Getting a computer to run like brand new again?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by CaptSaltyJack, Dec 16, 2006.

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  1. CaptSaltyJack

    CaptSaltyJack Registered Member

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    It's a given that after a while, a computer (in this case I'm talking about WinXP) starts to run more slowly than it used to. My machine at work for instance.. when it was freshly reformatted, it was pretty quick. Even after installing some stuff and working on it, it was fine. Now, after about 3 years and no reformat, it's pretty damn sluggish.

    My question is, what it is exactly that starts to slow a machine down like that? And is there software I can run, without reformatting, to fix things up so it runs fast again like it used to?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,

    You can defrag the hard disk.
    Delete temporary files and caches.

    More dangerous stuff:
    Defragment the registry and pagefile.
    Uninstall programs.
    Slim down on the startup processes.
    Disable unneeded services.

    Mrk
     
  3. Blackcat

    Blackcat Registered Member

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    Not surprised after this length of time. This is a common characteristic of Windows OS's.
    Installing new programs/ incomplete uninstalls do not help. This leads to an increase in background running programs, more defragmentation and an increase in Registry size. Hence, an increase in memory/CPU usage is also generally seen.

    Some tips to improve the speed of your computer;

    1. Increase your RAM to at least 512 MB RAM, 1 GB being even better with XP.

    2. Remove any unnecessary or unused programs from the Add/Remove Programs section of the Control Panel. Then use a good registry/general program cleaner.

    3. Use a good Registry Cleaner, such as JV16 Power Tools 2006 or RegSupreme. Make sure you accept making a backup of the registry with either of these programs.

    4. Use a good General Cleaner program such as CrapCleaner to remove any old files.

    5. Make sure your system is free from adware/spyware/trojans.

    6. Use a Startup manager such as CodeStuff's Starter, to disable any programs that do not need to run at startup.

    7. Disable Indexing services which disables file indexing on your hard drive.

    8. If you have not cleaned out the Prefetch folder recently, empty it.

    9. My Computer>Properties>Advanced>Performance; adjust where necessary.

    10. Remove unused Fonts; Control Panel> "Fonts" icon. You can delete the fonts you don't use here. More than 500 is probably too many.

    11. Switch to a lightweight AV in real time such as NOD/Dr Web/AntiVir/AVG.

    12. Use a good trial Defragmenter such as PerfectDisk, Ultimate Defrag, Vopt XP.

    Ultimately, to get back to the speed you initially had on your system, you will need to reformat. But next time use an Imaging Program such as Acronis True Image or a good rollback program such as FirstDefense after the format so you can quickly revert back to the original state.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2006
  4. nigglesnush85

    nigglesnush85 Registered Member

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  5. King FN Kong

    King FN Kong Registered Member

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    Lets not forget that when you install updates of several softwares, they tend to require more resources compared to the previous versions.

    best thing to do now would probably to reformat, and once you have a tweaked and optimized setup, take an image of the drive. so the next time the machine feels sluggish again, just restore that image, that way you wont have to go through all the installations again.

    good luck.
     
  6. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    also i would suggest replacing stuff like adobe reader with foxit reader its alot lighter and you dont get the annoying updater.
    heres the link http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/rd_intro.php
    theres also lighter versions of quicktime and realplayer.
    lodore
     
  7. CaptSaltyJack

    CaptSaltyJack Registered Member

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    Yeah, I already use PerfectDisk, and have 2GB RAM, and uninstall stuff I don't need. I also now use Sandboxie to try apps out so they don't leave a mess behind when I'm done with it, though as you know, not all apps like being installed via Sandboxie.

    Thanks for the suggestions on the other cleaning software. I will definitely install CrapCleaner, and well.. I tried out the JV16 PowerTools.. no thanks. What a CPU hog. Why not just use CrapCleaner, which is not only free, but also doesn't run like I'm on a Pentium II?
     
  8. CaptSaltyJack

    CaptSaltyJack Registered Member

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    I would not spend $80 to get both of those.. seems a little excessive. Maybe $40 on ONE of them. Which would you pick?
     
  9. Blackcat

    Blackcat Registered Member

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    Not sure why you found JV16 a resource hog; most of my registry cleans take less than a minute with this program. But if you have not used a registry cleaner for awhile it will take time. Did you try the Advanced option shown?

    IME, CrapCleaner is great at finding and deleting old files etc but the Registry/Issues scanner can be quite aggressive and you need to take a backup of your registry before making any deletions.
     

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  10. CaptSaltyJack

    CaptSaltyJack Registered Member

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    I installed and ran JV16 sandboxed.. that might be why.
     
  11. nigglesnush85

    nigglesnush85 Registered Member

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    I would pick winxp manager myself, they both come in 30 day trial versions. try both then choose which one suits your needs.
     
  12. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    There is maintenance stuff you can do along the way, but I find that after a couple years you'll just want to reformat regardless. The other thing to keep in mind is that programmers progressively code their applications for newer hardware, so at some point you'll just need to upgrade to keep up. In the meantime I do also use CCleaner for temp files, JV16 Power Tools for registry cleaning and other misc operations, PerfecDisk for defragging, and finally after some time you might run the system file checker (pop the Windows CD in the drive then run "sfc /scannow", without quotes). SFC will find missing or modifed system files and replace them with a new copy. You should also keep up to date with driver updates and such, as these can help as well. After a couple years, though, you can benefit a lot from formatting, as it will always do more than all the others combined, which can ultimately take longer than just formatting.
     
  13. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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    You can keep a computer running smooth with the right cleaning process.
    I use Ace Utilities to clean junk files and the registry,also flush browser caches regularly.Clear the index.dat files with Index.dat Suite weekly.I rarely need to defrag and I haven't reformatted in the 3 + years that I have used this computer.
    That's what works for me anyway.:)
     
  14. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    I'd be willing to bet you that if you formatted you would notice a difference. With the right maintenance, it can happen so slowly that you don't notice it until you format. Most people that I know, myself included, used to think the same for quite a while.
     
  15. GroomLake

    GroomLake Registered Member

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    I have none of these problems running WIN98/SE.
     
  16. twl845

    twl845 Registered Member

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    I recommend doing everything Blackcat suggested. I use the cheaper JV16 called Reg Supreme Pro. (same company) I like to think I keep my pc in a healthy state. However yesterday I installed Diskeeper 2007 on what Windows said is a defragged pc. It found roughly 10,000 fragmented files and my already speedy pc is running faster and more efficiently.(I would say) :D
     
  17. CaptSaltyJack

    CaptSaltyJack Registered Member

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    PerfectDisk does a better job than DiskKeeper.. just my opinion :)
     
  18. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    we will soon see..
    i gonna try Perfectdisk 8 soon.
    to compare it to diskeeper.
    they answered my questions really fast.
    lodore
     
  19. twl845

    twl845 Registered Member

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    Captsaltyjack - I flipped a coin and DK won, just because I like the idea of it running in the background defragging on the go. I have 18 GB used space, and it didn't take long for DK to settle down after the initial defrag. It's $10 cheaper too although I'm on the trial now. :)
     
  20. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    ok diskeeper may defrag on the fly but there is a reason perfectdisk doesnt.
    and heres why.
    diskeeper defrags the files but then doesnt defrag the free space so when a new file is created there is no space for it so it refragments.

    on the other hand perfectdisk defrags the files then defrags the free space the file goes in one space delaying the refragment process so it doesnt need to defrag as often.
    so perfectdisk seems better.
    and perfectdisk is cheaper.
    lodore
     
  21. twl845

    twl845 Registered Member

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    Lodore - The price I found for Perfectdisk is $39, and unless I read it wrong DK is $29. I'll look again.
     
  22. twl845

    twl845 Registered Member

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    Yup, DK 2007 is $29.95 and PD pro is $39.99. Any way, like I said, I'm using the DK trial. Please keep us posted if you go to Perfectdisk pro. I would like to finally settle on the best of the two. Thanks for your response. :)
     
  23. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    i would say get diskeeper!
    im trying perfectdisk atm and its so slow. its getting faster thou.
    its meant to do it all in one pass faster and with less resourses that others.
    they both good its what ever works for you really.
    atm i prefer diskeeper.
    sure perfectdisk have a good case when you read about it but if it is really slow ill keep diskeeper.
    lodore
     
  24. Rico

    Rico Registered Member

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    Hi Guys,

    I think CaptSaltyJack should also boot from his XP disk & choose "R" for repair & run: CHKDSK /R. I'll bet it finds & fixes errors!

    Take Care
    Rico
     
  25. CaptSaltyJack

    CaptSaltyJack Registered Member

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    Haha..man, my computer isn't THAT messed up :) I have no HD errors. I do run "chkdsk /f" once in a while.
     
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