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  1. #16
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    There is such a thing as a repair install but I have a feeling that wouldn't help you much with your system and I don't even know if you can update an OEM disc and use it for that purpose.
    It would just be slower using the OEM XP disc to install rather than do it from the hard drive, plus many times all the OEM XP disc does is put the recovery partition on the disk and it installs from there anyway.

    You can always try the programs, services and processes removal/disable route, and it is a hassle to go thru a recovery install but that also gives you the opportunity, once all the programs you need are reinstalled and its all working top notch, to image that install partition and then that becomes your recovery source...in other words, your OS and all your programs are preserved so if ever needed again, the recovery process is almost exactly what you mentioned---a reinstall of XP without losing any applications or settings. Unfortunately you need to make the "master" install one time the hard way to be able to do that.

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    shelquis (2012-01-24)

  3. #17
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    OK, thanks Infinicore. Appreciate your response. How do I know if I have a recovery partition, and how do I use it when (if) I finally decide to bite the bullet? I guess I guess I don't feel desperate enough to try a clean instal yetl. At least for the time being, I'll just focus on removing/disabling programs and services. I assume that the main benefit of a clean install is to wipe out the registry and rebuild it anew. If that in fact is the case, then that repair install probably wouldn't do anything for my registry, or would it? I notice that you cautioned not to use registry cleaners. I have used registry cleaners for years, probably about monthly, generally associated with thorough cleaning and defragging. Maybe that's my main problem, i.e. I've hosed the registry with various cleaners and nothing short of a clean install will have any appreciable effect on my performance issues. Thanks for your comments.

  4. #18
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    If you plan to continue to use Windows XP for the foreseeable future I highly recommend that you get your hands on a genuine
    XP SP3 disk and slipstream it as much as possible. ebay
    Tally and collect all of your running programs and drivers even if it means paying out for software you failed to properly back up.
    Learn how to use drive imaging software in combination with other forms of data backup.

    Do the work once, do it right, and you will not find yourself in a similar situation in the future.

  5. #19
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    shelquis,
    One other thing... I found this and you might have a look see at your settings...Regards Fred
    Attached Images Attached Images
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

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    shelquis (2012-01-24)

  7. #20
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    A PC with those specs running XP should have no performance issues and run most popular applications with ease. The Dimension 4700 offered good bang for the buck when it was released on the market, so I very much doubt it is a matter of mismatched hardware either. A clean install would certainly be a good option for starters.

    It's a pity hard drives are so costly at the moment, as a new drive would almost certainly be the easiest and safest way to reinstall XP. Then, in the event of anything going wrong, you can simply plug the old drive back in again. You also have the added benefit of easily being able to subjectively compare the performance with your existing installation.

    IMHO the magic number for 32 bit XP, in terms of RAM, is 2GB (specifically 2X1GB matched modules in dual channel mode). I have worked on hundreds (yes, literally) of PCs running 32 bit XP and have yet to see one that shows a noticeable improvement in performance with more than 2GB of RAM - some actually show a decrease.

    I recall you mention that your PC has always been a bit slow. Should a clean install not sort out your problems, check the Dell web site and ensure that you have the latest bios and driver updates installed. It is also possible that (usually one component of) your hardware is defective. The usual way to isolate the culprit is a process of elimination, which can be quite time consuming. I take it you are still using the onboard graphics? If so, start by borrowing a graphics card, fit it and check your comparative system performance. If, at this stage, you still have performance issues, it will probably be better to bite the bullet until you can buy a new system, as it will not be cost effective to replace the remaining suspects such as your mainboard and CPU.

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    shelquis (2012-01-26)

  9. #21
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    I regularly get called out to a new customer's house, and the problem is usually that the PC is running so slow that it's driving them crazy.

    In that environment, I don't have the luxury of installing new hardware or doing a Factory Restore or anything like that.
    I have to work with what's there, and just make it better and in less than three hours.
    Some PC makers, only put enough ram into their new PC's to get them out the door. But as soon as the new owner started installing programs, that ram became insufficient. One PC maker's name that comes to mind is Dell. (there are others!)

    I made myself a cheat-sheet on the steps I should take to clean up and tune up an old PC. I had to struggle to just get the steps printed out on an 8.5X11" sheet of paper. Even when I've done it for other tech's, they sit there with a very puzzled look on their face because they have never seen anyone do what I do to a PC.

    Believe it or not..... I showed one tech, who runs his own Computer business, how I tune up a PC. Now hold on to something,,,,,he actually told me "I'd never do that. It would make the PC too reliable and my customers would never call me back." Duh! That seems to be the feeling with many technicians, like the "Geek Squad". They just do the bare minimum to get the PC working and then they take the money and run. That same bare minimum is expressed on most all internet help forums. Fix the immediate problem and do nothing for the overall health of the PC. That makes me shudder! I've never taken that tack in 48 years of doing service work.

    If I were under the gun to do a 30 minute Tune-Up, there are two things I would definitely do.
    One would be to clean out ALL the junk in the HD and leave the customer with my Weekly Maintenance routine on their desktop, which includes a shortcut to 'Windows Defrag'.
    I also put a shortcut to my XPCleanup batch file (without the file counter), in the Startup Folder, so the PC gets a free cleanup every time it's rebooted.

    The second thing I'd do is tweak the registry so windows would load it's Kernel into ram on boot. Windows has to access its Kernel constantly while it runs programs and when that Kernel is on the old slow, loaded and fragmented HD, that can really make Windows drag and slog along.
    So just getting it up into RAM which is many, many, many times faster than any HD, even an SSD, you can see an immediate JUMP in performance.
    That tweak is on my web site.
    I've committed all my tweaks and tune-up tips to batch files, registry scripts and VBScripts, for FAST install, when I'm in the field.

    My original set of Registry tweaks would CRASH the Windows XP Media Center OS, so I spent one whole evening writing a special tune-up script just for Media Center.

    Many of my Tune-Up scripts for Windows 7, come right out of XP. The two OS's are more similar, under the hood, than most people think.
    Vista was built on XP and 7 was built on top of Vista and 8 is actually built on top of 7.
    So many things I do on XP also work equally well on Windows 8/DP.
    The four OS's I just mentioned are not identical siblings, but they are certainly Kissing Cousins.

    I just spent some time with my install of Windows 8/DP, on a 2005 vintage Compaq Presario, verifying every registry location where I do tweaks and they are all the same as XP. That's so neat! When I click my Quick Shutdown icon on Win-8, it shuts down in under 5 sec's.

    I've been squeezing OS's for better performance since my Commodore 64 days, in the early 1980's, so what I'm doing now is nothing new.
    Same old stuff, different day!

    I love this forum, because of the free exchange of ideas. Y'all keep up the good work now, Y'hear?

    Me

    PS: Be aware, that for every tune-up tip or registry tweak, some self proclaimed Expert will say it's no good or does nothing or even detracts from performance.
    Last edited by DrWho; 2012-01-26 at 08:48. Reason: An afterthought
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

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  11. #22
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    Doctor Who,

    We all have our little "tweaks". You spoke in generalities but gave no specific advice. What are your tweaks? Where are your scripts? Some of us may not know how to put the kernel into memory "right-off-the-bat". While you responded to the post you didn't really answer the question, did you? Did I miss something?

    Regards.....

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    CLiNT (2012-01-26)

  13. #23
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    Dr Who,

    Your advice is well taken. I went over to your website to download yours tweaks. The only item I could get was your
    XPCleanup batch file, all the rest came up as invalid torrent files. Am I missing something? Would really like to have that info.

    Clarence

  14. #24
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    Please, o'please post them cheat sheets - many an idjit (who *can* read/follow instructions) like m'self are in need...

    be well,
    John

  15. #25
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    I showed one tech, who runs his own Computer business, how I tune up a PC. Now hold on to something,,,,,he actually told me "I'd never do that. It would make the PC too reliable and my customers would never call me back."
    Hope ya set him straight or is he just a hopelessly short-sighted idiot that never heard of the backbone of self proprietorship, REFERRALS!

    PS: Be aware, that for every tune-up tip or registry tweak, some self proclaimed Expert will say it's no good or does nothing or even detracts from performance.
    Problem is that that is a two way street (self-proclaimed expert shootout at high noon!) and not applicable to everyone depending on usage or is situation dependent, but in general that's right, Microsoft tunes things for maximum compatibility and general use to reduce support as much as possible, not so much for maximum efficiency for specific uses.

  16. #26
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    all the rest came up as invalid torrent files.
    That's on YOUR end buddy, , you can't get an invalid torrent file message unless you have torrent software installed on your system, kapish?..

  17. #27
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    Don't know why all these files were downloading with the .torrent extension. Changed file names to .rtf all is fine. One is a .rar
    file. Tried downloading other .torrent files they worked fine. Aren't I glad I am a genius? You bet.

  18. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by shelquis View Post
    ...my real performance concerns are with things like scans. For example, when I run Secunia's OSI, it says on the website that a default scan might take 5 - 40 seconds. I takes me 15 - 30 minutes. When windows automatic update kicks in, it practically shuts me down, the system just drags. I do a weekly Microsoft Security Essentials scan, and it has always taken about 4 hours
    I wonder if your system is really slow? I don't know about Windows update (but if you are letting it update automatically, then it will slow your system while it is busy replacing files), but who cares how long the Secunia or MSE scans take? I just let MSE run at night (although I had to find a batch file on the web to do it, its internal schedule never worked properly). I'd only be concerned if things I wanted done 'now' took too long.

    However, you may want to check what else is starting up on your PC, and I recommend Autoruns (by Sysinternals).

  19. #29
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    My $.02

    I have a 2002 era XPS running XP Pro 3. I am haphazard but every few months run a defrag, delete old apps, run CClean on the registry, use msconfig to cleanup the boot activity, check the task manager for background junk I don't need, etc. Still the system was slower than I thought it should be - after all, I paid over $2K for the thing back in the day. so even though I have never messed around inside the box before I bought 2GB of memory from Dell and replaced the 1GB in the box. Instant noticeable improvement. My little memory meter utility was now showing memory usage in the 60% range consistently.

    So I had the opposite experience of the person who started this thread. Makes me wonder if he/she got the memory from Dell following their recommendations or bought third party stuff that doesn't really match correctly. Or maybe the person was right who said he'd seen systems slow down when they went to 4GB.

  20. #30
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    I was going to say that, but admittedly I'm not a torrent user or torrent expert. One of my little failings I guess.
    I do use "Internet Download Manager" (IDM) but that's all.

    But most of those files will download quickly and easily by just clicking on them. I use only Firefox and they all download easily for me.
    They are either text files or batch files, etc., so you surely don't need a torrent to download them. Most of them will download before you can get your finger off of the mouse button. You should have your download location set to your desktop, so you can see immediately what you've got, without digging through your HD to find the files.

    When I give some info, based on over thirty years experience, it fries my taters when someone calls me a liar or an idiot.
    I say nothing that's not based on years and years of experience. I only talk about things that I know dam well WORKS.

    However, tuning up a PC, or removing malware does not depend on any one program. It's an EFFORT, demanding time and persistence, plus a battery of programs to clean up and tune up the PC. I'm sorry if at times I seem vague, in my posts, but this isn't gardening. It's a highly technical business, only exceeded by Rocket Science. Some days, Rocket Science would be easier. lol

    Cheers Mates!
    The Doctor
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

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