Hard Drive Problems/Computer slowwwwww


I have a Dell computer that runs slow, especially at start up then after 5 minutes it runs fairly smooth but then starts hanging up on all the programs (Word, Excel, Pictures, Internet, basically everything).  

I have thought about just getting a new computer but thought maybe I could add more memory/ram to my computer and it would run better?   Currently my system info is this:

Operating system is Windows XP version 2002 service pack 3
Hard drive:  21.9 gb used, 33.8 gb free
Intel Pentium 4 cpu 3.06 ghz
3.05 ghz, 512 of Ram

Any advice is appreciated.

Hi Sandy!

A newer computer would certainly run faster than this computer, and I would recommend upgrading:

Windows XP will reach the end of its life in April 2014.  What this means is that Microsoft will no longer provide security and stability updates for it, so it will become more vulnerable to viruses and other malware.  Software companies will also begin (those who have not already done so) writing software that no longer works on XP, making software that will run on XP harder to find and more expensive to buy.  New devices (phones, iPods, printers, etc.) will also become harder to find for computers running XP.

Your hardware (I can't say for sure without knowing the exact model of your computer) probably is limited in the amount of RAM you can put in - probably 4GB, and it may be expensive on such an old PC.  With an upgrade of RAM (to at least 2GB - around $50) and an upgrade of your hard drive (to something at least 100GB in size - around $60-80), you could upgrade to Windows 7.  This will cost between $100-200 ... that $200-300 might be better off going towards the purchase of a new computer.

Feel free to contact me with any additional questions you might have.

Good luck!

Hard Drive Problems

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I can answer questions about server hardware RAID and general storage for servers and PC's - hard drive issues, troubleshooting, advice, specs, and information. While some apparent drive/RAID array failures can be recovered, I can only provide advice/recommendations in the event of catastrophic data loss. I don't assist in actually recovering from this type of data loss on this forum.


I worked as an analyst in Dell server support for 2 years, and have since worked with many Dell PowerEdge servers. I am currently employed as IT Manager. I am currently ranked in the top 5 All-Time in Server Hardware and Hard Drives in a very popular and large forum similar to AllExperts.

I have a BS in Computer Science and have earned the following certifications: CompTIA Security+, A+, Project+; CIW Web Design, Database Specialist; Microsoft Windows 7; Dell DCSE Server. I am also an expert in Windows 7, Servers, and Hard Drives (I don't normally do XP - not because I don't know it inside and out, but because I have "retired" personal support for XP, and I want to see it die :)).

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