old dell computer running Windows XP some what slow

April 16, 2014 at 12:07:05
Specs: windows xp , celeron(r) cpu 2.40GHz/ 2.39,1.00 of ram
its kind of slow its a and would like to no if theres anything higher i can run on or upgrade i can do as far as the software goes . I've only removed programs to clear up space was bout it . i no its old n out dated but its not going to be used for much but browsing and phone syncing with iTunes .

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April 16, 2014 at 13:22:49
Typically slowness can be down to accumulated "junk" files, temp files, seriously fragmented drive...; cookies, an extensive history...

Have you run the windows disk cleanup utility?

Try that for a start.

Then perhaps run a couple of cleaner utils...

Suggest run in this order:

Adwcleaner - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/dow...

malwarebyter - https://www.malwarebytes.org/free/

ccleaner - http://www.filehippo.com/download_c...

Be aware of course that a Celeron is a nobbled processor. The full blown chip has (as I understand it) a maths co- processor, whereas the Celeron doesn't. In effect it's been nobbled... So it will never really spin along a rate of knots compared to the full blown cpu; and thus will be a little tardy, slow, sluggish with most current games?

The graphics card too will effect how it performs with games...

Incidentally, what model Dell do you have?

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April 16, 2014 at 18:32:28
Oops. Don't know where I got the idea it was a socket 370 that could take a P-III. I must have read your specs wrong. Still, replacing the celerion with a compatible P-4 would be a slight improvement. A disk cleanup, as already recommended, will probably do the most good.

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April 16, 2014 at 22:25:51
I would also switch to a current browser like Chrome, Firefox or Opera.

No one should be running Internet Explorer on Windows XP now that it is no longer being updated or patched.

In my experience, Internet Explorer 8 locked up quite a bit compared to the other browsers, even when it was a relatively new browser.

For instance, I have always noticed a huge speed difference when opening Netflix in IE vs Chrome.


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April 17, 2014 at 15:01:16
The problem is usually caused by accumulated junk system files; temps, logs, history, etc., also accumulation of unnecesary programs, startup programs, undetected infections, fractioned HD, and disk errors, missing or corrupted system files, etc. etc.

I used to have the same problem years back and eventually learned how to solve it (short of reinstalling XP or reformatting) with some tweaks and tricks I learned over time. Now my old Dell XP computer (and any other I get my hands on) is only slowed down by obsolete hardware. I made a list of those tricks and settings and shared it here: http://www.tomshardware.com/answers...

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April 17, 2014 at 15:38:11
Chicano: While I agree with many of the suggestions in your post to which you link - and that post includes most of my suggestions above… I have to disagree with using registry cleaners and "tune up" utilities… Both have history of doing more harm than good…

I think many of us have found that windows has much of what's needed in terms of clean-up tools etc. (if/when used correctly); and the malware/adware/ccleaner - and junkware removal (which I didn't mention in my #1 above) will do all that's required that windows doesn't (or can't) do. All without recourse to things like registry cleaners and tune up utils various.

An anti-virus boot disk is also useful of course; and they are often recommended here by more than a few.

A while back I had a colleagues son's PC to sort out; loaded with such "helpful tune-up items/registry cleaners" and they had caused no end of grief… A clean out of all of them and a repair install resolved it all - and no more "helpful tune up etc. utils" required…

Incidentally there was a recent post here from someone who had used a tune up utility - and had the invariably predictable problems as a result…

Your guide is nonetheless full of useful tips - but I would encourage not to recommend registry cleaners/tune-up utils etc..?

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April 17, 2014 at 21:58:28
trvlr: I have stuck to Tune Up Utilities, Glary Utilities and faithfully to CCleaner and I don't bouch for just any registry cleaner, and since you said "helpful tune up, etc" in a vague maner, I wonder if you read exactly which program I meant. Seems to me that you generalized and put all registry cleaners in the same bag. You can read experts in Tom's Hardware suggest them, so it's not just my own idea, as for Windows XP's tools*, they have never worked right for me... some aren't even installed with Windows and since noone ever suggests them, I don't waste my time with them while I can download a more specialized third party application. I wouldn't be suggesting third party tools if I had any regard for MS apps.

Your bad experience with Tune Up Utilities (if infact this is the program that caused you problems), may have been caused by using it on a computer that was infected before scanning with the appropriate security programs and that... you should know, is wrong. As you may know, some malwares hijack system files and registry data, so if you run a registry cleaner that reads infected registry data as corrupted data, and removes it.. problems may be expected, so I don't suggest leaving the virus/malware scanners for last. And besides, you don't run Registry cleaners to repair of disinfect a system, you use them to clean it.

Nedless to say, I have used Tune Up Utilities since the 2003 edition and it never caused me a single problem... In my experience this program is the safest of the bunch. The idea that registry cleaners are still dangerous (because the first ones were) is an old idea that has long been put aside since such programs have much improved.. and besides such claims are based on Microsoft's disclaimers rather than facts.. it may have been a fact in your case or a few more, but I've given you what I believe was the cause. I'm skeptical on claims that contradict other experts advise and are based on old and long surpassed issues and MS disclaimers. And I never ask for help to solve my own problem when ever they rarely arise even though I have used the suggested registry cleaners for a long time.. so, it's not thinking but knowing from personal experience that Tune Up Utilities is harmless if used the right way and not for the wrong problems.

* Do you recall the svchost.exe using 100% cpu? or buggy updates that messed up your system like a virus?.. and here's another example of what Microsoft applications can do, and why I usually avoid them.

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April 18, 2014 at 20:31:40
I also has an old and outdated Dell pc, it is Windows XP system, which only can be used to browse some webpages. Besides, windows XP support has ended from Apr.8, I try to get some help from my friends, one recommend software on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/toolwizcare , I installed it, which help improve my system performance, maybe you can have a try.

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April 19, 2014 at 13:40:36

I've not looked at your computer in detail but as often as not upgrading an old computer to a later operating system (if that's what you meant) will probably not help speed. Some of the simpler steps given here are likely to be the best way forward.

CCleaner is fine but I don't feel that, in general, letting registry cleaners remove everything they find is a great idea. They can definitely get things wrong (proven) and make little difference to performance because they mostly only remove unused entries which are never accessed anyway. OK in the hands of those who understand the registry, risky for others.

If you are going online with XP see these:



Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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April 19, 2014 at 14:30:15
Apart from increasing RAM to whatever level is viable, the only other way to speed up a given system is to upgrade the cpu to highest/fastest or whatever that is available and fits the on-board socket (and isn't already present of course). Both of these paths have already discussed above by various regulars...

The above two usual options of course presume the system isn't over-loaded, swamped, or burdened with junk files and the like...

Udderwyze.. one lives wiv wot it is...

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