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how to improve my laptop performance?
Thread poster: Pablo Mayen

Pablo Mayen  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 07:23
English to Spanish
+ ...
Oct 12, 2005

Hi all,

I'm not sure of this is the right forum...I have a laptop 3 years old, with 256 RAM and 40 GB hard disk. For some time now the machine seems kind of slow. I made a backup of my files and deleted those that I no longer use. I also removed some software, but the laptops seems to be running at the same pace.

It is worth mentioning that I have an updated version of Norton Antivirus, which I run constantly in order to update the virus definitions, as well as an spyware program.

I was wondering if there is another alternative to boost up the performance of the machine (in addition to buying perhaps more RAM).

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!


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Graciela Carlyle  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:23
English to Spanish
+ ...
depends on several things Oct 12, 2005

Hi Pablo,

Laptop performance might vary depending on processor, RAM, programs running in the background.
More RAM would be a good idea to start with.

Some one might be able to confirm this but, I've heard that Norton Antivirus slows things a lot. You could try some other antivirus. I used to have Trend Micro PC Cillin and never noticed any problem.
AVG, is not terribly bad, but can get annoying when it does the daily scan.

FWIW
Grace.


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Fernando Toledo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:23
Member (2005)
German to Spanish
Try this Oct 12, 2005

Graciela Carlyle wrote:

Hi Pablo,

...Some one might be able to confirm this but, I've heard that Norton Antivirus slows things a lot. ...
Grace.


Norton, never again!

Try this program, I think you have a month free. It is very good!
http://www.tune-up.com/

Regards

Toledo


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:23
Member
English to French
Norton the culprit Oct 12, 2005

As Graziela said, It seems that NAV consumes a lot of resources while running in the background. 256 MB may not be enough.
When I upgraded my antivirus a year ago, I looked around on the Web and read a lot of negative feedback about this issue for the latest releases of NAV, McAfee and Kaspersky.
Use the Defrag and Cleanup disk utility from Windows, it may help.
You can also disable Windows services that you don't use, there are many resources on the Net that explain what these services enabled by default do.
The ultimate way of reviving your laptop would be to format the system drive and reinstall it all. But this requires quite a bit of preparation (license keys, CDs, settings and data backup, etc.) and time. I do it every year or so and dedicate one full day for this task, but the result is worth the effort.
Philippe


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Zoltán Medgyesi
Hungary
Local time: 14:23
English to Hungarian
Some steps Oct 12, 2005

- First of all, remove Norton. Choose a better antivirus application, such as AVG or Panda.
- Remove other (unnecessary) resident applications.
- Maybe you could buy +256 MB of RAM


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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:23
German to English
+ ...
Clean up? Oct 12, 2005

Graciela Carlyle wrote:

AVG, is not terribly bad, but can get annoying when it does the daily scan.

FWIW
Grace.


It took me SOOOO much longer to uninstall Norton than it did to install AVG. I love it to bits. You can set the scan time for late at night, or whenever. And the updates run in a flash, unlike Norton.

Pablo, as others have said, there are so many ways to speed up, but a cleanup might help. Have your tried regular defrgamentation?

Also a registry cleaner (e.g. jv16 from http://www.jv16.org/) is good for sweeping out all the rubbish that Windows leaves hidden under the carpet.

HTH
Chris


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Piotr Sawiec  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:23
English to Polish
+ ...
defragmentation Oct 12, 2005

Looking at parameters of your laptop I guess that the CPU isn't very slow and should be enough for most tasks. One simple thing is to perform defragmentation (of the harddisk and of the registry), which can speed your computer a lot. Besides, see what processes are running constantly in background, and what are loaded at startup. There are some good programmes showing the processes and the resources (RAM, CPU usage) they use. I use Process Explorer.

Certainly, buying more RAM will be very effective in speeding up the computer.

As for Norton, I think that the newest version uses less resources than the former versions, especially if it is only antivirus and not other components of Norton Internet Security. Viruses can slow down the computer much more, but you take precautions (AV and anti-spyware).

And the last thing. Every windows after some time accumulates data that slow it down, so many people after several years just reinstall it.

Piotr


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Pablo Mayen  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 07:23
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
That's the funny thing... Oct 12, 2005

It took me SOOOO much longer to uninstall Norton than it did to install AVG. I love it to bits. You can set the scan time for late at night, or whenever. And the updates run in a flash, unlike Norton.

Pablo, as others have said, there are so many ways to speed up, but a cleanup might help. Have your tried regular defrgamentation?

Also a registry cleaner (e.g. jv16 from http://www.jv16.org/) is good for sweeping out all the rubbish that Windows leaves hidden under the carpet.

HTH
Chris



Hi all,

Thank you so much for your suggestions. In fact, Chris, I tried to defragment the disk but the pre-test tells me it requires no defragmentation!:(


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Jennifer Baker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:23
Partial member (2004)
Italian to English
Norton never again Oct 12, 2005

Norton really slowed down my laptop. It used to take what seemed like forever just to boot up.
I'm now using AVG and enjoying faster, cleaner performance. I definitely recommend it!

Jennifer


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Fernando Toledo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:23
Member (2005)
German to Spanish
But remove it really! Oct 12, 2005

mzdude wrote:

- First of all, remove Norton.


Start/run/regedit.exe

Search for Norton, surprise! there is still a lot of garbage.

Panda is the one I have

[Edited at 2005-10-12 20:26]


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Klas Törnquist
Local time: 14:23
English to Swedish
+ ...
Increase the RAM Oct 15, 2005

Pablo Mayen wrote:

Hi all,

I'm not sure of this is the right forum...I have a laptop 3 years old, with 256 RAM and 40 GB hard disk. For some time now the machine seems kind of slow. I made a backup of my files and deleted those that I no longer use. I also removed some software, but the laptops seems to be running at the same pace.

It is worth mentioning that I have an updated version of Norton Antivirus, which I run constantly in order to update the virus definitions, as well as an spyware program.

I was wondering if there is another alternative to boost up the performance of the machine (in addition to buying perhaps more RAM).

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!


If you are running Windows XP you may increase speed by increasing the RAM. IMO, 256 MB is barely enough to run the OS.

I will be upgrading my laptop from 256 to 256 + 512 MB RAM and with a bigger hard disk. This costs approx. 15 % of what a new laptop costs, and it is probably well worth the money.

Klas


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Pablo Mayen  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 07:23
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Klas! Oct 15, 2005

Klas Törnquist wrote:


Thanks in advance for your suggestions!


If you are running Windows XP you may increase speed by increasing the RAM. IMO, 256 MB is barely enough to run the OS.

I will be upgrading my laptop from 256 to 256 + 512 MB RAM and with a bigger hard disk. This costs approx. 15 % of what a new laptop costs, and it is probably well worth the money.

Klas[/quote]


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Jan Sundström  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 14:23
English to Swedish
+ ...
Shut down programs in the background Oct 19, 2005

Graciela Carlyle wrote:

Laptop performance might vary depending on processor, RAM, programs running in the background.


I can't emphasize this enough. Many users like to try new freeware, download various tools, which all leave traces, even after uninstalling them.

Many programs leave processes running invisibly (Office, Quicktime, Itunes, Realmedia, MSN Messenger, Adobe Acrobat Reader are some of the common culprits).

Make sure the processes are "killed" for good, so that they won't run unless you specifically need them.

"Hijackthis" is a very good tool to control this, which deletes processes in the autostart, browser helper objects and other registry items. Make a search on google and learn mor on how to use hijackthis.

"Spybot - Search & Destroy" is another indispensible tool that immunizes your PC from future programs that might hog your computer.

/Jan


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