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Discussion Starter #1
Apologies in advance if this is the wrong forum to post in, but i wasnt quite sure where to put this!

I have been having a few problems with my laptop recently, in that it has been running very slow at times, on startup occasionally and sometimes when opening programs. This first happened a month or two ago when after running fine and totally normal for ages, the computer became very slow, and later would not even startup. I ran scandisk with a full surface scan that took two days (!) which found many bad sectors. All through this time the computer sounded as if it was having trouble loading. After the scandisk though, the laptop started up, so i updated all the virus software, Spybot S&D and windows update, and also posted a HijackThis log the other day in the forum to see if that was the trouble, but is now clean, thanks to their good help.

However sometimes when opening a program or taking out a task the laptop will hang and will make repetitive noises (which make it sound as if its struggling), then after a while it will run ok again. However it is making usage of the laptop quite frustrating to say the least!

My laptop is a Dell Inspiron 4100 running Windows XP Home SP2 with Pentium III 1000 MHz processor and 384 MB of RAM, and has a Toshiba MK2018GAS hard drive.

If anyone can help it would be much appreciated. :smile:
 

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first of all 384 of Ram it a bit low what I mean it's fine until it has to work a bit....so more Ram to start with I think.
Also taking 2 days to scan disk is a very long time I would defrag once a week for awhile and see who it goes. I don't know who old the laptop is but your hard drive could be dying so back up you stuff now not tomorrow.
Have a anti virus on the PC and delete your temporary files regularly and run spyware and melware scan also.

Also check to see it's not overheating...dust can clog up the cooling fan and heatsink..it my need cleaning

Try these things and see who it runs.

Sometimes a PC runs better if you do a complete install of the operating system......saving your files first
 

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It sounds as if you have too many programs running in the background on startup. If it took you two days to run a scan, it is a sure sign that you have a lot of programs running as this will force the scan to restart hundreds of times. To find out if this is the problem, type in msconfig in your run dialog and click ok. On the startup menu click disable and save. Your laptop will then prompt you to reboot and you will be given a choice to use a diagnostic statup. This will knock off all but your basic programs. Click on this and then reboot and see if your laptop is running any better.
 

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Crtl, Alt, Del. Task Manager.

Application tab - How many applications running?
Processes tab - How many Processes running? Click th CPU column to sort and find which Processes are using the CPU up. Most computers have 95-99% System Idle Processes normally.
Peformance tab - MEM Usage graph, how much? Physical Memory Total?

RAM Check your machine to see what it can support.

Check My Computer

JamesO
 

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Actually, on Dell laptops, Ctrl, Shift, Esc ends programs and opens the Task Manager window. Ctrl Alt Del will not work. Same principle though, just a minor technicality. :cool:
 

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Unless I am missing something, Ctrl, Alt, Del is a Windows function that has been around for a long time, so I do not understand why it will not work on Dell Laptops??

Not looking to end programs, just looking to bring up the Task Manager.

Crtl, Shift, Esc does bring you straight to the Task Manager on the Win2k and XP machine I tried it on without ending any programs! Seems to be a nice little known shortcut to the Task Manager, saving one keystroke.

JamesO
 

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I have had three different Dell laptops models that all used Ctrl, Shift, Esc in place of Ctrl, Alt, Del and I believe it is because of the design of the keyboard. Dell's idea of saving space. I could be wrong as to the reason why but this is the only thing that would make sense (to me).
 

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After looking over your original post a bit closer, I see you only have 384 MB of RAM. From my end, this is a bit short on RAM for anything running WinXP, I usually recommend a minumum of 512 MB.

If you see your video display "draw" from the top down at times, this usually is a sign that you may be short on RAM.

Once we see the response on the Task Manager values, RAM availabilty can be confirmed rather quickly.

Use this link to confirm your RAM and how much RAM the machine can actually support:

Check My Computer

JamesO
 

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Discussion Starter #12
JamesO said:
After looking over your original post a bit closer, I see you only have 384 MB of RAM. From my end, this is a bit short on RAM for anything running WinXP, I usually recommend a minumum of 512 MB.

If you see your video display "draw" from the top down at times, this usually is a sign that you may be short on RAM.

Once we see the response on the Task Manager values, RAM availabilty can be confirmed rather quickly.

Use this link to confirm your RAM and how much RAM the machine can actually support:

Check My Computer

JamesO
Hello there thanks for all the suggestions, im sorry about the delay in response but i have been called away unexpectedly so that i havent been able to see to my laptop, but i will investigate further as soon as i get back to it. I do know that when it hangs they display doesnt draw down, the system will just hang for a while with the mouse moveable but nothing openable, and instead of the familiar noise of loading quite easily, makes a series of very small loading noises with a gap between each one, as if its not loading but struggling. Its not a great description but the best i can do for now! After that it will be completely fine for a while, and may not do it again, or it may do it several times later on.

If anything it seems to run better when its been on for a long while, but that may be my imagination!
 
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