Remedies for Windows slowing down or suggestions for laptop

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Remedies for Windows slowing down or suggestions for laptop

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Postby Falcon_of_the_Sun » Sun May 24, 2015 11:22 am

Hello Eva Geeks,

I wouldn't have dared opening such a topic but I see the "help me and my PC/laptop" thing has been done before so I guess it's allowed.

I've had an HP Probook 4340s for about two years now. British build, Windows 7. It started quite well but now it gets quite slow at times. I can tell how saving Office files, even small ones, is taking longer and longer and I'm rather psychotic and impatient with machines.
The laptop came with loads of HP middleware, especially an HP Recovery thing that is taking 99% of the space of one of the drives. I'd be very tempted to just format that drive, I have other means of backup but I fear it might screw up things badly.
Other than this, I was thinking of
- de-fragmenting and error checking of the C: drive
- some scan for trojans and what not (although I don't think it's the case, the decrease in speed has been steady and slow)
- any other ideas that could improve things (incluidng RAM and CPU upgrades?)

If the attempts to speed up things again were to fail, I could buy a new laptop.
My requirements would be:
- NO glossy screens
- 4 USB 3.0 sockets
- flash HDD (300 GB is already enough for me)
- Windows 7 (I already have Office)
- 13.3" screen (more or less)
- as little extra crap as possible (I use my laptop mostly for work on Office, no fancy graphics, no gaming, no design, Photoshop or video editing)

I could consider buying a standalone copy of Windows 7 because I guess that if all machines come with Windows 8 by now, W7 should be rather cheap.

Thanks for any inputs.

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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Sun May 24, 2015 11:42 am

Out of curiosity, would waiting for Windows 10 (free for Windows 7 and 8 users, IIRC) in the Fall be doable, or too far away?
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Postby Falcon_of_the_Sun » Sun May 24, 2015 12:53 pm

Probably too far away since I might start a new project in the second week of June and it'd be a risk to start it with the current machine. I am going to be in the UK in 10 days and if I need a new laptop I can buy it there (I want a UK English build).
I could wait with the current machine if it can get better by doing whatever it is that needs doing in these situations. But isn't blindly jumping on a brand new Windows version a massive risk?

:O

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Postby Guy Nacks » Sun May 24, 2015 1:15 pm

After buying my first Mac for college back in 2008, I can firmly say that I will NEVER buy another PC-based computer ever again. The thing lasted for 6 years before it started having a noticeable decline in speed. It also never had any problems, save when the video card or whatever went out 3 years in and they replaced it for free.
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Postby pwhodges » Sun May 24, 2015 1:56 pm

I support both PCs and Macs at work. They give equal amounts of problems, and both get major issues with updates from time to time.
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Postby Falcon_of_the_Sun » Sun May 24, 2015 2:11 pm

View Original PostGuy Nacks wrote:After buying my first Mac for college back in 2008, I can firmly say that I will NEVER buy another PC-based computer ever again. The thing lasted for 6 years before it started having a noticeable decline in speed. It also never had any problems, save when the video card or whatever went out 3 years in and they replaced it for free.


Sorry, I should have put NO APPLE in the specs.

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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Sun May 24, 2015 2:13 pm

View Original PostFalcon_of_the_Sun wrote:But isn't blindly jumping on a brand new Windows version a massive risk?

:O


Risky in what sense? My Lenovo laptop before I sold it was Win7 (was a slight learning curve from a hand-me-down WinXP PC I previously owned) and my current Acer laptop is Windows 8.1. The jump from 7 to 8.1 was a lot easier (in various ways) than I thought it would be, actually. And Windows 10 from what I've read and seen (and Zap playing with the demo version of it) sounds like it's gonna be really good stuff.

Regarding bloat/crapware that comes with machines, I more than recommend PC Decrapifier for sure.

This is a good Ultrabook option, and you can always install Win7 on it yourself: www.amazon.com/Newest-Model-Dell-Ultrabook-Computer/dp/B00RY4X8A4/
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Postby Mr. Tines » Mon May 25, 2015 1:48 am

If you cumulatively install a lot of stuff on your machine that stays resident in the background eating up resources, then it will slow down. Also, newer versions of programs will tend to expect higher spec machines -- "Intel giveth, and Microsoft taketh away" as used to be said (though to be fair, for all its UI failures, Win8's "everything is a mobile phone" approach reduced that at the OS level).

Currently I'm writing on an 8 year old laptop running Vista, which I repaved about 4 years ago from the original media. It works just fine -- it's just not as fast as the other Windows machines I use. I just don't try web browsing and running Visual Studio at the same time, since it's a 32bit processor, and so only has 2Gb memory.

I'm running Win10 on the fast ring on my work ultrabook, and UI wise that is really what Win7's successor ought to have been -- not forcing mobile phone idioms onto your multi-monitor battlestation.
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Postby Falcon_of_the_Sun » Mon May 25, 2015 2:12 am

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:I'm running Win10 on the fast ring on my work ultrabook, and UI wise that is really what Win7's successor ought to have been -- not forcing mobile phone idioms onto your multi-monitor battlestation.


Sounds good already. SSD, I meant that could be a risk in jumping a new boat too soon... I remember Vista being a pain in the arse when it came out (at least when it came about in the company I was working for) to the point that people wished they had waited for Windows 7.

Mr. Tines, would error checking and defragmenting my drives bring any benefit, as well as uninstalling any unnecessary software (thanks SSD for the Decrapifier ♥)?

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Postby pwhodges » Mon May 25, 2015 3:49 am

Uninstalling rubbish can certainly help. Here's an incantation that I use to clean up some NTFS structures which sometimes makes a surprising difference (and even if it doesn't, it reduces the rate at which fragmentation occurs) - it is best done before defragmentation. At an administrative command line type:

fsutil usn deletejournal /D C:

There is no response; the easiest way to tell if it has finished is to repeat the command until it says there is no journal (or just wait till the disk activity stops, possibly after some minutes).

But most crap that slows Windows down is part of the user profile. Make a new user to log in with, and then transfer any data stored in the old profile (I'll leave you to find out where it is), and revel in your rejuvenated machine.
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Postby Falcon_of_the_Sun » Mon May 25, 2015 5:57 am

Thanks, for the suggestions.

Among other things, I did uninstall firefox after having exported the bookmarks as I thought it was one of the main culprits. I also deleted whatever was left of it in the Program (x86) folder.
As I re-installed the latest version from a brand new .exe file, the bookmarks, homes page and all were back without me doing an import.
Why is that? Sounds like a split-soul thing of the old Firefox...

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Postby pwhodges » Mon May 25, 2015 8:48 am

Your Firefox user profile is stored in the App Data folder of your Windows user profile; I just had to clear one out at work only last week.
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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Mon May 25, 2015 10:48 am

Myself and some friends have noticed that these days, Firefox is beating Chrome (so resource heavy) regarding fast browsers. Definitely clean up your internet files etc too, though.

Glad I could help with the advice! ^_^
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Postby Shamsiel-kun » Fri May 29, 2015 2:14 pm

If you can live without it, don't bother installing Flash and Java - saves on speed and (especially) the damn security holes. Install the AdBlock Plus and Ghostery browser extensions, and block as much stuff as you can without loosing functionality. You'll be surprised how much faster browsing the web is when most ads and trackers are blocked (note that blocking trackers and sometimes ads might cause problems with certain websites...).

Chrome is a glutton for memory, and Safari too. Firefox can be pretty bad, but with the extensions mentioned above it is a lot faster. Opera up to version 12.15 is really good on older machines (I can have close to 40 tabs open on my decade-old Mac, while Firefox and Safari choke on more than 10-20).

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Postby Falcon_of_the_Sun » Fri May 29, 2015 2:44 pm

Thanks for all the advices.

All in all, I manually uninstalled a lot of the things mentioned on the Decrappifier site (so thanks SSD) although I think the biggest difference was creating the new profile so thanks to the British gentleman for that.
I mostly use Firefox, Chrome only for Gmail (which I'd like to discontinue anyway but that's another thread altogether). I'll see how things go with these suggestions about Flash and Java.
the current speed has improved and everything is very bearable, so thanks EGF.

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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Fri May 29, 2015 9:05 pm

Just FYI, you want AdBlock instead of AdBlock Plus. ABP is someone else's variation of the original extension AB.
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Postby soul.assassin » Sat May 30, 2015 12:16 am

What I do to an old laggy laptop is to take it apart, replace the thermal compound (preferably the branded ones from Deepcool or better), clean the cooling fins and fans, and put it back together.

Of course, weed out the crapware, especially those that came with Lenovos.

BTW, when using an SSD, do make periodic backups to an external hard drive. It's because recovering data from a failing or even a bricked SSD is [s:38xyaatb]harder[/s:38xyaatb] impossible than you would with a traditional platter-and-spindle hard drive.
Last edited by soul.assassin on Sat May 30, 2015 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby pwhodges » Sat May 30, 2015 12:59 am

View Original Postsoul.assassin wrote:It's because recovering data from a failing or even a bricked SSD is [s]harder than you would with a traditional platter-and-spindle hard drive[/s] impossible

Corrected quote...
"Being human, having your health; that's what's important." (from: Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi )
"As long as we're all living, and as long as we're all having fun, that should do it, right?" (from: The Eccentric Family )
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Afterwards... my post-Q Evangelion fanfic (discussion)

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Postby soul.assassin » Sat May 30, 2015 9:20 pm

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:Corrected quote...


Fixed, sir. Because some data recovery firms claim that they could retrieve whatever remained in those 2.5" bricks. Personally I'm leery about jumping into the SSD bandwagon, given my hairy experience with some USB thumbdrives.

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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Sat May 30, 2015 11:31 pm

Buy a mac.

Posted with OS X.

Actually, Window 7 was a solid OS. I enjoyed working on it when I had the opportunities. I know the default answer to slow computers is backing up and then wiping the internal HDD, reinstalling the OS, and starting fresh. Is that something you wanna consider?


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