New Hampshire Asian?, you can find me straddling the VT border). After about 3 years your HDD is entering the danger zone for random catastrophic failure, after 5 years of regular use your hard drive is a ticking time bomb ready to explode at any minute (Not literally probably more like PffFFt, tick tick tick....).

So it gets comparatively slow overtime, until it becomes unusably / unreasonably slow, or a mechanical part fails.
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May 17, 2012 9:15:32 AM

by "burn out" i just ment it will need replacing or upgrading
and slowdown was a bad choise of words on my part what i was tring to say was that i find the dip in proformance grater on higher rpm drives then the lower ones over time as to weather this is down to mechanical parts, data stored on the disk or bad sectors i could not say and i am not saying that it is not revirsable as a good format can normaly restore a pc back to good health unless the problem is the physical drive.
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May 17, 2012 11:27:18 AM

Yeah, over time programs and applications tends to require more processing power because they include additional features which themselves require more processing power.

My old IBM ThinkPad from 2003 with a single core Pentium M @ 1.5GHz was great for multi-tasking like flipping between Excel and FireFox and some other programs. However, nowadays it tends to lag a bit with FireFox since there is so much "bloatware" on the internet. There's lots of java codes running in the background and just about every single ad uses Adobe Flash, there seems to be more ads than ever before and Adobe Flash itself has become more resource demanding as well.

A fresh install of Windows XP can help with a bloated Registry and DLL libraries that may no be necessary, but still take up resources. While a fresh install will likely not make your PC as fast as when it was new (due to more recent apps needing more resources), but it should run a little better than it does now.
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May 24, 2012 12:27:02 AM

Thanks all for your comments and great ideas. I will give it all a go. Do some rescue work. It has been the star computer in the house all these years. Now I will try and give a year or two more of life to it. Now with all the upgrades I am more weary and hope it doesn't upset a current well working machine. Sounds like my faithful pc had a pretty long hard working life. I am thankful for it. In the mean time a new HP 15" Ultra book has entered my life and bringing some speed on the road again. cheers.
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May 24, 2012 12:28:21 AM

Best answer selected by gen32lee.
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May 24, 2012 12:34:27 AM

wanamingo said:
From my experience a 3-5 year upgrade timeline is not unreasonable. Other than it being slow from software updates over the years that require more of your PC's precious resources, you do have to worry about mechanical failure as nhasian pointed out (New Hampshire Asian?, you can find me straddling the VT border). After about 3 years your HDD is entering the danger zone for random catastrophic failure, after 5 years of regular use your hard drive is a ticking time bomb ready to explode at any minute (Not literally probably more like PffFFt, tick tick tick....).

So it gets comparatively slow overtime, until it becomes unusably / unreasonably slow, or a mechanical part fails.



I am glad my ticking time bomb hasn't gone off yet. Ouch it would have hurt. tks.
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