How would you restore performance?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Luxeon, Jun 19, 2009.

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  1. Luxeon

    Luxeon Registered Member

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    I have a spare computer which I purchased around 2002: XP SP3 (I think), 40gig hard drive, I believe a 1.7ghz pentium chip (not near the computer at this time to verify) and 1gig of RAM (max allowable).

    The HD is about 3/4 full, mostly pictures (I will delete them because they are backed up on the new computer and other areas), though I still have some unused programs hanging around.

    The issue is that the computer will only be used for some surfing and handling some pretty small documents (Word, some Powerpoint, maybe some e-mail)...and it has become somewhat slow.
    I do believe that the system is clean, as I have been very cautious with my surfing and download habits, and used excellent security programs.

    To remedy the sluggishness (which is probably secondary to bloat), I am considering wiping the disk and going with a clean install with just the OS and a few other items. I still have all of the disks, but I dread doing a full re-format, as I havent done one in about 7 years.

    Is there any way to restore performance without a full reinstall, or should I just bite the bullet and go for it? Is there any way to reformat and avoid having the huge Microsoft updates that will occur (because my OS software is pretty old)?
     
  2. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    I would go for the old full format and reinstall of the OS. It really only takes a few hours, and that's the best way to get it clean and quick again IMO.
     
  3. andyman35

    andyman35 Registered Member

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  4. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    This is excellent advice. However, since you are tenative already at a regular format, this might be a little much for you.

    You might just go to RyanVm, get siginet's integrator, and get XP sp2 or sp3, depending on which you like. You can use Siginets integrator to 'slipstream' sp2/sp3 into an xp image, and it will spit out a .iso you can then burn. This burned cd then will be a default XP setup cd, except it will be to current service pack 2/3 depending which you chose. You can also just google up 'slipstream sp2/sp3' and get instructions, but Siginets tools is pretty easy because it makes an .iso for you.

    But by far, a fresh format will restore speed like no other method I have ever tried.

    Sul.
     
  5. andyman35

    andyman35 Registered Member

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    Yeah nothing will improve performance to anything like the same degree as a fresh installation.
     
  6. Luxeon

    Luxeon Registered Member

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    Wow, excellent info, thanks a million!

    Bob
     
  7. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    Delete all programs you never use, run ccleaner to clean registry etc, run a scandisk (with boxes to fix errors checked) on your c: drive. and do a full defrag (ultimate defrag has a free version).

    Make sure your hard drive is setup as ultradma, sometimes it gets reset as PIO and it will slow down your computer.

    Get rid of any antispyware software (slow down your internet) instead use returnil (it speeds up your computer "runs from memory" and protects your pc)

    Reformat is only needed if nothing else fixes your problem. I use my computers for 2 -3 years and never reinstall windows, if it slowsdown I can usually find the culprit and fix it.

    Worst case scenario, your hardware might be slowing you down. And a windows reinstallation won't fix that either.
     
  8. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    Now don't get me wrong, I am NOT having attitude. What you suggest cannot even come close to what a re-format and fresh install will do. It is not physically possible, largely due to the registry being, shall we say, dirty with fragments of entries that no longer should even exist. One of the downfalls of using a database for such things. I would say that if there were a really great registry compaction/cleaner, that did not EVER bork the registry, your method might be just what is needed to attain the best performance.

    I do agree with your advice to help fix issues with slowdown, but certainly it cannot compare to a fresh install.

    To each his own. All I can say is I have installed windows starting at 3.11 all the way through 7, and one thing is certain, that fresh out-of-the-box feeling of speed is addictive. I re-format all the time, or at least use images many times a year. lol, because nothing else makes it feel as fast and when you futz with the guts of the OS as much as I do, you can't expect that pristine feeling for long. Although vmWare has certainly lessened my need to reinstall to a great degree.

    Sul.
     
  9. trismegistos

    trismegistos Registered Member

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    I have to agree, RAM overlay is always faster than a spinning drive.
    If all writes will go to RAM, all malwares will be gone when the power is gone.

    Regarding registry build up, nothing that a crapcleaner with its built in registry cleaner and the registry compactor(ERUNT) can't do. And I do the installing of softwares via an oldversion(freeware) of Total Uninstall. Never had reinstallation of windows and applications ever since I have my images to restore to. Reinstallation is a timewaster for me when you can restore in an instant. With a virtualizer or a RAM overlay, you have a speedy system whether from a clean install or a gamut of softwares installed.

    But I do agree to do a full reinstall in the OP's case, registry build up is not only the case of the sluggishness but all those pagefiles, hidden metadata, ADS and thumbnail caching(NTFS journalling), system restore points, etc. Google on how to reduce the journalling features of NTFS.

    Blackviper's supertweaks can help you tweak for a faster OS. If you have a bigger Ram, you can disable paging of files(remember, RAM is always faster than the spinning drive mantra). Disable system restore(space waster and ineffective) and make use of imaging back ups instead.

    Use of NLITE is good to slim down windows as well as to slipstream.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2009
  10. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    The problems with registry 'cleaners' is the risk of borking your registry.

    You hit the nail on the head, imaging is where it is at. Way faster than install. But you achieve the same thing more or less.

    To the OP, you might save yourself some hassle in the future by learning how to make images. If you do reinstall the OS, it is a perfect time to make an image. A nice, clean, fresh, pristine image.

    Sul.
     
  11. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Registered Member

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    I'm the same....I used to be a fan of formatting/reinstalling all the time....but that was back in the Win9X days. Since Win2K days...the OS can stay pretty darned healthy. I'd rather spend time in the real world, not hunkered over my PC all the time formatting every several months. I'm anal as anal can be about my rigs running 110% all the time...and my current rig is going on 5 years now, it's still brutally fast and snappy.

    Hit add/remove programs...yank all unnecessary stuff that has accumulated over the years. Don't forget all those browser toolbars that many people seem to accumlate, and stuff that loads in the systray.

    Run a good temp file cleaner.

    Run some good anti-malware scanners/removers.

    Run a checkdisk

    Run a disk defrag in safe mode.

    I've rarely found registry cleaners to do much as far as performance....they end up saving a tiiiiiiny amount of space in the registry..whoop de doo. Dead links in the registry are usually harmless.

    And add another gig of RAM. 1 gig is marginal these days. With Windows having more overhead these days than it originally did, and with antivirus software being a bit more aggressive these days....yes it will naturally feel slower than it did several years ago.

    Also consider a new faster hard drive with more cache..they're so dirt cheap these days too.
     
  12. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    To the OP:

    If you're not going to do a full reinstall, you may want to run Hijackthis.
    Maybe some things are running without your knowledge. Just be careful about what you remove. And using the software panel is usually better, if possible.

    And removing the browser history and any temporary files, running Windows' defrag utility could also help.

    It's amazing how many people collect all sorts of junk on their computers, like toolbars, 'free' programs, etc.

    Could the size of index.dat files (they grow) also contribute to sluggishness ? If so, you might want to deal with them. CCleaner cleans some stuff, but I don't remember how to remove ALL index.dat files. But there has been some recent discussion on this forum about how to locate and remove those. 'search' is your friend.
     
  13. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    lol, if I had to reinstall from a normal cd, I don't think I could stand it. I have spent years now building my unattended dvd. I put it in, wait till the format screen comes up, format, then walk away. In about 20 minutes I am up and running with everything installed except Avira, which I usually download the latest version. I am probably as anal as you. If I know I will be reformatting, I will grab new versions of browsers, avira, rivatuner, speedfan, anything that I might want an updated version for and create new install scripts. I house these on a file server. My current dvd now looks to the file server for my new install scripts, and if it finds one it installs the newest. I sometimes just use /quiet install command lines if I am lazy. Bottom line is, if for some reason I don't want to use my images, I can be back up to my typical install in a small amount of time, ready to tear into the OS and screw it up again. Without that unattended part, blah, I would only ever use images and dread re-installing. Too much work on a regular basis that way.

    I do agree with the NT kernel providing a longer term OS in terms of usability. However, I cannot fathom how you could keep any MS OS from getting wierd if you mess with it like I do. I don't remember the last time 6 months went by that I had not tweaked too hard, and something broke. lol, or multiple things. I dunno, something about reg hacking and file manipulation, command line tools, scripts and softwares that appeal to me to find out 'what happens if I did this' or 'I wonder how that really works'.

    Sul.
     
  14. Luxeon

    Luxeon Registered Member

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    More excellent info.

    LOL! just thought of something: In the movie Finding Nemo (my kid loves that movie), there is a part where Marlin says something like "your speaking but I don't know what you are saying!" Some of the discussion here is well above my head, but I still learn something new.

    I am honestly considering replacing the HD because I can get a larger and faster one for a very reasonable price.

    I read somewhere that the version XP which comes with Dells somehow will not allow re installation on another computer (or HD). That seems pretty odd because I have all of the original CDs and product codes.
    My HD is a Western Digital WD400BB, which is pretty low on performance, I guess, with 2MB cache.
    For about $36 I can get a WD with 8MB cache...not bad.

    I have employed some of Blackviper's tweaks, and they were pretty effective.
    I will first try to re-optimize the system, and if that doesn't work, I'll consider a re-format (or a completely new HD).
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2009
  15. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Registered Member

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    Many years ago I used to do all those tweaks, fiddle with the OS, etc etc.
    After a while you get done with all that, it's out of your system. It got tiring for me to rebuild, tweak, break, fix, rebuild, (repeat cycle).

    I'm a computer consultant (SMB) for a living, I fix computers all the time, the last thing I want to do when I get home is go rebuild/fix my own....more important things in the real world call...family, boat, summer, beach, cookouts, etc.
     
  16. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Registered Member

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    Can usually clone to a new drive no problem, using cloning software that comes from the new drivers manufacturer, or other 3rd party like TI, Ghost, Paragon, DriveImage, etc.

    Yeah you'd see a nice boost in performance there.

    Whenever doing tweaking of services like Vipers...make sure you document exactly what you do, that way if something breaks...you can undo.

    My only tweaks I ever do to XP...flip to classic/performance desktop theme, and run the Speedguide.Net TCP Optimizer.
     
  17. twl845

    twl845 Registered Member

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    You can restore your computer to its out of the box condition by holding down the CTRL key and F11 as bootup begins. You have to catch it just right as you see the white bar appear just as bootup begins. A menu and instructions will follow as you just do what it says and let it do its thing. When its done you will have your original OS plus all the app offers and stuff you found the day you first plugged it in. And it will be fast again.
     
  18. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    Interesting.

    I don't want to modify anything on my computer right now.

    What exactly does it do ? I did look it up, and it seems to have something to do with Dell. I've also read that it can cause problems. :blink:
     
  19. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    well on a dell computer it formats C: which obvisally deletes everything on C: and then restores a norton ghost image of windows when it came from dell.
     
  20. twl845

    twl845 Registered Member

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    Yes I did it on a Dell. I'm glad I didn't know it could cause problems. I might have lost my nerve. :)
     
  21. twl845

    twl845 Registered Member

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    It did restore the App Norton Ghost on the D partition and as I said, any other app that came with the computer. The computer I did it on also had Norton Security Suite (or what ever they call it) and I promptly uninstalled both Norton apps as soon as the computer booted normally, before they had a chance to do anything.
     
  22. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    the dell computer i restored back to defaults had an older versions of everyonr including quicktime,flash player etc as well as mcafee.... which i uninstalled.
     
  23. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    Yes, I know this well already. My goal has ever been to provide things that have dual purpose, for myself and those I know/support. I have made countless unattended dvd's for peeps using thier keys and thier information (username,password, nic settnigs, etc). Then I made a program that runs just before first login, which allows them to install many apps they wanted either normally or ones I scripted. They simple put the disc in, choose format c:, then wait until my app starts. Then they check all the items they want installed, scripted and non scripted. Then it reboots, and using RunOnceEx, everything starts. The end result, the way I built up my dvd project, is I send them a small tool, they fill out the values (key,password,etc), it spits out a partial unattended file, they email it to me, I plug it in to the right source (xp home, pro or corp) and I burn it up. Viola, they have a current SP/Pathed source dvd they install from which is unattened and geard specifically for them. It, as I said is dual purpose. I like it, learned from it, and helped them, which eventually helps me to do, as you say, other things than sit helping others.

    You sound like you have a wealth of knowledge.

    Sul.
     
  24. NICK ADSL UK

    NICK ADSL UK Administrator

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    personally i would go for the full reinstall. providing you have the service packs to hand it will only take you around 90 minutes and you will find that the speed isn't to bad. my old computer which i still use now and again is the same specification as yours with no sign of giving up
     
  25. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    90 minutes ? That's not my experience.

    Even if you have the service packs, the installation of Windows XP takes some time. And then there is reinstalling the drivers, Windows WGA, Flash, Acrobat Reader (?), your other software and configuring it to your needs.

    But my computer is old, maybe it takess less time to do that with a fast computer.
     
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