"Blonde Moment" need help

I have a computer at home that used to be top of the line 6 years ago. It is a Compaque Deskpro (166) I don’t know much about computers but I can state for a fact that this piece of crap is REALLY REALLY slow. Often it times out before an internet page loads. Forget trying to play games or fill out questionares. I keep receiving an error message that there is a “script error” on the page and do I want to continue running scripts. If I say yes it freezes me up. IF I say no then it doesn’t show me the complete details of the page.

Recently I logged on and a message from MSN came on and said that I must upgrade my MSN Messenger in order to continue using it. So I clicked on the site. 45 minutes later a message came up that said my computer wasn’t compatiable. I must be running a minimum of Windows 98 (I use Windows 95) so my MSN Messenger has been out of commission.

So I ask a friend how much he would charge me to load more memory into the computer and give me WIndows 98. He does research on the memory and says the memory is old and will cost about $60. He also stated that he did not think this was going to help me in the long run. He said loading windows 98 is going to suck up space and time and the computer may even run SLOWER then it does now. His advice was to go on e-bay and buy a new computer for $300.

I asked another friend who is pretty savy on computers (I think) and his comments were:

Now I am totally lost. I don’t know what to do.
I’m living on a single-parent budget so I need to make sure that I am making a sound decision.

Any advice? And please don’t talk in computer lingo. Did I mention I am blonde?

Thanks

Ugh, i tried to post a response but apparently it didn’t go through. Anyways, it really depends on what you want to use your computer for. Nowadays you can browse the net, check email or send faxes on a cell phone, so there is really no reason why you would need to upgrade your puter for those things. You mention playing games, well you can probably forget about that unless you buy something ALOT better.

What you need to do is find out why your computer is running so badly. I sugest you start by downloading Spybot: search and destroy to get rid of all the adware programs that can really cripple a computer.

I use the computer for research. It ticks me off that the pages take so long to load. It is painful. Often it times out before the page loads. There is NO WAY I could look at SDMB on this contraption.

Of course I use email and MSN Messenger.

The kids like to play games. I have never let them download as I don’t think I have room on my pc for anything.

I will try and run the program you mentioned. Will I notice a considerable difference?

So are you suggesting just “buy the memory?”

Well, both friends are right.

The best solution is really to upgrade the computer. But that’s bucks. Also, in another 6 years you’ll be here again. If you really want to squeeze this one a little further there are some things you can do, including as suggested:
a) increase the memory
b) defragment the hard disk
c) make sure there aren’t any un-necessary programs running. (we can talk more about this; some programs are installed to silently run in the background, so there are likely some running you don’t know about or care about)
d) make sure your hard disk isn’t very close to being full. If it is, delete unnecessary stuff. (For time’s sake, do this before doing #b above)
e) if you can avoid it, don’t upgrade to Win98. Now… Win98 is much much better, and there are a lot of very good reasons to upgrade. But your primary goal here is performance, and Win98 will be much slower on an older machine.

a) increase the memory
----Ok

b) defragment the hard disk
----How do I do this?

c) make sure there aren’t any un-necessary programs running. (we can talk more about this; some programs are installed to silently run in the background, so there are likely some running you don’t know about or care about)
—Oh ok I never heard of this before. How do I find out?

d) make sure your hard disk isn’t very close to being full. If it is, delete unnecessary stuff. (For time’s sake, do this before doing #b above)
-----I delete all internet files and temp files. Is this what you are speaking of? I have PageMaker on it but I do NOT use it. Not sure how to delete the entire program.
e) if you can avoid it, don’t upgrade to Win98. Now… Win98 is much much better, and there are a lot of very good reasons to upgrade. But your primary goal here is performance, and Win98 will be much slower on an older machine
----The reason I wanted Win 98 is because I can NOT run MSN Messenger without the upgrade.

at the risk of making a dumb suggestion, why not change to a different Instant Messenger program?

First delete any unused programs (including PageMaker). Do this by:
clicking Start/Settings/Control Panel
Double click Add/Remove Programs
Click on the program you want to uninstall and choose “Add/Remove”

Delete all internet files and temp files (as you already are).

Delete any unnecessary data files, in “My Documents” (or other if you have them elsewhere).

First delete everything unnecessary (as above).
Restart the computer and repeatedly press F8 as soon as it recognizes the floppy drive. A menu will be displayed. Select SAFE MODE and press ENTER.
Disable your screensaver if you use one.
Press Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Disk DeFragmenter.
Tell the program to defragment your disk (I don’t know the exact key sequences; I don’t have win95 here)
Wait. maybe a long time

The easiest I’ve found is a program called “startstop”. It’s freeware, but the company that made it has gone under. You should still be able to find it with a Google search. If you don’t have luck, perhaps I can find it for you. It’s a lot easier to use a program like that than to manually remove them, especially if you’re not an advanced user.

Fair enough. I suggest you do the above and add memory first and see how the performance looks. If it’s still pretty bad, it’ll be worse after Win98, so you may want to make other plans.

speaking as a pauper, i know the thought of shelling out $300 is pretty daunting. i spose the way to think of it is in day by day benefit. if you ( and your kids) use the puter every day and having a better machine will materially benefit you ( homework resources, cheaper shopping, head space) then go for it. if you use the new PC for another six years then you will be paying what? 1.3 cents a day ( disregarding inflation) for something that will enrich your life and save you money in other areas. i shop online for groceries and clothes and books and stuff: it allows me to budget efficiently, avoid impulse buying, and with online banking and billing i can manage the house money without cash burning a hole in my pocket ( god i sound like an advert don’t i). we paid out £400 for this computer ( our total income is about £4000pa) but the material benefits make up for that outlay. It is possible to get a good computer for much less, well it is in England, but some assembly is required and, while it is pretty simple to do, you need confidence, patience, and time, which i’m guessing you don’t really have. Now, if you don’t use the puter for much now, and don’t intend to in the future, then it’s pretty pointless taking that big a hit in the wallet or investing that much time in upgrading it. in fact, i wouldn’t bother spending owt on it and do what White Ink suggested.

Thank you Tremmie! I clicked on your Syware link, downloaded the program, skimmed the tutorial and ran a check.

My computer was loaded with crap that shouldn’t be there.

So I ran the Fix and bingo.

:slight_smile: Thank you again. I hope everyone gives this program at least a look see.

I have a six year old computer. You did not get top of the line model. Tell the board what exactly you need to access, messenger, mail and then let someone post reply. Maybe a reformat with upgrades will suffice, at least you will clear off the garbage accumulated in six years. I have done it. twice, due to viruses or worms or just surfing. I’m no wizard, but I try to stay in the fast lane…

DO NOT buy the memory, that is a complete rip off, $60 for memory on a 166 computer is a friggin joke.

I’ve grown up on computers and have built many, a 166 is completely outdated now, and $300 for a new computer isnt neccesarily true. You can get a way better computer than you currently have for less than $300.

Here is a VERY good computer for only $199. It’s an 800 mhz with 20 gigs of space, you’ll be able to browse SD at your modems limit as opposed to the processer limit, and its got 128 mb of RAM, so '98 will be no problem.

If you can’t afford that, there are cheaper options, but they really just aren’t worth it, this $200 computer should last you at least 4-6 years before you’ll need to upgrade.

Not at all, i was suggesting that before spending any money at all you try to find out why your computer isnt performing like it used too. I assume you not always had problems with pages taking way too long to load? if your puter worked fine before and you don’t have any new needs that would need more memory than before you really don’t need to upgrade.

I can fix your messenger problem though, just download the old version again and install that, and ignore any further attempts it makes at getting you to upgrade to a new version. If you use the internet alot and you’ve never run a program like search and destroy you should see a big improvement in performance just by getting rid of all the adware on your computer.

By the way, get Trillian it’s a chat program that will run on '95, and it connects to AIM/ICQ/IRC/MSN/Yahoo

How about this:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=630177&Sku=N52-F148%20P

WOW so much information. You guys are great! I will try some of it tonight. I will get back to you tomorrow.

If you think of anything else, please post!
Isabelle