My PC is running slower than it used to but no hardware was changed

 The registry

Over time your system (usually XP) grows in volume with startup software and running software (services). The registry file grows continually and many registrations can become void or incorrect taking up time especially when booting up.

  • Run a registry cleaner to remove incorrect file locations etc
  • Run a startup checker to cancel the starting of unwanted programs on boot up

freeware startup inspector

Overheating

Over time the cooling system of the PC will usually get dust impaired.

  • Remove the dust from the main chip fan grill.
  • Remove the dust from the fan on the video card (if one is installed)
  • Blow clear any collected dust from the power supply unit while you are at it - although this will not speed up the PC it will help stop the power supply overheating.

Internet

Over time surfing web sites will bring with it spyware and viruses. Spyware in particular will cause your surfing to slow down more and more. Anti-virus and anti-spyware software is essential in getting back your normal surf speed and of course in removing unwanted malicious software.

  1. If its simply that surfing the net is slow then its probably down to spyware or viruses.
  2. Running Ad-Aware, Spybot and AVG can sort most problems out in this area.
  3. see this section .... Viruses and Spyware
    Make sure a firewall like Sygate or Safety-Net (or even the built in XP firewall) are being used. Use only one firewall though !!.
  4. see this section .... Firewall Protection
    The software mentioned above is all FREE for personal use.

Hard Drive DMA (Direct Memory Access)

There is nothing wrong with your hard drive so long as there is around 2gig or more of free space on it using WindowsXP (1gig if using Windows98)
Check in the Device Manager that the hard drive drivers are using DMA transfers (ie mode 3,4,5)

    In XP

    • right click on My Computer
    • select properties
    • select the hardware tab
    • select device manager
    • expand the IDE (or SATA) section
    • double click the primary and secondary listings
    • select the advanced settings tab
    • if the current transfer mode does not say a DMA mode is present - in the transfer drop down box select DMA if available

    In Windows98

    • right click on My Computer
    • select properties
    • select device manager
    • expand the IDE (or SATA) section
    • double click the primary and secondary listings
    • select the advanced settings tab
    • if the current transfer mode does not say a DMA mode is present - in the transfer drop down box select DMA if available

The last action should make a DMA mode show up and Windows will need to be restarted.

If the PIO mode continues to show up you could delete the hard drive drivers above and reboot. Windows should reinstate the drivers and set the default DMA mode.

other solutions will be added to this subject should they become available

<< back to main PC Help page

PC slow 1