|Defrag is a program that was very effective when used with computers when they were MUCH slower, but using it has very little effect with modern computers. If Windows is more than 10% slower than it once was, using Defrag isn't going to cure your problem - there are zillions of other things that can cause Windows to run much slower than it once did. |
- If the partition Windows itself was installed on, which is usually but not always C for XP, does not have about 10% free space left on it or more, Windows will run MUCH slower than it is otherwise capable of.
What's the total size of that partition on your computer ? How much free space is left on it ?
- if your problem is caused by software problems......
- there may be something showing up about that if you look at your Event viewer info.
(Control Panel - Classic View - Administrative Tools - Event viewer)
- it's likely if you load Windows in Safe mode rather than loading it normally, it will take less time to finish loading the desktop screen fully and the hard disk activity led to stop blinking or being on all the time because fewer programs are loaded in Safe mode. Try loading Safe mode to see what if any difference there is.
(Remove any bootable CDs or DVDs in drives.
Press F8 repeatedly while booting, don't hold down the key, and when the Windows loading choices menu appears, choose Safe mode, or Safe mode with networking if you want to be able to access the internet ).
- make sure that your hard drive Windows was installed is not running in the much slower PIO mode.
If the connection your drive is on is in PIO mode, try setting it to DMA if available, save settings, go back in, see if it has changed to a higher mode.
If the drive won't go out of PIO mode, you need to remove some lines from the Registry, but if you haven't cured what caused the data errors, Windows will immediately or in a short time insert the lines again and it will be in PIO mode again.
NOTE that if your mboard has an earlier Intel 8xx main chipset, you may NOT see the Advanced Settings tab there in the properties for the IDE controllers. If you don't, your Intel chipset may require you install the IAA - Intel Application Accelerator. If that has been loaded, there is a Intel Application Accelerator entry in your Programs list in the Start menu, and the modes the drives are running in are shown in that.
If you don't see the Advanced Settings tab there in the properties for the IDE controllers, and you don't see the Intel Application Accelerator entry in your Programs, go to the Intel website and look up the downloads for your particular main chipset, and download and install the IAA if it is listed - your drives will not be able to run at their max speeds until that has been installed.
IDE hard drives capable of UDMA66 (66 mb/sec max burst data transfer speed) or faster MUST be connected to an 80 wire data cable.
It is common to un-intentionally damage IDE data cables, especially while removing them - the 80 wire ones are more likely to be damaged. What usually happens is the cable is ripped at either edge and the wires there are either damaged or severed, often right at a connector or under it's cable clamp there, where it's hard to see - if a wire is severed but it's ends are touching, the connection is intermittent, rather than being reliable.
Another common thing is for the data cable to be separated from the connector contacts a bit after you have removed a cable - there should be no gap between the data cable and the connector - if there is press the cable against the connector to eliminate the gap.
80 wire data cables are also easily damaged at either edge if the cable is sharply creased at a fold in the cable.
Try another data cable if in doubt.
80 wire data cables must have the proper end connector connected to the mboard IDE header - usually that's blue, but in any case it's the one farther from the middle connector on a 3 connector data cable.
Check your SATA data cables. The connector on each end should "latch" into the socket on the drive and on the mboard, or on the drive controller card - it should not move when you merely brush your hand against it near the socket - if it does, mere vibration can cause a poor connection of it - use another SATA data cable that does "latch", or tape the connector in place.
(There is a slight projection or bump on one side of the outside of the connector that "latches" it into the socket - it's easily broken off or damaged)
The same thing applies for the SATA power connection.