PC Problem: Performance, System Restore

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Gryffindorian, May 31, 2013.

  1. Gryffindorian

    Gryffindorian Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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?
     
  2. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    This is your problem. move up to Windows 7 if you can find it.
     
  3. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    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.
     
  4. Gryffindorian

    Gryffindorian Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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?
     
  5. jayceee

    jayceee Commander Red Shirt

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    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 ?)
     
  6. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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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.

    Definitely. With your specs, Windows 7 would run without a problem.
     
  7. jayceee

    jayceee Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  8. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  9. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    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.
     
  10. Rincewiend

    Rincewiend Vice Admiral Admiral

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  11. Bob The Skutter

    Bob The Skutter Complete Arse Cleft Premium Member

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    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.
     
  12. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    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.
     
  13. Bob The Skutter

    Bob The Skutter Complete Arse Cleft Premium Member

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    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.
     
  14. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    Yeah, but I'd take a virtual Barney Fife over Norton or McAfee just about any day. ;)

    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.
     
  15. Bob The Skutter

    Bob The Skutter Complete Arse Cleft Premium Member

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    Yep, I keep meaning to donate, but every time I remember I want to do it I'm skint.
     
  16. Sector 7

    Sector 7 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    All 3 of my computers run Avast! anti-virus, CCleaner, Defraggler [the last 2 are from Piriform]. All 3 are free and can be downloaded from FileHippo.com. [NEVER, ever click on any ads there, but it is a great resource for downloading software.] I like the FileHippo Update Checker for keeping my oft-used software up to date.

    Like the others, if at all possible, upgrade to Windows 7. My older laptop is a Sony VAIO circa 2007, which I upgraded to Win7 from Vista. Performance on the old girl is much improved! The lag time is virtually gone, as well. :techman:
     
  17. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    Don't feel bad, I'm the same way.
     
  18. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    AVG used to be good. I stopped using it because it turned into a resource hog. Never had a problem with MSE.
     
  19. Gryffindorian

    Gryffindorian Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Just an update: I decided to buy a new Dell PC from Best Buy. The only drawback is that it runs on Windows 8. :-\ I can live with it, I'm sure.

    Now here's a new dilemma: I'm debating what version of MS Office to get - Office 2010, which is currently what I'm using at work, or Office 365, the new subscription-based service from Microsoft? I've been using Office 2003 all these years and am still getting familiar with the features of the new Office suite at work.

    It seems a lot of people are unhappy with Office 365. I must say I find it distasteful to have to "rent" productivity applications for $99 a year. Those who prefer to buy the latest Office 2013 release would have to pay $400 or more for the CD version with a limited number of licenses. Even if I opted to get Office 2010 Premium Home Edition (Word/Excel/PowerPoint/OneNote), I would only be entitled to have it run on three different PCs. What if my computer or laptop crashed (say, a few times) and I had to reinstall everything? I don't like this marketing tactic by Microsoft at all, but I really want to get something for home because I use Word, Excel, and Outlook quite often.

    What say you?
     
  20. Sector 7

    Sector 7 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^I recommended Open Office to my godson. He loves it. It is free because it is open source, yet has good functionality.