Slow computer - help needed please!

(Kathryn Dobson) #1

With the the kids hogging the laptop, we bought a little Acer Aspire netbook for their Dad so he could surf in peace. We only got it in January, and all he does is surf so we haven’t installed anything. He uses Windows XP & IE on it (doesn’t like change!) but it is incredibly slow. Given its spec, it shouldn’t be - 1GB memory, 160 GB HDD (virtually unused), CPU Intel Atom N270. Before I waste many hours fruitlessly trying to work out how to speed it up, can any of you computer geniuses point me in the right direction please?

Thanks :slight_smile:

(Kathryn Dobson) #2

I’ve used ccleaner and auslogics and switched him onto Firefox and it has definitely made it faster. I’m going to try one of the netbook OS next to see if this makes any further difference. Thanks everyone!

(Karina Driscoll) #3

Thanks for all the info, very interesting, now about to get hubbie to come and look at my PC and sort it out !!! It is running so slow !!!
Kind regards

(Jason Khan) #4

Hi Kathryn. You might want to try using the following utilities before leaping to another

Ccleaner -
This is a great tool for removing temporary files, and has a very gentle registry cleaning tool that works very well.
AVG Antivirus is great although it does seem to have bulked up a bit with recent updates. I now use the free version of AVAST which is excelent.

Finally for Defragmentation and optimisation disk defrag from a company called Auslogics is excellent.

I agree with others here that Internet Explorer is not the best browser to use and I always switch my customers to Firefox. Also make sure all of the following are up to date, Adobe Flash, Java, All Windows updates etc.

Kind Regards


(Kathryn Dobson) #5

Thanks everyone :slight_smile:

It came with XP on it so I assumed that it would run fine with it. I don’t think it’s a band width issue as even when the other computers are off, it’s slow. By slow, I mean it takes 35 seconds to load the initial google page and it can take longer for pages with lots of pics. The applications like Word & Excel seem fine but we don’t use them on this computer except if I’m out as it’s easy to carry.

I’ll install Chrome. I’ve got AVG on it at the moment - is there a lighter anti virus that I can use if all we use this for is surfing? I’ll also go and have a look at Ubunto as it sounds as though it might be the answer.

I’ll let you know how I get on…

Edited to say, I crossed with you Greg so I shall go and havea look at easypeasy too…

(Greg Harvey) #6

Hmmm, it’s hard to gauge slow. One of the problems with netbooks, in my opinion, is they are not really marketed correctly. They are billed as a genuine alternative to a “proper” laptop - and they are not. For example, my sister complained to me her netbook was too slow. I had a go on it and it was the same as mine - e.g. yes, slow, but as slow as it was supposed to be. There was nothing wrong, per se. It just wasn’t as quick as her Dell Latitude.

They get better all the time, but my EeePC (which I’m typing on now) is slow and there’s nothing I can do about it. I put up with it because it takes up as much space as a book in my baggage, the battery lasts for hours and hourrs and is just great for allowing me to continue work commitments while at conferences.

You can try and speed Windows up - there are all sorts of tricks - but I would say XP and IE were never intended for mobile use, so anything you do is not really a solution - just masking the underlying problem. I would strongly recommend at least trying this:

It’s an operating system specifically designed for netbooks. It has a smaler “footprint” (e.g. it takes up less space, both on disk and in memory when running) than XP and has all the features your husband needs. You can try it from a USB stick to see if he likes it before you actually install anything - just follow the instructions here:

They’re for Windows, because most people who use this product are moving from Windows. Oh, and it’s totally free. =)

(Ian Gillis) #7

Hi Kathryn,
Are all operations slow or just downloads/web page opening? If the latter, maybe the kids are using all the link bandwidth with interactive games? Otherwise what everyone will tell you is to de-fragment the hard disk (which I’ve never found to produce a dramatic increase in speed). A utility you might like to try is Slow PC Fighter which is a registry cleaner but it’s well recommended and I’ve used it sans souci. If you’re serious about de-fragmenting Perfect Disk is a utility which can be scheduled to run periodically.

(Nick Aurelius-Haddock) #8

As a simple first step to speed up your browsing I would install Google Chrome browser, as it is massively faster than IE. These little computers are not really designed for windows XP, and once you have installed all the anti virus software they will run like a slug. The best solution is download and try one of the many net book specific operating systems like Ubuntu for net books. You can put this onto a USB pen drive and try it before you install it permanently. You will immediately see a big performance improvement. See the link below. There are many sites that will help you make the switch, and you won’t regret it. I have been running this on my Asus netbook for two years and it works perfectly for that task.

(Phil Benn) #9

Hi Kathryn,

We’ll start with the basics.

Does the system have, and has it always had, up to date Anti-Virus software installed?

Which aspect of the system’s operation is slow? Startup from power-on, web surfing via Internet Explorer, or using basic applications?