Brand New IBM R52 Laptop Preformance is Slow, but should not be.

We are dealing with a less than 1 year old IBM R52 Laptop computer. It is a model 1849-W9U it should not be slow given the specifications below.

Original description: P M 740(1.7GHz), 512MB RAM, 60GB 5400rpm HD, 15in 1024x768 LCD, 64MB ATI Radeon X300, CDRW/DVD, Intel 802.11bg wireless(MPCI), Modem(CDC), 1Gb Ethernet(LOM), UltraNav, Secure Chip, IEEE 1394, Fingerprint Reader, 6c Li-Ion batt, WinXP Pro

My sister in law Ann, complains the computer I recommended for her is a dog.... that its very slow. She says documents open slowly, the internet is slow and is generally disappointed with the computer that she just paid $1,800.00 dollars for in Summer of 2006. The thing is basically brand new.

I thought at first the best place to start would be to get the laptop in my hands this weekend an try to run some kind of a test or application that would rate the computers speed so our disucssion would deal with real facts and not subjective information.

Please advise on what test to run to rate the speed of this computer. and after that data is posted please make recommendations on how to tune up the computer so it functions normally. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.
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LeeTutorConnect With a Mentor retiredCommented:
I will let someone else advise you on "what test to run to rate the speed of this computer", as you put it.  But "less than a year old" is plenty of time for a "brand new" computer to acquire viruses/trojans/spyware, etc. that are the most common cause of slow performance.  So first I would recommend running virus checks and scans for spyware with such programs as LavaSoft AdAware and SpyBot Search & Destroy.  But in addition to that:  

This is the best, most complete and informative site I've seen on optimizing XP:

This site has a great deal of information on many steps to optimize XP, in categories such as:  removing viruses, spyware and other malware; keeping MS patches updated through Windows Update; making sure all drivers are updated; various tweaks involving the registry, use of virtual memory, the Recycle Bin and System Restore usage; a number of optimizing utilities; disabling of unnecessary Windows services; and much more...
natcomConnect With a Mentor Commented:
go here  and click on Full PC Tune-up this will let you know what you need to do to Optimize the laptop
TomStarichAuthor Commented:
McAfee Virus Scan turned up 4 items which were then removed.
PC doctor was downloaded from the IBM web site and run. PC doctor shows no hardware issues.
Defender was downloaded installed and showed........ No problems on Quick Scan
Spy bot Search & Destroy fixed 16 problems including: MediaPlex , Advertising .com, Avenue A, CoreMetrics, DSO Exploit, HitBox, HitsLink, WebTrends Live

PC pitstop found the download speeds acceptable at 3 Meg but Upload speeds were a little slow on my Cable Connection
PC Pitstop offered to sell an Optimizer for $29.00 that is supposed to optimize my Xp operating system in one click? Is this product worth its salt? I did not buy it. Please advise.

I used Mob Meter to monitor processor temperature and speed when doing virus and spyware scans. During the scan the processor temperature ran around 56 degrees C. I noticed the processor steps back and fourth between 800 MHz and 1.73 GHz. Question is... Why doesn't the processor just keep running at the high speed of 1.73 GHz when doing a full Virus Scan or Windows Defender Scan.

I went to sleep while Windows Defender ran a full Scan / see you tommorrow. Thank you so much for your comments I have some work to do to get through the Optimize Xp html vrom LeeTutor. I will continue with that tommorrow.
b0lsc0ttIT ManagerCommented:

You are getting some good help to optimize the computer and at this time I don't have anything to really add as far as programs to run.  I would mention that the memory (512 MB) is the minimum I would recommend for XP Pro.  I would suggest that you would benefit by upgrading the memory at least to 768 MB (1 GB would be the max unless Ann really works the machine).

One other thing I would point out is what is the laptop being compared to?  Laptop hard drives are usually 5400rpm and slower than desktop hard drives (usually 7200 rpm).  Some sacrifices are made for the compact machine.  IBM Thinkpads are well built and will last.  I have seen fewer hardware and compatibility issues with them but you do pay a little extra.

Let me know if you have any questions or need more information.

try installing fresh copy of windows
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