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  1. #1
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    Laptop slows down: Try running it without Internet connection?

    My laptop (HP Pavilions dm1), running on Windows 7, gets slower and slower, I assume because of all the secret software which sneaks in when I am connected to the internet. I can speed it up by doing a factory reset, but re-installing all the software is very tedious and can take up to two days. I last did this six months ago, but it is now back to very slow running again.

    I am thinking of getting a second laptop, or maybe tablet which I will use for internet browsing, email, and managing ebooks. If this one slows down, it should then be easy to re-install the operating system.

    I will then do a factory reset on the current laptop, install the software again. Some of this requires it to be connected to internet but one I have done this, I propose to disable the internet connection. If I need downloaded from the internet, I propose to transfer these on a USB stick. This should then not slow down, as it is no longer connected to the internet.

    The programs which I use which do not need live access to the internet are (1) word processing (2) spreadsheets (3) databases (4) money management (5) photoprocessing (6) family history (7) mp3 file editing. Possibly others.

    It seems like a very old-fashioned approach but I'm not sure else to do. I wonder if anyone else has done this. Or this there another solution?

    Ant advice welcome.

    PS. I am using Avast anti-virus.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    epzcaw,

    Get a copy of AutoRuns from SysInternals. You can use this to find the software that is starting at boot and disable it. HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

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  3. #3
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    I've done that but have no idea what I should disable and what I should leave alone.

    Any help welcome
    Last edited by epzcaw; 2014-12-13 at 09:23.

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    epzcaw, Avast has really slowed my older laptop down over time with all the updates and upgrades. Also, if you're not, try just running only one program at a time. Use windows task manager to check and see if any programs are working in the background. You can bring up task manager by right clicking on the task bar and selecting task manager from the menu. I have found a program called CCleaner to be very useful for cleaning crap out of my computers. It does a good reliable job and there's a free version that works very well. I wouldn't use the registry checker part of it unless you know what you're doing. I haven't had any problems at all with it and it is a very good cleanup program. Hope this helps, and good luck.

  5. #5
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    I have tried CCleaner and it has not made any significant difference.
    Yes, I am relucant to start playing about with the Registry as I know very little about that part of the system.
    If I turn off programs using Task Manager, am I in danger of crashing the system? Or will it be ok once I restart?

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    Run this MS Fixit for performance issues to see what it finds - click on the Detect and fix problems (Recommended) option http://support2.microsoft.com/mats/s...ws_performance

  7. #7
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    No, make sure you choose the Applications tab, and things you close should not cause a crash and you will be able to start it again if you need it.

  8. #8
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    I've run the Microsoft fix program. It allowed me to stop various programs running at startup but when I restarted, Skype appeared again even though it was supposed to be removed. Don't know about the others.
    Doesn't appear to have speeded the laptop up at all.
    Over the last few months, I have tried a variety of solutions suggested online, but nothing seems to help.
    This is why I am inclined to try to run two systems, one offline, and the other online. The offliine one should remain stable if all I ever add is pdf, jpeg, and maybe occasional doc and xls files.
    It will be much quicker to reset the online one as it will have only very limited software on it.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    epzcaw,

    The DM1 has many different configurations. Could you please provide the exact specs of your hardware and the version of the OS as the documentation for the DM1 mentions Win Starter Ed?
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

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    It's possible the Skype Updater service is activating it.

    Go Start - type msconfig and press enter.

    Under the Services tab check the box to Hide all MS services then scroll down to and uncheck the box for Skype Updater - Apply - OK and Restart as prompted.

    While you're in msconfig check to see what is checked under the Startup tab.

    After the reboot go Start - type services.msc and press enter.

    Scroll down to Skype Updater and check to see if it displays as Disabled.

    If it isn't, right click on it and select Properties where you can change its Start up type in the dropdown box, although I'm not sure how much that would slow your Internet down if it's constantly checking for updates.

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    I don't think Skype is the problem as I only recently re-installed it, and the problem has been longstanding.

    It is not even easy to measure or quantify the speed. I opened a 48 page PDF document and it took over a minute for it all to readable. I repeated this and it then opened in 8 secs. So not consistently slow. But I have the same problem with all programs and documents - the time taken is very variable but can be very tedious.

  12. #12
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    I've seen Notebooks running slow and many times it was because of the settings for cutting the CPU speed when on battery only. Running on AC power wouldn't restore the CPU speed to the max. Right-click Computer/My Computer/This PC and click Properties, see what speed is shown. I've seen a 1.86GHz Notebook slowed to less than 800Mhz. Power Options should have settings that can be changed.

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    I've looked at the properties page and the only thing I can find relating to speed is
    AMD with E-450 APU with Radeon(tm) HD graphics 1.65GHz

    It gives "Window Experience Rating" as 3.9.

    Should I be looking at a different page?

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    That speed of 1.65GHz appears to be normal for your Notebook. Many Notebooks don't have the same performance level of Desktops although they both do mostly the same thing except fall down a bit when doing powerful gaming.

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    Whenever you factory reset a computer you end up with all of the bloatware that the vendors preinstall such as trial programs for Office, an AV program or other programs that you may never use - but if in doubt leave or you can run Decrapifier.

    http://pcdecrapifier.com/ (Click on Download in the menu bar)

    Using a 3rd party Uninstaller is the best method of getting rid of these programs - I use IObit Uninstaller which does a deep scan for the bits that Windows Uninstall generally leaves behind. http://www.iobit.com/advanceduninstaller.html

    If you do decide to give IObit a go, look out for the small box for Drive Booster to uncheck as it's installing - if you miss it then you can use IObit to uninstall it.

    If you've unchecked any boxes in msconfig for any of these programs, then recheck their boxes before uninstalling as you'll end up with orphaned files.

    From the factory reset, all of your drivers will be out of date and going to the computer's support site to check for updates could help performance.

    http://www8.hp.com/uk/en/support.html

    If it gives you one for your AMD graphics and after installing it, it puts a red hue on your screen, you can go into Device Manager/Display adapters - right click on the Radeon HD - select Properties and under the Driver tab you can select Roll back driver.

    Go Start - type %temp% and press enter.

    If that is overpopulated with files, that will cause a severe slowdown.

    To remove those click on Organize - Select all - Organize - Delete - Confirm then check the box and click on Skip.

    That would normally just leave the Debug file but if there are others left, repeat the steps and then empty the recycle Bin.

    Go Start - type disk cleanup and right click on Disk Cleanup and select Run as administrator then follow the prompts.

    Letting it delete the default items is sufficient and this should clean out a few GB from the HDD.

    When you've done that, go Start - type disk defragmenter and press enter - then click on Analyze - you may have to uncheck the box for the scheduled defrag.

    After having had a clean out, it will probably show a % of fragmentation - click on Defragment Disk and wait for it to do its thing and then see if there's any improvement in performance.

    You may also want to check the items under the Startup tab in msconfig again of which you don't really need any and as with all computers, it's best to completely shut them down now and again.
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2014-12-14 at 04:06.

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