My 5 year old DELL is running slow and a few applications (e.g. games like Company of Heroes) hang for no apparent reason. I've run system scans (Norton 360), used CCleaner, Disk Defragmenter, and deleted a lot of unused games and applications from the hard drive but still no joy. I bought 4GB of RAM thinking that lack of memory (it was 1 GB) might be the issue but still no joy. My graphics card is a Radeon X800 which handles most things well.
So I think I've ruled out a virus/malware, registry issues, memory capacity and I've cleaned up the hard drive so whats left to do?
BTW as I sit here typing this with only IE running, the pc appears to be working away at what I don't know. The hard drive is also showing that I have only 53% of usable space left even after deleting a load of stuff. Is the pc just showing its age or is there something else I should have done? I was toying with the idea of upgrading this pc (new mobo, graphics card etc)but would it be cheaper to build a new one from scratch?
I have the same card and built my pc about 5 years ago and it too is showing it's age.
I play a lot of Company of Heroes and it runs fine at the right settings.
Have you reinstalled windows at all in the 5 years? You'd be amazed at how much of a performance boast a fresh install can give.
Assuming the rest of it is similar spec to mine it is past the point of upgrading and a new build would give the best performance for money increase.
(Which I'll be doing this summer hopefully )
Have a look in Windows Task Manager whenever an application is hanging to see what % of CPU is being used. Could be some Process hogging 100%.
Did you just get broadband? Sounds a bit like you suddenly got nailed by Update Rape, i.e. XP just installed a retarded number of updates that it didn't have a chance to before. Stuff like Windows Desktop Search - always a good one for mysteriously hogging assloads of CPU and spinning the HDD merrily for hours on end - sneaking on board. Live Messenger updates often trigger avalanches of unsolicited Microsoft spam programs getting installed nowadays too, could be one has snuck onboard then disagreed with your older comp...
As for the gaming issues, CoH is a notorious RAM-crasher - the slightest instability with your memory makes it go flippin mental. Believe me, I've been there too You might want to check for loose modules but I'm guessing either your RAM is on its way out and/or Windows is being a twat and you really need to go through the agonies of a full reinstall.
I've just istalled 4 new 1GB RAM modules so thats not the problem.
I've never heard of a complete windows reinstall. Why do it, how do you do it and how hard is it, i..e pitfalls etc. Oh and is it worth it?
I have the same pc as you,
I recently upgraded my ram to 2.62 gigs (2x1gb, 1x512mb, 1x128mb):-)
Thinking it would speed me up, I have a 2.99 ghz processor so I thought I'd be flying but I'm not mainly because it's an old chip and just can't make enough use all the ram at once compared to these intel quatro chips
Open up task manager and click procesees and arrange it so the highest CPU usage proceesess are at the top and see what they are. What's your CPU usage when you have nothing on, when the computers idle, shouldn't be more than 5%
Norton 360 is also a big CPU user
Back up all the stuff you want as it will wipe everything. Put your windows cd in and follow the instructions to install (not repair).
Make sure you have access to all your drivers, should be on the disk dell gave you. If you don't have them you can download most from the manufacturer's website of each of your parts.
It takes a bit of time to get windows patched back up and all the drivers back on. Then you have to reinstall all the software you want.
It makes everything faster cause the registry is cleaned and there is less bloat from patch upon patch installing on top of each other. You'll notice you boot a lot faster and programs will start a lot quicker.