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Slow Computer

By bladeofeternity ·
Im not sure what category to put this in. I am primarily a gamer but i also do alot of web development. I am running a Pentium 4 1.3GHZ with 128MB of SDRAM, Geforce2 MX, 48GB hard drive on Windows 98SE. Recently i have noticed a severe loss in performance. In an attempt to rectify this i formatted my hard drive. While this has vastly improved startup time many games have become next to unplayable. I experience lag in games where i meet the minimum requirements and i cannot experience fluid gameplay even in games i could before. Can someone please tell me how to rectify this as i cannot upgrade for at least 2 months and its really getting to me. Also i am 16 so keep the jargon to a minimum although i know enough to get around

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by herrlizard In reply to Slow Computer

First, "meet the minimum requirements" means the program/game will run, not necessarily very well, but it will run. You also have to take into account that if a program/game asks for 128MB RAM, it needs that much FREE memory to run. If you have 128MB RAM total, Win98 and other processes can easily be using up half of that already which doesn't leave much for your game.

Since you're a gamer, you should upgrade your RAM to at least 256MB, preferably 512MB. Check your motherboard or computer documentation for specifics on upgrading your memory.

Check to see if you have a bunch of programs starting up with Windows. Check each program's options/preferences menues to see if you can tell them NOT to start with Windows. You can also use the System Configuration Utility
Start | Run... | msconfig
And uncheck any programs not needed on startup.

Also do a thorough virus scan and get Ad-aware 6 to get rid of any nasties that may be hindering your system performance.

URL's for Ad-aware and help with msconfig:
www.lavasoftusa.com
www.geocities.com/greyknight17/startup_list.htm

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Slow Computer

by bladeofeternity In reply to Slow Computer

I wouldnt be having trouble if it was something as simple as msconfig and my startup. I cannot upgrade my RAM due to my motherboard but ill be getting a new one in a month or 2. My concern hasnt been a case of lag due to too little ram rather games such as Neverwinter Nights where i meet the requirements and when i would play them previously i could play a perfect game. Now when i play i get lag after about 20 minutes and i cannot play because of the terrible lag. I have made no hardware changes and DXDIAG reports no errors.

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Slow Computer

by fred07 In reply to Slow Computer

Hi,
Guard for static as you shut down and reseat all cards and your RAM. Just jiggle them in their slots a bit to freshen your connections and be sure they are seated properly.
I keep one hand on the case when I do this for my customersso I will not static anything.
??? When you formated and reinstalled did you remove the MBR [Master boot record ] from the HD or did youy use a 98se boot disk.
I use the HD manufacturers boot disk which you can download from their websites. I do so to get a full and clean format of a HD before I install or reinstall.
Install your OS [98se] and next install the Mother Board drivers from their disk. Then install the video drivers. Then install the sound drivers. Then any otherdrivers needed; Modem, LAN, USB, and so forth.
While you have the RAM out note the MFG and speed ie; pc133 by kingston as one of your best upgrades would be to boost the RAM to 192 mg which is what 98se benches best at.
Note that 98, 98se, and ME all have problems with more than 511 mg ram. I install 192 on my customers [data] and 384 on my customers [gamers].
I say double the spec requirements of programs and games. It helps alot.
If this does not help, post back in comment
and I will see it.
Have fun and enjoy.
fred

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Slow Computer

by bladeofeternity In reply to Slow Computer

My gateway manual instructs me to use a windows 98se boot disk after formatting and then everything is loaded on using 3 system recovery disks. As stated above i am unable to get more ram as it is not compatible

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Slow Computer

by TheChas In reply to Slow Computer

Updating DirectX, and installing the latest driver from nVidia may be what is needed.

DirectX comes from Microsoft either using Windows update, or as a separate download.

The GeForce driver can be found at www.nvidia.com

I recommend that you NOT update to IE6. I have seen IE6 slow down many W98 systems.

Next, boot into safe mode and run scandisk and defrag.
Even from the restore disks, your drive could be fragmented which can slow your PC down.

As far as extra RAM, have you tried the on-line stores at either www.crucial.com or www.kingston.com ?
While I know that many OEM computers use RAM that you cannot by at the local electronics store, both Crucial and Kingston usually have compatible RAM for most systems.

Keep in mind, that W98 can have a problem with too much RAM. I have seen W98 systems slow down with 512MB of RAM installed.
I limit my 9X PCs to 384MB of RAM.

Chas

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by bladeofeternity In reply to Slow Computer

I hav tried the stores mentioned and as my computer is 4 yrs old no one sells parts

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Slow Computer

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Slow Computer

All above is good, the only other suggestion I can make is to laod a memory management program like Memturbo (www.MemTurbo.com). I always load a memory management program on EVERY MS Windows machnie that I build as Windows suffers badly from memory leakage. When you open and close programs they do NOT always clear out all the memory spaces that they used, and thus less is available for the next program. Do this enough times and you have no memory available, despite having none in use.

A goodmemory management program can be set to automatically clear memory when it gets down to a certain point; I also have it run just before I switch to a game (to ensure I got plenty of RAm available). It will also tell you how much working RAM you haveand how much is avialable.

two other possible points:

1. One RAM chip may be slightly faulty and not have all its RAM available for use anymore.

2. The BIOS may have a setting that sets aside RAM for various purposes and one of those settings may have changed, thus reducing available RAM. This is a common problem with motherboards that have on-board capabilities for sound or video etc.

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Slow Computer

by bladeofeternity In reply to Slow Computer

Poster rated this answer

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Slow Computer

by pctech In reply to Slow Computer

Part 1
Hi,

I will start with your age, 16. While this may not offer you much time for experience, it has been my experience that those of your age have adapted very quickly and very well to the computer environment. You lack the "fear" of doing something wrong as opposed to older computer users. This allows the freedom to "experiment" and thus enhance your knowledge that older users seem reluctant to try.

You are also a "gamer". Gamers, by nature, seek speed tweaks that get the most out of a system, stability sometimes sacrificed. Learning these "tweaks" usually allows the gamer to become vastly more knowledgeable about their system than the average user. I use these points to stress that your age may indicate a lack of experience, but not a lack of knowledge. This being said, let us see if we can correct your speed problems.
I have noted that your system and games gradually lost performance over time. This is normal. Reloading the OS improved the system performance. This too is normal. Since reloading cost you game performance as prior to the reload, I suspect that drivers and patches are your primary performance issue with games. You do not state what you have done regarding this and this is your most likely culprit. Try these suggestions, if you have not already done so:
..... continued

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Slow Computer

by pctech In reply to Slow Computer

Part 2

1. Installed the motherboard chipset drivers and any updates. These are vital for system performance.
2. Download and install all the applicable Windows updates and patches. As TheChas has said, IE 6 will slow down a system with your present configuration. Use IE 5.5 instead. Also avoid any downlaods that slow system performance or are needed for your installation. There is a summary of what each download is used to correct or enhance. Get the latest DirectX, as suggested.
3. Ensurethat you have the correct drivers installed for all of your hardware. The correct video and sound drivers will be crucial for how you use your system. The latest drivers from nVidia should work fine for the video.
4. Get the latest updates and patches for your games and check their websites for any known issues with your system configuration and corrections for them.
5. Check the settings that your video card is using. Some games may want you to turn off harware acceleration or adjust other settings. Check these out.

I hope this helps.

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