So I’ve been using Norton to optimize my computer and have noticed quite a slow down. Sometimes to the point where I get that flashlight after clicking on “my computer” for a few seconds (sometimes longer). Now I’d imagine, it has something to do with running Norton system works and norton firewall, but still, you’d think Norton would increase the overall speed of my computer, that’s why I got it. Should I let windows defrag the computer and see what happens? Also I’m running XP pro, so I have the option of switching from FAT32 to NTFS, would that help with the speed at all?? Any help on this would be appriciated. Thanks

Oh, maybe I should also mention that I have two (7200 rpm I believe) 30GB drives. One for programs etc. The other is just data, no programs , just data that is accessed very often, and some files are changed quite a bit (like incomplete video downloads that get compleated later)

How much RAM do you have, and what’s your processor speed?

A) Norton is great for defragmenting files, which will speed up your disk access time (Your computer won’t have to find the various parts of your files and put them back together). This saves processor time, but it has to be done every so often because files become fragmented over time.

B) If you’re running a bunch of Norton programs (Systemworks, Firewall, etc.), then you’re going to notice some slowdown, because they require RAM to run. If you don’t have a lot of memory (hence the RAM question), XP has to use cache on the hard drive, which will significantly slow things down.

C) FAT32 vs. NTFS… FAT32 can actually be faster in some cases then NTFS, but on the whole, NTFS is more secure, it handles fragmentation better, and it gives you a little more disk space than FAT32 because it allocates file space more efficiently. I would switch over to NTFS, unless you have a dual boot system that includes Win9x or WinME, because those OSes cannot read the NTFS file system.

Hope that helps! :slight_smile:

I would definitely defrag the second drive, probably once a week or so, since it probably gets fragmented quite a bit. The first drive probably won’t require as much optimization, but should still be checked every so often.

Intel Celeron 1GHz, 256mb.
I think the whole optimize, defrag thing was covered a while back, but I don’t remember which one was better, norton optimize or windows defrag.

Well, your hardware seems fast enough. I’ll have to look around to find out which defrag is better. I’ve always assumed Norton would be better than MS, just because that’s specifically what they do with their software, while MS has the entire OS to work with, not just disk management. If I find out, I’ll post it in here.

Have you checked the Task Manager to see what other programs might be running and taking up your resources? Hit Ctrl-Alt-Del and click on the “Processes” tab. If you click on CPU, it should show you which programs are eating up your speed right at the top. I’ve got Systemworks running in the background for me, and I haven’t noticed any slowdown beyond what should be normal for running Antivirus/Cleansweep/System Doctor. If you think Norton is taking away too many resources, you could try turning off some of the programs, like system doctor, since you don’t need to monitor everything on your computer continually (unless you’re a control freak like me :)).

Happy hunting!

I’ve posted this in other threads, but I’ll post it one more time. Defragmentation and optimization are not the same. Defrag is the process of rearranging the way files are organized on a disk so that the date comprising each file is store in adjacent or contiguous disks clusters. Optimization maximizes the usable free space on a disk by grouping files based on how they are accessed. The most frequently used files are placed at the beginning. Free space is consolidated to avoid fragmenting newly added files, and extra space is added after major date structures so they can grow without immediately becoming fragmented again.

To determine how much of your disks are not fragmented, run Speed Disk and let it scan the drives. When it is finished scanning, it will display the percentage not fragmented. Do not start Speed Disk. Just open it and it will scan.

Since I’ve used Norton’s Optimization for six months, I’ve never had to defrag and my hd is 99% not fragmented.

This is what I get if I have windows degragger analyze my disks:
Total Fragmentation 11%
File Fragmentation 23%
Free Space Fragmentation 0%

Total Fragmentation 22%
File Fragmentation 44%
Free Space Fragmentation 0%

It suggests defragging both drives. This is after using norton optimization for about a month (but doing it about twice a week)

Maybe this is part of the slow down. I also was still wondering about NTFS, shouldn’t that cut down on the fragmantation?