Question about HP Pavilion HP A1000Y Desktop PC w/ Intel Celeron D 335 2.8GHz processor 2.66GHz (565953)

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Very slow computer

It's just so slow. We have verizon as our server and don't know if we have to subscribe to a faster version or what programs to trust to help the computer run faster. I know there are free downloads of programs to help, but are not sure which of those is good. Or do we need to buy software? We just don't know how to speed things up.

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  • judy_gerlach Mar 14, 2009

    Thank you Fixya people. Your comments were very complete and professional. I have not done everything yet, but am working on it. I didn't rate your info since I want to give it the top rating when it's fixed, not just the helpful rating. One more question...when I went to CCleaner, there are quite a number of them. Only the bare essentials seem to be free, so before I pay for one, is one better than the rest...or are some better than others? They seem to cost about $30 or $40 which isn't a huge amount. I am so glad to have read about your site in my local newspaper. Thanks again, and get back to me about the ccleaners, if you would. Judy


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A slow computer can be caused by a multitude of reasons, but it is not due to your Internet speed. Typically the most popular reasons are:

1. Too many things running in the background (including viruses, malware, and spyware).
2. A fragmented hard-drive.
3. A messed-up registry.

So, to check how many processes we have running in the background we press Ctrl + Shift + Esc. Once the task-manager opens head over to the processes tab. Here you have a readout of all processes running on your computer. At the bottom of the application is the total number of processes running. Typically for Windows operating systems you want the processes to be between 20-30 for good system operation. The processor (CPU) should also be jumping between 0 - 2 percent usage like a heart-beat while you're not doing anything. If any of your numbers are above the, "norm" you can expect slow-downs.

The first thing I would do to clean up a system is to head into, "Add/Remove Programs" located in the, "Control Panel." Once inside I will look for applications that I know I will not need or have no use for. Once I have cleaned up my system in this method I will download CCleaner (Which I know is free of malicious files). Once installed I will run the cleaner to clean up temporary files sitting on the hard-drive. Afterward I would defragment the hard-drive. In this instance the default defragmenting tool located in Start>Programs>Accessories>System Tools>Disk Defragmenter will work. However it is not as powerful as some of the payware versions, such as O&O Defrag. I recommend that you try out the 30-day free trial of O&O just to clean up your system. Once installed find a time period where nobody will be using the system for 3-5 hours. Then run a COMPLETE/Access defragmentation on all hard-drives listed.

Depending on how badly your hard-drive is fragmented you may have to run the same defragmentation process more than once.

After defragmenting I would use Auslogic Boost Speed to clean up more junk files, erase bad registry entries, defragment the registry, and even boost my Internet performance just a wee-bit. I'm not sure if Auslogics provides a free trial for their product, "Boost Speed." But if they do, you should download it just to help speed up your computer.

After finishing all these steps your computer should have sped up dramatically. If not, there's still too much running in the background. Go to Start>Run and type in: services.msc

After pressing OK the services window appears. PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING CAREFULLY! If for some reason you stop a critical system-service, restart the computer. It will be started again upon the system restart. HOWEVER, if you disable or set to manual any of the services and they turned out to be critical services, they will not start upon a system restart and you could be looking at a re-install of Windows. So PLEASE research any service before deciding to disable it or setting it to, "Manual."

Within here you can define which services you want stopped, you don't want starting with the system, or you don't want starting at all. Some services are for popular applications installed on your computer such as Ipod services, Yahoo services, etc... Setting them to, "Manual" means they won't start with the system in turn freeing up the processor of yet another process allowing the computer to run faster, if even just marginally.

However, make sure to research any service you are uncertain about as setting it to manual or disabling it could be a very bad idea.

Let me know if I can help you further, or if I need to explain any steps in more detail.

Posted on Mar 11, 2009

  • Peter Steiert
    Peter Steiert Mar 14, 2009

    CCleaner is free. Always has been and as far as I know always will be. When downloading CCleaner, download from FileHippo (You can select to download from FileHippo through ccleaner's download page.) Here they will have all previous versions of CCleaner listed, as well as the most recent (which, naturally, is located at the top). To get the most out of CCleaner, download the newest version.

    Now as for Auslogics Boost Speed and O&O Defrag, I would buy both. Yes, Auslogics Boost Speed has its own defragmenting utility, however it is only good at defragmenting, and not migrating files for optimum speed. O&O is great at both defragmenting and moving files across your disk to ensure your most frequently used files can be accessed with optimum speed.

    Now as for buying Auslogics Boost Speed, the utility includes masses of extra programs which can be used to tune, tweak, and speed up your system and your Internet Connection. Auslogics Boost Speed is my favorite program as its, "got it all." Instead of having to download/buy all these seperate utilities which do their own thing to speed up your system, you have them all in one package with Auslogics Boost Speed. Plus you have a lovely interface which explains what the utlities do, and how to use them.

    Another thing you might want to consider is Computer Security. Viruses, malware, and spyware can slow down your computer as well as jeopordize your system's security. A free online scan (using Internet Explorer) from this website will let you know if you have any viruses. If you do have some form of infection and it was picked up by the scanner, it might be wise to invest in some online security software. Here are the utilities I recommend:

    Anti-Virus/Firewall: ESET Smart Security
    Anti-Spyware: Lavasoft Ad-Aware
    Anti-Spyware: Spybot Search & Destroy (Free)

    One suggestion. If you get ESET Smart Security or NOD32 Antivirus and then decide to download and install Spybot Search & Destroy, do NOT install TeaTimer.exe. During the installation of Spybot Search & Destroy you will be asked if you wish to install TeaTimer(.exe). You do not want to install TeaTimer as it interferes with the active monitoring abilities of ESET's Smart Security and NOD32 Antivirus.

    Once again, let me know if I can help you further or if I need to elaborate further on anything mentioned above.


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