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jmh



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Topic # 189361 26-Dec-2015 09:57
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My dad's PC laptop is grinding to a halt - it's quite old, but I think I should try and eek more life out of it before I suggest a new one.  He seems to have enough space on the hard drive.  Can anyone recommend some free tools to clean it up.  I read on another thread about Malware-bytes.  Any other suggestions?  I'm going round tomorrow to have a go at speeding it up.




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  Reply # 1457303 26-Dec-2015 10:02
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Clean install of windows 10?

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  Reply # 1457304 26-Dec-2015 10:02
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Does be have windows 7? Might pay to upgrade to 10 if he does. Otherwise might be an idea to get an ssd.

Lastly a fresh install always livens up an old pc for a while.

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  Reply # 1457305 26-Dec-2015 10:14
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Blow the dust out of the cooler. If it's dirty that'll definitely slow it down.




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  Reply # 1457308 26-Dec-2015 10:23
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Install the free product CCleaner and use it to clean up disk space (temporary files, browsing history, etc), disable unneeded startup items for Windows to free up memory (e.g. Adobe Reader Speed Launcher which preloads Abobe Reader) and the web browser(s), and uninstall unneeded applications.

You can also use CCleaner to clean the registry but it would be unlikely to give you any significant gain compared with freeing up memory. These articles give you examples of the sort of results you might expect:
http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/do-we-really-need-windows-registry-cleaners.htm
http://windowssecrets.com/top-story/putting-registry-system-cleanup-apps-to-the-test/ 

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  Reply # 1457313 26-Dec-2015 10:41
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The first programme I run is HDD Scan, it checks the status of the HDD, if it is on it's way out there is no point doing anything else other than changing the HDD.
http://hddscan.com


Next run CCleaner and Mba,.

Next look at the AV, if you have Norton, AVG or McAfee - uninstall it

Run ccleaner again and clean the registry

Install a new AV, I like NOD32 as a paid one, I also find MSE as a free one quite adequate but there are a few other free ones out there that are OK and not too power hungry.

Next is use ccleaner again to turn off un-needed programmes at startup.

If the laptop is old it may have trouble running modern software and is struggling.

I am also a big fan of backing up the data and starting fresh, gets rid of a load of bad habits.

If the laptop is W7, 8, or 8.1 and update to W10 is not a dumb idea, then blitz it and install a fresh install of W10. ( make sure you download the ISO first smile )

Best of luck.

John




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  Reply # 1457342 26-Dec-2015 11:33
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The processor speed will always be a limiting factor and that is usually not something you can upgrade.

Increasing the memory usually gives a bit of extra life - though often expensive to buy older memory and maybe there arent any expansion slots anyway.

Next up would be a HDD performance - I guess you can tidy/defrag that - but short of replacing it - thats not something you can tweak too much.

A clean fresh OS install often does wonders.

I suppose I should have said make sure you give the thing a cleanup with a few virus scanners - malwarebytes is a good place to start if you arent doing a clean OS install.




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  Reply # 1457350 26-Dec-2015 12:04
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Depending on how much HDD space is being used if he's willing to spend 100-150 on it an ssd is the answer

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  Reply # 1457424 26-Dec-2015 15:15
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Wipe and reinstall Os is the best thing.

If he was happy when it was brand new, he will be just as happy with new install.

Downloading utilities to clean things is fiddling round the edges.

Once reinstalled fresh, then see how it runs before spending cash.

A

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  Reply # 1457483 26-Dec-2015 17:57
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afe66: Wipe and reinstall Os is the best thing.

...

Downloading utilities to clean things is fiddling round the edges.


Cleaning the system is not just fiddling around the edges, as the reports show in the articles I linked to earlier. Plus installing and running a cleaner is a recommended first step in maintaining the system performance.

Also, the options are more complex than you make out. The decision to clean up versus reinstall depends on many factors including:

 

  • the number of applications and the complexity their configuration - it can take many hours to reinstall them
  • having a record of needed configuration details which often includes passwords that have been autofilled for years and are long forgotten
  • a complete knowledge of where all the data files are - it's easy if they're all stored in the documents folder but they are often all over the place
A reinstall breaks the system to create it anew. You need to be certain you can get it all running again.

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  Reply # 1457489 26-Dec-2015 18:14
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One word.
Reinstall.

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  Reply # 1457490 26-Dec-2015 18:14
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Oh by the way, there is no other way.

jmh



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  Reply # 1457492 26-Dec-2015 18:20
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Hmmm... I'm not sure we'll be able to find the disks for a reinstall - I'll have a look.  He's got dementia so it may be a problem with him remembering how it was set up.

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  Reply # 1457500 26-Dec-2015 18:45
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There should be a factory restore partition.

The other option is to migrate everything to a SSD and assuming your CPU and RAM can handle it, the lag should be much much much better.
If you go that route then try your best to manually weed the system like this
- Go to control panel and uninstall every tool bar looking junk you can see, and everything else he doesn't need
- Run avast bootscan and delete every nonsense it finds
- Teach him to use chrome


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  Reply # 1457501 26-Dec-2015 18:50
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blackjack17: Clean install of windows 10?


That plus a SSD will make it fly.

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  Reply # 1457536 26-Dec-2015 19:47
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If he has dementia, don't install win10 and don't reinstall the OS. It'll change things and confuse him.

Just do the basics like clean up malware, uninstall unused programs, and kill some unnecessary startup tasks.
Installing an SSD is also a great option for speed, and cleaning the heatsink will ensure the CPU doesn't throttle due to heat issues.

Dementia sucks... I feel for you man.




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