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Speeding Up an 11 Year Old PC


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#1
OldFatGuy

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Hey everyone,

My superdooper supercomputer is on a cross country voyage to be repaired, and thus it's back to my 11 year old Dell for the next few weeks/months.

My question is about all the speed up software you see on the web. Do they really do any good? As in NOTICEBLE speed difference?? I've heard the Doubleyourspeed dot com commercials on my radio so often that's the one I was looking at, but noticed right off when I got here there was ad on this page for another one. LOL.

My old PC is still quite impressive for it's age. It's got a P-4 2.5Ghz processor, and I just spent fifty bucks and got a brand new GeForce 520 video card, which I haven't installed yet. The old one is a GT7600, not a horrible card.

Point is, this old relic still has some geddyup in it, so to speak. But it is way, way, way, way, way slower than it used to be.

I simply can NOT format C and reinstall Windows. That's what lots of folks have recommended, and I'm sure for folks smarter than I that would be the best solution. But I simply can't. I wouldn't know where to begin.

So that leaves these types of speed up software as an option. What do the folks here think?? I really respect your opinions a lot because I've gotten advice here before and it's ALWAYS been top notch.

Are any of those speed up software's worth thirty bucks (or whatever)? Do they actually provide a NOTICEABLE increase in speed? Is there one above all others that you would recommend? Is Doubleyourspeed dot com one of those you might recommend???

Thank you very much for all of your help, and hope everyone has a wonderful and most importantly SAFE holiday season. If you're drinking, please don't drive, ok??

Peace
Joe
OldFatGuy

ADDED IN EDIT: Doh!! I can't seem to count. I got this old thing around the middle or end of 2002. That would make it 9 years old, not 11.

Should've used my fingers and toes I guess.

Sorry to have misled folks.

Edited by OldFatGuy, 12 December 2011 - 03:52 PM.

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#2
Neil Jones

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Realistically a nine old computer is about as fast as it probably gets. Remember that it will always seem slow compared to the computer you were used to using. There isn't really a lot you can do to a machine of that age to speed it up.

None of the "speed up your PC by 400%" type of software does any good whatsoever. They are all a complete waste of money. Avoid.
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#3
OldFatGuy

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Realistically a nine old computer is about as fast as it probably gets. Remember that it will always seem slow compared to the computer you were used to using. There isn't really a lot you can do to a machine of that age to speed it up.

None of the "speed up your PC by 400%" type of software does any good whatsoever. They are all a complete waste of money. Avoid.


Ahh, THANK YOU very much. You've saved me some money because I was ready to try it.

On a side note, I don't think it's my imagination that it's quite a bit slower than it used to be. As an example, one game I play has a feature that you can hit the "f" button and the frame rate shows up. That game used to get me 40-50 FPS always. Now it's consistently under 35, sometimes dipping below 30. Same computer, same graphics card, same game, same settings. So something must be happening. Would it be just the hardware aging maybe??? Guess I never thought of that.

Plus, the time I really notice it is booting up. It takes waaaaaaayyyy longer to come up than it used to. I have to turn it on now, get up, go get a cup of coffee, grab a donut, walk back and even then it's just then coming up into Windows. It wasn't always like that at all.

Anyway, thank you so much again for saving me some dough. And I wish you a wonderful and safe holiday season.

Edited by OldFatGuy, 14 December 2011 - 12:30 PM.

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#4
phillpower2

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Hi OldFatGuy
I am happy that you heeded the words of warning that Neil stated, those type of software can do more harm than good and in most cases you will end up worse off than when you started, without upgrading your hardware one way of keeping your system running smoothly is by keeping the data on your HDD tidy and we can help you with this, see below;

My first suggestion is to tidy up the data on your HDD so please follow the directions provided below starting with Autoruns http://technet.micro...ernals/bb963902

1: Extract the Autoruns Zip file contents to a folder.
2: Double-click the "Autoruns.exe".
3: Click on the "Everything" tab
4: Note any entries that mention "File Not Found" by right-clicking the entry and select Delete.
5: Go to File then to Export As or Save in some versions.
6: Save AutoRuns.txt file to known location like your Desktop.
7: Attach to your next reply.

2nd: Download and run TFC from http://www.geekstogo...ds&showfile=187 your computer should automatically re-boot on completion but if not do it manually.

3rd: Defrag your HDD http://www.auslogics...re/disk-defrag/ do this at least once a quarter in the future, a tidy drive is a faster drive, please note that I am not suggesting that you use any other product or service here.
Couple of other things to consider are what size HDD do you have and how much free storage space is available, you should always have between 12 and 15% of the overall capacity available, do not have more than 1 AV program running as it causes slowness as the programs fight for control of system resources, this can lead to instability and/or crashes.
What AV do you use, some use a lot more system resources than others Norton and AVG are excellent but very demanding.

To speed up your boot times find any unnecessary programs linked to start up "how to" below;

START -> RUN
type MSCONFIG in the RUN box
then click OK

Click on the start-up TAB

Look at each line that has a check in the box, these are start-up items. Uncheck the ones you do not want to run at start-up.
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#5
OldFatGuy

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Hi Phillpower2,

Thanks for responding but I'm not sure it's worth your time to mess with this old thing. I was mainly just wanting to know whether or not to spring for those speed up software programs out there. And now I won't.

But, just in case you did want to take a few minutes, I'll do all of those steps.

THANK YOU very much for responding and if others have a more pressing problem please feel free to skip this one.

I hope I attached the autoruns.txt file correctly. Man there was a LOT of them with File Not Found next to them. I might not have gotten them all, but I think I did.

So, hopefully here's that file and I will now proceed with step 2.

THANK YOU AGAIN.Attached File  AutoRuns.txt   34.18KB   22 downloads
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#6
phillpower2

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Hi, Autoruns look clear of non - existent files so step 2 now please.
I will be going off line shortly until about 1900hrs UK time tomorrow but will check back then.
You should see a marked improvement after doing all of the above but there is one more thing we can do to be sure and we can do that tomorrow you have enough to do for now :thumbsup:
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#7
OldFatGuy

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I don't really know how to do the last step.

I mean I understand the mechanics of it as you described, it's just I don't know what programs to get rid of at start-up because I don't know what most of them do IIRC. I say IIRC because I seem to remember a utility I used several years ago that asked the same thing, to please select the start-up programs you wish to disable at start-up.

As far as what I want when it starts, I guess I just want Windows. I dunno what else to call it. I mean I want all of my hardware to work (monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers) but other than that I don't care if something doesn't load at startup. Unless it's going to mean something I try later on after start-up is ruined. I dunno, sorry, I guess I don't really know how to explain it. I'll look at them, but I probably really won't have a clue as to what's safe to disable at startup and what isn't. Know what I mean???

EDIT: Oh I almost forgot. You mentioned doing the defrag once a week. Did you mean to keep using the degrag at that link every week or after today use the defrag under Windows???

Edited by OldFatGuy, 14 December 2011 - 06:02 PM.

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#8
OldFatGuy

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Ok, all but the last step is done, and I can a notice a little difference already. Thank you.

However, as I suspected, I looked under the startup tab of MSCONFIG and while I found a few that I knew what they were for and knew I could live without them, a vast majority of them I just have no clue as to how important they are because I have no clue what they do.

When I ran Win95, everytime I would want to just play games on it, I would boot up, immediately hit "Ctrl-Alt-Del" and this box would come up with all sorts of stuff running, and I was able to end ALL of them except 3 or 4, and I noticed it big time regarding performance of my games. I would so love to be able to do the same thing here, but when I bring up Task Manager in XP, there are so many processes running I just don't have a clue what I could end.

Anyway, sorry to change the subject. I've done all I can so is that it or was there another step??? And I'm wondering if I'm supposed to keep using the disk defragmanter at the link you posted every week or after this one use should I switch to the Windows defrag???

Also, in answer to your disk question, let me look: Local Disk (C:) Local Disk 111GB Total 20.7 GB Free. It appears I'm above the 12-15% of free disk space so that shouldn't be a problem. And this computer runs ZERO antivirus programs.
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#9
phillpower2

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Hi OldFatGuy
As a matter of urgency I strongly suggest that you install an AV program http://www.geekstogo...yware-software/ I use and recommend Avast, MSE is also highly regarded as one of the best
For start up this will help http://www.pacs-port...tup_content.php I am not recommending the use of any other software available there, just one cautionary note ensure that you leave your anti virus program enabled on start up.
The windows defrag once a week will be fine but ensure that you keep around the same amount of free space as you have now, we have one more step to do but I will wait until your next reply before adding the info.
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#10
OldFatGuy

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Ok, I will use that resource to help me decide which startups to disable. Thank you.

On the subject of anti-virus programs, if the decision is between running an anti-virus program and cancelling my internet, I will cancel my internet. Just so we're clear on that. I am not going to run them because they hijack your machine, especially resources that games seem to conflict with. I've had so many games have so many problems with anti-virus software that I stopped running them completely in 2007. That's right, I havne't run an anti-virus program since 2007. And, as stated above, if this place known as the internets becomes so dangerous one simply can NOT be here without one, then I will happily call Comcast on the phone and cancel my internet service. Saves me a few bucks each month if that happens.

If no anti-virus apps running means no more support here, I understand perfectly. I will thank you for your help and understand perfectly because I do understand you guys would rather not help folks who are too stubborn or stupid to use AV programs. Please let me know if that's an issue.

Thanks again for all of your help and if this is the last post then I hope you and yours has a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year.
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#11
phillpower2

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We can only advise you regarding AV software the decision is ultimately yours to make, post back when you are ready.
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#12
OldFatGuy

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OK, well, like I said, I would certainly understand it if folks didn't want to waste time helping someone with a problem when it may well be that the problem is virus related and they're not running an anti-virus program. FWIW, I've been hit with viruses about 5 or 6 times since 2007, 3 on my laptop (one last night as a matter of fact), and the others on the desktop. I was able to recover from all of them, although I do know I was lucky. But I just don't surf the web much. I have like maybe 7 places on the web that I've been visiting forever and that's all the places I ever go to. I've gotten the viruses on my laptop each time (last night included) by clicking on a link at a trusted web site. Anyway, point being maybe if you're careful these internets aren't as dangerous as some would have you believe???? I dunno, I think that's my conclusion.

Sorry for the OT, but I am now done that step. LOL, I didn't even have that many startup programs running. Don't know how I managed that but it was less than 30, and I felt comfortable disabling about 10 of them. Wish I could do more, but I'm just not that comforatble with it.

I have noticed an improvement in speed, both during use and during boot up, so if you stopped now you've already helped me, but if you're ok with the next step I'll give it a go if I think it's something I'm comforatble doing. THANK YOU again for all of your help. You guys (and gals) here at Geekstogo are just awesome. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.
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#13
phillpower2

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Ok I understand if you do not wish to disable any more start-up programs, it is however quite safe and is actually a start-up troubleshooting option that Microsoft support and I only suggested leaving an anti virus program running because it is standard procedure and I am duty bound to offer the best guidance http://windows.micro...m-Configuration bookmark this for future reference, now for the last step;

Please Run the PCPitstop.com OverDrive Full Tests

Here's how:

You must use your Internet Explorer for this procedure. (doesn't work so well in Firefox or others). If your machine is running Vista or Windows 7, you must Select IE to “Run as Administrator”. After completing PCPitstop OverDrive you can close your IE browser and re-open it Normally so that you are no longer running as administrator.

Go to: http://www.pcpitstop.com
Click on "Free Computer Check-up" listed below PC Pitstop OverDrive
In the User Login - Click on "Sign up FREE!"
You'll need to submit a valid email address and create your own password, then click - Create Account(button)

Now enter your email address and password to Log in, Select - Scan this system Now!(button)
You will then be asked to download an ActiveX component and allow it to install.
It is safe and does not compromise your privacy.
Follow the on-screen prompts to install the ActiveX and to allow the Full Tests to be run on your machine.

The Full Tests take about 2 1/2 - 3 minutes on most machines.
When complete, a Results - Summary - Recommended Fixes will be displayed.

Please post the URL internet address, from your Results, back here into this Topic Thread so that we can review the configuration and present performance levels of your machine.

Note: During the graphics 2D and graphics 3D testing, your screen will display some rapidly moving objects.
If you are sensitive to visual flashing, it may cause dizziness. Therefore, look away from the screen during that portion of the testing.

After reviewing the results we will be more informed and may be able to provide better recommendations for you to work towards improving your machine's performance.

While PCPitstop does offer a variety of Paid Products, the PCPitstop OverDrive testing is FREE. Please ignore the references to Paid Products. We prefer to provide manual solution instructions that you can apply directly to your machine.

Thanks to rshaffer61 for the PCPitstop instructions :thumbsup:
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#14
OldFatGuy

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Ok, I hope I did all that right. Sorry if I didn't.

But HOPEFULLY this is the right link.

http://www.pcpitstop...?conid=24705246

EDIT: If I'm reading the results right, it seems to be saying I've got 109 MB of temp internet files. I ran the TFC above day before yesterday. Is it possible to get 109 MB of temporary files in a day and a half??? Especially when I don't even hardly surf the web with that machine??? I don't get it. Should I run TFC again? Am I misreading the results???

Edited by OldFatGuy, 18 December 2011 - 01:38 PM.

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#15
phillpower2

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Yep got it thanks :thumbsup:
Ok if you go back to the link that you provided you will see a Fixes tab, if you hover over the item it will give you a description of what the issue is if however you click on it you will be told how to resolve the issue.
Post back when you have done that and we can then update some software that will improve your video and gaming and remove some old (2002) Norton software that is cluttering your HDD up.
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