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Old January 21st, 2007, 05:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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System slowdown

I got a very nice computer a year ago for a Christmas present. It's a nice higher end PC that gives me great performance in games. Everything responded quickly and it would boot up in no time. 30 seconds or so. But after changing the shell (which always seems to slow down the bootup) and adding about 200gb or music, movies, games, and other data. It's not as quick. Rolling through menus used to have no wait. Now, a few seconds everytime. It's a small change, but it is not something I like. I want this thing to run at it's best the whole time.

I run McAfee firewall and antivirus along with adaware and microsoft defender. The latest Firefox is used for my internet and I like to think that I have a fairly secure setup. So i'm ruling out viruses as the cause here.

What I believe is to blame is windows. It's updates and general collection of data that are killing my performance.

So i'm wondering, am i right? And how can I fix this short of reformatting a drive. Something i'd rather not do.
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Old January 21st, 2007, 05:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Defragment, disk cleanup? they put system tools there for a reason...lol

Defrag organizes all of your files on the hard drive so theyre not scattered mishaply on your hard drive. Disk cleanup gets rid of unneeded files, like temporary internet files.
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The same argument you make could apply to cars, paintball guns, prostitutes, and firearms.
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Old January 21st, 2007, 05:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It's mostly Windows related slowdown. There are some ways to cut it down, but there aren't really any ways to eliminate it completely. One way that will help a little bit is to clear your pagefile (virtual memory) when you sign off. By default the file pagefile.sys doesn't ever (as far as I know) erase itself. It gets cluttered, fraggmented, and grows constantly.

This is a relatively simple regedit that will clear your pagefile every time you shut down your computer. I used to know a few other little tricks that help reduce it, but being that I haven't regularly used Windows in about a year and a half now, they've slipped my mind.

Also, I know it's popular to think that putting more things on your hard drive will slow things down. This isn't 100% false, but for the most part downloading music and such will have no effect.
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Old January 21st, 2007, 05:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Defrag, also i would highly recomend a 2nd hardrive solely for games, and using the current just for media ( i use 2 sata's in a raid 0 for games, and a 200gb ide for media, music, movies, etc)

Also, a few of the biggest things you can do to improve performance is adding a fan or 2(or replacing worn out fans), cleaning the computer with compressed air or a soft, static free cloth, and upgrading your ram (1.5-3gb of ram will keep you running smooth, i use 1.5 in my laptop and 2 in my desktop)
and filling up a hardrive will slow it down, especially if it is badly fragmented, with all that music and that big of a volume it may take 2, even 3 defrag sessions to fully defrag the drive

also try using disk cleanup and deleteing unneeded temporary files or removing old games etc that you dont use
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Old January 21st, 2007, 06:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i run 2 harddrives. The 2nd has most of my media. I'm thinking of moving my music over, but i still need to consolidate it to a single folder, it's all spread out.

I have 2gigs of ram and a 2.4ghz pentium D. I've got the power, its just a little held back by windows being windows.

Any recommended disk defrags or is what MS offers just as good?

I'll clear the pagefile and run defrag a few times. That should help.
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Old January 21st, 2007, 07:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobide View Post
i run 2 harddrives. The 2nd has most of my media. I'm thinking of moving my music over, but i still need to consolidate it to a single folder, it's all spread out.

I have 2gigs of ram and a 2.4ghz pentium D. I've got the power, its just a little held back by windows being windows.

Any recommended disk defrags or is what MS offers just as good?

I'll clear the pagefile and run defrag a few times. That should help.
It might not help out a ton, though. Once it has reached a stage of noticable slowdown it's kind of hard to bring it back out of the hole its dug itself. It will probably prevent it from getting worse, though. If it becomes really intollerable a clean install and taking some precautionary measures right at the beginning isn't a bad idea.

Also, a word about hard drive space being eaten up. Do you, or have you, considered running multiple partitions? This will help prevent system file fragmentation and just in general is a pretty good idea. I, for instance, run seven partitions. (Primaries) Windows, Linux, Swap... (Extended) Documents and pictures (small files), Audio and video (large files), Games, Archives/other storage. I probably don't need that many, but I've become accustomed to it.
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Old January 21st, 2007, 07:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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edit: nevermind, didnt read whole thread.
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Old January 21st, 2007, 08:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It might not help out a ton, though. Once it has reached a stage of noticable slowdown it's kind of hard to bring it back out of the hole its dug itself. It will probably prevent it from getting worse, though. If it becomes really intollerable a clean install and taking some precautionary measures right at the beginning isn't a bad idea.

Also, a word about hard drive space being eaten up. Do you, or have you, considered running multiple partitions? This will help prevent system file fragmentation and just in general is a pretty good idea. I, for instance, run seven partitions. (Primaries) Windows, Linux, Swap... (Extended) Documents and pictures (small files), Audio and video (large files), Games, Archives/other storage. I probably don't need that many, but I've become accustomed to it.
the slowdown is minimal right now. I just want to act before it becomes unbearable.

I'm not really in the mood to mess around with partitions.
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Old January 21st, 2007, 09:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Okay then that's good. I did the pagefile trick and a few other things late spring of 2006. The computer has seemed to be fine since then.
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Old January 27th, 2007, 08:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by bobide View Post
I got a very nice computer a year ago for a Christmas present. It's a nice higher end PC that gives me great performance in games. Everything responded quickly and it would boot up in no time. 30 seconds or so. But after changing the shell (which always seems to slow down the bootup) and adding about 200gb or music, movies, games, and other data. It's not as quick. Rolling through menus used to have no wait. Now, a few seconds everytime. It's a small change, but it is not something I like. I want this thing to run at it's best the whole time.

I run McAfee firewall and antivirus along with adaware and microsoft defender. The latest Firefox is used for my internet and I like to think that I have a fairly secure setup. So i'm ruling out viruses as the cause here.

What I believe is to blame is windows. It's updates and general collection of data that are killing my performance.

So i'm wondering, am i right? And how can I fix this short of reformatting a drive. Something i'd rather not do.
First of all remove McAfee firewall and antivirus. There are better out there for free. AVG or Panda will do you right. ZoneAlarm works nice as a firewall.

Defragment the drive and disk cleanup would not kill it. One thing that helps is having your drive partitioned. It kills slowdown time by alot.

Have a 64K partition for games and movies.
Another partition for music
A third partition for your OS and programs.

I currently have a 160gb HDD and a 40gb also. I have 6 partitions in total plus n external 320gb HDD. Everything is easy to find and I have minimal slowdown.
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