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Trying to speed up old laptop - what to do after emptying recycle bin

(37 Posts)
NotBeingRudeBut Wed 30-Oct-13 07:10:51

I have a very old Toshiba laptop which operates on Windows Vista.
It's so slow so have been doing various things to speed it up including disk clean-up, defrag, uninstalling things, deleting documents etc. I'm pretty sure they're aren't any photos on it.

However it is still only showing the C: drive as only having 7.24GB free of 37.1GB.

What on earth could be taking up all the memory?

I have been emptying the recycle bin regularly but do I need to do more than this to get rid of everything completely?

Also, when trying to uninstall ITunes, it won't let me as I apparently have to be an administrator!

Please could somebody technical/geeky help me - thank you.

MissMarplesBloomers Wed 30-Oct-13 07:14:44

Not techy but sounds like you're doing everything
I could think of. Somewhere I know there is a list of what programs are taking up what space ( Try the install/ uninstall list in Control panel) So you can clear that.

Have you completely cleared your internet history & cookies etc?

pingulingo Wed 30-Oct-13 07:21:19

37gb sounds very small for a laptop running vista. If you look at your hard drives under My Computer, so you have a C: drive D: drive?
If your hard drive is genuinely that small then you might want to run an older operating system like XP instead. Sid you but the laptop with vista on?

Do you have more than one login for the laptop - at least one login will have administrator privileges so you can uninstall things. Also I think with vista you can right click on an icon and it gives you the option to "run as administrator" which should give u permission to delete it but may prompt you for a password.

pingulingo Wed 30-Oct-13 07:23:32

Sorry should say - did you buy laptop with vista on?

NotBeingRudeBut Wed 30-Oct-13 07:37:06

Yes have cleared browsing history and temp files. Google Chrome seems to be the one which takes up most space - is it worth getting rid of that and using Explorer as my browser (or something else)?

I've right clicked the icon and found the run as administrator option - thank you!! will try that now.

I don't appear to have a D: drive, only a C: and E and something called DVD RW Drive F:

Yes I bought it with Vista on - how would I change the operating system to XP?

(ps thanks for the fast replies)

pingulingo Wed 30-Oct-13 07:56:36

What's on your E: drive? I'm wondering if your hard drive has been divided into 2 as 37gb is small (my very basic £400 laptop 5 years ago has 120gb and I think came with vista just to give u a comparison)

Wouldn't think the browser is making the difference now. Slowness is likely to be because there are a lot of program's running in the background and there's v little free space.

How many gb of music/files have you got in iTunes? If you are removing dont forget to de register lapto in iTunes before you delete it - apple only let u have 5 devices registered to one iTunes account.

pingulingo Wed 30-Oct-13 07:59:28

Other option if you don't want to keep anything on the laptop is to reinstall it - your laptop will have come with a recovery disc or instructions on how to do this.

poisonedbypen Wed 30-Oct-13 08:01:48

We have had this problem with vista. I think it is because it stores all the backups or something do it is bunged up with previous stuff. We found a way of getting rid of them all and freed up all the space. Now it is full again & we can't remember what we did!

NotBeingRudeBut Wed 30-Oct-13 08:17:28

E: is showing 24.7GB free of 35.9GB.

Control panel tells me I have 50 programmes with a total size of 2.18GB.

ITunes appears to be 141MB in size - it won't let me remove it anyway as it comes up with 'Apple Application Support is required to run iTunesHelper. Please uninstall iTunes then install iTunes again'.

Thanks again for the replies- all help welcomed.

pingulingo Wed 30-Oct-13 08:47:52

ok, so you have enough free space on E; but not on C:
Your operating system is on C: along with probably most if not all of your other programs.

If itunes is 141mb then this seems like you have very little music on it. Does this sound right? If not, then start up itunes and look at how much music you have in there - if it is GBs of music then that may be taking up all the space on your C: as that is the default option when itunes installs. There is a way to change this and put your library on E:.

When the laptop has freshly booted (been turned on). Look at the start bar (bottom of screen). All the icons you have in the bottom right are programs that are running as soon as you start the laptop. If you have lots of icons and they are things that dont need to be running all the time then there are ways to stop them from starting up.

But I do think that removing whatever files you want to keep and then reinstalling would be your quickest and best bet - as long as you have the recovery / software you need to reinstall.

NotBeingRudeBut Wed 30-Oct-13 11:51:09

Thank you Pingulingo - yes it's probably right that there's not much on ITunes.

When I switch it on there's quite a few things come up bottom right such as 'pointing device'. Also McAfee pop up every few minutes.

Ok I'll have a play around later and see what I can sort out.

NotBeingRudeBut Wed 30-Oct-13 12:06:11

Ok I've switched it on and looked at bottom right corner. From right to left, the programs running are:

Internet connection
Battery power
Malware Bytes
Toshiba zooming utility
Synaptics pointing device
Cd/DVD drive acoustic silencer
Intel (R) graphics media accelerator
Mcafee Internet security (currently saying my computer is at risk)
Wireless network connection
Lexmark productivity studio

I have no idea what half of these are eg the Intel thing and toshiba. I'm guessing there's no need to have some of them running.

Ps Im learning loads doing this!! Guess it shows there's lots you can do yourself without taking laptop to a shop.

LifeofPo Wed 30-Oct-13 12:14:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

friday16 Wed 30-Oct-13 12:37:05

Why would clearing space on the hard drive have any effect on the speed of any laptop? In general, they're completely unrelated.

pingulingo Wed 30-Oct-13 13:51:35

No free space is needed on a hard drive because hard drives store data in little chunks. The less space there is free to store the data, the more time the disk spends whizzing up and down in order to access the data which makes it slower as it divides the data into smaller and smaller chunks in order to fit. If you have 10gb free on a hard drive it won't be all in one sector neatly on the hard drive.

If you defrag your hard drive you are organising these data chunks into organised lumps to free up larger sectors of space and make it quicker for data to be accessed.

Sorry this ended up a bit long and boring!

pingulingo Wed 30-Oct-13 13:58:30

Most of those start icons like pointing device you do need (touch pad on yr laptop). If your laptop is old Mcafee is Prob saying your laptop is at risk because your subscription has lapsed. Either update subscription or uninstall and add a free virus software like AVG.

If Mcafee keeps popping up then it must be doing something in the background. Maybe that's also making it slow.
Google what malware bytes is tho - not heard of that.

(Or just reinstall - your laptop sounds like it has a few issues!)

friday16 Wed 30-Oct-13 13:59:43

But they'd already run defrag. Why would deleting more files have any effect?

VivaLeBeaver Wed 30-Oct-13 14:06:57

I have the same problem with a Toshiba laptop. Its so bad I'm thinking of buying a new one.

c drive has 63gb free out of 232gb
e drive only has 13 mb free out of 231gb

I've looked at the edrive and stuff that's on it is

hdd recovery
USB001511.ZIP 4200KB

Not sure what any of those are and if I can delete them. Recycle bin is empty, cookies, history is deleted, computer defrags weekly.

DoctorTwo Wed 30-Oct-13 14:10:04

Download and run the free version of CCleaner. I swear by it, it's the best free tool on the net.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 30-Oct-13 15:14:23

Dcotor - just installed that. It says its found 1320 errors. Will fix 25 for free. Is it worth paying for memebership for the rest?

VivaLeBeaver Wed 30-Oct-13 15:19:01

Aggghhh. I've just searched for Registry Reviver and apparently its all a scam. Says theres problems when there isn't to get you to buy it and lies about awards its got when it hasn't had them.

And its bloody changed my home page to Ask and won't let me change it back to Google.


VivaLeBeaver Wed 30-Oct-13 15:22:51

I dunno how I ended up with Registry Reviver...I followed your link Doctor. Had to download some freezip thing and then registry reviver.

DoctorTwo Wed 30-Oct-13 15:42:51

Piriform do a free version of CCleaner for home use, and a paid one for corporate users. The difference in them seems to be that the free version doesn't update automatically. This link offers the free version.

DoctorTwo Wed 30-Oct-13 15:46:26

Registry Reviver is a scam. It's basically scareware, and could actually do more harm than good. CCleaner is honestly brilliant. After I got this shiny new PC it was the second thing I downloaded. Firefox being the first.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 30-Oct-13 16:13:47

How do I get google back as my homepage?

I go to google and click on the link that says "make google my home page". It brings up a dialogue box asking if I want to add it o my homepages or be the only one. Doesn't matter which I choose I then get a 404 error message.

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