Computer extremely slow - could I do with more RAM

  nowipowi 21:44 14 May 06
Locked

Hi

My Windows XP home computer is just getting slower and slower. It has 224mb of RAM, and I was just wondering, do you think I need more.

I have brought an external drive as I do a lot of digital photography, and put all photos on there, but it has made no difference at all.

I've done everything else too. Disk clean-up, defrag, reduced fonts - you name it! But it just can't seem to cope these days (I know the feeling)

OOh yes, another thing - I ALMOST FORGOT - When i switch my computer on it makes a low awful noise. Once everything has warmed up, then it's ok... I have also noticed it does this when the room is cold?? Does that make sense?

Thanks a lot. Any help would be lovely as this speed thing is so annoying...

  skidzy 21:50 14 May 06

click here

click here

click here

click here

Spybot Search and Destroy
Adaware
Both found here click here

These programs will give your system a good clean up.

Maybe adding another 256mb of ram or more if your system can handle it would certainly help.

  Totally-braindead 21:51 14 May 06

Regarding the noise it could be one of the fans failing its a matter of trying to work out which one it is.

More memory would definately help, since you have 224mb you must have onboard graphics as well. Go here for your memory click here if you're unsure what computer you have run the scan my system and it will tell you.

  skidzy 22:02 14 May 06

Just to add to Totally-braindead idea about the fans,take the casing off the pc and check the fans are not clogged with dust.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 22:32 14 May 06

1. Software

a) Clear out all temporay files and folders -- use Crap Cleaner click here

b) Scan for malware spyware and viruses --Free Anti Spyware :-
Adaware click here
Spybot S&D click here
Spywareblaster click here
a2 click here
MSoftAntispy Beta click here
Ewido click here

Free Antivirus software
Avast4 click here
or
AVG antivirus click here

c) Clean the registry -- Free Registry cleaners :-
RegscrubXP click here
Regseeker click here
TweakNow RegCleaner 1.3.2 click here
Easycleaner click here ( Use with care, It advises you to back up the registry first, this is a good idea as it cleans rather aggressively. )

d) Pagefile (Virtual Memory) -- Rght click MY Computer - select propeties - Advanced tab - Performance - advanced tab - Virtual memory click change, you can put the page file on a differnt drive (if you have one), click custom size and set Initial size to one and a half times the amount of memory you have fitted i.e. 512MB memory = set to 768MB, set maximum to double your memory amount i.e. 512MB memory = 1024MB click ok.
If your hard drive is full and there is not enough room for the pagefile this can slow down, freeze or even cause the PC to crash (restart).

e) Cut down on the programs that load at startup -- Start - Run type msconfig - startup tab- untick everything except for firewall, antivirus and antispyware

and the services that run in the background. click here

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 22:34 14 May 06

2. Hardware

a) Check for errors and defrag your hard drives -- My Computer - select drive - properties - tool tab - Error checking / Defragmentation.

b) Obtain the newest drivers for your hardware
This may seem a bit obvious, but keeping your system's drivers up to date can give both your performance and stability a boost. Video card manufacturers release updates especially often, and these can often give "significant boosts" to gaming performance as video card in question is "optimized."

Don't neglect the other components of your system either. Your motherboard manufacturer may have released newer versions of its Input/output drivers for your board, and sound cards and other peripherals can also benefit from newer software.

c) If you are using Windows XP, it's a good idea to convert your system drive to the NTFS file system if you have not already. In addition to providing numerous security and data recovery improvements over FAT32 (the file system of choice for Windows 9x/ME and XP Home) it can also speed up your system slightly.

In fact, the only real reason for sticking with the FAT32 file system for any of your data is if you have more than one operating system on your PC and the other OS's can only see FAT32 partitions (as would be the case with Windows 98, for example, which is incapable of reading NTFS data).

To convert your drives to NTFS:
Right click on 'my computer' and select 'manage'
From the computer management window, expand storage and select 'disk management.'
Using the 'file system' column of the upper pane of this window, you can easily check what file system each of your logical drives is using. Make a note of this information.
Now open a command prompt window by going to 'start\run' and typing 'cmd'
To convert a disk to NTFS, type 'convert (drive letter): /fs:ntfs'
So for example, if you were going to convert your C: drive, you would type 'Convert c: /fs:ntfs' at the prompt.

d) Add more physical memory, this of course means opening the "box" and fitting a memory module, make sure you buy one that is suitable for your PC. Crucial .com click here will guide you through the process of slecting the correct memory. click here for a guide to fitting memory.

At 224mb of RAM you are low for XP

  YAMA 02:02 15 May 06

what you need to do befor you atempt touching any thing, and that is go to start ---programs--- TAKE A GOOD LOOK-- BECAUSE IT SOUNDS LIKE TO ME YOU HAVE TO MANY PROGRAME RUNNING IN THE BACKGROUND----SO START HERE,??? AND GET RID OF ALL EXCEPT YOUR WIN --- AND YOUR ACCESSORIES-- AND THEN GO FROM THERE , AND START AGAIN,, REMEMBER THE MORE PRO YOU HAVE IN TART THE SLOWER YOUR PC WILL BE NO MATER HOW BIG A DRIVE OR MEMORY, THIS IS THE FIRST POINT TO GET YOUR SELF ON TRACK WITH A FAST PC, OK GOOD LUCK

  YAMA 02:07 15 May 06

OH BY THE WAY NEXT STEP IS TO DO A DEFRAG AND SORT OUT YOU EMAIL DOWNLOADS, FOR THERE AGAIN THEY HOLD A LOT OF VAVUABLE SPACE AGAIN GOOD LUCK

  strech 08:21 15 May 06

click here
try this and remove programe running in the
background

  keef66 11:09 15 May 06

my pc started making a groaning noise at startup. I thought it was the cpu cooler fan so replaced it only to find the noise still there. More careful investigation using a length of plastic tubing as a stethoscope revealed it was the fan on the graphics card. It's a tiny fan, and since the card faces downwards, its difficult to see. I'm going to replace the card soon, but until I do I take out the card periodically and very carefully oil the fan which renders it silent for another few weeks.

  nowipowi 02:01 21 May 06

Thanks everyone. All brilliant advice.

Have now got some more RAM. Thanks Totally-braindead too. Didn't know anything about RAM at all until I went to the web-site you suggested.

All good stuff.

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