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Hello! I'm new, and I need help. :(

By jyoo · 20 replies
Nov 8, 2005
  1. Hello,

    I'm new to all of this computer stuff, but I just wanted to introduce myself and my problem. :/

    My name is Jessica, and I am completely dumb when it comes to computers.

    I got a Dell Dimension 4600 last year, and it seemed to work okay, but now it's slowwwww.
    I'm on a router split with 2 other computers, and those work just fine. However, when I click on IE, the homepage loads up fine without a problem. It's when I type an address in the takes awhile for the page to load up. Also, when I click on My Computer, it takes forever for it to load up too!
    I've renewed my antivirus subscription, ran Adaware, cleaned disk, defragged and did a TurboMem scrub. (yes all by myself...that's an accomplishment in itself) I do play some computer games (no thanks to my ex bf), and I do experience some lag, etc with some games, but it doesn't answer my problem to the internet/my computer slowness. Could I be helped?

    I don't completely know my specs...but I'll give it a try:

    RAM 256
    Intel Pentium 4
    GeForce 5200 FX

    Lol..that's all I can give you for now. :(
    If you need more info, I can look it up, but I'm not at my home pc at the moment.

    Thanks! ;)

  2. Shadowrunner

    Shadowrunner TS Rookie Posts: 106

    Check ye RAM, ye cannot go without at least 512mb to 1gb...
  3. jyoo

    jyoo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Would that affect my internet and my computer?

    I think I'll have to drop my computer off somewhere for someone to install more RAM then...

    Thanks! :)
  4. Shadowrunner

    Shadowrunner TS Rookie Posts: 106

    256 RAM - its definently RAM - not enough of it - a hint: but some more , try to get 2 512 sticks ;)
  5. Shadowrunner

    Shadowrunner TS Rookie Posts: 106

    no it wont affect anything (ive done it three times)
  6. jyoo

    jyoo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Will my computer be able to handle all that RAM?
    I was thinking about getting a new video card as well, but I wasn't sure if my Dell has to be compatible or something.

    How much does RAM go for? I'll probably have to leave my computer with someone to do for me.. :/
  7. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Right now you have 2x 128MB = 256MB.
    For best results, get a 1GB-kit with 2x 512MB = 1024MB (or 1GB) of DDR PC3200/DDR400 type, Crucial model CT440334 for $131.83

    Anybody who can open a PC, can add/replace that memory. It comes with instructions as well.

    In the meantime, you should Delete your temp. Internet Files.
    In IE, click on Tools/Internet Options and Delete Files (tick offline content) and Delete Cookies.
    In Windows Explorer browse to c:\Documents and Settings\[your username]\Local Settings\Temp and delete ALL the files and directories you find in there.

    Then do a defrag of your harddisk.
  8. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509

    Hi Jessica and welcome,

    While more RAM is always good, you might want to clean up your system a lilbit more!

    If you are going to get more RAM, make sure as RealBlackStuff has suggested, you get a Dual Channel Kit. Your system can take 4 X 1GB DDR SDRAM for a maximum of 4GB.
    256MB is the minimum recommended for WinXP SP2. I recommend 512MB but with prices these days the 1GB Dual Channel Kit is the way to go.

    As for the Video, your 5200 performs about the same or worst than a GFIII ti200 depending on your exact model with the exception that your card supports DirectX9. Your card is the minimum recommended for most DirectX9 games.
    If you play new games an upgrade in that area is highly recommended.

    We don't know if you have the P4 with 533MHz or 800MHz FSB. You can Download CPUZ MS has a built in System Info as well but I haven't used it enough times to remember how. CPUZ will give you the spec you are looking for.

    Use this link for other info on your system as well as how to open your cover to install new memory.

    It is a good idea to check what type of memory you have as in speed to try matching your new memory, if what you have is "old and slow" just use your new ones, you might be able to sell the old memory to help pay for the upgrade.

    All these are just upgrade recommendations. I believe your system should still perform faster than you describe without any upgrades.

    These days running Adaware and a single Anti Virus program is not enough to ensure your system is clean.

    I ran Adaware for sometime then Spybot Search & Destroy then back to Adaware. Up to recent weeks I relied on Adaware solely but once I ran Spybot and ewido, I was surprised how many both the Adaware and Spybot had missed. Later I ran yet another on-line tool to find that even ewido failed detecting some.

    Download, Update, configure and run the three programs above.
    In Adaware click on the gear icon and under Scanning select Scan within archives select your drives, under advanced, select Include environment information

    Download free version of AVG update, check options and/ or preferences and run. Make sure it is set to check all your drives and partitions minus Optical and floppy drives.

    I use Norton Corporate edition but was surprised to see AVG finding stuff in my system.

    Do an on-line check, I recommend House Call by Trend Micro run all three tests.

    After a year of heavy use, most people recommend fresh install of Windows. You might not be up for that but we could help and provide a walk through.

    Keep in mind that there are many programs that claim they remove viruses and such but be very careful which you select, do a Google search on the name or ask here.

    This should speed you up a bit even before upgrades. The other mentioned maintenance routines are good and should be performed on regular basis. If you perform a defrag, I recommend disabling Page File in MSConfig (Start/ Run/ msconfig) reboot, defrag and re-enable Page File, the size should be 1.5X of your memory but for now let Windows mange it for you.

    Let us know if this helped at all before we go any further.

    Happy Computing,

    A NOOB myself in these Forums ;)
  9. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,495

    What does the FSB have to do with loading times in IE?

    But i have to say Sharam, the rest of it is very well written.
  10. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509

    Thanks AtK SpAdE and you are right!

    ... at the time of writing I was "thinking" upgrade and if she has a slower P4 running at 533MHz FSB, I was going to recommend a processor upgrade for overall performance increase.

    I don't really know why but to me even an increase of 5MHz in the FSB frequency means and feels better than a 500MHz increase in the internal CPU frequency! Even thought this could hold true ;) in my case is more like mental

    You will probably catch me on this again advising someone on getting LCD or CRT :D

    I’m working on this :eek:
  11. jyoo

    jyoo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Wow...thank you so much for all of the specific suggestions! I forgot to mention that I have used the House Call by Trend Micro. I will for sure get the ewido and follow your instructions.

    I also plan to get more RAM installed into my computer sometime soon.

    My computer is only about a year old, but at the time I knew even less about computers than I do today. When I had purchased my computer, I never thought I would need to consider such things as RAM and video/sound cards.

    Again, thank you all for your recommendations. I'll let you know how it goes!

    <3 Jessica :p
  12. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509

    One good thing about upgrading later is that prices almost always drop.

    If you're up to it we will visit Drivers & Downloads and start updating your hardware and software.
    When you start your system, do you see BIOS A12? If not, there is an update available but we most probably will ask you to enter your service tag in here to ensure we are getting the updates for your exact configuration.

    After you do the cleaning bit, it is a good idea to have us take a look at your startupList as well as a HijackThis report from .

    I have to check and see if it is better to point you to the right forum for this or we can do it here, sorry but haven't had chance to completely read the rules. Pardon my ignorance if I have broken any already.
  13. jyoo

    jyoo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    This week, I've noticed that my computer has progressively gotten worse! It's soooooooo slow!!! I think whatever I did last weekend may have screwed it up. I was instructed to download this program called TurboMem Scrub? Also, I had SandraLite downloaded to check out my computer specs...and some game called Guild Wars (not a game I play).
    I had also renewed my Norton 2006 antivirus stuff. For some reason, I think this stuff made it worse.

    Well, I just wanted to update you on what I've done so far...

    I have purchased more RAM through that link RealBlackStuff suggested.
    It should actually be arriving today. Since I don't know a THING about computers, and no one else I know can really help, I will be dropping off my computer somewhere to have it installed. (Yes, a waste a money to many of you who read this reply, but I'd rather be safe than sorry).

    Also, I have uninstalled that game, and I was planning to uninstall the TurboMem scrub today too. I've updated and have run my Adaware this morning before I left for work. I will get ewido tonight to run it as well.

    I will update my drivers, etc. today, but do you think it's okay for me to go ahead and get the RAM installed first? Will that make things worse? Will that not hurt?
  14. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509

    Jessica, you can change your own memory, there is nothing to it.

    Just follow Dell™ Dimension™ 4600 Series Service Manual and select Removing and Installing Parts then Memory .


    And adding more memory will not make your current situation any better or worst.

    After you run ewido and an on-line scan. PLease follow the other links and get us your start up list as well as a HijackThis report.
  15. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509

    Here is Removing the Computer Cover I forgot to include it and it is for your particular system.

    While you have the cover open, see if it's dusty inside there.

    We need to make sure your software are all OK before getting in to your hardware.

    Let us know
  16. jyoo

    jyoo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Okay, well I managed to install the RAM all by myself!!! (hehe I'm so proud of myself)

    I also tried to to update some stuff, but I wasn't sure what to update. I did update my video driver since I know what my graphics card is...however, now that I've done so, my computer looks like it's in safe mode or something. How do I fix this?!? Everything just looks so big...

    I'm not sure what a BIOS A12 is or where to look for that...

    I've also gotten spysweeper to clean up everything, along with Adaware and Norton, as well as the TrendMicro thing. Everything seems clean enough...

    Also, just like you said, the memory didn't solve my problem. My computer does seem to run a lot faster, but I still have a problem with the internet address bar thing and the My Computer loading up quick enough...

    I'm not sure what the next step is..
  17. jyoo

    jyoo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    by the way...i just checked the dell update for the BIOS thing and found it.

    I have A12 now :D do I fix this large letter appearance? :eek:
  18. patio

    patio TS Guru Posts: 482

    Right clik any blank spot on the desktop which will bring up your Display Properties can adjust your settings in there.
    Try 1024X768 for starters.
    If you have a decent vid card you can also change the display settings to high color or true color.

    And good job on the RAM, we knew you could do it !

    patio. :cool:
  19. jyoo

    jyoo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you, thank you!

    Well, it seems like I have another problem.
    I updated my video driver through Dell, and I fixed the resolution, but now when I scroll up and down, it's choppy. It's weird... I'm not sure I can explain this... :(
  20. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509

    Great job Jessica, now, if you lived any where close, I would've hired you as a tech. It's not the knowledge but the desire and ability to look for and find solutions.

    This post is just to say we are proud as well. Way to go.

    Just got back, going to get some coffee and come back in a bit.

    Did I say I make good coffee? … hmmm
  21. Sharam

    Sharam TS Rookie Posts: 509

    For starters do this:

    Close all running programs,
    (optional) right click on the icons on the task bar next to the system time bottom right of your screen and close or exit what you don’t need..

    Right click on your desktop and select properties
    Click on the Settings Tab
    Click on advanced, lower right
    Click on Adapter
    Click on Properties
    Select the driver tab
    You should have Roll back (I am on windows 2000 so going by memory)
    Click on roll back.

    Basically we are going to go back to your old video drivers and leave driver updates till we clean your system.
    The BIOS update was a good move, did you go in and load the defaults, this is a must.

    There is another section with experts on analysing your startup and hijackthis reports, read this and follow it. It would be good idea to include a link to this thread when you post in the Security and the Web section.

    Just copy and paste what is in your address bar or use the Insert Hyperlink Icon above available when you are replying.
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