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Cleaning Up An Old Comp?


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#1 coldone OFFLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2012 - 07:16 AM

I have an older Lenovo R52 thinkpad running Windows XP. It has been a good machine but it now is getting slow and painful to use. I have run several AV sweeps, spyware sweeps and ccleaner sweeps and no virsus or anything has been found. The cpu is consatntly loaded. I looked at the process in task manager and it is conatantly running 70+ process at any time. I would like to start cleaning up this machine but how do you know which programs to start uninstalling? How do i go about stopping process and know which ones to do it to? I dont have any of the original install disk but I do have the Key code for the XP, can i use that to download and reinstall the OS?

I purchased a Passport External HD and backed up everything last week using the program that came with the HD. Is that good enough for recovery from a crashor do I need to copy files tothe HD?

Thanks, i know i will have more questions as this progresses. And please remember that I am just now learning to do more that turn the computer on and off.

#2 MH81 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2012 - 08:07 AM

If you go to the run button (start>run) and type msconfig into it, it will bring up a dialog that will allow you to pick and choose what you want to be running as soon as the computer starts. (startup) Most times you will find a lot of garbage in here that is slowing you down. Old printer software, unused programs, etc are all firing up and being diligent in waiting for you to use them, but they are eating memory and CPU.

I even disable my Open Office quick starter. If I need the program, it only takes a few extra seconds to start, if I don't, I have the extra resources at my disposal.

I would do this at another computer so I can google what the pros and cons are of disabling a particular item at startup. Just don't disable anything to do with your USB drives or keyboard.

You can allso check your installed programs (might do this first) as there may be a lot of stuff you can get rid of.
Start>control panel>add or remove programs.
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#3 dogsoldier OFFLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2012 - 08:18 AM

sometimes it best with a windows computer to wipe the hard rive clean and do a fresh install
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#4 MH81 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2012 - 08:23 AM

If you really scramble it, you can always do a Linux install. I liked mine, but it was incompatible with my printer at the time & had to go back to MS
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#5 HDWildBill OFFLINE  

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Posted August 11, 2012 - 09:55 AM

cOldone, I quite often get computers like yours to be cleaned up. You have taken the first step to make sure your computer is clean from Viruses, Malware and spyware. The next thing you need to do is go to control panel -> add/remove programs and remove any software you no longer want or use. Do not remove any service packs or Microsoft references. Once you have done that and if you feel comfortable with using the file manager (Windows Explorer) go to program files and look at the sub-folders and make sure all the programs you have deleted have removed all their files and folders if any remain delete them.

When you have that done open CCleaner, you will see 2 panels one on the left with buttons (links) and one on the right that corresponds to the what you choose on the left.

1: First thing is let it do a scan of your Hd and then tell it to delete all the garbage files.

2: Next click on the link that says "Registry" Scan the registry and when it comes back with all your orphan links tell it to clean them up. It will give you the option to make a back up before deleting these entries. I would recommend you do this just in case. next click on the button to clean up all the selected items.

3: Repeat #2 until you get a clean scan this make take 2-5 times depending on how had the registry is.

4: Now click on the left side link that say's tools. You will have a choice of options on the left side. Choose startup now you will see all the programs that start when you start your computer. Highlight each one that does not have a Windows path and click on the disable button. You can turn these services on and off like a light switch so when you reboot if something doesn't work right you can go back in and turn it back on. Close CCleaner.

5: Next go to My Computer and do a disk defrag.

6: Now reboot.


You should see an improvement in the computer performance but it will not be like when you first got the computer. The only way to restore a windows computer to the original performance is to do a re-install. If you do not have the disk's that came with computer and it does not have a recovery partition then the only thing you may be able to do is buy a copy of XP off ebay. A side note: make sure it is a legit copy.

Yes if you have moved everything of value you to you off to the external HD that will be good enough to do a recovery if needed. Be sure to keep it up to date.

Although Alan is correct in that your problem is old programs loading at start up going the msconfig way, I feel, may be to cryptic for you and the CCleaner way will be easier to under stand. What happens is all these programs like HP printer, Google, Open office and many, many more put these programs, we use to call TSR's, that load up when you start your computer so that their programs will perform better or do updates etc. The problem is you only have so much resources on your computer, memory and cpu usage, that eventually they get used up and the OS is only left with one choice and that is to shuttle back and forth to the HD which really slow's down the works. By turning these off you free up those resources and in most case's you really don't need them.

Hope this helps. Post if you and when you have more questions.
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#6 coldone OFFLINE  

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Posted August 12, 2012 - 06:58 AM

Its got to be all the old prrograms. I did all that you said except for removing old programs (hadnt had time yet), When you pull up a youtube vid you can see it loading (grey bar) well in advance of the red bar. The vid is jerky and halting. The little cpu indicator is staying on constantly. I will dig into removing programs latter this week and see what happens.

#7 cookiemonster OFFLINE  

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Posted August 12, 2012 - 07:06 AM

sometimes it best with a windows computer to wipe the hard rive clean and do a fresh install

I'd agree. If you're not running that much special stuff. Just save off your docs/pics and then start over. Most PC makers have a utility to rebuild it right to the point of when it was shipped from the factory. You'll need to take all the windows updates and such when you do this. Plan on it taking a few hours, but it's not like you need to be there for all of that... Just check the screen for prompts every so often.

#8 pigsitter OFFLINE  

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Posted August 12, 2012 - 08:00 AM

If you decide to reload windows you can save some update download time by using a newer version of xp that contains the service packs as long as you have the key code number from your original xp version,just don't be surprised if microsoft requires you to call in and explain what's going on! I did this when replacing a dead hard drive in my ex's laptop,it would not allow me to register it until I called microsoft,when I explained I was tryin to save some update time by using a version with the service packs already installed they were more than happy to help me get it going. :thumbs:

#9 HDWildBill OFFLINE  

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Posted August 12, 2012 - 08:59 AM

If you decide to reload windows you can save some update download time by using a newer version of xp that contains the service packs as long as you have the key code number from your original xp version,just don't be surprised if microsoft requires you to call in and explain what's going on! I did this when replacing a dead hard drive in my ex's laptop,it would not allow me to register it until I called microsoft,when I explained I was tryin to save some update time by using a version with the service packs already installed they were more than happy to help me get it going. :thumbs:


Just be careful if you do this because there are some drivers that are not happy with SP3 and require to be installed prior to SP3.
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#10 pigsitter OFFLINE  

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Posted August 12, 2012 - 09:43 AM

Just be careful if you do this because there are some drivers that are not happy with SP3 and require to be installed prior to SP3.

Glad to know this as when I swapped drives xp with sp2 hadn't been out very long! :thumbs:

Come to think of it this was close to 5 years ago so it might even have been service pack one!Amazing how time flies by.
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