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Old May 31 2013, 07:21 PM   #1
Gryffindorian
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PC Problem: Performance, System Restore

Hey, it's me again with the Dell XPS 710, Windows Vista SP2, 2.6 GHz Duo Core Processor, 750 GB dual hard drive, and 2 GB RAM. Lately, my PC has been experiencing some MAJOR lllaaaaaagggg. We're talking about 10 to 15 minutes to start up the machine. It's been excruciatingly slow; it takes several minutes to open a file or program (Internet Explorer, Outlook, etc.). So I've been manually turning off and rebooting the machine but have failed to achieve a System Restore in Safe Mode. The good thing is, I have all my personal files backed up in an external drive.

What should I do at this point? I suppose I could start over and reinstall Windows Vista, and this PC is six years old. What say you?
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Old May 31 2013, 08:33 PM   #2
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Re: PC Problem: Performance, System Restore

Gryffindorian wrote: View Post
Hey, it's me again with the Dell XPS 710, Windows Vista SP2, 2.6 GHz Duo Core Processor, 750 GB dual hard drive, and 2 GB RAM.
This is your problem. move up to Windows 7 if you can find it.
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Old May 31 2013, 11:23 PM   #3
J. Allen
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Re: PC Problem: Performance, System Restore

Gryffindorian wrote: View Post
Hey, it's me again with the Dell XPS 710, Windows Vista SP2, 2.6 GHz Duo Core Processor, 750 GB dual hard drive, and 2 GB RAM. Lately, my PC has been experiencing some MAJOR lllaaaaaagggg. We're talking about 10 to 15 minutes to start up the machine. It's been excruciatingly slow; it takes several minutes to open a file or program (Internet Explorer, Outlook, etc.). So I've been manually turning off and rebooting the machine but have failed to achieve a System Restore in Safe Mode. The good thing is, I have all my personal files backed up in an external drive.

What should I do at this point? I suppose I could start over and reinstall Windows Vista, and this PC is six years old. What say you?
Well, you could have a number of issues:

* Are you regularly scanning your system for spyware, malware, and viruses? If not, you should start. Those can slow your system down.

* Do you load a lot of programs during startup, such as messenger programs, and game clients? If so, disable those and do it manually after startup.

* Are you running too many services? Sometimes Windows (especially Vista) will run far more services than you need, and your system performance suffers for it.

* Have you defragmented your hard drive? Hard drives, when storing data, don't put everything in neat order, they drop it wherever the hell they can and move on to the next order of business. Defragmenting your drive may significantly boost performance.


On another note, I would suggest reinstalling Vista. I do a fresh install of my OS every 3 years or so, because no matter how well you maintain your system, over time it's still going to get bogged down by the little things that routine maintenance might miss.

Of course, Windows Vista does have performance issues, even with the updated service packs. As sojourner mentioned, if you can upgrade to Windows 7, I recommend it. Windows 7 is much faster, all around, than Vista, and is better on resources. My system is an AMD Athlon X2 2.73Ghz, with 3GB of RAM, and a 500GB HDD, and it runs like the first day I powered it up.
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Old June 1 2013, 03:06 AM   #4
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Re: PC Problem: Performance, System Restore

Thanks. I have Norton Internet Security that runs regular utility scans, so I trust I'm safe from malware. Defrags take too long for me. I don't use messaging services, but I do have quite a few programs that run upon startup; they've never been an issue before.

Based on the specs I gave, is it possible to get an upgrade to Windows 7?
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Old June 1 2013, 03:26 AM   #5
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Re: PC Problem: Performance, System Restore

For a system as old as a Dell XPS 710, one may be inclined to just buy a new computer?

(IIRC, the Dell XPS 710 was from 2006 or 2007 ?)
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Old June 1 2013, 03:33 AM   #6
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Re: PC Problem: Performance, System Restore

Gryffindorian wrote: View Post
Thanks. I have Norton Internet Security that runs regular utility scans, so I trust I'm safe from malware. Defrags take too long for me. I don't use messaging services, but I do have quite a few programs that run upon startup; they've never been an issue before.
Ugh, Norton. It is my opinion that Norton causes more problems than it solves. There's a good reason why your system is slow, right there. I use Microsoft Security Essentials. It's free, it's lightweight, and it's better than Norton.

Based on the specs I gave, is it possible to get an upgrade to Windows 7?
Definitely. With your specs, Windows 7 would run without a problem.
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Old June 1 2013, 03:40 AM   #7
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Re: PC Problem: Performance, System Restore

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Ugh, Norton. It is my opinion that Norton causes more problems than it solves. There's a good reason why your system is slow, right there. I use Microsoft Security Essentials. It's free, it's lightweight, and it's better than Norton.
I agree.

In addition to Microsoft Security Essentials, I also use ccleaner, adblock plugin (on Firefox), and a modified HOSTS file which redirects many annoying domains to 127.0.0.1

Once a month or so, I'll run something like stinger or Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool manually.
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Old June 1 2013, 07:10 AM   #8
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Re: PC Problem: Performance, System Restore

Modern versions of Windows don't really need defraging. Norton and it's "utilities" are products of a bygone era still trying to find a market. Uninstall it. Get Microsoft Security Essentials (a free download from MS) for you're antivirus needs. It does a fine job for home use.
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Old June 1 2013, 08:35 AM   #9
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Re: PC Problem: Performance, System Restore

sojourner wrote: View Post
Modern versions of Windows don't really need defraging. Norton and it's "utilities" are products of a bygone era still trying to find a market. Uninstall it. Get Microsoft Security Essentials (a free download from MS) for you're antivirus needs. It does a fine job for home use.
If you have a Solid State Drive, then I'd agree, but if you still have a standard spinning hard disk, fragmentation can still be a problem, though not nearly as severe as it once was.
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Old June 1 2013, 08:50 AM   #10
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Re: PC Problem: Performance, System Restore

If you do want comercial security software go with Panda...
I use it and it's low-key...

http://www.pandasecurity.com/
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Old June 1 2013, 08:58 AM   #11
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Re: PC Problem: Performance, System Restore

In recent times a lot of holes have appeared in MSE, I wouldn't put total faith in that, guys. I get Kaspersky from my bank for free but for other free anti-virus programs there's Avast, Comodo, AVG, and Avira, all fairly decent programs.
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Old June 1 2013, 09:02 AM   #12
J. Allen
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Re: PC Problem: Performance, System Restore

Bob The Skutter wrote: View Post
In recent times a lot of holes have appeared in MSE, I wouldn't put total faith in that, guys. I get Kaspersky from my bank for free but for other free anti-virus programs there's Avast, Comodo, AVG, and Avira, all fairly decent programs.
Sure, MSE has some flaws, but I've found it works best for me. YMMV. Though I would like to say that while Comodo is okay, it has a rather low detection rate when compared to the others in your list.
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Old June 1 2013, 09:10 AM   #13
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Re: PC Problem: Performance, System Restore

J. Allen wrote: View Post
Bob The Skutter wrote: View Post
In recent times a lot of holes have appeared in MSE, I wouldn't put total faith in that, guys. I get Kaspersky from my bank for free but for other free anti-virus programs there's Avast, Comodo, AVG, and Avira, all fairly decent programs.
Sure, MSE has some flaws, but I've found it works best for me. YMMV. Though I would like to say that while Comodo is okay, it has a rather low detection rate when compared to the others in your list.
Used it for years on my netbook and never had trouble. When it comes to anti-malware nothing is gonna give complete protection, but I'd happily trust any of those to do better jobs than Norton or McAfee.

Of course that's forgetting to mention that I have a Firewall, Spybot Search and Destroy and ad-block running for most of the time too.
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Old June 1 2013, 09:17 AM   #14
J. Allen
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Re: PC Problem: Performance, System Restore

Bob The Skutter wrote: View Post
Used it for years on my netbook and never had trouble. When it comes to anti-malware nothing is gonna give complete protection, but I'd happily trust any of those to do better jobs than Norton or McAfee.
Yeah, but I'd take a virtual Barney Fife over Norton or McAfee just about any day.

Of course that's forgetting to mention that I have a Firewall, Spybot Search and Destroy and ad-block running for most of the time too.
Of course. It's always important to use malware/spyware programs in conjunction with a firewall, and an ad blocker/no-script extension. SS&D has been a part of my arsenal for years. It's a solid program, and it's great to see that you can still get it for free. TeaTimer alone would be worth every penny of a purchase price.
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Old June 1 2013, 09:37 AM   #15
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Re: PC Problem: Performance, System Restore

J. Allen wrote: View Post
Bob The Skutter wrote: View Post
Used it for years on my netbook and never had trouble. When it comes to anti-malware nothing is gonna give complete protection, but I'd happily trust any of those to do better jobs than Norton or McAfee.
Yeah, but I'd take a virtual Barney Fife over Norton or McAfee just about any day.

Of course that's forgetting to mention that I have a Firewall, Spybot Search and Destroy and ad-block running for most of the time too.
Of course. It's always important to use malware/spyware programs in conjunction with a firewall, and an ad blocker/no-script extension. SS&D has been a part of my arsenal for years. It's a solid program, and it's great to see that you can still get it for free. TeaTimer alone would be worth every penny of a purchase price.
Yep, I keep meaning to donate, but every time I remember I want to do it I'm skint.
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