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Improve speed of laptop

I am using a AMD Turion 64X2 laptop with 1.90ghz cpu, 896 ram and windows xp sp3

The performance is somewhat lacking and I do appreciate that this is largely down to having various paint shop pro, office, dvd buring, comodo internet security and pdf software installed.

I was wondering if there were any tricks people could share will me just ti speed it up a little bit.

I have already disabled most programs on startup using MSCONFIG and I use CC Cleaner.  

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auraorange
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auraorange
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5 Solutions
 
Gerald26Commented:
Open taskmgr.exe and click Performance (having all your programs opened)
Give us the value of Memory Peak
It's probably a lack of RAM problem
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Schnell SolutionsSystems Infrastructure EngineerCommented:

Hello, here some tips

1. If a computer is infected with viruses or spyware it can degrade the performance. In the same way, the "antivirus program" it self sometimes is one of the things that spend more system resources. So, the final recommendation is to have an antivirus solution with two characteristics: ligth and good. Microsoft have a free antivirus for home use or for a maximum of 10 computers at work, and it can be downloaded in this link:
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/security_essentials/default.aspx?WT.mc_id=MSCOM_EN_US_AW_A_atwork
(In case that you need a corporate antivirus it can be for example Microsoft ForeFront End Protection)

2. Be aware that you have sufficient free disk space. The system usually use disk resources to support the RAM memory. If there is not enough space this action can be limitated and will degradate a lot the system performance. Actually it is not a big issue thanks to the actual big disks. But it is important to take care of this, specially if we record big amounts of data (Disk Cleanup utility can help in this task, this is an internal tool of windows oriented to delete unnecessary data)

3. Defrag the hard drive. It is super important!!!. Organization in the hard drive, after time, is disorganized, the technical conclusion is that the disk heads will need to move to different and maybe far places for reading consecutive information. When we defrag the disk the data is internally organized inside the disk and the performance improve a lot

4. Programs: According to the things that you are telling us. You have already uninstalled and stop the processes and programs that you are not using. It is a great idea

5. Be aware of not having hardware issues. It means problems in a driver, hardware problems with the hard drive, etc

6. Improve the system !!!. Here we are talking about making improvements in the system. Here the main recommendation is to measure what is the bottle neck of a system (usually they are one of these ones: memory, processor, disk). And them improve this component with a faster one

 
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Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
In your case, Memory, memory and memory!
Upgrade your memory and that becomes a far more usable system.
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Andrew_CzCommented:
The most noticeable performance tip in your case would be to increase the size of your ram.  Upgrade it from 1GB to 2GB.

What is the size of your hard drive, and how much free space do you have on your OS partition (C:\)? Also, what is the size of your pagefile? Right-click on My Computer -> Properties -> Advanced -> Under Performance select Settings -> Advanced.  What does it say for Total Paging File Size?

XP SP3, from experience, have always slowed me down a bit too.  Do you have any antivirus software running in the background? Which one? Also, you can try disabling some unnecessary services:

http://billmullins.wordpress.com/2008/01/21/speedup-your-pc-%E2%80%93-turn-off-unnecessary-services-in-xp/

The screenshot there shows all your xp services.  You can access it by going to Start -> RUN and typing: services.msc [ENTER]

Let me know if you get stuck with any of these tips.

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Gerald26Commented:
is largely down to having various paint shop pro, office, dvd buring, comodo internet security and pdf software installed

I'd suggest increasing it to maximum (4 Gb) since the computer is on heavy load.

The memory peak info will give you the best choice.
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Anthony RussoCommented:
As others suggest, RAM is your best thing to do. All the other options will improve speed a little, but upgrading to 2 or even 4 gigs of RAM would be a HUGE improvement in everything.

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BillDLCommented:
Hi auraorange.

"The performance is somewhat lacking and I do appreciate that this is largely down to having various paint shop pro, office, dvd buring, comodo internet security and pdf software installed."

Having software installed won't make any difference to the speed of your computer unless you have so much software installed that your hard drive is bulging at the seams and does not have enough free space for the operating system to use.

Remember that if you have "Hibernation" enabled, then space on the hard drive is needed for the "suspend to disk" data, so you need a fairly healthy overhead.

Using all the software simultaneously will have an impact on the speed, and as suggested increased RAM is the answer to that.

If you enter your laptop's manufacturer and model number into the "Crucial Memory Advisor" you will get some useful details and "guaranteed" compatible memory modules listed.
http://www.crucial.com/uk/
You may get RAM cheaper in loads of other places, but I have never had any problems with delivery, compatibility, d.o.a. products, etc from Crucial.

Of course perceived speed is a comparative thing.  It all depends what you are comparing the lacklustre performance with.  If you use a browser and do a lot of Paint Shop Pro stuff over a very long session, then the computer will begin to slow down.  This has been normal for every Windows Operating System I have used, and usually a reboot is needed after long intensive sessions to restore the speed.

If there has been a noticeable slowdown over a period of time and it is real rather than a comparative conception after using a faster PC at work all day, then it could be that the hard drive is gradually becoming fragmented and Windows is having to hunt around all over the hard drive for data.

There's nothing really wrong with using CCleaner to get rid of temporary or leftover junk, but you should read this article and the comments that follow it for a general consensus of of how ineffective and potentially damaging (other) "registry cleaners" can be:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/A_7989-Registry-Cleaners-Good-or-harmful-to-your-PC.html

There are a lot of "technical" articles that tell you to delete your "prefetch" cache and "defrag the swap file", but the advice is all hocus-pocus and deleting the prefetch cache can actually be detrimental to performance until Windows caches all the program data all over again.

After unnecessary Services and Startup programs mentioned in a comment above, the next biggest improvement in performance you can achieve in Windows XP is to disable all fancy animated effects and set your Windows Explorer, Start Menu, and Taskbar all to "Classic".  I also guarantee you will notice the difference in speed if you open a folder containing loads of images with the folder's "View" setting as "Thumbnails" as opposed to the faster loading "Details View".  Additionally, if you are displaying the "dimensions" column in Windows Explorer for images, that takes a while to display the contents of each folder (Windows Explorer "View" menu > Choose Details).

I mentioned some of this here:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Q_27326809.html?cid=1133#a36708410

Some people like the "XP" appearance with chunky rounded off orange Title bars, etc, and feel as though they are somehow retrograding to some clunky old fashioned operating system with XP set to classic, but I would give anything to get the speed of Windows 95's Explorer and Start Menu onto a modern PC while retaining the enhanced functionality of XP, and "classic view" is about the nearest you will get to that despite the old fashined appearance.

Once you have upgraded your memory to the maximum allowed in that PC (which will clearly be a LOT less than the Operating System's maximum ;-), Defragged the hard drive, disabled unnecessary startups and services, and set everything to "Classic View", let us know if you notice any difference.
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BillDLCommented:
Whoops, sorry schnellsolutions, I see that you mentioned Defrag.  I hadn't noticed that.
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nobusCommented:
your Question has MANY answers, and needs more specifics - anyhow, here some possible answers :

what laptop model is it? can you add more ram ?
what disk size and free space ?  note that for "comfortable" disk usage, you need 15% free
is your disk OK, or does it have problems?  run a disk diag to be sure, best download ubcd to run the disk diag for your disk brand : http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      

if that is done, and returns OK, run a chkdsk on the drive, to fix file system problems
then do a defragmentation
you can also verify if it runs in DMA mode, not PIO : http://winhlp.com/node/10

post results...
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Andrew_CzCommented:
Was this laptop always slow? Or did it just recently become slow? If it used to be much faster then it's likely to be a software issue (virus, defrag, etc.).  However, if it's always been rather slow then it's likely to be a hardware issue and as most of us have said, upgrading the ram in it to at least 2 GB, preferrably 4 GB will be the best you can do.

If it's a software issue and nothing has helped then what you can try is make an image of your C:\ drive using something like Partition Magic or Acronis TrueImage and put it on a different partition or an external drive.  Then, wipe out your entire OS and reinstall it.  Now see if it's much faster.  If it is, then just copy back whatever you need from the image you created and voila.  That's what I do if I can't pin down the issue.  If it doesn't solve the problem then again it's just another reminder that it is likely to be a hardware issue.
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auraorangeAuthor Commented:
Thank you for all the feedback!

This is what I have done:

1) Set the paging file to the "recommended"
2) Removed comodo security and replaced with Microsoft antivirus - scanned and no virus found.
3) Switched to classic view
4) Ordered more RAM
5) Defragmented the hdd

Performance has improved hugely (most impact seemed to be removing comodo)

The hard drive is 100gb and 25% is in use - might consider upgarding soon.
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nobusCommented:
tx for feedback
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BillDLCommented:
Thank you auraorange.

75GB of FREE space is more than plenty for most laptops' needs, unless of course you intend to start filling up the free space quickly with massive video files or something.  You would probably have to copy 12,000 MP3 files to your My Music folder before you get anywhere near the stage where you would haved to start watching what else you stored on the drive.  That's something like 750 CD albums ripped to good quality audio files!!  If you intend to store lots of large video files and music, then it would probably be better buying a large external drive purely for data storage as a long term solution.

Glad to know your laptop is running faster now.
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