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Takes a long time for Windows Update to start-up.

DELL 8250 with 512MB of memory.
Takes a long time for Windows Update to start-up.
I know it has to do with the lack of memory and disk space. I have explained the situation to the client but I don't think it is getting through.
Currently  they have about 14GB free on a 60GB hard drive.
I am ready to take the computer and stuff it with new memory and a larger hard drive.
At this stage of the game I don't know if the client will gain much from the hardware update giving that they computer is so old.

Comments - Suggestions?
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Business Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
By now that XP machine should be running SP3. If it is, it will not run reliably on 512Mb of memory (been there, done that, many times). You need at least 1Gb of memory to work properly.

In addition, Windows Update has become Microsoft Update (which includes Office) and is very, very slow in a decent XP machine.

I would add memory as a first step. .... Thinkpads_User
I have an even older Dell laptop with only 256 MB of ram running Windows XP SP3, it can be done.Speed is a relative experience. To start with I would examine the system and application event log of the machine for any kind of error or severe system condition. Run an antivirus check on it e.g. Forefront Endpoint Protection 2012 currently available as release candidate works fine. If no rootkits or other malicious software is found – follow up with checkdisk to make sure no logical disk problems are slowing the machine down. Next a cleaner utility to free up disk space typically occupied by old logs and installation left overs. Further down the line a defragger - possibly with startup option to defrag on Boot up. Further you can examine the machine for unnecessary processes and services running and clean it up that way. A nice way to demonstrate to a customer is to replace the current drive with a newly installed one and time it vs. the original drive. Since this is an older machine most likely you'd be throwing good money after outdated hardware by now.  I wouldnt mess with the hw unless it's defect - chances are that you'd be buying old ide hdd and ddr or ddr2 ram to help this machine all of which are pretty much obsolete by now.
From technical perspective, thhis Dimension 8250 is:
1) Come close to 10 years old (it was launched in year 2002)
2) Processor type = Pentium 4
3) RAM type = PC1066 RDRAM (Rambus)
4) Max Memory = 1.5GB

I would suggest your client to upgrade entire computer instead of hardware upgrade. Because just as what you think, 10 years old computer is really obsolete (unless it is for kiosk use).

But if they refuse to do so due to whatever reason, then upgrading RAM size to max of 1.5GB is the only thing you can do to enhance system performance.

It is not necessary to upgrade hard drive at the time being (unless your client would like to install a couple of new software) because 23% of free disk space is more than enough for virtual memory paging file to run smoothly. Hence, it won't the root cause of system slow.

However, you should run test on current hard drive using any diagnostic tool software to ensure the hard drive is in good condition.

Last and not least, you can also show your client on how exactly this system is performing by going to Windows Task Manager (under Processes and Performance tabs).
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Thank You. I was pleased to help. .... Thinkpads_User

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