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The other day we bought a used Compaq Presario with the following specs.:
Celeron CPU 2.50GHz 2.49GHz 120 MB of RAM
32.2 GB hard drive with 21.8 GB free space

The problem is that it runs so excruciatingly slow that it literally takes several minutes just to open a program. In safe mode it is better but it still runs very slow.

I have dumped several programs hoping to speed it up and ran Malwarebytes, SpyBot, CCleaner, and have installed CA Internet Security Suite that comes free from our internet provider. I ran a full scan with that and it found a few threats with 76% of them being P2P, but it didn't solve the problem.

Is there some way that I could find out what is causing it to run so slowly?
Thank you for your help!

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Last Post by helmikuu
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if scans are finding p2p crap .it being a used computer i would format and reinstall windows and the device drivers for you model from compaq website

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I wondered if I reinstalled windows if it would take care of the problem. Do I just reinstall Windows or do I have to reformat the hard drive also?

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i would format and reinstall ,best way ,you never know what the previous owner could have left on it ,if you have any important data on it , you should save it first

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120mb of ram? Is that definitely all it has? If so, getting atleast 512mb in it will make it a lot quicker. 1gig will make it quicker still!

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120mb of ram? Is that definitely all it has? If so, getting atleast 512mb in it will make it a lot quicker. 1gig will make it quicker still!

lol.never even read the specs closely .if that correct it shurly would be the problem

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Ram is damn slow, should use a 4 GB and the space left is not much either. Justcurious what is your os? Cache or other useless filescan also slow down your computer, reformat it and latet maybe you would like to add aditional memory and ram. Problem might be virus related but doing a reformat will already delete all virues on yohr laptop.

Edited by jingda: n/a

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I'm in agreement with pretty much everyone here. It's a used computer so I would definitely reformat. But also you really do need more ram. Windows xp service pack 3 can barely run on it's own with no other programs installed with 128 megs of ram. But of course depending on how old the computer is you may not be able to upgrade it by very much due to the capabilities (or lack their of) of the motherboard. There's a chance you may only be able to double the ram which still wont help you too much...

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I would suggest upgrading just to 256 or 512mb RAM because they won't sold good version of older RAM for older motherboard anymore because the manufacturer just stop manufacturing it years ago. You can only get cheap compatible RAM worth for Celeron system...

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Thank you all so much for your help! I finally just reinstalled Windows and that took care of the virus problem, or whatever it was. It still runs very slowly so I ran a program that tells you how many slots your motherboard has and it has 2 slots, one with the 128 mg and an empty one. They can each hold up to 516 mg so we'll probably upgrade and then hopefully it will be reasonably fast. My husband just wants it to go online so maybe that will be enough for now.

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We're trying to decide if we got taken. When we add the ram we'll have about $150 into this computer. Do you think that is a good or bad price for what we got?

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what is the exact make and model number it should be on the back of the laptop .
a new laptop can be had for between 350.00 and 3000.00 so if it does what you want it for ,then yes that a not bad price!

Edited by caperjack: n/a

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There a new compaq laptop that cost less than a $1000 and have a 4 GB ram and 320 HD, you might want to buy a new one

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Is it a laptop or a desktop?

lol, good question ,I again for some reason ,assumed it is a laptop .and its likely not!

giving the price of similar computer on this Canadian site i buy from ,you paid a fair price i think .check there used ram prices,if its a desktop, also fairly cheap.512 ddr for 9-11 dollars and they ship all over .
http://www.vfxweb.com/index.php?maincateg=1

Edited by caperjack: n/a

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Anyway I would like recommend to you,clean up your registry....May be there has the solution...But remember 120mb ram is very low for execute lots of program at same time...
So quit the unnecessary programs(its very dangerous) after clean up your registry for speed up your machine...

Edited by Sadun89: n/a

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Yes i think all other things are ok except Ram, you need to boost up ram much to at least one giga. This will surely impact a lot on speed. Only install a reliable anti virus and remove all other unnecessary scan they also reduce the speed. Check the temp directory regularly and remove the extra files in it frequently.

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Besides RAM upgrade, we can use "msconfig" from "RUN" and deseclect all "startup" options and reboot PC.
After the PC boots to the desktop, check the reponse speed, if everything is faster, go back to msconfig and select the options one at a time and reboot each time.

This can help find out which app causing the slow performance.

hpoe this helps!
Bill
Tech Manager

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Besides RAM upgrade, we can use "msconfig" from "RUN" and deseclect all "startup" options and reboot PC.
After the PC boots to the desktop, check the reponse speed, if everything is faster, go back to msconfig and select the options one at a time and reboot each time.

This can help find out which app causing the slow performance.

hpoe this helps!
Bill
Tech Manager

OP already stated she has 128MB RAM which is very low which makes her pc barely to run even without any third-party program running on background.

But I agree.. If RAM is sufficient but pc still has slow bootup, disable any program on startup that isn't that useful.

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Hi, just to explain a little from an IT knave , if program processing can not find what it requires in the ram memory , then it will access what it requires from the page file, which is a tricky extension of memory area of ram memory ie ram memory + page file = total system memory
The trouble is the hard disk drive located page file is typically 10 times slower than ram memory , so as clearly demonstrated with your computer being grossly under spec with ram memory will result in painfully slow processing when using late release version programs
There is more regarding ram memory requirements using windows XP sp3 but for most home-office type program requirements 1GB total installed will be quite efficient,and cost effective.
Typically expect booting from Windows start to internet connection in 60-90 seconds
which means a fairly responsive system for internet related tasks
Once you increase ram memory you can , if using the onboard video device, usually increase video related shared memory from default 8MB to typically 64MB or 128MB for better graphics rendering via BIOS setup
Another potential benefit of increased ram memory for you

Votes + Comments
Good info... I like it
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Hi , you can purchase new or new-old-stock ram modules quite cheaply from online auction sites , just do a search using your computer model number or model family number, then confirm the exact model is listed in item description
This will ensure if incompatible you have a good case to return for replacements or refund
128MB module sounds like sdram memory - if so compatible modules can be difficult to source , however once sorted out your computer should be quite responsive for home-office type tasks

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In order for you to determine how to make your computer faster, you must try to determine the nature of the slowness and what factors are causing it. There could be so many ways of improving PC performance or to make your computer faster, but there are also a number of reasons why your system is running slowly after a few months of using it. Please check this link for more info.
How to make your computer faster

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