Anonymous asked in Computers & InternetHardwareLaptops & Notebooks · 1 decade ago

I just did a clean reinstall of Windows XP because my laptop was running real slow?

It's mad fast now. What should I do so that it always runs like new and it doesn't get slow like before? What common programs should I avoid from now on? I think it got slow because I had all these Myspace IM, Limewire, AVG and crap. Should I keep everything at a minimum? Like keep using IE 6 instead of IE 7? I think that's probably why at first when I do a clean install it runs fast but as soon as I start upgrading to newer versions of stuff it starts to get slow. I have a almost 4 years old Dell Inspiron 1150 by the way and I only have 768 megs of ram. Could that be it? Because my friend has 2 gigs of ram and her PC always runs fast.

8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    More than likely, 4 or 5 issues were slowing you down --

    1. adware

    2. spyware

    3. viruses

    4. hard drive was fragmented

    5. possibly registry was weirded out

    768M of ram is humungous short of using unweildly programs such as a huge graphics program or major game. The exception here is Vista, if you upgrade to Vista get a min of 1G.

    Solutions -- (links in sources)

    1. adwares -- download Ad-aware

    2. spybot search and destroy v1.5

    3. AVG Free

    4. Do maintenance once per week.

    5. someone mentioned ccleaner.

    Additionally, Internet files can collect over time, however this should be more an issue of filling up your hard drive than a speed issue.

    When you are thinking of downloading and installing some software, ask yourself if you really want it, and then also ask yourself "is it being offered free of charge, does it sound too good to be true, will it provide even the kitchen sink?" If you answer yes to two of these you better look very closely at the license to make sure it's not installing adware / spyware software as part of the "free" bargain.

    Avoid pirate software. I suspect that some vendors deliberately release their own "pirated version" complete with viruses and / or time-limited crashing features. I know I would, it makes too much sense.

    IE 7 vs IE 6.. just upgrade. Just upgrade to 7. It's been out long enough that most of the bugs have been worked out in patches. Whenever something new comes out (like a new OS) I try to wait a year before upgrading so that everyone else can gloat about how much their computers crash 5 times more often than the last generation OS does. After a year of their crashes, MS or whoever fixes the issues and now the software is fairly stable. This is _not_ because MS wrote a buggy program and released it, but rather because there's only so many ways they can test it, then with 10's of millions of testers (aka "early adopters" aka the suckers who buy it when it first comes out) are testing it they can find stuff that MS would never have been able to find themselves. Paying testers, not a bad racket...

    Getting back to your slow-down issues.. Yeah, once in awhile go through your add-remove programs and remove a bunch of old programs you no longer need or that might be conflict with other software.

    Maintenance --

    1- delete unneeded files -- right-click your hard drive in My Computer and click properties. Click Clean Up. Then afterward run ccleaner.

    2- Load up spybot -- update it. Load up ad-aware -- update it. (weekly for updates) Run a spybot scan at least once a month, run an ad-aware scan at least once a month. (some people recommend weekly). The rational behind weekly updates is you're keeping them ready in case something happens that knocks out your internet, then hopefully you have an up-to-date enough malware database to remove whatever is stopping you.

    3- virus scan, unless you have it set for daily. btw -- never have more than one virus scanner loaded at once, and never have more than one fire-wall at once either.

    4- Defrag once a week when you have been noticing slow down. Each defrag is NOT a complete perfect defrag, so by doing this once a week for a month or two you eventually get it well ordered. If things have been normal, then drop this back to once a month.

    That should do it. I've gone long periods w/o ccleaner so the registry has been less of an issue for me than most. But I don't install and uninstall a lot of apps either..


    Roger Tiedemann

    roger at

  • 1 decade ago

    Keep limewire off, that's a big source of viruses which will slow your comptuer down. Otherwise, as long as the program doesn't use a lot of resources (something like Photoshop) or let in viruses (like limewire) you shouldn't see a problem.

    Get some good anti-virus software on there (I use Avast, which is free and I never have problems) and use it. Every now and then you need to defragment the hard drive and get rid of any files and programs you no longer use. Oh, and keep the number of shortcuts on your desktop to a minimum, too many can slow you down.

    RAM will make your computer run faster, but only to an extent. If you have an older computer with slower hardware, all the RAM in the world won't help. So you might consider upgrading to 1gb of RAM, but unless your going to upgrade to Vista or you run demanding programs (again, like photoshop) I don't really see any reason to go above that.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yea. . . 768Mb of RAM is pretty low by today's standards. I have 1GB of RAM & I wish I had 2. AVG ate up my resources when I had it installed; things like limewire & IM applications will eat away at your available resources if you leave them running in the background, some will continue to run in the background even when you think you've shut them down.

    I personally defragment my hard drive frequently, remove applications that I don't use & run a registry cleaner after removal of files, etc.

    I also set my browsers to empty my cache & temp files every time I close them - I reboot my laptop daily, shut it off when it's not in use and remove temp files/etc when the laptop starts up.

    In addition to all of this, I back my work files (emails/projects/ect) every couple of days.

    I've had this laptop for nearly 8 months and I haven't had any issues except when a windows update gave me the blue screen of death. I don't know how old this laptop is, but I'm assuming it's 5 years or so old; and it's been ticking away faithfully for the past 8 months because I keep it clean & unclogged.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm so pity with your problem, but if it's a 4 years PC then it's time to move out. Let's upgrade your PC now, basically major application and OS (operating system) are 512MB of RAM in minimum.

    Then came Vista, requires a lot of RAM at least 1GB of RAM to get a quality and smooth operation in Vista. BTW, not just only RAM makes all program also OS runs smoothly but also you'll consider a hefty good processor, hard disk and so on. Most of your problem can be solve by upgrading to more RAM, then always do the routine job maintenance like defragment and disk cleanup every week!

    So other thing please, tick out the unnecessary application like myspace and so on in your startup. Then please run Anti-Virus and scan your hard disk every week / day basis. Hope this jungle will help you out dude.

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  • 1 decade ago

    U should b4 u do anything, make a backup of ur computer. IE 7 will not slow ur computer. U can install AVG, that does almost nothing. Avoid the useless downloads though, everything installed decrease speed slightly; so u should install things u use only. If it is useless, don't install.

  • 5 years ago

    Yes. You could use more RAM, but your PC will always bog down over time t some degree. Just be sure to back up your pertinent data and consider a archiving program such as Acronis. For optimal performance, reinstalling is a necessary evil.

  • 1 decade ago

    Well...Its not really all those programs. Its more your temporary internet files, cookies, things of the sort that are "bogging" down your computer. Use there product and it will get rid of all this stuff for you.

    Also RAM would help, but its not essential. My computer has 512mb of ram and is super fast, but thats because i use ccleaner and other programs regularly. And one last note, you may have had spyware or malicous software of some kind. You can get these by using P2P software if your not careful.

    To check for adware/spyware use lavasofts adaware:

    Hope i helped you!

  • 1 decade ago

    If you have everything one partition and you add data and new apps as you go, things get quite cluttered on the hard drive.

    One common method is to partition your hard drive. 1st partition for OS & Apps, 2nd partition for all your data. If you know how to move your internet temp files and any app pointers to your data partition it will help keep the 1st partition from getting defragged.

    The other thing that slows it down is the Windows Registry as it can grow to be quite gross and bogg your system down, which is hard to control. Keep the number of new app installs to a minimum.


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