Computer gurus- can I get some help?

shawn1172shawn1172 Senior MemberPosts: 588 Senior Member
My computer is too freakin slow! It's frequently slow loading pages (I do have high speed interwebs) but I've been trying to watch a movie on Netflix and the stuttering video feed is about to make my head explode. Nothing else running and I opted to view in low def, thinking it would go faster but no luck. My computer is an HP Pavillion laptop, about 5 years old. Uses Vista.
Any ideas on how I can make movies play normally, without the constant pausing and skipping ahead?
I'm kind of computer **** but I'll try to answer any questions about my laptop you have.
Thanks.

also- I tried pausing the movie for a while to let the video load before playing and it didn't do any good.

Replies

  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,347 Senior Member
    shawn1172 wrote: »
    My computer is too freakin slow! It's frequently slow loading pages (I do have high speed interwebs) but I've been trying to watch a movie on Netflix and the stuttering video feed is about to make my head explode. Nothing else running and I opted to view in low def, thinking it would go faster but no luck. My computer is an HP Pavillion laptop, about 5 years old. Uses Vista.
    Any ideas on how I can make movies play normally, without the constant pausing and skipping ahead?
    I'm kind of computer **** but I'll try to answer any questions about my laptop you have.
    Thanks.

    also- I tried pausing the movie for a while to let the video load before playing and it didn't do any good.

    The bolded text indicates your problem. Vista was a terribly bloated disaster o an operating system that never should've been released. Your registry is probably trashed by now, purely from normal use and program installation. My wife has Vista on her laptop and has observed the same decay from casual use that you have described, so much so that she's simply stopped using that computer for the time being until I get to reformatting it. It's too old now to bother buying her a newer OS like Windows 7 or 8, so I'm just going to nuke and pave it with her factory copy of Vistaafter backing up her critical files. I suggest you do the same seeinf as though your PC is already fairly far along in its lifecycle.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • shawn1172shawn1172 Senior Member Posts: 588 Senior Member
    Ouch. If I can get a new OS for it, like a fairly recent version of Windows, would it be worth bothering? I have a friend who used to work for Best Buy and still has friends there, he's offered to work on it for me before and said he could get a Windows OS for it from his friends.
  • mjf55mjf55 New Member Posts: 4 New Member
    So a couple of comments. First Six-Gun is correct in that Vista is one of the major problems you are having. Also, years of using a Windows based machine tends to slow it down, as Six-Gun pointed out.

    You could try reinstalling Vista from scratch, but you would have MS worst (IMHO) OS they ever created, then putting on all the service packs, etc.
    You should also check the actual transfer rate of your end to end internet speed. I.e. using dslreports ( http://www.dslreports.com/stest ). See if it matches what you think your speed.
    Finally, if you have a dual core processor in that HP, you may consider upgrading to Windows 7. Check requirements for Win7 before upgrading. I would not waste my time on Windows 8 ( again IMHO ).

    I would normally recommend Linux over windows but Nexflix does not support that OS.

    Good luck
    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD
  • TugarTugar Senior Member Posts: 1,867 Senior Member
    Here are Windows 7 minimums



    1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor

    1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)

    16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)

    DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver


    That said, these are minimum system requirements, and the experience you are going to get is going to be somewhat basic. Don’t expect your hair to be blown back by the amazing performance! Personally, I’d refine these as follows:

    Processor: Dual-core 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster, Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon X2 or later
    RAM: 2 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 4 GB (64-bit)
    Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
    Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver, probably nothing less than AMD Radeon HD 3200 or NVIDIA GeForce 9400 ( which may require a larger power supply to keep fed)

    I wouldn’t want to install Windows 8 on any PC that was bought before 2008, and even then, a budget PC from that era might not offer a great Windows 8 experience.

    There is also a whole list of additional requirements for specific features.
    Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
    Winston Churchill
  • shawn1172shawn1172 Senior Member Posts: 588 Senior Member
    Thanks mjf55! Very helpful first post. Welcome to the forum.
  • shawn1172shawn1172 Senior Member Posts: 588 Senior Member
    Thanks Tugar, I'll try to figure out where my laptop stands in relation to the requirements you listed. I know it has the Intel Core 2 Duo but beyond that I'll have to do some digging. I'm sure the computer can tell me, if I can just figure out how to ask it.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Okay, yes, Vista is a memory hog but if it's cleaned up it works okay. I've got an older Pavilion (a fast one though) and I'm running Vista Business with zero problems.

    You've probably accumulated a bunch of junk files and such that are slowing down your system. Let me recommend that you download the FREE version of

    "Advanced System Care 6" from "IObit Information Technology".

    It's probably the best free system cleaner available.

    Let that program have a go, let it clean up dead files and scattered junk, check for updates, and so on.

    You may also try the FREE version of "Spybot - Search and Destroy". It looks for malware but doesn't do the overall cleanup that Advanced System Care does.

    If your computer was once running okay, then it's capable of running the same after cleanup. If you do all the cleanups and still you've got slowdowns, don't junk your system yet. Pay a reputable shop to run a deep virus scan and deep fix on any ratty software that's slithered its way into your computer. There's all sorts of malware and spyware that can slow your system without crashing it. Paying, oh, 50 bucks for a professional tuneup is probably all you need.

    IF the system doesn't run to your needs after, take your time and save up, but get a VERY nice and VERY fast new laptop to replace it, shop around, get the best for your money, and go all out. If you settle for a new system that's only a teeny bit faster than your current system, you'll be tired of it in a week. So yes, buy a new laptop, but ONLY after you've tried the FREE system cleanup software and then spent a few bucks letting a pro shop do a quick tuneup.

    As I said, my HP Pavilion w. Vista Business is working fine. Vista is a memory hog but it's reliable and not buggy. Upgrading your computer is a possibility, but if you do, go whole hog and get a very fast new system, a screamer. Otherwise just do some housecleaning first and see how it goes.

    Insofar as a new computer is judged, HPs are right at the top in price and quality. And you can order exactly the system you want. As was suggested, NEVER get a system without a separate video card, probably NVidia (my Pavilion has one). And I am happy with AMD processors, a bit faster for the money than Intel. But both are fine. Get as much RAM and hard disk as you can -- adding more RAM at purchase will be much nicer as time goes on.

    Buy a laptop that you can look at personally, at least the basic same model. With laptops, keyboard and touchpad placement are essential. And the screen should "look sharp" to you at angles, not just square on.

    Thing is, bottom line, if you DO buy a new laptop, just buying one that's a teeny bit faster or hotter than your current system will be a waste. Jump the shark and get a fast one, if you buy new. Take your time.

    Which is why I recommend a cheap cleanup first, just so you'll know. Keep us informed on your progress.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • SirGeorgeKillianSirGeorgeKillian Senior Member Posts: 5,458 Senior Member
    I am by no means a guru, but I did stay in a holiday in express last night. First of, let me ask you this, how much storage on your hard drive do you NEED? In other words, of all the junk on your computer, how much of it is stuff you need to access regularly and how much is just parked for storage that would be just fine on an external HDD? If you can get by with a smaller hard drive (if your laptop is 5 years old it is probably 320gb max) I would order a solid state drive. Hands down the absolute best thing you can do to improve performance. While you are at it, I would also look at increasing your RAM too. I ordered from Crucial and it came to under 150 for the new solid state drive, and 8GB of RAM (all my computer could support), and the data transfer cable. Come to think of it, I still have the cable, and could find the cd too that came with it, that would save you another 15 bucks.

    There is no way in haties I would own another computer with a HDD, solid state is where it is at. When I power on my PC, it is up and running before I can even pour a cup of coffee. My virus scan takes 2 minutes to do the entire drive, and everything is lightning quick! My computer just turned 2, it is by no means a monster.
    If you do all of that and still want to get out of vista (don't blame you) let me know...
    Unless life also hands you water and sugar, your lemonade is gonna suck!
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    I'm in love with a Glock
  • SideOfBaconSideOfBacon Member Posts: 111 Member
    One thing I do when things slow down is go to Start->Run-> MSConfig. Then click the start-up tab and uncheck anything that isn't Microsoft. A lot of programs like Flash and iTunes like to phone home and check for updates and that kind of stuff can really slow it down sometimes.

    It doesn't uninstall anything just tells it not to turn on until you turn it one yourself.
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,743 Senior Member
    One thing I do when things slow down is go to Start->Run-> MSConfig. Then click the start-up tab and uncheck anything that isn't Microsoft. A lot of programs like Flash and iTunes like to phone home and check for updates and that kind of stuff can really slow it down sometimes.

    It doesn't uninstall anything just tells it not to turn on until you turn it one yourself.

    Another quick thing to check off hand is your power settings. Most laptops have different settings that slow things down to conserve power make sure you are on the "performance" or similar setting rather than something like efficient or battery saver. Can make a big difference.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,743 Senior Member
    The more I read it does seem like your internet speed may be your weak link. Netflix is a bandwidth hog. Go to speedtest.net and test your speed. Most "high speed internet" marketed by ISP's these days especially bundled with cable and/or phone service are hardly "high speed" by current definitions. I hate trying to stream video on anything less than 5 mbps and really it's not always smooth on anything under 10mbps. If you have cable internet then your bandwidth is often shared with your neighbors so you may get good service at some times but slower at others. This is more of an issue in apartments than single family homes, but it can still be an issue at high traffic times like right after work or say 9pm on a Friday or Saturday night when everyone else in the neighborhood is also trying to stream netflix. Your company probably has multiple tiers of internet service so you may be able to upgrade to a higher speed for maybe $10 or 20/month.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • killpillakillpilla Member Posts: 50 Member
    I probably dont know as much as some of these fella's but here it goes.

    1. Vista sucks!

    2. 5 year old laptop!

    3. Newegg and tiger direct always have some great deals

    4. I'm in the market for a new laptop aswell. My girlfriend has had to buy one every year for the last 3 or 4 years now. So I did some research and found that (if not the best, then one of the best) out right now is an ASUS. I haven't heard much about them but when I have it was never bad, so thats what I'm planning on saving up for. I would get one off newegg.com and make sure to get one with windows 7 or windows 8 and do NOT get one with 64 bit (get 32 bit) The one we had last year had 64 bit and was supposed to be super nice. Well it wasn't, it sucked trying to find downloads like divX and certain things. It was more trouble than it was worth. Hope this helps!
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 9,556 Senior Member
    I had the same problem last year and it turned out to be the cable running to the house wasn't up to snuff. Time Warner replaced the cable and all problems went away. Can run a laptop, Ipad, 2 Xboxes, and a PS3 at the same time
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,337 Senior Member
    You also need to run a security scan; you may be infected with some eastern European "bot" that's using your laptop to take over teh Intarwebz while you're trying to watch a movie.

    Jeez, I hate when that happens...
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
  • shawn1172shawn1172 Senior Member Posts: 588 Senior Member
    Thanks everyone. Lots of good info here. It will take me a few days but I'll try the various fixes listed above. I have brought it to a fix it guy before (twice) at $100 a whack. First time there was a noticeable improvement, second time not so much. I don't know off the top of my head what I have for memory but I did have it upgraded to double whatever it came with before taking it home when I bought it. My internet is not cable, it's through Fairpoint so it's highspeed via a phone line. So, not as fast as cable internet. We opted for the faster service when we signed up too but I don't remember what that is. Wasn't their fastest but it was an upgrade from their basic "highspeed".
    I'd rather not buy a new computer. And I won't anytime soon. Between Christmas expenses and finally taking my first vacation (Mexico!) in 8 years, I can't really spend the money on it for a while. At best, a new one would be 6 months down the road and only if the fixes listed above don't help.
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,743 Senior Member
    shawn1172 wrote: »
    My internet is not cable, it's through Fairpoint so it's highspeed via a phone line. So, not as fast as cable internet.

    I'm pretty sure this is your issue. Looking at your ISP's website here are the services they offer:

    Starter - less than 1mbps
    Standard - up to 3mbps
    Premium - up to 7mbps
    Ultra - up to 15mbps

    Unless you have the Premium or Ultra watching netflix is not going to be a very pleasant experience. I don't know how stable your service is, but given that those are the maximum download speeds in reality you'll probably average well under the max although I'm not as familiar with DSL. Even at the Premium level that is the min I'd ever expect to be ok for watching high quality streaming video like netflix and only if you're actually achieving those speeds consistently. Go to speedtest.net and check your speed multiple times during the day to see what your actual speed is and how consistent it is. Netflix is going to a a whole lot more demanding than just watching some short low res videos on youtube.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,743 Senior Member
    LMLarsen wrote: »
    You also need to run a security scan; you may be infected with some eastern European "bot" that's using your laptop to take over teh Intarwebz while you're trying to watch a movie.

    Jeez, I hate when that happens...

    http://www.malwarebytes.org/

    Malwarebytes is a great way to get rid of any gremlins that have latched on to your PC.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,219 Senior Member
    I'm pretty sure this is your issue. Looking at your ISP's website here are the services they offer:

    Starter - less than 1mbps
    Standard - up to 3mbps
    Premium - up to 7mbps
    Ultra - up to 15mbps
    That is pretty dogging. A problem I had earlier this year was my router was too slow. I was uploading at about 5mbps and downloading at 10. Youtube videos would take some time and was annoying. I picked up a megabyte router then went and got business class internet and this stuff is smoking fast. I am downloading at 42mbps and uploading at 35-- normally it is faster!

    Shawn-- your router could be the "kink in the hose" so to speak. Try plugging your computer straight into the Ethernet cable (bypassing your router) and see if that is the problem.
  • bmlbml Senior Member Posts: 1,075 Senior Member
    killpilla wrote: »
    I probably dont know as much as some of these fella's but here it goes.

    1. Vista sucks!

    2. 5 year old laptop!

    3. Newegg and tiger direct always have some great deals

    4. I'm in the market for a new laptop aswell. My girlfriend has had to buy one every year for the last 3 or 4 years now. So I did some research and found that (if not the best, then one of the best) out right now is an ASUS. I haven't heard much about them but when I have it was never bad, so thats what I'm planning on saving up for. I would get one off newegg.com and make sure to get one with windows 7 or windows 8 and do NOT get one with 64 bit (get 32 bit) The one we had last year had 64 bit and was supposed to be super nice. Well it wasn't, it sucked trying to find downloads like divX and certain things. It was more trouble than it was worth. Hope this helps!


    I disagree on the 64 bit vs 32 bit comment. IMHO, there are only a handful of reasons to limit yourself to a 32 bit machine, and those would be stretching it a bit.
    scottd wrote: »
    The milk of human kindness is often out dated and curdled.

    This is like watching a bunch or **** trying to hump a door knob.....
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Perhaps you would be better off with Windows XP Professional, I like it better than Windows-7, although I like the up-dated Internet backgammon game on Internet-7.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Just saying Vista sucks is pretty juvie. Vista isn't buggy, its only real negative is that it uses more RAM than Windows 7 or 8. But it's clean.

    Shawn, you're talking about internet speed and that may be the problem. But if your computer has indeed slowed, then something is doing that -- so it needs a sweep. After that, of course, your upload/download rate is dependent on your internet connection.

    Myself, I have Sprint 4G which is fine for me, because I don't do a lot of downloading of images. Aside from just browsing YouTube videos occasionally, the majority of my internet stuff is document-oriented -- Word, Excel, Adobe, etc. So I get along nicely with a medium speed laptop. I also don't do games.

    Naturally if you do lots of graphics and videos, you'll need a faster connection.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Windows Vista is a big fat porker in every aspect, it is built for relatively or comparatively massive computing power and resources, many older computers Vista has been installed on, are too thin to support it.

    Upgrades to Windows Vista are a poor idea too, a clean install is a better much idea.

    Windows Millennium was another nightmare.

    I have been using Windows since 3.1, and even before that with DOS and pre-historic systems even card readers, and I learned one thing about Windows in general, it allows too much access to programs as far as installing third party programs that are constantly running in the background even if said programs are closed.

    This really slows down a computer, why have so many programs running ?

    Imagine you own a pick up truck, and as you drive around town, people throw a bit of scrap metal into your bed because they know it will be useful to you, but after a while, you are hauling around so much scrap metal, it will slow you down, so you have to get rid of it.
    Something like a Windows E-vironment .

    I learned one thing early in the game, when My computer became to slow, I would move the main hard drive into a slave position and install a new larger hard drive and do a clean install of Windows do a antivirus check on all drives and re-install the drivers from the slave drive, great cure for a slow computer.

    Problem with registry errors and other problems is not all of them can be either detected or fixed, a clean install works better and is always better than an OS upgrade because much like a birds nest or house of cards, it is better to start fresh.

    Edited to add: When you think of Windows as being inherently unstable and treat it as such and stop trying to fix it.

    Windows has always been much like a huge rats nest or birds nest of randomly placed sticks, set things up so you can do a clean install and you will have no problems, back up everything of importance on an external 1TB drive as well as on-line.

    I would not do a back up of the OS as that is part of the problem, recovery seems to delay the inevitable or if you have a main drive failure, it is of little use.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
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