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  1. #1
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    Default External HD needed or not ?

    Hello,

    I have 13GB of space left on my PC with 43GB odd used.

    Recently my PC ran a little slower, and most notably sometimes files take a little longer to open and close..for example when i close down my desktop itunes programme now it comes up 'saving itunes library' it never did this before..its as if its taking longer to close down because the file is so big.

    So I checked for viruses, spyware, defragged and cleaned the registry and all is ok. But still it runs lightly slower. It does not take away from the fun of using the PC, just means everything opens slower than usual. I think it might be because the memory is getting low..I read somewhere that this can cause things to slow down.

    So I have ordered a 300GB external hard drive, I can use it as a back up drive anyway, so its not a problem but I have a couple of questions.

    1) Could putting files on to the external help speed up the computer?
    2) Could it have any other benefits
    3) If its not the space that is causing things to open and close slower is there anything else that could be causing it?

    Oh and also once in a whilem, especially when I open 'My Computer' the internal HD starts whiring loudly, for about 10 seconds then calms down again..its not every time..just sometimes...

    Any ideas and opinions on the External HD ?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Administrator Help2Go Administrator Canuck's Avatar
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    Hello bhafc87 and welcome to Help2Go. To answer your questions, we should know a few specifics about your PC. How much RAM memory do you have and what operating system are you using (XP?). The only major benefit to having an 'external' hard drive is its portability to use on other PCs if needed. The downside is that they run somewhat slower than an internal hard drive. Having said that, you will probably see an increase in speed by putting your data files and perhaps some programs on a 'slave' or external drive. Remember to do an defrag once things are moved over.

    Also check what's running in the background .. Start> Run > type in msconfig >startup tab. Uncheck the boxes of unnecessary programs (which will probably be most .. except for any security programs). If you're not sure of what's needed, give us a list and we'll let you know what they are and if they're needed on startup. If you go ahead and deselect some of the programs (this does not delete the program, it just stops it from running on startup and taking up RAM memory) .. then click OK. It will ask if you want to reboot .. say yes. When the PC reboots, a configuration window will open, click the box that says ' do not show this window again' or words to that effect >OK.

    Go to this article for other pointers http://www.help2go.com/Tutorials/Win...n_I_do%3F.html .

    Keep us posted on your progress.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for that so far,

    I have XP Home OS Version 2002 with Service pack 2
    Packard Bell PC
    Intel pentium 4 CPU 2.20GHz
    512MB of RAM

    Could I just ask a couple of things, whilst I visit your link you provided,

    1) Can I increase RAM, would that help and would it be costly?
    2) You say i could put 'Data' files onto the ExHD - can you just clarify what you mean, because I thought Data files were those quite important ones that basically held your PC together, if they are, then is moving them risky?
    3) You say there are not really any benefits apart from being able to transport data, but would I be right in saying that it frees up space, by transfering items across to the ExHD, which means surely the PC would then be able to open files faster (from the Internal HD) because there is less going on, on the PC?

    I shall look at your link now, but any more advice would be helpful,

    Oh and as for programmes that are running on start up, I have looked at that before and stopped ceratin programmes, but I am scared of stopping ones like rundll32.exe in case it means the PC wont start up properly, and what happens if a programme requires it to run, it wont tell me which one to start again..will it ? How does that work itself out ? I have 53 processes running if that helps for now.

    Thanks (If you want me to list what is running please tell me how to copy it on to here quickly because I dont fancy tryping 53 processes down..lol..thanks.

  4. #4
    Member Bear's Avatar
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    To find out how much memory you can add, what kind to add and how much it will cost see the link below

    http://www.crucial.com/systemscanner/

    To determine what needs to be running at startup visit the sites below and do some reading.

    http://www.castlecops.com/StartupList.html
    http://www.pacs-portal.co.uk/startup_content.php
    http://www.sysinfo.org/startuplist.php
    http://www.answersthatwork.com/Taskl...s/tasklist.htm

    To manage startup programs I recommend Startup Control Panel rather than using MSCONFIG, link below.

    http://www.mlin.net/StartupCPL.shtml

    If you have any further questions feel free to post them and someone here will be glad to help you.
    Comptia A+ and Network + Certified. Microsoft MCP in Windows 2000 Pro. Server, Advanced Server and Data Center Sever.

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    Thanks, will look at those too..

    Memory is different to RAM though isnt it, so can I upgrade RAM and will it help?

  6. #6
    Member Bear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhafc87
    Thanks, will look at those too..

    Memory is different to RAM though isnt it, so can I upgrade RAM and will it help?
    RAM (random access memory) = Memory

    Harddrive space or more important the amount of free harddrive space can have a negitive effect on computer performance if it gets to low.

    That being said adding RAM is the simplest and least expensive way to get a performance boost in your computer. For an explanation of what Ram is and how it works please see the link below.


    http://computer.howstuffworks.com/ram.htm
    Comptia A+ and Network + Certified. Microsoft MCP in Windows 2000 Pro. Server, Advanced Server and Data Center Sever.

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    Hi, I have read every link you guys have printed and so far it is all helpful.

    Although I am now confused..not difficult being me...

    If RAM is memory, then I am confused, I have 512MB of ram but I have used over 4OGB with 13GB remaining...so whats the two different sizes?

    512MB vs 40GB, If RAM is memory, whats the 40 GB , i really feel like I am way out of my league now..I thought I was quite clued up on computers till now..

    ..oh and bear, you said "RAM is the simplest and least expensive way to get a performance boost in your computer"

    So will the External Harddrive i am buying help in speeding up my PC if I transfer everything across to the external hard drive? And its true then that low memory will slow it down? And if RAM is different to an external hhard drive..will the hard drive have a positive effect anyway on speed?

  8. #8
    Administrator Help2Go Administrator Canuck's Avatar
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    bhafc87, Data files created by you, for example, music files, document files etc. Perhaps I didn't explain myself too well.
    Having said that, you will probably see an increase in speed by putting your data files and perhaps some programs on a 'slave' or external drive.
    this is transferring from your C: drive to the external drive.

    There are a number of different kinds of memory in a PC. The two main ones that you're concerned with are the memory (or size) on your hard drive and RAM memory. Take a look here for definitions http://www.tekmom.com/buzzwords/zdramvhd.html .

    You will notice some difference in speed when transferring to the External Hard Drive, but as Bear states, if it's possible to increase your RAM to 1 gig there would be a great increase in speed. If you follow Bears links to Crucial and run their analyzer, it will tell you how much RAM and what kind you can use.

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    Thanks for that..makes it a little more clear now and I am following your advice.

    I do have one more question though..sorry

    People say that the external hard drive is mostly good as a back up drive (for all your files etc..) but am I right in saying that the external hard drive would still be vulnerable to viruses etc..?

    If thats the case then surely its not that good as back up if its still vulnerable to viruses? Or is the idea that your only meant to connect it when you want something off it? In which case I will still have to have all my files on the main PC wont I, if i am going to keep it unplugged..or am I missing something here?

  10. #10
    Administrator Help2Go Administrator Canuck's Avatar
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    No, you keep the External drive connected. While I suppose it's possible to get a virus on it from the internet or by loading a 'bad' program, I believe your main drive C with the operating system is more likely to be affected. That is why it is essential to have an updated antivirus program and firewall running at all times. If you have neither, we can recommend some excellent programs that are free.

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