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Author Topic: Slow computer's driving my boss nuts...
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 2 posted August 04, 2004 08:00      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
...So of course for my sanity I want to fix it. She's running Win XP (the rest of the specs I don't know off-hand) and has a cordless mouse (which doesn't always work well). I defragged, cleaned the HD, and installed SpyBot last week, getting rid of a bunch of junk. It worked temporarily, but now it's freezing on her again. She also has these weird icons in the clock tray. They look like envelopes with magnifying glasses over them.

What do I tell her to do? I really don't want to reinstall Windows, but that may have to happen. [Frown] It's the oldest comp in the office, so it may have less memory. If I upgrade the memory will that maybe speed up things?

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Change the way you SEE, not the way you LOOK!

Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted August 04, 2004 08:06      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Specs: Gateway, Intel P4, 1.5 GHz, 256Mb RAM.

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Change the way you SEE, not the way you LOOK!

Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
csk

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Icon 1 posted August 04, 2004 08:15      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
...So of course for my sanity I want to fix it. She's running Win XP (the rest of the specs I don't know off-hand) and has a cordless mouse (which doesn't always work well). I defragged, cleaned the HD, and installed SpyBot last week, getting rid of a bunch of junk. It worked temporarily, but now it's freezing on her again. She also has these weird icons in the clock tray. They look like envelopes with magnifying glasses over them.

What do I tell her to do? I really don't want to reinstall Windows, but that may have to happen. [Frown] It's the oldest comp in the office, so it may have less memory. If I upgrade the memory will that maybe speed up things?

Sounds like she's got a lot of stuff in startup, for one. See if there's anything she doesn't want there, and remove it, for a start (this may require some registry digging, so back up beforehand, yada yada yada). Uninstalling a few pieces of software entirely might be a good option.

If that doesn't work, then a reinstall is probably in order. If you haven't done this before, make sure you backup really carefully beforehand. Ask her every single program she uses, and make sure the appropriate data is backed up (eg emails, appointment data, etc). And ensure that you've got the software she uses on hand to reinstall, too. If you do reinstall, make sure you install appropriate AV/Adaware/Spybot/firewall etc software on the new install, it might stave off another reinstall for longer then.

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6 weeks to go!

Posts: 4455 | From: Sydney, Australia | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted August 04, 2004 08:20      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks, CSK. I knew I could count on you for an answer. [Smile]

I had to reinstall on my computer at home when this happened. It's not fun, but at least she's on a network so I can transfer everything there before wiping her system.

I'll see what's happening in startup, but I hate playing with reg keys. [cry baby]

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Change the way you SEE, not the way you LOOK!

Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
csk

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Icon 1 posted August 04, 2004 08:37      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
Thanks, CSK. I knew I could count on you for an answer. [Smile]

True. Good answer, well who knows, but an answer nevertheless [Wink]

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6 weeks to go!

Posts: 4455 | From: Sydney, Australia | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted August 04, 2004 09:18      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So I ran SpyBot, got rid of a bunch of junk, and then installed and ran JavaCool's SpywareBlaster. (If I could just convince her to use Mozilla, we'd be spared some of this!) I eliminated some of the programs that run at startup, too. We'll see if any of this helps.

She only has 256 Mb RAM. Should I upgrade? What's the cmd line to find info on her RAM?

Oh yeah, and do any of y'all use cordless mice? Do they have problems with delay?

Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
csk

Member # 1941

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Icon 1 posted August 04, 2004 09:29      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
So I ran SpyBot, got rid of a bunch of junk, and then installed and ran JavaCool's SpywareBlaster. (If I could just convince her to use Mozilla, we'd be spared some of this!) I eliminated some of the programs that run at startup, too. We'll see if any of this helps.

Yep, Firefox is a wonderful thing. If you set up any plugins/java stuff she uses, then surely she should be able to cope with Firefox?

quote:

She only has 256 Mb RAM. Should I upgrade? What's the cmd line to find info on her RAM?

Well, a bit more might help Windows XP along some, particularly if she runs memory intensive apps. AFAIK you can only find the amount of memory she has under software, you'll need to take a look inside the case to work out how many spare slots (if any). Check out the M/B manual too, since it tells you what memory configurations are possible.

quote:

Oh yeah, and do any of y'all use cordless mice? Do they have problems with delay?

I've heard that most first person shooter gamers don't like cordless mice for this reason (with the exception of one of the high end Logitech models, which works well for some reason). I don't suppose it's battery issues?

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6 weeks to go!

Posts: 4455 | From: Sydney, Australia | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted August 04, 2004 09:38      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, considering she's in her late 50s and doesn't play shooting games, that's not an issue. The mouse app says the battery's green for good.


Is this what being a sys admin is all about? [Razz]

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Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
ooby
Highlie
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Icon 1 posted August 04, 2004 10:11      Profile for ooby     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I believe you can use TweakUI to get at other auto-run programs. It's either that or a similar utility.

I would also check out the windows updates.

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"haven't you ever wondered if there's more to life than being really, really, rediculously good looking?"

Posts: 680 | From: South Jersey | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
csk

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Icon 1 posted August 04, 2004 10:25      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
Well, considering she's in her late 50s and doesn't play shooting games, that's not an issue. The mouse app says the battery's green for good.

I was more using that anecdote to agree with your assertion re cordless mice.

quote:

Is this what being a sys admin is all about? [Razz]

Shooting games? Yes, absolutely!. Apart from being a BOFH, that is [Razz]

/me visualises:
"Your system keeps locking up? That's not my problem. RTFM, n00b. Besides, if you really cared you'd run something other than Windows, and get a real mouse while you're at it"

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6 weeks to go!

Posts: 4455 | From: Sydney, Australia | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted August 04, 2004 10:34      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
/me pulls out geek jargon dictionary.

BOFH? RTFM?

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Change the way you SEE, not the way you LOOK!

Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Richard
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Icon 1 posted August 04, 2004 13:01      Profile for Richard   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
/me pulls out geek jargon dictionary.

BOFH? RTFM?

BOFH - Bastard Operator From Hell (Seen here )

RTFM - Read the FSCKing Manual. (A common geek saying and popular shirt from ThinkGeek )

[Smile]
~Richard

[edit -
I would upgrade the RAM, I recently had a similar problem with my parent's computer (2.0Ghz, 256M ram Dell) it ran like a dream when they first got it, but recently it's been draging. I upgraded the RAM to 512M and it screams like it should /edit]

Posts: 49 | From: Jacksonville, FL | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted August 04, 2004 13:08      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Okay, so upgrading the RAM will be my next step (much cheaper than buying a new comp like she wanted to do!). Where do you buy RAM online? What're good (economical) brands to buy?

Here's what MemoryX.com recommends:

256MB Gateway Desktop PC2100 DDR DIMM (p/n 6608872)
$49.98

512MB Gateway Desktop PC2100 DDR DIMM (p/n 5000584) $96.98

Do they have to be Gateway brand? If one of two slots is currently filled, do I need to put in a pair or can I just stick in another piece?

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Change the way you SEE, not the way you LOOK!

Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Richard
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Icon 1 posted August 04, 2004 13:18      Profile for Richard   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As far as purchasing RAM I usually frequent www.egghead.com

I'm sure there are other people who might be able to recommend brand names.

I haven't found one to be particularly useful over another (especially in the situation you are talking about.)

Posts: 49 | From: Jacksonville, FL | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
DoctorWho

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Icon 1 posted August 04, 2004 14:50      Profile for DoctorWho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Your best bet for getting the RAM you need at a decent price is to go to www.kingston.com and use their memory search to find the right RAM specs, then go to www.pricewatch.com and find the cheapest branded RAM their from an online store with a good rating.

Edit: Oh and by branded RAM I don't mean "house brand". Get a name brand.

Edit: Ok I missed that you already have the specs. hmmm... looks like www.buyaib.com is selling 512MB PC2100 sticks of Samsung RAM for $77 with free shipping. That should be plenty. You can still keep your 256MB stick in the slot it's in and use the 512MB stick.

Posts: 1694 | From: The TARDIS | Registered: Apr 2000  |  IP: Logged
Jace Raven

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Icon 1 posted August 04, 2004 14:56      Profile for Jace Raven         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sadly, XP doesn't like small systems too much. They run great as long as you keep thye work load to a min.

Run 'msconfig' and use a selective startup. Only run the absolutley necessary apps, i.e. Antivirus, network util. This should help to reduce the amount of 1) shit that runs on start-up and 2) the amount of process that are running after startup thus, hopefully, freeing some recourses.

Though after looking at the comps specs I find that a 1.5 P4 should hold up to XPs expectations just fine.

You might want to also go into the computers (OS's) properties and slim down some of the graphics. Take of text smoothing and that kind of thing. Remove highliting of new programs in the start menu and make sure that auto hide isn't active on the start menu. This may also help depending on how good your vid card is.

It shouldn't be an issue, tho it is very important that your network is setup correctly because if not your comp will freeze up as it tries to do shit it isn't supposed to do and eventually time out. i.e. Try and connect to a dial up connect while on a LAN.

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csk

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Icon 1 posted August 04, 2004 15:24      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Richard:
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
/me pulls out geek jargon dictionary.

BOFH? RTFM?

BOFH - Bastard Operator From Hell (Seen here )

RTFM - Read the FSCKing Manual. (A common geek saying and popular shirt from ThinkGeek )

Incidentally, RTFM can also stand for Read the Fine Manual, but it's usually thought of the other way.

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6 weeks to go!

Posts: 4455 | From: Sydney, Australia | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted August 05, 2004 06:28      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
What can you tell me about BootVis? Will that prove to be an effective solution if I run it before upgrading the memory?

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Change the way you SEE, not the way you LOOK!

Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted August 05, 2004 06:53      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Richard:
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
/me pulls out geek jargon dictionary.

BOFH? RTFM?

BOFH - Bastard Operator From Hell (Seen here )

RTFM - Read the FSCKing Manual. (A common geek saying and popular shirt from ThinkGeek )

[Smile]
~Richard

[edit -
I would upgrade the RAM, I recently had a similar problem with my parent's computer (2.0Ghz, 256M ram Dell) it ran like a dream when they first got it, but recently it's been draging. I upgraded the RAM to 512M and it screams like it should /edit]

I'm the proud owner of one of those t-shirts. I get a lot of dumb looks while wearing it, but I did get one guy.. probably about 50 years old driving a BMW.. he pulled over as I walked down the road and goes, "do you actually follow your own advice?" I go, "huh?" He goes, "your shirt." I go, "oh.. haha.. absolutely. practice what you preach, right?" He goes, "yup" and drives away. that was a little odd.

And I'm pretty sure the BOFH way of dealing with this problem would be to blame it on solar flares from the sun, and then proceed to log in from the network and erase all e-mail received between 10am and 4pm for the last week.

Posts: 4897 | From: Cambridge, ON, Canada | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
zesovietrussian
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Icon 1 posted August 05, 2004 10:43      Profile for zesovietrussian     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by CrawGator:
Your best bet for getting the RAM you need at a decent price is to go to www.kingston.com and use their memory search to find the right RAM specs, then go to www.pricewatch.com and find the cheapest branded RAM their from an online store with a good rating.

Edit: Oh and by branded RAM I don't mean "house brand". Get a name brand.

Edit: Ok I missed that you already have the specs. hmmm... looks like www.buyaib.com is selling 512MB PC2100 sticks of Samsung RAM for $77 with free shipping. That should be plenty. You can still keep your 256MB stick in the slot it's in and use the 512MB stick.

If you're planning to order anything online, look up the company on resellerratings.com and avoid those that have a rating of 5 or lower.

PS: buyaib is 2.16, I wouldn't touch them with a 10 foot pole.

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted August 06, 2004 06:30      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have noticed a trend with many systems in a work environment that is packed with useless items. This has always been there, but now as consumers are becoming more accustomed to using computers it seems to be getting more common. My personal favorites are weather bug, personalized mail graphics, and the ever popular yahoo tool bar.

All memory hogs. I have seen 1ghz systems with 128 mb of RAM go like stink and seen 2.8ghz systems with 512 drag ass like a morning after.

And if that Gateway is running in the shipped config, then I wouldn't trust it to ever go fast. Gateway, like all consumer style manufacturers, pack extras into their systems. Most of these extras (crap) can be uninstalled.

It all comes down to what is needed, what is done, and what can they break on the system while you aren't looking.

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Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

Posts: 2464 | From: Utarrrrggggghhh!!!!!!!! | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted August 06, 2004 10:03      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Lets not forget our friends, Hotbar, Banzai buddies, and MSN messenger.
Posts: 4897 | From: Cambridge, ON, Canada | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted August 06, 2004 12:16      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by drunkennewfiemidget:
Lets not forget our friends, Hotbar, Banzai buddies, and MSN messenger.

So true. Though I haven't seen as much of those recently. On occasion they still crop up. But I look at Bonai Buddy more of a spyware than a god awful piece of crap software package that is self inflicted.

<wishful thinking>MaybeSymantec can put MSN Messenger in as a virus definition</wishful thinking>

--------------------
Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

Posts: 2464 | From: Utarrrrggggghhh!!!!!!!! | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
DoctorWho

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Icon 14 posted August 06, 2004 15:07      Profile for DoctorWho     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dp004i:
If you're planning to order anything online, look up the company on resellerratings.com and avoid those that have a rating of 5 or lower.

PS: buyaib is 2.16, I wouldn't touch them with a 10 foot pole.

Thanks for the heads-up. I have just been going by the ratings on pricewatch. I will have to check there too next time I buy online. [thumbsup]

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Laughter is like changing a baby's diapers. It doesn't solve anything but it sure improves the situation. Leo F. Buscaglia

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