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What makes laptops get slower and slower?

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by JOE, Feb 29, 2004.

  1. JOE

    JOE Guest

    Or desktops for that matter.

    I have a Toshiba PIII with 256 megs, running 98se. When
    I got it 2 years ago it was SCREAMING fast. It's now
    slower than slow, even though I've stripped almost ALL the
    stuff off the hard drive (11 gigs free out of 20), I've defragged,
    run Norton Optimize, and all that. And yet it's still slower than
    it ought to be. I've noticed this before on desktops too.

    Does 98 slowly degrade through some process of corrupting

    I'm sure some wiz has tried to figure this out - I'm not unique
    in this experience...

    JOE, Feb 29, 2004
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  2. JOE

    Tony Hwang Guest

    You need good house keeping for your system. Any OS needs it.
    File fragmentation, registry clog, unnecessary stuffs piling up, etc.
    Easiest thing is backup whatever you need and reinstall OS or
    do habitual good house keeping.
    Tony Hwang, Feb 29, 2004
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  3. JOE

    Moonraker Guest

    Try looking in Windows Explorer for files with a .dbx extension in your
    Outlook Express directory. If you surf around on newsgroups, OE very
    politely "saves" your messages, despite you not subscribing to that
    particular group. Not long ago I found almost 1 gig of useless files hidden
    on a HD. Try right clicking on a newsgroup you are subscribed to, and then
    select Properties. The box that opens up will tell you where that
    newsgroups's files are stored. Copy and paste that link into Explorer and
    search for the files. In that same directory will be every newsgroup you
    ever visited and all the messages and binaries you downloaded. Go through
    and delete what you don't want or need....This will free up a lot of space
    and speed things up.

    Also, with 256 Meg of RAM, you could possibly use a larger swap file. See
    if your swap file size has been reduced, or if it is somehow containing
    useless files.
    Moonraker, Feb 29, 2004
  4. I hope you're not running Norton Antivirus. This is one of the biggest
    pieces of bloatware ever invented, especially considering the small task
    it's being asked to perform. Use almost any other anti-virus app. (Yes,
    Norton does slow the system down further as its virus list grows, in my
    experience.) I used to use Norton and switched to GriSoft's anti-virus
    product, and have been much happier.

    But yeah, Win98, like all other Windows flavors, does require near-constant
    housekeeping. Win98 is worse than 2000 or XP in this area. I have not had
    to reinstall Windows XP on any PC I run it on, but I used to reinstall 98
    every few *months* to keep it running well.

    Also make sure you don't have any Spyware - run SpyBot. You should do this
    every couple of weeks, at least.

    My advice otherwise is to just go ahead and upgrade to XP. Even XP Home
    would be better than 98. With 256MB, you can do it, especially if you turn
    all the visual stuff off (so it'll look just like 98 to you). XP does still
    require defragging and registry cleaning periodically (I use Iolo's System
    Mechanic - I would not touch any Norton product made in the last 5 years,
    except maybe Norton Ghost), but it's still easier to maintain than 98 and
    doesn't require an actual reinstall to keep running well.
    Jeff Williams, Feb 29, 2004
  5. JOE

    plated metal Guest

    er, microsoft's shitty software? gee.
    plated metal, Feb 29, 2004
  6. JOE

    -Lone_Wolf- Guest

    How many unneeded programs do you have loading at startup? The minute you
    force any computer to rely on a swap file you seriously slow it down.

    My Dad's machine was a screamer when he bought it and very quickly turned
    into a slug. I dropped an extra 512 into it and it sped right back up!
    Fortunately, his PC is a desktop, and adding RAM was easy... If you have
    room to add some memory this might fix your problem. Otherwise try to weed
    out anything you can live without in your start-up menu/registry...
    -Lone_Wolf-, Feb 29, 2004
  7. JOE

    Quaoar Guest

    In addition to the other excellent suggestions, Win98 is resource bound
    and needs to have certain things controlled to prevent slowdowns. Files
    and icons on desktop - remove. C:\Windows\temp - keep it empty as
    possible. Temp internet files - delete frequently. Files in C:\ (the
    root of C:), move all files except system files. There should be no more
    than 30 files here. Fonts: minimize the number of fonts - 40-50.
    Desktop wallpaper - remove. Minimize the number of menu effects, etc.
    If you can (which I never could) disable the active destop and Win98
    will fly. Get Regclean 4.1 from Microsoft and clean out the registry
    (this or Norton Windoctor work well in Win98). Make sure you have at
    least 500MB free disk space, and defrag to make as much of this
    contiguous as possible. Reduce color depth to 16bits. Make a large
    difference, depending on the video adapter.

    Quaoar, Feb 29, 2004
  8. JOE

    Tiny Tim Guest

    I have a Dell laptop with PIII 900 and 512MB RAM. It was supplied with Win
    Me but these days I'm running XP Pro on it. I rebuild from scratch every 3-4
    months due to these slowdown problems. Recently, while troubleshooting a
    wireless network card I rebuilt the machine with Win Me once more. The
    performance was simply staggering. Everything worked in the blink of an
    eye - e.g starting Office applications was near instantaneous - until I
    installed my Anti Virus software.

    I just tried opening Word 2003, now I'm back on XP, and it took an
    incredible 9 seconds until a new blank document was displayed. Best I can do
    with repeated Open/Close is 3 seconds, once stuff is cached

    I think the big problem is anti-virus. I use Norton and it just seems to
    drain the machine of life under Me or XP. I'm now running Systemworks 2004
    and I often get a message from Norton saying that an application is waiting
    for a virus scan of a file. That is unbelievable, and crap! I tried AVG 7.0
    for a month but I wasn't that happy with the way it installs and I felt I
    might be open to risk so I went back to Norton. Also, AVG 7 didn't appear
    any quicker than Norton and had a huge 20MB memory footprint just like
    Norton. Interestingly, the free AVG 6 only takes about 3-4MB RAM.

    Once you're running an app and this files it uses are all checked and loaded
    then performance within that app is absolutely fine. It's just every time
    you want to start something new and a whole bunch of DLLs and other files
    get loaded that everything crawls. And the great one is if you try to copy,
    for example, a large zip file from partition to partition. If you have your
    AV set up to check within such files in real time it has to unzip the file
    to temporary workspace, virus check every file and then get on with the data
    copy/move. Try that on a 300MB zip file with a few thousand files inside it
    and you can go and make a cup of tea while it copies.
    Tiny Tim, Mar 1, 2004
  9. JOE

    Papa Guest

    Mostly a combination of useless bloatware, hundreds of old files residing in
    Windows/temp and elsewhere that could be deleted, and hard drive
    Papa, Mar 3, 2004
  10. JOE

    * * Chas Guest


    There are a lot of good suggestions in this thread. I took
    Norton Antivirus off of my systems except my main desktop
    that I use for E-mail. NAV does 1 thing that I like, it
    checks my E-mails and blocks assaults before they are
    downloaded. It's saved me tons of time when E-mail attacks
    hit the Net.

    I use Norton AV 2002 on that system. I tried 2003 and got
    rid of it. Symantec put a slew of features into their new
    software to make sure that users are running legal versions
    without regard for performance hits. There are almost no new
    important features in NAV 2003 and NAV 2004.

    System Works is a real resource HOG that does very little
    for you. I only use Speedisk, WinDoctor, DiskDoctor and
    Optimize, the rest of the programs (except Ghost) are just

    I've been running F-Prot for Windows on all of my other
    systems. It's a very small package, uses very little
    resources and is inexpensive. It costs $29.00 USD per year
    and you can use it on all of your PCs at the same time
    without any additional licenses. They have almost daily
    update and an update wizard that very fast. F-Prot has an
    excellent reputation.

    I have NT4 and Win2k on several systems but I use Win98SE on
    most of my PCs. One reason is that when a program crashes as
    they do, It takes NT4, 5 & 6 (NT4, Win2k & XP) longer to
    shut down the program and recover than Win98SE to do a
    complete reboot.

    Poor quality memory and System Files that get overwritten by
    installation programs are the biggest causes of Windows

    Here's some additional suggestions for Win98SE & ME:

    Move the Windows Temp Files to a new Temp Folder. It makes
    it easier to Delete Temp Files. Create a new folder C:\Temp
    then add these lines to your Config.sys file:


    Save and Close. Note you still need to occasionally check
    the C:\Windows\Temp
    folder for Temp files as some junk programs will still use
    that folder.

    Get these 2 Anti Spyware programs and run them regularly:

    SpyBot Search & Destroy 1.2 by Patrick Kolla

    ( Warning - there are some fake sites that a Google search
    will take you to )


    AdAware 6.0 by Lavasoft - Freeware version


    They are both free for personal use and have frequent
    updates. Run both of them. Yesterday, a friend found 116
    malware entries with AdAware that SpyBot S&D didn't detect.
    Sometimes the reverse is true. Some malware disables the
    anti-spyware programs.

    Disable programs like Real Audio and other unnecessary
    accessories from loading at startup. Go into START - RUN and

    The MSCONFIG Utility will let you selectively disable
    startup programs. Do this carefully or your system wont
    start at all. Look at your Config.sys, Autoexec.bat and
    especially the RUN and LOAD Line under WINDOWS in your
    Win.ini file.

    Good luck
    * * Chas, Mar 3, 2004
  11. JOE

    Joe Guest

    Your motherboard may be failing... I would take it to some specialist
    to run diagnostics. Best Buy and CDW do this.
    Joe, Mar 4, 2004
  12. JOE

    * * Chas Guest

    HUH? What message are you responding to?
    * * Chas, Mar 4, 2004
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