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need help with my Dell Latitude laptop


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#1
dustman

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Hello,

I have a Dell Latitude CPX laptop, pentium III, 12GB hard drive, 256RAM, and I am running Windows XP Pro. It runs slow as molasses. I have about half of the hard drive available as unused space.

I am a bit ignorant of the new things available that might help. One person said I could use an external hard drive, say an 80 or 160GB, that plugs into the usb port (there is only one usb port, so if I am using the external hard drive, I would not be able to use the usb for anything else). He says that would speed things up though. (Is there some kind of adapter that would give me 2 or more usb ports?)

Someone else said the hard drive is not as important as the RAM for computer speed. My laptop can be upgraded to 512 (two 256 memory sticks at about $100 each stick-OUCH!) I have two 128 sticks in it now for a total of 256RAM. But I don't know if the RAM upgrade is the answer anyway.


I have also heard of flash drives, 2.0, etc. but must admit, I don't have any idea what a flash drive really is. They also appear to need the usb port to function. I am obviously a bit behind the times, and would appreciate any input or help with this problem.

Thanks,

Dusty

Edited by dustman, 28 December 2005 - 05:06 PM.

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#2
Kemasa

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What is the processor speed of the computer?

A USB external drive is not going to speed things up. More memory can help, but you have to determine what the bottleneck is.

You can replace the internal drive with a larger drive, which might be faster, but I would not expect much improvement.
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#3
dustman

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Hello,

Thanks for the response! The processor is a Mobile Intel Pentium III 500.

Dusty
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#4
Kemasa

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Not real fast. You might see if you can remove any running programs and reduce the memory needed, but that can be hard to do especially with all the spyware stuff needed for Windoze.

You might get some speed improvement with memory, but for $200 it seem like you might be better off to invest that money in a faster machine or just deal with the slow speed. You could also try to find some used to see if the cost is greatly reduced. One aspect to consider is that you are investing money in an old machine and you will never make it all that fast.

A flash drive is just a solid state memory device, like a memory card but with the interface built into it. Some are faster than others, but you are not going to get a large drive without spending a lot of money.
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#5
dustman

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Thanks so much, Kemasa!

I truly appreciate the response in plain english that a novice like me can understand!

Best wishes,

Dusty
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#6
Kemasa

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You are welcome!!
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#7
sri-lankan

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If you are only using half of a 12gig drive, i dont think space is the issue. I also have a dell which i both love and hate. Mine is a p4 1.19 gig proccesor. The only real reason i hate(strong words) is because i too wanted to upgrade my ram, however, like you i have two 128 sticks so it would mean upgrading one so i would have 128 plus 256 or max out at 512. Both seemed too expensive an option for the time being.
It really depends what you are using the pc for as well, if you are using lots of apps at the same time etc etc. Any office apps slow the heck out of my pc. That is a ram issue mainly. So, maybe you are better of waiting for a bit and doing a whole system upgrade, however in the meantime a clean install of windows will get rid of any unnecesary software and will help it run smoother for sure. Just make sure you have a backup of the important stuff and copies of all the sotware you need to reinstall.
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#8
dustman

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Hello, sri-lankan, thank you for the response!

I just did a clean install of windows xp pro (I originally had windows 98). I think the computer bogged down more when I added voice recognition software (Dragonsoft Naturally Speaking) and the Sony software for the vor recorder necessary to use with it. The only other thing I added was Panda Platinum security software, but I eliminated a lot of other protection software first, including Adaware, Microsoft Anti-virus protection, Spybot, etc, as Panda supposedly does all that they do and better (you can't run them with Panda anyway as they interfere with each other).

I don't use many programs, but suspect the startup stuff may be slowing things down. Unfortunately, I can't tell from the names (very criptic) which programs I can eliminate from the startup and which I can't, which ones are needed by Panda or WIN XP. All I know is stuff is running very slowly, with lots of lock-ups.

Like, you can open control panel, and the hourglass appears for a minute or more before you can click on anything, and if you rush it, you get the "program is not responding" thing, and then the stupid "report/don't report" this to big daddy Microsoft, and I often end up having to reboot to get out of the program. What a mess!

Oh, well, what can you do?? Very frustrating!

Thanks again,

Dusty

Edited by dustman, 28 December 2005 - 08:48 PM.

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#9
jrm20

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the processor and memory is why it runs slow. Simply put as that. The harddrive in it is going to be a 5400 rpm also and that will slow the laptop down with the other 2 problems I listed.

If you have alot of stuff running in the taskbar that laptop will run extremely sluggish.


The best thing to do is not to put any money into that laptop. Laptop ram is expensive no matter what kind or how old it is.

I would save up and get a new laptop. You can find great deals online especially. I have seen good laptops for $1200 and under, even for $950 us dollars.
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