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Slow Dell Inspiron 9400 Laptop

Posted on 2011-09-11
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I have a Dell Inspiron 9400.  It has XP SP3 Pro Version 2002. Intel T2400 Processor, 1.83GHZ.  .99GB of Ram. I use McAfee AV protection.  My laptop has become progressively slower over the years.  It takes much longer to boot up and then when the screen comes up the light that signifies hard-drive usage stays on for a long time, sometimes hours, signifying something accessing the HDD. Using MSCONFIG I have eliminated several unneeded start-up programs. This helped a little. What else can I do to speed this system up.

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Question by:msis2002
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Expert Comment

by:Kenneth Brown
ID: 36520413
your last ditch solution is to backup data and then delete everything (reformat etc) and reinstall xp, reinstall apps and copy data back on. If your laptop is still slow after that then thats how it is, unfortunately.
I have noticed this trend in older XP machines recently, of them becoming very slow on boot.
You can try to isolate a culprit, or just do a general major tidy-up, the latter of which should give you some headroom anyway. latter soln 'tips' given below:
I got goodish results by ( again backup / clone first jic)
1) deleting as much superfluous data, old downloads etc as poss, ie free up as much disk space as poss; esp from system drive. if poss move stuff to another drive.
2) from an admin logon, delete any unused users or even any used-users as long as you can re-create them later and restore vital data
3) run ccleaner
4) delete all system restore points.
5) once youre fully finished freeing up space, do a defrag.

If you want to try to isolate the problem: try enablng boot-logging in an F7 reboot and then examine the log for problems. Unfortunately it doesnt time stamp entries so you might have to watch the display in real-time to see where it apparently hangs (if it does so).

Below may be of some help if you haven’t already tried it, but neither have I so cant actually vouch for it: use at your own risk:
See question “No timestamp in XPs bootlog file”
<answer 20840141> http://www.mvps.org/sramesh2k/utils/BootVis.exe 
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Expert Comment

by:asidu
ID: 36520584
Doing a new re-install will help as suggested Knelbrown2.

Since system is always accessing the hard disk it could be that the hard disk itself is an issue.
Down load free UBCD and diagnose your drive.

Hard drives are not very costly these days. I would also consider changing the hard drive if its more
than 4/5 years old.



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Accepted Solution

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nobus earned 500 total points
ID: 36521200
i have found that McAfee can slow things down - so uninstall it it, and test with another (free) one, like AVG, or Avast free : http://download.cnet.com/AVG-Anti-Virus-Free-Edition-2012/3000-2239_4-10320142.html
you can also run a disk diag (long test) on your drive to know it's status :     http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287      

or buy a new drive, install XP fresh on it, and test again (that way - you still have averything from the old install)

you can also look for an extra 1 GB ram stick, if your system accepts it
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by:Kenneth Brown
ID: 36521765
Asidu/Nobus' comments re check the HD and try install on a 'new' hd are good. The latter saves the trouble of making sure youv'e backed everything up properly before the new install.
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Author Closing Comment

by:msis2002
ID: 36544694
Did defrag and got rid of mcafee.  Thx
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by:nobus
ID: 36547506
tx for feedback
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