A prior customer call saying his sons laptop seems to freeze & is basically unuseable.
Since I setup the wireless on this laptop previously, I know memory was a limitation, together with a lot of software starting while the pc started.
I take it home & disable all the startup rubbish (skype, norton IS, gator / gain). Its still quite slow (it now takes 5 minutes to start, instead of 15 minutes).
I run ewido & I find a mywebsearch infection. Once removed, I uninstall norton IS & install antivir instead. I also install & run winpatrol & spywareBlaster, but things are still slow… I cleanout the 2 windows temporary folders (why does windows xp have 2 different temporary folders? one is a system-level temp, the other is a user-level temp).
I also clean-out the IE temporary folder… many people try to do this, but what most don’t realise, is that there is a bug in IE, which means that the temp IE folder accumulates “lost fragments”, which never get cleared by the ordinary “delete temporary internet files & delete cookies” buttons in internet options. This is where a tools like cachesentry is invaluable.
To save every last scrap of memory, I also look carefully at the windows services… there are many unnecessary services that are started, which can take up a lot of memory. So I disable what I can… its a bit of a balancing act, as disabling too much will remove utilities that the customer might find useful.
I finally get xp fully started, with a memory “footprint” (ie a commit charge) of about 90 – 100 meg. I have been able to go as low as 45-50 meg, but many tools stop working when all the services are killed off.
I do a disk defrag.
The pc still takes about 2 – 3 minutes to start… unusually long, but I cannot see what else could cause the slow startup times (without delving into registry tweaking… which I don’t want to do on a customer computer).
Customer is not prepared to pay for extra memory, so he gets the computerback in the “Computer Aid” tuned state… antivir takes a reasonable amount of memory, but that cannot be helped, since the pc will be on broadband internet, and it was already infected with spyware).