I am NOT an advanced computer user so excuse any stupidity please. I am trying to hang onto my old HP Pavillion A747C for another year. It is allocated to my kids and their various homework. It is SO slow that I am wondering if I can hide my OS and Applications behind a partition and then format the C drive to clean off all the garbage it has accumulated?
You may be able to try something less risky and more beneficial.
It is possible to 'un-install' much of what you have accumulated over the years.
Please look for, and click these places, in this order: Start>Control Panel>Add or Remove Programs
A list will show up in a few moments that shows almost everything that has been installed in that computer. Look at the various programs and determine the one's you are no longer interested in. There is a "Remove" button that will appear for each one as they are clicked.
Please do not remove items like;
Microsoft .Net Framework,
anything starting with the word "Hotfix",
Windows XP - Software Updates (assuming it runs XP)
or other things you may know are important, such as your printer driver.
These are important items that are needed to operate the computer properly.
Most programs will display an icon from the program and maybe a short description of what the program is.
If you see things you haven't used for years, and no longer want, click the remove button and they will be deleted properly.
This can be a time-consuming venture but the results are well worth it.
When you have completed "cleaning house" it is highly advisable to de-fragment the hard drive.
To de-frag the drive, double-click "My Computer" then right-click on the hard drive, (usually "C:") and then select "Properties". When that windows appears, click the "Tools" tab at the top of the window and then the "Defrag now" button. You will then have 2 buttons you can choose from, one to analyze the drive and the other to start the defrag process. The progress of the De-frag action can be seen at the bottom, left corner of the window. Remember, patience is a virtue here, (this can take considerable time to finish, make a pot of coffee and expect to drink it all before it is finished).
There are other things that can be done to improve the computer's performance, such a running a Registry cleaner/de-frag program, choosing a more conservative appearance scheme, and just a few more. What is showing above is probably a good start and you can come back with questions on these other items to "fine-tune" your aging machine to extract all the performance it may have been lacking all these years. If your computer is using Windows XP, I invite you to visit the XP forum in the future, or the forum that is specialized in your operating system. We have a forum for all Microsoft operating systems, except Windows 3.x
Do return and let us know that you were able to accomplish these things without problems, or if there were problems, what they were and we can help with them too.
Under the 'cleaner' menu, check every box under the 'windows' and 'applications' tabs. This will do a thorough cleaning of the system. It will take a significant amount of time (most is wiping the free space), but is well worth it. When done, there is a registry cleaner menu, that can resolve all kinds of errors. You may need to run it several times to resolve all the issues. Then do a disk cleanup, and defrag. With those, that should increase the speed noticeably.