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Painfully Slow Dell Inspiron Runnin XP

1241 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Old Rich
Hi, maybe someone can help with this. I am working on a friends Dell Inspiron 1000 (which to begin with is a relatively cheap laptop). The problem is that it runs slow . . . very slow. It has always been that way but has gotten worse lately. I followed all the first steps - no spyware ect. I scaled down to the bare essentials at startup and cleaned the registry but there was little change. I updated the BIOS to the latest version -- no change. Finally I did what any sane person would do and reformatted the entire drive. That's when I suspected something was REALLY wrong. I left the small utilities partition which is in FAT. I formatted the bulk of the remaining 30GB drive as a single partition of 20GB and left the rest unpartitioned for later use. THE FORMATTING OF THAT 20 GB PARTITION TOOK 8 HOURS! Now I did a full format as opposed to a quick format but that seems crazy. XP finally did install in a decently short amount of time once the fomratting was complete and it almost ran decently too . . . almost . . . but once again the system is painfully slow when loading a program or calling up the control panel or booting . . . basically anything. But copying install files goes real speedy.

I ran Win 95 diagnostics a few times and all disk sectors check out ok -- both before and after reformatting. I'm puzzled. The system definitely runs without erros and doesn't crash. But it's painful.

Here's what Dell says: The 8 hour format is a bad sign. No kidding. They say -- a bad hard drive. My contention is that this may not be the issue. At least the drive mechanism itself is ok I think. Perhaps the IDE controller is bad (though as I understand it that is part of the drive itself anyway if you are going to replace it). During reformat there were no partcular hangups at particular blocks on the disk. The whole thing was just equally slow. And ScanDisk as well as some other 3rd party utilities find no bad blocks. But then again running one of these utilities to check the whole disk takes two hours.

So it's consistently slow -- it works and is stable but the only way I can describe it is that it's like putting XP on an old Win 95 machine from 10 years ago. Dell says that the system is "integrated" -- hard drive and all and that nothing can be replaced (they won't sell me a part). My contention -- that's crap. Unless that internal drive is welded to the motherboard I can replace it if I can get a new one. But they want the thing returned (it's out of warranty) so that they can look at it. By the way the system has 256 Ram which I realize is on the low end but not so low to cause this performance or lack thereof.

Has anybody got any ideas?

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Make sure that the IDE port/HDD is running in DMA mode, sounds like it may have reverted to PIO which is painfully slow.

(Control Panel - System - Hardware - Device Manager - Primary IDE port - properties)
Try some of the tweaks in the attacment. it might help
John :)


Is there any possibility it could be overheating? Does the fan work? And what version of XP is installed? I know I had problems after updating an Inspiron 1150 to SP2.
You might try the newest BIOS for the 1000 . . follow instructions closely to avoid problems

and . . any good 2.5" drive will work fine in that laptop
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