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AndrewT 22nd August 2012 02:46 PM

setting up a Laptop
I have just received my new laptop. ASUS X54C
A very basic machine, with Win7 home 64 pre-installed.

All my previous desktops are on MS Windows.
They all get slower and slower as they get used and the system gets filled with unseen gubbins doing unwanted stuff in the background.

Is there a way to avoid this in Win7?
I have not installed any software.
I have not connected it to the internet.

What should I do first?

I tried to create the recovery disks but the disc burning failed on disk1 three times. I gave up and canceled that operation after 2hrs 36mins.

counter culture 22nd August 2012 03:36 PM

Failure to write an optical disk can have as simple a cause as the brand of disk. Obviously if you try a couple different types and they don't work, you need to return the laptop.

As regards the rest, there are various clean-up and speed-up tools but most cost money. If I was going to spend mpney, sometime down the line I'd try the free version of AVG first, they do a pretty good anti-virus, make up your mind after you see how it performs.

Otherwise, exercise self discipline as regards what you install.

AndrewT 22nd August 2012 03:49 PM

I have had AVG on my last three or four desktops. That does not prevent the "slowing down" syndrome that seems to afflict MS operating system.

I only had one DVD disk stack, I don't have others to check for faulty DVD drive burning.

counter culture 22nd August 2012 03:59 PM

AVG have other tools apart from the anti-malware tools. I only intend to say that the quality of their anti-virus tends to act as a recommendation for their other products

As to having only one DVD stack, there is a remedy for this...

demeterart 22nd August 2012 04:00 PM

Hello AndrewT

first of all, try the disk image on an external disk or even an internal disk partition of the same disk if the DVD burning does not work. i assume you selected the slowest speed for the DVD burning.
download form another machine the firewall and antivirus programs. a good firewall such as zonealarm, privatefirewall or windows7firewallcontrol are all good freeware programs.
next install an antivrus such as AVG or avira and you might want to turn off windows defender 'cause they are not compatible with it. now you can connect to the internet.
be careful not to install the garbageware that comes with much of the freeware such as askcom or other stuff. do not install demoware of shareware or programs that run an auto-update in the background.
turn off disk defragmentation autoscheduling (major killer).
turn off system protection/restore since it rarely works and kills resources. try instead regular disk imaging on an external disk (under control panel/system and security/backup and restore).
tun off 'windows search' (major killer). run services.msc and disable and stop the said process.
that's all for now :-)

underwurlde 22nd August 2012 04:04 PM


They all get slower and slower as they get used...
Very typical of PCs running Windows.

Major cause for me I found (every time, numerous computers over the past 20 years) was fragmentation of files on the HDD.

Regular defragging can clean things up, but I now use an on-the-fly defragger called Diskeeper. It does make a difference I find.

My 2c


Frex 22nd August 2012 04:07 PM

Hi Andrew,

Could you consider to change your OS ?
For my lab test bench, i've bought an used Dell "Optiplex 745" with Core 2 duo E6400, 2Go RAM, and just added a 60Gb SSD, all working on Ubuntu very very fine.The total boot time is <20s, shutdown <4s. (total price 160€).
My ESI "Juil@" sound card work fine with this computer.
If you have a doubt and you just want to try it, you can easily make a bootable USB.
And if necessary you will be able to use some Windows software using wine.


epicyclic 22nd August 2012 06:24 PM

My PC required recovery disks to be DVD-R it would not accept DVD+RW for this purpose .......maybe you have the same situation.

AndrewT 22nd August 2012 07:49 PM

Thanks for the continuing support.
The DVDs I tried are +r even though a symbol that looks like rw appears on the inner rim.
It is not a defrag problem. I even defrag when the checkewr tells me it is not worth doing - too few fragmented files.

Keep the suggestions coming, I will print them off and work my way through them as I set up the Laptop.

mekanoplastik 22nd August 2012 10:56 PM

to avoid performance problems I avoid installing any software that I really do not use very often, if you like testing apps and such, you can virtualize one environment just for doing that.

for antivirus, the Microsoft Security Esentials is as good or better than most apps out there and much less intrusive.

I try to use freeware when possible for my software needs as it is usually comunity/expert created and it lacks all the unnecesary updates, and extras overload of the commercial products. there is a good freeware app for almost any need...

I have auto-everything (defrag, updates, security) and my system works very well, but as i said before, i have not installed one new app since the day1 of my installation 2years ago (from a fresh windows official image), I run cclean every week, and use many privacy complements with firefox, and I am very careful with my downloads.

If you have the chance, run a clean install, this way you avoid all the manufacturer crapware, all the "demos" and 6 month special antivirus stuff. Once you have the clean install check this place Ninite - Install or Update Multiple Apps at Once for installing the most common software ,very helpfull and simple. *For burning media I use imgburn.

If you can not do a fresh installation, go to control pannel and unistall everything but the drivers :-) ...then use ninite and install other software you usually use, all the windows updates...

also, a 32gb flash drive for backup is a good it is 4gb + of ram.

*not my cup of tea...but linux has really improved in the last years...check xubuntu for a simple distro..

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