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Upgrades making it worse

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Pete44131, Mar 9, 2010.

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  1. Pete44131

    Pete44131 Thread Starter

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    Hi everyone,

    I have recently been noticing my system laboring especially when processing video applications such as Skype or even youtube videos, etc. So, I see that my current video card is 32mb and decide that maybe its time ti upgrade.

    So, I buy a new Nvidia Geforce 6200LE with 512 mb

    Then I realize that my power supply is insufficient at 200 watts so I upgrade to 500 watts.

    now that I've done this it appears that neither of my disc drives will read a cd that came with the video card.... matter of fact they wont read anything. One of them has been funny for awhile but now both are on the fritz.

    Soooooo........ I go back to Micro Center and buy 2 new DVD/CD/WRITABLE/READABLE/MAKE-YOU-TOAST-AND-EGGS-IN-THE-MORNING drives.... and add them.

    BTW, my system is 10 years old +/- so this is all non-sata stuff.

    Oh yeah, and just because I could, I added a USB card to give me 5 additional ports. Only had 4 total originally with 2 in front and 2 in back and got tired of swapping things constantly.

    So, now the result is that the computer is laboring more than ever. the CPU goes to full use for everything it seems. It used to do this mor4e than I wanted before too but I thought that was maybe a result of the video card being undersized for current needs.

    And I am getting this warning now when I reboot that says my paging file is too small or non-existent.

    If I didn't have so many files on this pc and programs that I'd have to search for and reinstall and re-configure, I would gladly just buy a new PC at this point.

    simply opening a browser takes copious amounts of time and CPU resources.

    I am thinking at this point it is not a hardware issue but a software/registry/voodoo issue.

    I would appreciate any help you guys can offer.

    Here are my system specs at this point, let me know what else you need.

    OP system: Windows XP (home edition) I think SP3 is the latest patch
    Computer: HP Pavilion 760c
    Processor: Intel Pentium 4, 1.9 ghz
    Motherboard: P4B266LA
    Video Card: Nvidia Geforce 6200 A-LE
    Power supply: 500 watt atx
    Bios Version: version 3.02 11/22/2001 Award Software Inc

    Thanks, Pete
     
  2. storage_man

    storage_man

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Messages:
    694
    Just a couple of thoughts. Your system isn't really that slow (I have a thinkpad that's 1.1GHz).

    Since your getting a warning about the page file, How much free space is on your disk (Also Whats the size of your hard drive ?) ? Windows will set the size of the page file to match your real memory.

    How much memory is on your system ? Windows is happier when all tasks can run in real memory and thus the machine runs faster.

    Have you ever defrag your hard drive ? A fragmented hard disk can cause a lot of performance problems.

    How many tasks are you running ?

    Last but not least, How much stuff are you preloading at start up. This can eat up a bunch of memory.
     
  3. Pete44131

    Pete44131 Thread Starter

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    Messages:
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    My HD is 127mb, 36 mb used, 91 mb free

    Ram is 1.25 mb

    I have a lot of programs on my pc. I often work with a lot of apps open at once. Never was a problem until recently.

    Is it possible that a recent piece of software or even a corrupt file is causing the serious hangups?

    There appears to be a lot of crap that starts at startup. I have a lot of stuff running in my task bar (over by the clock) A lot of it appears to be updaters and stuff.

    Whatever program I am using seems to hog a lot of resources when it is active. Firefox is a good example. everytime I browse to a page or do anything on Firefox, it drives the cpu to near or at 100%. Other programs seem to do that too.

    Is there something that controls the processor that maybe is corrupt?
     
  4. Compiler

    Compiler

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
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    5,855
    Did you buy that "500watt" PSU that costs like $22 at microcenter? Its junk. Your better off spending $30~45 on an Antec 350watt PSU. I think they also carry Thermaltake 430watt for about $40. I'd change out the PSU.

    Yes, by todays standards, your computer is quite slow... but with only 36GB used for the OS and data, that's not bad. Run Check disk on your HD, make sure its good. (right click on your drive, properties, tools)

    How many processes are you running?
     
  5. Pete44131

    Pete44131 Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    I finally solved the paging file issue.

    No matter what I did it wouldn't set the paging file size.

    Finally, after much web surfing and reading I rolled back and then updated the drivers for my IDE ATA ATAPI controllers.... which I believe are my hard drive controllers.

    However in the meantime I repaired my XP with the install diska nd have to reinstall the service packs and whatnot.

    we'll see how that cpu acts now. things are definitely better though.

    BTW, is the $20 power supply really a bad thing? why, what problems could it create?
     
  6. Snagglegaster

    Snagglegaster Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,906
    Cheap power supplies are unreliable. Frequently they don't output steady voltages, and they may not actually produce enough amperage for some systems. None of that's good for your hardware.

    So, if your power supply fails, whats the worst case scenario? Well that would be fried CPU, motherboard, memory, expansion cards, and perhaps more. The all time best catastrophic power supply failure I've seen was where a failed power supply sent such a large surge through the system that not one single component in the machine was salvageable . Memory chips and chips on the motherboard were bubbled up and burned. So much voltage went through the VGA cable that the insulation on the monitor cable was blackened, and the top of the monitor was partially melted

    Certainly this is extreme, but P4's are not very tolerant of abnormal voltages, and power supply failures for machines like yours result in a higher than average number of both damaged mainboards and CPUs.
     
  7. Pete44131

    Pete44131 Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    thanks... I think I'll head up to micro center and swap it out for a more reliable power supply.
     
  8. Compiler

    Compiler

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Messages:
    5,855
    I would do it asap... get it over with. We get blown-up systems by cheap PSUs all the time here. You have people who would spend $300 on a video card and then blow up their computer because of a $25 PSU, which in then end they end up spending $700+ to buy parts for a whole new computer.

    Keep your old PSU. when you upgrade in the future, you can use your NEW PSU in a new computer case. Then put the original PSU back in your old case and sell it as is or give it away (but not with the 6200). Typical PSUs on todays systems are about 300watts.
     
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