Any Help with a Windows PC? Dell Inspiron 9100.

Posted:
in Genius Bar edited January 2014
OK, first as a LONG time poster here, I'm sorry to even ask about a Wintel. I just think folks here will be more knowlegable than elsewhere....



The problem: A good friend of mine as a two year old Dell Inspiron 9100, 2.73GHZ/512MB. She brought it over to help me burn some CDs in quantity, and I noticed it was beyond slow (interface, CD encoding.importing, app loading, etc). It reminded me of an old 486 I used to have when it had 4MB of RAM trying to run Windows 95. By comparsion, I have a more recent, but slower Dell notebook and it runs about 10X as fast...on everything.



Not being a Windows expert, I tried several things. The first thing was to check and see how much ram this chick had. At 512mb I figured it was adequate. Then again, the fans run constantly (you should see this beast...it's like 12 pounds) so I'm wondering about that...perhaps major heat issues or a dysfunctional RAM chip. We defragged it (it was badly needed) and tried tweaking the interface for "best performance"). We had only marginally better results.



My thoughts are as follows:



1) It could have a HD problem as it's accessing constantly (she has a lot of free space).

2) Thought it's running Norton, I think it may have been hosed by a virus or spyware previously and not repaired by reinstalling.

3) It could need more RAM or it may have a RAM problem. Maybe it has two 256 chips and one is fried?



My thinking is to wipe it and reinstall Windows and go fron there. Do you have any suggestions. Thanks in adavnce. Oh, and one more thing: I fvucking had Windows. I really, really do.



Really.



I do.





SDW

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 3
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,559moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SDW2001


    2) Thought it's running Norton, I think it may have been hosed by a virus or spyware previously and not repaired by reinstalling.



    If it was a hardware fault like Ram, the OS would likely crash. It sounds most like spyware etc. That's what happened to one of my relative's PCs and it is insanely slow. This happened within a week of a brand new Windows installation.



    I would reinstall Windows and make sure you install some spyware/adware/virus blocking software before hooking up the internet.
  • Reply 2 of 3
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,713member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin


    If it was a hardware fault like Ram, the OS would likely crash. It sounds most like spyware etc. That's what happened to one of my relative's PCs and it is insanely slow. This happened within a week of a brand new Windows installation.



    I would reinstall Windows and make sure you install some spyware/adware/virus blocking software before hooking up the internet.



    Yeah, that's what I think too. Anyone else?
  • Reply 3 of 3
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SDW2001


    Yeah, that's what I think too. Anyone else?



    Hit CtrlAltDel to bring up the task manager and then click the processes tab and you'll see everything that's using CPU and Memory (unless it's a very well designed piece of spy/ad ware). If there's something sucking up a lot that isn't "system idle process", then you'll know who the culprit is.



    Another problem can be multiple instances or versions of the same program, which can especially be a problem with Java. I installed a newer version of Java without removing the old one, and my computer acted like a 486. Try Add/Remove programs in the control panel to list all of the programs installed, and if there are any doubles, it might make sense to remove all instances and reinstall them. Also, even if there's a single instance of Java, try uninstalling it and see if performance improves, it's a shitty piece of software.



    In terms of spyware and adware removers, there's plenty on the net for free. I use AdAdware, which is part of the Google software package and is free, about once every 6-8 weeks, and it's pulled a few pieces of spyware out over the last couple years. Also, getting a system registry cleaner for free (i used "regcleaner", i think), as a one-time thing can also help a ton. Clean the registry of unused/wanted values and reboot.



    Also check how much space is being used in temporary folders and as virtual memory, make sure the drive isn't too full to use virtual memory, check for problems in device manager hardware profiles, etc.



    Anyways, there's lots more things, i'm sure, but these might help. Wintel is nothing if not endlessly tweakable, and therefore can be a pretty shitty and frustrating user experience.



    Finally, if there's a lot of shit on the desktop, that'll slow things down more than you think.
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