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Old 07-30-2013, 04:15 PM   #1
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Amazing computer rebuild!

My desktop computer had gotten so slow it would hardly work. I could click on an icon on the desktop and it would take anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes to open!

I talked to my computer guru and he told me the only cure was to copy all the data, wipe the hard drive clean, reload the OS and all the other programs, then reload the data. The only other choice was a new computer. I had him do the rebuild and the difference is unbelievable! I don't think it was this fast when it was new! He only charged $175 for the whole process which I thought was VERY reasonable.

I really am a happy camper!
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Old 07-30-2013, 05:26 PM   #2
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It slowed because of all the clutter and junk it accumulated through the years. Programs modify and add stuff to the registery, and eventually the computer has to sort through the un-needed "junk" to find what it requires to run a program. There are several reliable freeware programs that will keep a computer running fast and smooth.
CCleaner - PC Optimization and Cleaning - Free Download
Malwarebytes : Free anti-malware download
Download Spybot | Spybot
The free version of each is all you need to keep your computer up to speed_so to speak. Windows Defender is a free anti-virus program from Microsoft that does an excellent job for such.
Because they are free you have to manually run each program or set your computer up to run them on a schedule, but the price is right.
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Old 07-30-2013, 05:30 PM   #3
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Isn't it funny. Windows computers seem to be like people... they get more and more sluggish as they age.

I learned the need to do what you're describing a while back. I always called it giving my laptop a "lobotomy".

Glad you got her humming like new.

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Old 07-31-2013, 08:20 AM   #4
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My theory is that Patch Tuesday slows it down, Every week Microsoft layers on another band aid and that is my theory as to the cause of the slow downs.
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:42 AM   #5
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My theory is that Patch Tuesday slows it down, Every week Microsoft layers on another band aid and that is my theory as to the cause of the slow downs.
I've suspected that too, but if this were true... wouldn't the computer be just a slow following an operating system reinstall and Windows update? It does seem that they speed up when they're given a good clean out.

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Old 07-31-2013, 08:44 AM   #6
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As Ray indicated, it is the cluttered junk that is not used anymore on Window's PC's. When you delete something on a computer it is not really gone. The information is still there and can be recovered. what happens that you don't see the information is that only the "bits" that identify it are "sort of" removed. (I'm keeping this as simple as I can, and only for information purposes.) The rest of the information goes into "limbo slack space." Now let us say that you have a piece of information, or a program, that requires 10,000 bits of information. You deleted it so the space is now available for other pieces of information to use. However, the next program you have is 3,000 bits of information and it is written into that deleted space leaving 7000 bits. The next piece of information that you save is 10,000 bit and it uses 7000 bits of the deleted space and then the remanding 3000 bits in another unused space. There are segments and blocks on the hard drive and let us just use 1024 bits as a segment. The computer knows where to go to find all the information contained in every piece of information but it may require it to jump all around the hard drive to find the information. Each of the files that are save will be saved to the first available 1024 segment and the the next one in line. If there are no more in line it goes to the next unused segment in a "far away block" and continues to put the information on the hard drive. As time goes by this can be exacerbated and the results is a time delay while it searches for information.

Also in the Windows system when something is deleted the "registry" that containes the information still has tell-tale bits of that information. In order for the computer to find anything it has to find it in the registry first. The more clutter in the registry, the more time it will take to find the information. That along with the hard drive having bits here and there just increases that time delay.

A good registry cleaner, and de-fragmentation of the hard drive will help decrease the time delay. De-fragmentation of the hard drive will put the files in a contiguous format make it faster for the system to find it. Cleaning the registry will also help to diminish the time delay.

Trust me, even after cleaning the registry there will still be tell-tale bits of information but the amount will have decreased 10 fold.

I spent 12 years doing forensic analysis on desktops and laptops. That was back in the days when automation was not what it is today and you would be surprised at what can be recovered from a computer hard drive when information is just "deleted." A seven pass government style wipe is necessary to get rid of all information.

Happy trails.
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:00 AM   #7
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It is called "Windows Bloat". The tendency of Windows to get bigger and more fragmented over time. The only real solution is a re-format of the drive and re-installation of Windows and your programs. (and your data of course)

MSHappyCampers - That is a fair price. About what I would charge to do the same job.

I would never use a registry cleaner, especially not a free one. When starting up, the registry is what gives you computer it's "intelligence". All the info on what hardware devices are on your computer, your programs. Everything but data.

Now imagine two computers coming off the assembly line. They are the same...until you put on your first program or get on the Internet the first time. After that they are more different than similar. How is a registry cleaner going to recognize and resolve all those differences in order to "correct" them? It can't. AND if it makes a bad "decision" and modifies or deletes a registry key, your computer may get worse or NOT work at all.

The truth about "deleting" a file:
When a file is deleted, it is not deleted. All that happens is that it's entry is taken out of the File Allocation Table (FAT for short). The data is still there.(UNLESS...see next paragraph) The FAT is like a "table of contents" that stores the location of all files on your drive. If you want to open a document, Windows first goes to the FAT and finds out where the file is located on the hard drive and goes and retrieves it. If it was deleted, Windows comes back and says "file not found" because there in no entry for it in the FAT. But it is still there.

UNLESS... for some reason Windows decides to reuse some of the space used by "deleted files". It may overwrite that space with new data. This happened more ofter when drives were smaller.

Want to speed up your PC? NUMBER 1 ANSWER = Install more memory. All PC's should have 4GB or more. If anyone is interested, continue the thread and I'll tell you why.
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:14 AM   #8
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Have to agree with WJELL on the memory option. Many folks buy a computer with the bare minimum of memory. Ever since computers were invented more memory has meant better performance. If you don't have enough, the system will start using the disk as temporary memory. Anytime you write something to disk you slow things down.

I have used many utilities to clean the registry, defrag hard disks, eliminate malware, delete the undeletable, and have had no troubles. I have had more issues with NOT using one. Before these utilities came along I too went through the reformat, reload, restore process that the OP went through and it does help. Of course every time I did this I failed to load all the junk programs that come preloaded.

One would think MS would include these utilities in the op sys or figure a better way NOT to need one.
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:26 AM   #9
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Joe, I think your guy was right that it was all cluttered up, but I think there are faster ways of cleaning that up. I would be embarrassed to hand somebody a bill like that for labor. Yes, it might have taken that long for the computer to process everything done, but I'd really like to beleive I don't have to sit there and watch it while it's doing it's thing? I have other things I can be doing, so I don't need to charge you for sitting there watching your computer do what I already know it's going to do?

Also, pulling everything off, then putting it all back on, exposes the new load to contamination present in the old load. Stuff that might not make it's presence known right away? A good process needs to eliminate that potential. That's my thought anyway, FWIW, -Al
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:41 AM   #10
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The keep "clutter" off the PC's and to get maximum performance, I have been using this program for a couple of years. You can download it and try it out for 15 days, and then delete it if you don't like it.

If you decide that you like the program, there are deals out there featuring discount codes, and they are worth looking for, because some will give you a 50% discount. Here is one.

My relationship with the company is that I am a satisfied customer - nothing more.
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
My desktop computer had gotten so slow it would hardly work. I could click on an icon on the desktop and it would take anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes to open!

I talked to my computer guru and he told me the only cure was to copy all the data, wipe the hard drive clean, reload the OS and all the other programs, then reload the data. The only other choice was a new computer. I had him do the rebuild and the difference is unbelievable! I don't think it was this fast when it was new! He only charged $175 for the whole process which I thought was VERY reasonable.

I really am a happy camper!

Funny you should post this. I just got my loved laptop back from the local computer guru having the same thing done to mine. He charged $142 for the clean and reload job. Boy oh boy this thing is so fast now I wish I would have done it sooner.
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:33 AM   #12
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It's only a temporary fix. It'll slow down again. Here's why:

Microsoft is in the business of selling software. For the consumer market they have two flagship products; Office, and Windows.

They have different models for driving upgrades for these products. For Windows, their model to drive upgrades is 'continually degrading performance'. The Tuesday patches certainly have an effect, but also viruses, spyware, malware, toolbars, system tray utilities, etc, all play into microsoft's business plan to drive you to upgrade. Ever wonder why Windows is the only operating system that is so plagued by these problems? Because Microsoft has no incentive to solve them; they drive upgrades.

In short, Windows is designed to get slower, and slower and slower until you are forced to do something about it; reload the operating system, buy a new computer, etc. Microsoft is banking that you'll buy a new computer bundled with Windows, or buy a copy of their latest version to reload yours with, instead of switching to another OS.
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:45 AM   #13
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Wayne. Great explanation of fragmentation.
Wjell. File deletion does not even remove the entry from the FAT. All it does is flip a bit to flag it as deleted.
I have been working with computers for 30+ years and have seen most scenarios.
Yes, 'bloat' is a big problem. I recently worked on a system that had over 200 shortcuts on the desktop most were for downloaded games and many were 'orphaned' (the program had been removed but left the icon behind).

The first line of defense is a good (paid-for) anti-virus utility. I personally use Trend Micro but there are others out there. I would not trust a 'free' AV utility (you get what you pay for). It is important to keep the AV up to date as new threats come out daily.

My only exception to the 'free' rule is Malwarebytes. I have used this for years and it can often catch threats that slipped through AV. Their paid-for version is well worth the money.

I also would never use an automated Registry cleaner. Don't trust them Too easy to remove a critical key and hose your system. I would manually clean the registry but would NOT suggest you try that unless you know 100% what you are doing.

You should also have "System Protection" enabled in Windows. This will enable you to quickly restore to a point before things went awry but won't help if the problems have been building for months (or years).
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:18 AM   #14
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I would quote a lot of the stuff in here because this stuff is fantastic. Another tool that we (DoD) use to wipe slack or free space is BC Wipe. This is military and gov't grade software that wipes the so called "free space" on your PC of things that you deleted and other droppings. It doesn't harm data or your OS and does one helluva job at cleanup. You can tell it what to wipe and go from there. I also subscribe to the statement of free is not always the best way to go. You get what you pay for. I use Symantec and McAfee AV products. No issues with either. Someone was saying also about labor rates and not charging for "sit time". My question would be where do you draw the line. You still have to pay for power, the lease (if you have a building) and other equipment that you use to diagnose and fix the PC whether you're actively working on it or not. I used to charge flat rates for hardware installs but not for diagnostics and software installs. There are too many variables with the last two. Hardware for me was straight forward and easy to do. So there is my couple of lincolns worth of information.
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