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OK, in words of one syllable what can I do to make my laptop run faster?

(24 Posts)
ShoeJunkie Sat 10-Nov-12 22:30:03

My fairly ancient laptop is running really slowly.
I've tried cleaning the hard drive with the cc cleaner thing someone recommended on here but there's very little space on the hard drive and I can't see anything immediately obvious to delete etc.
Does anyone have any suggestions? But please keep it simple - I am not well versed in computer speak!

nerfgunsftw Sat 10-Nov-12 22:44:09

Use 'add/remove programs' to get rid of old stuff. Use 'windows defender ' to trim down startup programs.

TheDetective Sat 10-Nov-12 22:53:16

Buy. A. New. One.

This was my solution anyway grin.

DP said to put stuff on an external hard drive?

niceguy2 Sat 10-Nov-12 22:57:33

Sorry, can't help unless you can tell us more about what sort of laptop you have and what you are trying to do. Is it slow ALL the time or certain things? When you say it's got little space, how little is little? How old is the laptop? How much memory does it have?

niceguy2 Sat 10-Nov-12 22:58:18

Oh and what version of Windows is it running? If it is Windows Vista then I second what TheDetective said....get a new one.

ecuse Sat 10-Nov-12 23:00:00

Remove Norton and/or AVG antivirus if you have it, and any of the bundled hp software that might have come with a printer

TheEnthusiasticTroll Sat 10-Nov-12 23:09:55

Defragment, this condenses files closer together rather than spread on hard drive...I think.

Remove cookies

Add/remove programmes ang get rid of what you don't use or what has been added on.

Don't use Internet explorer use firefox, safari or google Crome.

ShoeJunkie Sun 11-Nov-12 21:32:49

It's an Acer Aspire 5050 and uses Windows Vista.
Unfortunately getting a new one isn't an option sad
It's running slow especially when on the Internet and sometimes freezes completely. It's only got 1gb from a possible 25gb left apparently.
I will try those things suggested but if anyone has any other magic solutions please let me know.

ladyWordy Mon 12-Nov-12 00:50:03

Hmm, it's definitely worth deleting any unwanted files, or moving them to an external drive or USB sticks if you can. Try to free up at least 10% of your total hard drive space.

If your machine has suddenly started to run more slowly, a vigorous sweep with your anti-malware program/s would be in order – a complete scan, not a quick scan, and back this up with Malwarebytes or similar if you do suspect malware.

But if it's slowly ground to a halt, then the previous suggestions are the first steps to take.

Take a look at what's running at startup, as the previous poster suggested. Perhaps try Winpatrol for this (free). You can disable a number of things at startup, and delay others with this tool. BUT take your time, and do some research, so you only disable things you are absolutely certain you don't need. Used carefully, a startup control manager can stop a lot of unnecessary processes running (eg quick launch for applications you rarely use).

Finally. If feeling really brave go to and see if you can fit any more RAM into your laptop! Run their scanner program to find out, or find your model there.

If you choose to do this, it's fair to say that upgrading RAM is ridiculously easy, a 5 minute job at most.

As it's an Acer you might only be able to access one of two memory slots, but a modest RAM upgrade would still make a huge difference.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Mon 12-Nov-12 01:00:51

I have exactly the same problem(s). I have looked at the programs to see what I could delete, but to be honest, unless you are a proper geek it's impossible to know what you can and can't safely delete, because as a 'non geek' you have no ideas what any of these actually 'do' and if they are running any of the things you use???

ShoeJunkie Mon 12-Nov-12 11:16:36

<waves> at ChippingIn - exactly, I'm not exactly sure what I don't need, I don't understand half of it!
I think my moving my iTunes onto an external hard drive might help - I presume this is possible?
Will also run my anti virus and see how that goes.
Thanks all!

kiwigirl42 Mon 12-Nov-12 12:03:44

empty recycle bin. I had SO much in there when DH checked he almost choked lol.

Naoko Mon 12-Nov-12 15:33:03

I have just Googled that model laptop because I thought '1GB left out of a possible 25GB' sounded a bit odd - nowhere still makes hard drives that small and puts them in laptops and they haven't done for years. It appears that range of laptops came with varying sizes of hard drive but they all had at least 80GB - are you sure the drive isn't partitioned? When you go to 'my computer', which drives come up? I'd expect to see C:/ (hard drive) and D:/ (either also hard drive or a CD/DVD drive) as a minimum; what have you got and what are they? It's possible you have more space than you think, just not in the right place.

maxmillie Mon 12-Nov-12 17:29:44

download and run free version of AVG antivirus

download and run Malwarebytes

get rid of any junk/spyware/viruess that might be there slowing things down

1sassylassy Mon 12-Nov-12 20:45:14

I wouldnt put AVG on a laptop that is running slowly,its quite resouce heavy.Do you have an antivirus progran on it OP?

ChippingInLovesAutumn Mon 12-Nov-12 22:45:57

<waves back>

Maxmille - I couldn't fit AVG on if I wanted to.

ISassy - I currently have Nortons, which I know is resource heavy, but touch wood, has always served me well.

1sassylassy Tue 13-Nov-12 10:41:11

Cutting down on programs running at start up will help.To do this Start>in search box type system start up in the box that comes up,clear the check box against any that you dont want to run at start up,if you not sure what something is ,google it or post back here.Itunes,Adobe reader and any manufacturer bloat ware doesnt need to run at start up.Dont forget to restart after you have done this.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Wed 14-Nov-12 00:14:03

OK - I don't have a clue about any of this, so thank you for helping!! Please speak slowly grin and as though you are speaking to a 2 year old!

I am shocked at how much is on the start up. I am not aware of anything happening other than I enter my password, the wallpaper comes up with some icons on it (not even that many). That's it. Everything else I go in and 'open' if I use it.

Windows defender
Alps pointing device drive
Intel(R) common user interface (x3!!)
Rapid Event Monitor
HP Quickplay
HP Quick Launch
HP Health Check
HP Wireless Assistant (x2)
Java(TM) Platform SE6
Cognizance Identity and Access Management
Real Player (32bit)
bttb_WCM_McaTray App
SupportSoft sprtcmd
Microsoft Windows Operating System (x3) YES x3???
Windows Live Messenger
Goodle Toolbars Notifier
Adobe Updater
Registry Booster
WDDMStatus.exe (Western Digital - terrabye hard drive I use)

I guess that could explain rather a lot shockconfused ???

Naoko Wed 14-Nov-12 14:52:02

That's not actually that many startup services, although some of them could certainly be turned off. I don't recognise all of them without googling but I'd start by unticking Napster, Realplayer, AdobeAcrobat, Quicktime, Windows Live Messenger, Google Toolbars, Adobe Updater, and the western digital thing (I assume that's for an external drive, not the main HD in the PC). None of those need to run at startup, they can start themselves when you actually want them.

However, that ought not to be making your PC slow in general, that just makes it slow to boot and maybe slows the running down a tiny bit. What you really need to look at is what processes run once it's booted, which will be a much longer list (my PC is, as we speak, running 51 processes), determine where they're coming from, and disable (not just end, or it'll only start back up again) the unnecessary ones, or those taking a lot of memory and processing power when they're not actually needed. You can look at this by hitting ctrl-alt-del and going to task manager, then into the 'processes' tab. If you click on the top of the 'CPU' and 'Memory' columns it'll sort the list by usage, and let you identify which processes are using a lot of each. (do not panic if System Idle Process is using almost all of your CPU. That number tells you how much of the processor is doing nothing grin)

Doesn't answer the out-of-space issue, though. Did you look at what drives you have available, like I suggested above? I'm still wondering if you actually have a partitioned drive, one part of which (probably Csmile is full while there might be room on the other part - if that's the case you could just move some stuff around.

Snorbs Wed 14-Nov-12 15:08:07

I'd uninstall the Registry Booster as well. It's not needed. The bbtb_ stuff can also be disabled.

At a guess, are you using McAfee anti-virus? That can be quite resource-hungry. Microsoft's (free!) Security Essentials will run on Vista and is a lot lighter-weight but just as good if not better.

Vista does need lots of memory. If you hold down the Ctrl and Shift keys and then press Esc you'll get the Windows Task Manager come up. Choose the "Performance" tab. In the box near the bottom saying "Physical Memory", what does it say for "Total" and for "Free"?

ChippingInLovesAutumn Wed 14-Nov-12 15:17:15

Thank you both. I have just seen your replies. I have to go out now and wont be back on line until late tomorrow night, but I will have another read and get back to you then. Many thanks smile

prism Wed 14-Nov-12 22:22:05

If you don't mind spending a bit of money, a solid state hard drive would transform it. You need tech savvy to do it, but it's wonderful. I've lost count of the laptops and small PCs I've done this to, and it's like having a new computer. You can get one for about fifty quid.

1sassylassy Thu 15-Nov-12 06:12:41

Add HP quick time and HP health check to the list to be disabled at start up,both can be run on demand manually.
,If as I suspect have a HP or Compaq laptop your hard drive is partitioned but your Ddrive is a recovery program so dont try moving stuff there.Did you say you were running Norton,I would strongly recommend getting rid and downloading Microsoft Security Essentials,its a lot less resource hungry,and never let me down even with three teenagers on the internet.

As a matter of priority I would down load ccleaner,it will tell you it is permanently deleting files but dont worry its onlt temporary files,internet history and old av files,all the crap you dont need but will slow your laptop down.

Als download and scan withMalwarebytes make sure you select the free version,do a quick scan first,if it finds a lot of malware then let it deal with it and do a fuul scan.When installing these free programes make sure you dont install anything else witth them,I know ccleanrer offers Chrome,uncheck the box if you dont want it.

Let us know how it goes.

bluebird68 Fri 16-Nov-12 15:08:18

add more memory

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