Is it time to buy a new computer?

Dell Optiplex 170l desktop
March 22, 2010 at 05:23:49
Specs: Windows XP Home Edition Version 2002
My PC is about 4 years old. I added 1GB(now I have 2GB) in Sept 09. It still takes about 20-30 to completely boot up. It freezes and the screen turns black every couple of weeks. Its not so bad just annoying. It can be very slow surfing the net. But with general work and document work, banking, Quicken etc. it is fine. I have an external backup drive. Because I use this PC for business I am afraid this thing is going to stop working one of these days. Should I just wait it out, or buy a new computer?

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March 22, 2010 at 07:50:11
That's more of a personal question.

I have a computer that is 5 years old and I use it for school (not games) because it does just fine. I have upgraded the power supply, cooling fans, the hard drive and the video card over the years because the others failed or where too small.

The reason is I needed two computers, one for fun and one for work so it was cheaper to just keep fixing my old computer.

You may want to do the same. Its like asking when should I stop repairing my old car and get a new one. On the other hand if you need to use some of the new games, Windows 7, or Blue Ray then you will have to upgrade. The choice is yours.

P.S. as for your speed issue, it should not take 30 Minutes to boot up. It could either be doing a Virus scan or you have a Bot (Virus) on your computer or some incompatible drivers for old devices no longer connected to the computer.

You could use a registry scanner with an anti-virus to clean this up but you may consider a reformat and reinstall if you have every thing you need to do this.

Windows XP - System Disk with valid key.
MS-Office - Setup Disk with valid key.
Qucken - Setup Disk with valid key.
Driver - Need to download all of the drivers for your system and put them on a CD.
External Hard Drive - Or any media to back your files up to.
Time - Need about 2-3 Hours.

If you do not then may be you can take it into a shop to get some one to look at the registry for you or buy a reputable registry scanner.

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March 23, 2010 at 12:49:14
Just Type Msconfig in RUN - Remove unwanted startup programs - hide microsoft services and uncheck all other services except AV. Use updated AV for better result.
Use s/w like CCleaner,registry cleaner, registry defrag (All are available for free),Defrag HDD on regularly basis.
Keep your PC hardware clean free of dust, overheating could also kill your system.

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March 23, 2010 at 13:46:18
I'd make and test a ntbackup with system state first or some other image to save what you have unless you have enough with the current backup/

I'd start with a live cd or usb. It is seems to work OK then I reload the OS from scratch. If not I use ultimate boot cd to test my system.

Playing to the angels
Les Paul (1915-2009)

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March 23, 2010 at 14:20:22
For a start, do a Google for UBCD - it's a downloadable iso for a bootable disk that can do a couple of major things. The first is that you can use the harddrive manufacturer's tool for doing a full scan to check if your hardddrive is good - if it is then you're on your way. After that you have Memcheck which will test your RAM (memory doesn't fail that often, but it can give the symptoms you describe). If both check out ok then clean out the interior of the case with a can of compressed air - dust is a major killer of PCs.

Next, you need to decide how much time you want to spend on sorting out the system - if you use it for business then I would strongly recommend backing up your data and just reinstalling from scratch - it takes a couple of hours but at least you know you'll have a clean system. The alternative is to start from the top & do loads of scans with AV programs, registry cleaners etc, but starting with a fresh install at least you know where you are. You will need to have your original install/driver disks or know where you can download drivers from.

There aren't many moving parts in a PC so if the ones that do move - the harddrive, CPU fans & PSU fans, are OK then there's no reason to buy a new PC - you'd spend longer getting your head around the newer OS & Windows 8 will be out by then.

"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us..."

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