I’ve just finished sorting out an ageing Carrera Desktop PC running Windows XP. This was brought into the clinic a few days ago suffering from all the usual symptoms of neglect – painfully slow performance interspersed with random shutdowns.
A brief examination showed a number of familiar symptoms – a hard drive with precious little free space (fill your drive up so that there is less than 15% free space and Windows quickly starts complaining), numerous applications most of which were never being used but were all running behind the scenes at start up, a desktop simply cluttered with program icons, folders and files and a very dusty case prone to overheating. When you added the fact that Windows Updater wasn’t working properly so that the machine was short of several important security patches, the result was something of a mess.
Sometimes the simplest solution in cases such as this is to wipe and reformat the hard drive, having backed up all your data first of course, and reinstall Windows from scratch. Then, as with all good spring cleaning exercises, only put back the programs you actually use. The results can be amazing. In this case, the Carrera was given a new lease of life and a considerable performance boost, once the internal clear out had been combined with a removal of the years of dust around the case and CPU fans. To all intents and purposes, a new machine without the need to spend much money. Now that must make sense!