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System very slow !

I,m using a Pentium 233 MMX laptop - 64mb RAM - and System Resourses are 55% free ??
Have done scandisk etc. and defrag won't complete properly !
Is there a 'Free' Norton utilty available or how can I speed up my machine ??
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bighurley
Asked:
bighurley
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1 Solution
 
bighurleyAuthor Commented:
I'm new to this i.e. 1st timer ! - Be gentle !
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ridCommented:
The first thing to check is what programs are running on your computer. What is in the list shown when you do a Ctrl+Alt+Del ? Normally the only ones needed are Explorer and Systray, possibly with an addidtion of an antivirus software. If you have a lot of things in the list, that will probably be tha cause of both slow system, low resources and not-completing defrag.

If this should be your problem, you need to inhibit automatic startup of some or all of the autostarting programs. You may be the victim of spyware or worse.

Regards
/RID
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CrazyOneCommented:
Have you booted into save mode and ran defrag there?


The Crazy One
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CrazyOneCommented:
You may not have enough Disk Space for defrag to do its business. Try this.

Description of the Disk Cleanup Tool
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;186099 

Double-click My Computer, right-click the hard disk on which you want to free space, click Properties, and then click Disk Cleanup on the General tab.
On the Disk Cleanup tab, click to select the check boxes of the files that you want to remove, click OK, click Yes, and then click OK.
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bootrotCommented:
I don't know if you have had this computer awhile or not, but if you've had it awhile, you might have alot of stuff running in the background.
Go to the Start Menu and select run...
Type in "msconfig" then press enter.
This will bring up the configuration menu.
Click the startup tab.
This shows all the programs that start running when you start up your machine.
You can uncheck anything that you know you don't use.
Having less things running should free up some resources and create less potential for conflicts.
In my experience, it's pretty safe to uncheck all the boxes if you want.
Also-I'm not sure... But I don't think this works under Windows 2000.
What operating system do you have?  I could help you better if I knew.
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jpandersonCommented:
Good suggestions from above...

It sounds like you are running too many programs at startup.  Try going to: Start > Run > msconfig and uncheck un-needed programs that are starting.  Then re-boot.  You can also look in Start > Programs > Startup and see if you other programs running there that you don't need (ie.  Microsoft FastFind).

You system should be loading with at least 65% free resources on boot.
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BillDLCommented:
bootrot's suggestion is good, as are all the suggestions. You might want to look particularly at disabling all screensavers and power saving modes before running these applications.

Right-click the desktop, Select "Properties" and then, under the following tabs, do the following:

Screensaver - set to None
Screensaver - "Settings button" - Power Schemes tab - set all options to "always on" (you can always reset this back to a power-saving mode afterwards)
Effects - uncheck "animate windows, menu's, and lists" - they use valuable resources.

Look particularly in the MSCONFIG "Startup" tab for "LoadQM" and uncheck this.  It is a useless process installed with Microsoft Messenger which wastes resources.  Reboot and remove it from your Start Menu > Startup folder if it is still there.

jpanderson has also mentioned MS Office's "Find Fast" which is a waste of resources and isn't required.

If there are any processes you are NOT sure about, just ask.
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BillDLCommented:
In case you are wondering what happens when you uncheck the programmes under the Startup tab in MSCONFIG.  There is a "key" in your Windows registry which saves details of these programs' locations to allow them to be located at startup.  This key is named "Run".

I can't be absolutely sure whether it is MSCONFIG or perhaps another utility "Tweak UI" which simply adds another key " - Run" and moves these entries there.  Either way, the entry is able to be restored by checking the box again if Windows really needs this process at startup and this is safer than it actually deleting the entries altogether.
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BillDLCommented:
Personally, I would buy a bit more memory while it is cheap.  You may find that your motherboard manual will tell you that you can only use PC66 memory modules, however you have to remember that the manual was probably written when 66 MHz was the fastest transfer speed available for memory.  I have found that Crucial.com's website has a "configurator" into which you enter your motherboard model eg. Intel AL440LX, and it will give you a list of matching memory modules which are compatible.  I put 384 MB (which is the maximum recommended for my particular motherboard mentioned above - although Win98 can use 512 MB successfully) of PC100 memory into mine and it speeded up my performance to an amazing degree in combination with disabling of all unnecessary display effects.  There are other memory companies with similar "configurators" such as "Viking" etc, but I found Crucial's the best for detailed description, ease of use, and service.

Remember not to handle memory without being properly earthed and don't put it on the carpet or somewhere as you are about to install it - static electricity kills memory!!
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BillDLCommented:
Sorry, I didn't explain myself there.  The PC100 memory won't interface at 100 MHz unless your motherboard allows this. It will still run at 66 MHz if that's the Max your motherboard allows.  The PC66 memory is considerably more expensive than the newer PC100, and that's why I selected it.  I put in 3 sticks of 128 MB which were all bought at the same time to ensure a match.
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dennisttCommented:
If all doesn't work, you can try and reinstall Windows.  It clears everything off, start from scratch, what I like to do every so often.

This is what I do:
1) Backup data onto another drive
2) Using a boot disk: Format drive
3) Using a boot disk to set CDROM working: Install Windows
4) Continue through setup process
5) Install programs when Windows is successfully installed.

Reinstalling on a clean disk should clean up everything and speed up the machine a lot.


Resources:
http://www.netpathway.com/~kramer/reinstall.html
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samuel_chinnu123Commented:
Hi bighurley
          yes there is a  option for increasing the system resource i was working with a similar kind of system for quite a long time,
 
Go to start > run and type 'msconfig' and ENTER a window will open , go to the startup tab and unclick everything except scanregistry.
 
 your system will become faster and resource will increase,,, The problem with your system is that there will be number of useless applications running at the back end, these programes gets started when the windows is loaded msconfig command alows u to select the applications u needed to run at the startup > Frankly speaking scanreg will be the only application u will need at the startup..

Best Wishes
   Sam
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BillDLCommented:
I agree that this will be a good temporary resolution (First mentioned by bootrot and further discussed y me earlier) to help scandisk and defrag to complete without interruption, but looking longer term, what about the System Tray?

I would recommend leaving System Tray as it is a useful tool and tells me how much time I've spent on this board via the clock :-)

You should also be aware that your AntiVirus Software is set to run in the background from here most often, unless you choose to disable its constant Auto Protect features and leave it to scan only incoming mail.
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bighurleyAuthor Commented:
Thanks to all who helped - I had loads of stuff in my Startup section in MSCONFIG.  However I have found some distasteful links in my startup folder, how do I delete them (I used to allow housemates to use this machine to access the Net)
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ridCommented:
YOu can drag out the shortcuts that are in Startup to the Desktop and then delete them. One by one. Or you can go to the c:\windows\start menu\programs\startup folder and delete them in a bunch.

/RID
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BillDLCommented:
The MSCONFIG > Startup tab will sometimes remove these if they appear in the actual Startup folder.

Some processes are initiated from the registry etc.

If you are using Windows 98, you should be able to delete them right from the Start Menu if you go to Programs > Startup.  Just Right click on the entry and select "delete".  Let it go to the recycle bin until you are sure that it isn't causing conflicts by its absence.

The start menu entries are shortcuts only and correspond to those found in C:\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup and could just as easily be deleted right from that folder as they are also shortcuts.

Verify that they are shortcuts (the small black arrow at the bottom left of the icon) before deleting, and also take a note of the files to which they are shortcuts.

To do this, just right-click on the shortcut and select "Properties".  You will see "target" and other entries which will tell you where the files are.  Before you go and start tracking down target files to delete, first:

1. Make sure that you know what they are and are definitely not needed
2. Can you uninstall the programme that created this file through Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs

For a long-term solution, set up "Profiles" so that your housemates have to log into the system under their own profile.  

1. Back up your own data such as "My Documents", Favorites, Outlook Express .dbx files from C:\Windows\Application Data\Identities\{long unique number}\Microsoft\Outlook Express  and any other settings you can think of  
2. Go to Control Panel > Users and follow the prompts.  make sure that you read the prompts when you get to the bit about creating separate folders for yourself and other users.

Once complete, their Favorites, Startup entries, their Start menu etc will be stored in C:\Windows\Profiles\theirusername\etc
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BillDLCommented:
rid, sorry if that repeated you, I hadn't reloaded the question and didn't see your comment as I posted mine.
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ridCommented:
Hehe... it's OK. You give a lot more detail anyway.
Cheers
/RID
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AndrewBCommented:
Here's another people don't think about too often: Spyware!  See if you can get rid of XUPITER, KAZAA, GATOR just to name a few.  Fortunately, you can kill most of these off with Ctrl-Alt-Del.  But there are still things running that you can't!

Also, empty your startup folder - Click Start, then right-click on Programs and Explore (Also All Users).  Create a temporary folder and move everything there.

And make SURE you have no viruses - www.Sophos.com for a free fully functional product that's way better then McAfee or Symantec.
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bootrotCommented:
As far as spyware goes get a program called ad-aware to get rid of them.  There is also a program called spybbot that works just as well if not better.  You can find them both at download.com.
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bighurleyAuthor Commented:
Thanks to all who helped !!
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