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Slow parents computer

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September 22, 2011 2:17:15 AM

My parents desktop suddenly became really slow over the summer, freezes a lot, and the keyboard stops working once in a while(that might just be the keyboard). I was certain it was a virus because it was acting the same as before (when it had a virus) and they had not bothered to update the virus protection. After re-installing Windows 7, nothing changed. Is it worth just buying a new desktop? I'm a complete beginner at computer repair. Any opinion is helpful other than "get a Mac."

Specs: Core 2 duo 2.53GHz
3 GB ram
Windows 7 64 bit
250 GB hard drive
Purchased in 2007




More about : slow parents computer

September 23, 2011 2:19:07 AM

This topic has been moved from the section Opinions and Experiences to section Systems by Buwish
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September 23, 2011 2:24:02 AM

Your system is still plenty powerful for everyday tasks such as surfing and media playback. Maybe you have alot of junk loading at startup. Do you know how to use msconfig to disable startup items? It might be beneficial to see what junk is being loaded and disable all that stuff.
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September 23, 2011 2:35:38 AM

As well as following Abekl's advice, they need, medically, urgently absolutely NEED 4gb of ram on a 64bit O/s
Moto
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September 23, 2011 2:44:15 AM

^ Concur
Also:
(1) download, install and run CCLeaner (on the left side select the Registry).
(2) upgrade the ram to 4 gigs. I'm guessing but you probably have a 1 gig stick and a 2 gig stick and are running your DDR2 in single channel mode, not dual channel. This is not as diff as it seems. Down load Cpuid cpu-z. install and run it. At the top there are two tabs one labled Memory (Tells what the memory is running at) and SPD which tells you the memory part number and other settings that the memory will run at. (Note: left top there is a pull down menu to select which memory slot is being shown)

CCleaner: http://www.piriform.com/CCLEANER
CPU-Z: http://download.cnet.com/CPU-Z/3000-2086_4-10050423.htm...
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September 23, 2011 3:54:46 AM

When the system slows down is the hard drive led blinking alot? It could be wanting more RAM or it could be a hard drive issue. Even though it would be nice for you to have 4GB running in dual channel you really should be able to get by with 3GB as long as you don't have too much stuff running in the background. Also, when you reinstalled Windows 7 did you format the drive? If not then you really should backup the information, reinstall win7 choosing to format the drive, install and update your system, update your antivirus, and then add their personal files back. If the virus is in their personal files then copying them back before updating the system and the antivirus would just reintroduce it :p 
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September 23, 2011 12:12:32 PM

Check the hard drive speed with a benchmark utitlity like hd tune.

maybe they would benefit from a new hard drive. you can get new ones as cheap as $35 if you look around a bit.

if the hard drive does not help then you can always use it on the new computer.

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September 23, 2011 12:53:40 PM

Your system specs are fine you should have a fast computer there, you don't need more memory. The fact that it is still very slow after a clean install would make me suspect that the hard drive is on its way out. Try downloading and running the manufacturer of your hard drive diagnostic utility from their web site.
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September 23, 2011 1:38:30 PM

@ pjmelect. Agree you are spot on that his problem is not memory.
It is either the Hard drive either going bad (developing bad sectors), posibly too full and windows can not defrag the drive, or problem with Registry/software. Probably the best solution would be to (1) check the drive for bad sectors, (2) if drive is 80% full, buy a larger HDD and (3) If cleaning the registry does not help then more drastic - reinstall the operating system and programs.

My point on memory was AFTER problem is resolved, changing the memory to daul channel from single channel, which would require going to 4 gigs (Recommend even if operating system is 32 bit and he loses a 1/2 Gig do to 32 bit limitation).
My laptop came with a single 4 gig module and ran in single channel mode, adding the 2nd 4 gig module provided a boost in performance of the memory. Performance boost was not due to adding more memory, but from going from single -> dual. Also memory is on the cheap side right now.
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September 24, 2011 1:13:34 AM

buwish said:
This topic has been moved from the section Opinions and Experiences to section Systems by Buwish

Thank-you, I didn't know where to post it.
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October 15, 2011 3:35:37 PM

RetiredChief said:
@ pjmelect. Agree you are spot on that his problem is not memory.
It is either the Hard drive either going bad (developing bad sectors), posibly too full and windows can not defrag the drive, or problem with Registry/software. Probably the best solution would be to (1) check the drive for bad sectors, (2) if drive is 80% full, buy a larger HDD and (3) If cleaning the registry does not help then more drastic - reinstall the operating system and programs.

My point on memory was AFTER problem is resolved, changing the memory to daul channel from single channel, which would require going to 4 gigs (Recommend even if operating system is 32 bit and he loses a 1/2 Gig do to 32 bit limitation).
My laptop came with a single 4 gig module and ran in single channel mode, adding the 2nd 4 gig module provided a boost in performance of the memory. Performance boost was not due to adding more memory, but from going from single -> dual. Also memory is on the cheap side right now.



hi retired chief

you really noticed a difference in performance based on ram speed? and single vs dual channel?
no matter what i do with ram the computer does not seem to notice much of a difference
single channel or dual channel 1333 or 1600
I have also seen others say the same thing
that memory speed is a very small part of the whole picture for performance.

for me it seems to be this way in order of importance
#1 hard drive (get an ssd)
#2 processor i5 is nice
#3 quality of OS install and programs installed, age of OS install
#4 memory speed or even increasing the size above 3 or 4gb maybe in last place
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October 15, 2011 10:12:58 PM

just build a new one for $450...everyone's happy

Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1MiD
Part price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1MiD/by_merchant

CPU: Intel Pentium G620 2.6GHz Dual-Core Processor ($72.88 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H61M-VS Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($53.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($24.99 @ Amazon)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 64GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 310 ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Antec 430W ATX12V Power Supply ($42.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($18.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $458.81

or if you dont care for the SSD and prefer more HDD space...i'd go with the SSD option above though (no more slowness EVER), i doubt youre parents have thousands of videos on their PC

Part list permalink: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1Mji
Part price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1Mji/by_merchant

CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor ($119.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock H61M-VS Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($53.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($24.99 @ Amazon)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($58.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 310 ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Antec 430W ATX12V Power Supply ($42.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($18.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $454.92

dont get a mac...if your parents are getting viruses, then it's not windows' fault, they just need to learn common sense precautions...ask them not to click on suspicious links and install MSE
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October 17, 2011 12:33:05 AM

Hi,

Suggest before you do anything major, try to get a few objective measurements to see if your system really is slow. There are plenty of free benchmark programs that you can download. there are many sites with lists of benchmark results. If you find that your processor is slow then there could be overheating issues. If you find the memory is slow then your bios settings could be messed up. If the disk is slower than it should be after a FRESH install of win7 then the disk could be failing. If the PC is just slow after a fresh load of windows then it could jsut be all the background stuff like downloading fixes, etc.

In any case, get a free anti-virus like MICROSOFT SECURITY ESSENTIALS (google it) and install. No way your parents should be surfing without protection.
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November 3, 2011 2:08:05 AM

You reloaded windows and 3GB RAM is fine (I ran Windows 7 64bit Action Pack ver) on 2GB for a year with no slowing problems. Back up your info and run a HDD test on your drive, I'd bet $100 it's going out and has bad sectors or blocks. Clone your drive to a good drive ASAP. It's better to be safe than sorry, if your drive fails all your info's gone for good. Backup your files while you can!
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!