Author Topic: Please Help Me With My PC  (Read 8470 times)

GraemeMcC

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Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #50 on: January 26, 2012, 01:03:34 pm »
I went through a similar exercise last year with my old Dell Dim'5100 with its XP-SP3. Eventually opted for a total reinstall.

Can recommend X-Setup-Pro (as listed above) for fine tuning.
CCleaner.exe (google for it) is great for getting rid of cr*p from a whole host of places, either before/in lieu of a total reinstall and for monthly maintenance. Also does a Registry purge/fix.

Sorting the registry is the most effective task on old XP installations - that and more RAM and disabling non-essential programs from loading at boot-up (such as iTunes, Apple-stuff, Java updater, adobe updater, etc) should be the most effective actions you can do to speed things up.

Finally, Firefox 9 runs okay on XP. A lot faster that 3.x.x.  But be wary of some FF plug-ins and add-ons which are no longer XP supported.

I won't advise updating all the drivers, etc. I tried Drivermax and it was just a PITA... If they weren't broke, don't fix 'em.
PBP 2011: 1234 km by Nr. 5678 in < 90 hrs. Most auspicious...

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #51 on: January 26, 2012, 01:46:23 pm »
I have updated Firefox, which seems to help. :)
Getting there...

TimC

  • Bike (ex)pilot
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #52 on: January 26, 2012, 01:48:07 pm »
You'll be in the 20th century before you know it! ;)

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #53 on: January 26, 2012, 01:53:54 pm »
Steady on, chap! :o
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Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #54 on: January 26, 2012, 01:55:42 pm »
I wouldn't have the first idea how to fit more memory. :-[

I'll Gewgall it.

It is very easy. Only needs a screwdriver to remove the case cover, and the memory just plugs in and out. Job done.
I can attest to the truth of this. I'm mechanically pretty useless (& it's a mechanical job), & the first thing I ever did to a PC (with fear & trepidation) was to add memory to a computer I bought in the mid-1990s. It was much, much easier than I expected: just find the slots, & push in the two bits of memory. It went from 8 to 24 megabytes, & the improvement in performance was immediately noticeable.

I can also confirm that CCleaner is very useful. It's kept my ancient (just coming up to 7 years old) PC & XP in reasonable fettle. Just use it to clean up & defrag every now & again. The more you use the computer, the more often you should run it.  Barakta's 'every few weeks' looks fine for a work computer, but occasional home use means you could get away with much lower frequency.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #55 on: January 27, 2012, 10:41:52 pm »
Well, it was in reasonable fettle, but its minor idiosyncrasy which occasionally required a restart & went away for a while after a disc cleanup has rapidly developed into a major problem, making me fear an imminent disc failure or something equally fatal. Given the age of the machine, I decided replacement rather than upgrade was in order, & have bought a new one, which I'll collect tomorrow. This one is fully backed up.

However, I've been thinking of what's been written upthread about XP & reinstalls. Might it be worth trying to rescue this PC with a wipe & reinstall? I'll still use the new one as the main machine, but it could be handy to have a spare.

Symptoms of the major problem: starts up in a mess. Says it's had a major error. Sometimes starts, but asks if it should tell Microsoft about the problem. Sometimes the screen is scrambled on startup. If I watch it all the way through (it's slow starting up now), it often offers the option of last good configuration, normal start, etc. Selecting last good configuration works - except once, when it didn't, & after a couple of tries I went back to normal start, which worked.

Occasionally, it'll freeze up then blank the screen, & needs rebooting, mostly after CTRL-F - but usually CTRL-F works fine. Only seems to fail when used in Adobe Acrobat, & several documents are open.

It's XP, & 7 years old.

Opinions? Advice?
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #56 on: January 27, 2012, 10:53:30 pm »
The machine will likely be fine after a nuke from orbit and re-install.

As to where you obtain your re-install disks from, well....

Looks like you're stuffed for official disks, unless there's a recovery partition.

That leaves you with the options of:

Buying a copy of windows; Downloading a flavour on Linux; Visiting the Dark Side.

Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #57 on: January 27, 2012, 11:12:42 pm »
I hunted around & found that I do have a disc.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

GraemeMcC

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Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #58 on: January 30, 2012, 12:58:15 pm »
In which case, if you re-install, you're back at the age of those disks. Umpteen hundreds of Windows updates to be retrieved...
I've been through this and think it was worth it to rebuild the registry from scratch with none of the garbage from temporary installed programs, etc.

Get XP up and running, then get whatever virus protection you use installed and Internet Explorer going, then grab XP's Service Pack 3 update first.
Re-partition the Hard Disk to suit your filing system needs. I set up a backup partition too (30 Gb min) to mirror the system files to.
Then, leave the machine running for a few days whilst it updates itself. ~150 updates if you're lucky.

Then get your browser of choice going and updated, then gradually add in the various plugins, etc (Java, flash players, etc).
Then you can tweak it with the tools in CCleaner, X-Setup-Pro, etc.

But before you add on too much gumph from your own programs, copy the streamlined system files using an image/cloning program, such as Macrium Reflect. So, the next time you need to reinstall, you only need to back-date as far as the age of that image.
PBP 2011: 1234 km by Nr. 5678 in < 90 hrs. Most auspicious...

Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #59 on: January 30, 2012, 10:09:34 pm »
Sounds like good advice. Ta.

No hurry, though. The new PC is now up & running with all essential software & connected to the network, so Mrs B can print through it from her laptop anywhere in the house, & back up her essential files via it.

The old PC is currently still in use only because we'll need to use the scanner (for which there are no 64 bit drivers) over the next few days. After that, I'll see if I can get the scanner working in a VM, along with the ancient genealogy software which is the only way to read a large number of data-packed CDs (I know they'll work in a VM: other people have been there before me), & if not buy a new scanner & see if there's anyone out there who wants the old one.

Scanning & reading those CDs are low-frequency tasks, fortunately.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #60 on: February 02, 2012, 09:29:25 pm »
Connect your PC to the web and go to this page

http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/drammemory.aspx?gclid=CK3CoNSK560CFVAhtAodxiMGVQ&cpe=pd_google_uk&ef_id=@u9OUXGcaEIAAEb4:20120123212514:s

Then report back what it says

Not had a chance to look at that before today.  Here's the outcome:

Quote
DDR2 PC2-5300

Memory Type: DDR2 PC2-5300, DDR2 (non-ECC)
Maximum Memory: 2GB
Currently Installed Memory: 512MB
Total Memory Slots: 2
Available Memory Slots:  1
512MB
DDR PC2-5200
 EMPTY
 

Each memory slot can hold DDR2 PC2-5300 with a maximum of 1GB per slot.*
*Not to exceed manufacturer supported memory.

 

Although the memory can be installed one module at a time, the best performance comes from using matched pairs of modules.

It offers this as a solution:

Quote
2GB kit (1GBx2) 
DDR2 PC2-5300 • CL=5 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR2-667 • 1.8V • 128Meg x 64 •   •  Part #: CT2KIT12864AA667

for £25.  Sound like a good deal?
Getting there...

Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #61 on: February 02, 2012, 09:34:29 pm »
Looks about right to me.  Pity you cannot go above 2gb though.

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #62 on: February 02, 2012, 09:37:15 pm »
Yes, it sounds fine.
That will make a difference.

You'll need to remove the old 512 stick, obviously.

Suggestions on a use for it can be sent on a postcard to:

Uses For A 512 DIMM contest,
Aberdeen City Council
Torry Recycling Centre
Aberdeen.

( Or a local equivilant ).

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #63 on: February 02, 2012, 09:38:16 pm »
Looks about right to me.  Pity you cannot go above 2gb though.

Why would that be?  What's the limiting factor, and can I do anything about it (is it worth it)?
Getting there...

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #64 on: February 02, 2012, 09:39:16 pm »
Looks about right to me.  Pity you cannot go above 2gb though.

Why would that be?  What's the limiting factor, and can I do anything about it (is it worth it)?

And 2GB will be a significant improvement, I take it?
Getting there...

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #65 on: February 02, 2012, 09:41:12 pm »
The limiting factor will be the motherboard design, and the motherboard chipset.
And yes, 2GB should be a significant improvement.

Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #66 on: February 02, 2012, 09:42:08 pm »
Even XP is getting resource hungry.  It used to run happily on 512mb but not any more.  Unless there is a BIOS upgrade for your computer which will allow more memory then 2gb is your maximum unfortunately.  It will he miles better though with 2gb than it is with 512mb. .

Biggsy

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Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #67 on: February 02, 2012, 10:00:54 pm »
And 2GB will be a significant improvement, I take it?

Yes, well worth it, and more significant for you than the difference between 4 and 2GB.  You can only use up to just over 3GB with 32-bit Windows anyway.  Check www.scan.co.uk as well as all the other good retailers you know of.  Any brand of memory will be ok from a reputable seller.
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clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #68 on: February 02, 2012, 10:02:37 pm »
Thank you, O wise brains :)
Getting there...

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #69 on: February 03, 2012, 09:38:30 am »
Update: Ordered 2x1GB of memory.  Seems pretty straightforward to slot in, but stand be for me asking numpty questions when it comes ;D
Getting there...

Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #70 on: February 03, 2012, 02:02:42 pm »
When you've been successful, can I beg for the old memory module for my charitable good causes old lame pc upgrades please?  Happy to pay for it of course.

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #71 on: February 03, 2012, 02:07:35 pm »
No problem.  I'll try to preserve whatever packaging the new ones come in to send it on.  And it would be free to you.
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Tim Hall

  • I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #72 on: February 03, 2012, 02:10:33 pm »
Clarion, don't forget antistatic precautions when you fit it.  I've got a wrist strap I can bung in the post.  Or you can molish a substitute with a bit of wire attached to a suitable earth point (radiator, cold water pipe etc) and wrapped round your wrist watch. 

PB, I've got some RAM ripped from a laptop in my desk drawer. DDR2 5300, not sure of the size, cos the print's too small and I left my glasses at home.
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"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

Biggsy

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Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #73 on: February 03, 2012, 02:33:43 pm »
How (un)safe is it to plug oneself into the mains?  I mean the earth pin of a UK mains electricity plug.
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Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Please Help Me With My PC
« Reply #74 on: February 03, 2012, 03:10:37 pm »
Should not be unsafe at all.
That's how the proper anti-static benches here are earthed.
They have a plastic dummy mains plug with only a real earth pin.  On the outer face of the plug is a pop-stud type connector which the wriststrap and mat clip onto.