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Dell laptop runs extremely slow - need help boosting speed

By rachelb26
Jul 9, 2011
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  1. Hello,

    I have a Dell Latitude D620 laptop that I bought in 2006 and it runs EXTREMELY slow, whether I am on the Internet or just doing basic tasks in Windows or MS Office. It has Windows XP, some basic software (like MS Office), and only a few files (because the hard drive crashed last year, so I only put a few files back on it, after installing the new hard drive). I know it's relatively old, but is there ANYTHING I can do to increase the speed of the computer, without buying additional memory? Any help I can get with increasing the speed will be greatly appreciated.

    Also, I don't know if this is a different issue, but sometimes the laptop seems to get too hot (at the bottom) after being on for too long.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,172   +37

    First, make sure your vents are clear of dust. Heat can cause all kinds of issues. Do you have a cooling pad?

    Second, have you scanned for infections?
     
  3. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,378   +127

    Defragment, if you haven't already.
     
  4. CAMusing

    CAMusing TS Enthusiast Posts: 328

  5. PeterRossi

    PeterRossi TS Rookie

    Dell Laptop Runs Slow

    Hey Rachel,
    there are a few steps you can take to make sure you are getting the best speed out of your laptop.

    1. Check your laptop environment
    Rule of Thumb: If you can’t hold your hand on the hottest part of the bottom of your laptop for more than 5 seconds, your laptop needs to be cooled down immediately.
    Simply, laptops adjust their performance based on how warm or hot they are. That’s right! I cannot stress this enough, and I repeat this to every person that asks me why their laptop is running slow: Do not place your laptop on your bed, pillow, upholstery or your lap! This will severely affect your computer performance and could (and probably WILL) cause permanent damage over time

    2. Check how much hard drive space you are using
    Rule of Thumb: If you have less than 15-20% of hard disk space remaining, it is time to clean up your unused software and store your backup files elsewhere.

    3. Check how organized your files are
    Rule of Thumb: Run a GOOD disk defragmenter software once a month to organize your files and reduce your laptop operating time.

    4. Check how many programs are running at the same time
    Simple, type in msconfig in the search box when you click the start button and go to the startup tab and get rid of ALL the unnecessary software that's running in the background.


    5. Check your laptop for any Spyware and Trojans (Malware)

    An anti-virus software cannot detect those two types of malware, and let me tell you from personal experience, it is not a pleasure to find out you have malware on your laptop. The biggest problem with malware, apart from privacy issues (and damage from Trojans), is that they “silently” run on your laptop, using anywhere between 10-50% of your computer speed. I can just imagine how you would feel if I were to half your laptop speed all of a sudden; not a good feeling. I'd consider downloading good anti-malware software and check for any malware you may have.

    I hope this can prove itself useful!

    Peter Rossi
    Make sure you check out more information as I update my blog :) just search laptop runs slow and I believe my link is on the first or second page :)
     
  6. Filip Lobik

    Filip Lobik TS Rookie

    I just fixed an extremely slow latitude D610. It was so slow that I wasn't willing to wait for the ClamWin Antivirus scan to finish (Free/Libre Open Source Software), although I truncated the Oppressive Mallware, Trojans, etc. already found, and proceeded to hardware diagnostics:

    1st: I cleaned the fan from inside and reseated the heat sink
    2nd: When I was at it, I thought to myself: I'll replace the memory inside, so I switched two 0.5G RAMs for one 2G RAM from my own broken laptop
    3rd: I reseated the CMOS clock battery cable, because the memmory was not tolerated
    4rd: I installed the fangui software and let it run the fan on high RPM.

    I'll follow up to let you know the true cause, when I find out.
     
  7. JC713

    JC713 TS Evangelist Posts: 7,082   +920

    Yes. I just spent like 10 minutes trying to find this thread in which @jobeard did a great job of explaining how to properly defragment without defragmenting everything. But unfortunately, I cannot seem to find it, so @rachelb26, do the following:

    1. Download and install CCleaner.
    2. Clean up your system. If you need help, refer to this article.
    3. Download and install Defraggler.
    4. Run a STANDARD defragmentation, not a quick defragmentation. If you need help, refer to this article.

    Good luck.
     
  8. Filip Lobik

    Filip Lobik TS Rookie

    For my part; I was not able to replicate the slowness, even with the old RAM modules; so the time spent on fixing is to be recommended, overall. And I will do the defrag, as well, although it will be the one already included in the system.
     
  9. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,506   +238

    Rachel started this thread over two years ago.
     
  10. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 21,065   +169

    Rachel probably has a different laptop by now... notice she never replied to this anyway
     
  11. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,506   +238

    So, Filip, if you are posting to help, that's one thing but if you have a problem you need help with, please post a separate thread for it. Thanks.
     
     
  12. Filip Lobik

    Filip Lobik TS Rookie

    So, apologies for an unwanted message to the ones who found out about this thread when having a new laptop that does not run extremely slow.

    For all others that found out about it when doing research on extremely slow laptops prior to creating new threads, I was trying to be helpful. Next time, I will consider doing research on creating a wiki article.
     
  13. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 21,065   +169

    Okay Fillip, "Post New Thread", is the button you want to press at the top of the forum headings
     


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