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#1
mfriedl1

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Hi Everyone,
As can see this is my first post and I hope this doesn't sound like too novice or a question. I've done some looking around and I'm pretty sure what I'm thinking will work out fine, but before I start buying pieces I figured it couldn't hurt to run it by someone that actually knows what is going on better then I may.

I have a Compaq Presario V6000 Laptop...its about 4 years old. Functions pretty much OK, but I am running out of hard drive space and there is 1GB of ram, but according to crucial.com this model can handle 2GB.

The RAM is easy to install...I've done it before, no big deal, but is it worth it to drop $45 on 2 1GB cards, will I really see a difference?

My concerns with a new hard drive is a bit more complicated. The machine has a 60GB drive (includes a "recovery" partition) and I currently have about 4GB of free space.

I'd like to get maybe a 250 GB drive. Would I be able to use Norton Ghost to make an exact copy of my drive as it is, including the partition for recovery)and then just swap out the old drive for the new one with out any issue (ie registry, key codes for installed software that I don't have the original "box" for...stuff like that). I would seem that my idea would work and the only additional cost would be the transfer cable to connect the old drive with the new one) but I'm not that familiar with how a computer works on that deep of a level, so I figured I'd ask.

If anyone can offer an opinion or alternate ideas, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks so much
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#2
D-Berd

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What operating system are you running? If it's vista or win 7 you should see some improvement. With win xp I don't think you'll see a significant difference unless you're using some type of video or audio editing program. The laptop you have may have a recovery partition on it. There should also be a program on the laptop that will allow you to make recovery discs. That way you can install the new hard drive and then just use the recovery discs to reinstall the os and original programs. norton ghost will work also if you don't feel like reinstalling all your software again.
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#3
mfriedl1

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Hi!
thanks for responding do quickly!

I am running Win XP, but it just seems like my machine needs more RAM since it runs real slow if I have more than 2-3 applications open at once (ie, Word, Excel and a web browser) I thought orignally the issue might be malware or disk fragmentation, but I have Kaspersky running all the time, and I've run spybot, malwarebytes, and superantispyware until I saw no problems. I've also defragmented recently, which helped a little. Anyway, that's what led me to believe I should just upgrade my RAM. But it sounds like you are saying it would be a waste of money to buy a couple of 1GB cards.

The laptop does indeed have a recover partition. I was assuming I could create a partition on the new drive and just run Norton ghost separately for each "drive" But it DOES sound like you are saying that Norton Ghost will allow me to copy my hard drive with out any issue with my registry or installed programs once I switch the 60GB drive for the 250GB drive...so that's good news!
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#4
D-Berd

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I wouldn't say you'd be wasting money buying more ram. I said I don't think you will see a "significant" difference in performance with win xp Unless you're using video or audio editing programs. Anything that is memory intensive, having multiple programs open will impact performance if the physical ram is maxed out. Go to start/run then type in taskmgr  go to the performance tab then look at the PF Usage and see how much is being used while the computer is running slow. Also look near the bottom of the window and see what the  Commit Charge (K) / Total is and post back.  A couple of things. 1. the anti virus program will slow the pc down. 2. if you have a slow processor then it will have an impact on performance. What processor are you running in the pc?
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#5
mfriedl1

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Hmm...After pulling up the computer's information from the control panel, I see
420 @ 1.60 Ghz and 504 MB of RAM....obviously I lied about having 1GB or RAM. I opened the machine and sure enough the 2 slots each have a 256MB chip.

So how come it tells me 504 instead of 512?
In light of this, upgrading to 2Gb or RAM might show significant difference.

As far as the task manager goes, I know that when its running slow, the performance jumps around quite a bit if you watch it...the peaks are around 80%-99%...but it could jump from 10% to 99% and back down to 25% in a few seconds, so I don't know about that.
the Commit Charge says right now 574M / 3494M I'm not sure what that means

Does this tell you anything?
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#6
D-Berd

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Yeah that changes everything then. I would get the ram, 1 or 2 gigs... The commit charge shows the total amount of physical and virtual memory the pc has used since the last time you turned it on or rebooted. Because your pc doesn't have enough ram, the pc loads information onto the HD (virtual memory) because of the lack of physical ram. This makes things slower because the HD can't transfer info as fast as ram. I bet right now that you can watch the HD light on the pc and it is probably on most of the time when you're running programs. You may be able to hear it working as well. Ram will help, but it will not be like night and day but it will speed things up. : ) Find out the fastest speed ram the board can use and get it.
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#7
mfriedl1

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So I bought two 1GB ram chips and noticed the difference right away...best $30 I could have spent!
I also got a 250 GB harddrive. I've tried to do a back up with Norton Ghost, but when I swap out the new drive for the old one, it doesn't boot up. What is the best way to make an exact copy of my old harddrive on the new one so I can just swap it out and have everything be the same on the new drive (except the fact that I have more space :D )

Amy ideas?
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