OT - Hard drive question

I know there are a few techies here and I have a question [size=1]or two[/size]… I like to play games like Sims , but my computer bogs down if there is too much on the lot or when they go to town. I suspect its because I have too much running in the background. I know I can close some programs before playing, but not sure what I can close and what is needed to run the computer other than explorer.

That could be a pain though everytime we want to play since you close them one at a time. Could I get an external HD and run it from there? What would have to be installed on the new HD to make it run w/o having all the other crap? Thanks for any help or thoughts!

I’ve got a 60G HD, 1G RAM and a new Radeon 9600 series video card.

well i don’t know the answer REALLY but have you ever cleaned up all the cwap that starts with your computer when you turn it on? i have to go through mine every so often and disable those messenger programs and real player type programs that just like to attach themselves to the start menu. (yeah i never cared until i learned how to do that and now it irritates me a lot when all that stuff starts up! :roll:)

There are some sites that help you identify what those background programs are so that you can disable them. I can’t think of any addresses offhand; when I have a little time, I’ll research and let you know.

If you want to take a crack at it yourself, you can go to “Run…” and type “msconfig”. Click the “Startup” tab and if you recognize anything you DEFINITELY don’t want running, uncheck the box.

Don’t know how much help that is. Getting an external HD is a great idea, but you really should do both, IMO.

I don’t know about cleaning all that stuff up, Lonnie does that, but, I can tell you that we have 2 external hard drives and Lonnie just hooked them up with seeminly no problems.

I’ve cleaned up my start list, but that doesn’t seem to be helping all that much if at all.

They have HD’s that you can just plug into the USB port I think, but I don’t know what all has to be on it to make it run. Do I just put the game in and it’ll work or does it need other software. :shrug:

I’m certainly no expert, but I’ve been told to Defrag now and again, and unless it’s my imagination, it seems to run better after I do it.

Do you have a bunch of spyware? I’d check in your Control Panel first and see if there’s a bunch of stuff you don’t recognize, especially stuff with “ad” in the name. Usually that stuff ends up bogging down your puter quite a bit.

With that kind of a setup, you really shouldn’t be slowing down so much. I don’t think you need to run it off of an external, that might slow it down more as the data will have to get through your USB port.

Also, I’d sort the taskmanager by size and see what’s taking up the MOST space before you start playing. If you don’t know what it is, a quick google search should tell you.

Good luck!

Have you looked into getting more RAM? Also, the speed of your computer maybe what’s slowing you down too.

And for once, my degree in IT just might come in handy on a knitting forum! almost falls over from shock LOL

1.) Do regular adware/spyware/virus checks. You can get free programs off the net such as nod32, microsoft anti spyware, and AdAware (among many others).

2.) Go to control panel, internet options, and then on the general tab click on the “clear files” button. Make sure to check the “delete all offline content” box. Then click ok.

3.) When is the last time you did a defrag?

4.) If you have messenger programs and such that run automatically on start up, disable them. That takes up SO much CPU usage!

5.) It may be a good idea to invest in some more RAM and perhaps a better graphic card.

6.) Go to control panel, add/remove programs – and look for anything in there that you do not need. Get rid of any un necessary programs and such… but make sure you don’t delete anything important.

7.) How many games you do have installed at any given time? Do you play them all regularly? If not, only have the one you play most often installed. You can always re install the other ones later…

8.) Do you use Outlook/Outlook Express? Does your “my documents” folder have heaps of files in it? Lots and lots of photos and music stored? Compress those files that you don’t use often. Saves some space.

Okay, here goes with my answers!

You’ve given me a few hints, I’ll get right on them. Thanks!

I know you’ve gotten a bunch of different responses, but i don’t imagine that getting an external drive is going to make it faster. Like aylaanne said, it’ll probably slow it down to run it through USB.

i would check to see what is running in your system tray (see below for attachment). check to make sure that everything that is running is something that you want/need to be running. a lot of times it’s stuff that you don’t want. it just takes up memory.

defragging might be an option too.

but your setup should be good enough to run sims. I used to run it on my 4 year old laptop. your 1GB ram and Radeon card should be wholly sufficient.

Definitely do a defrag, and also a disc clean-up. You can set you PC to do both on a routine basis, and since you’re a gamer I would strongly suggest it. It’s amazing just how much it will speed up you PC, something else just came to mind, when did you last dump your deleted trash file? If it’s been a while that can take up a good bit of memory. I’ve got to do all the above to my laptop, before I add my new GPS and mapping software I just bought for our trip to Vegas next month.

Many of the suggested things do help, but not a cure-all.

These are my main questions:

  1. How fast is your CPU? You can find this out by right-clicking on My Computer and selecting “Properties” from the pop up menu. It should tell you how fast & how much ram you have (which we’ve already seen si 1GB, which is PLENTY for The Sims).

  2. Is it Sims 1 or 2? Either way, it is best to check EA’s Sims website to make sure you have the latest patch for everything.

  3. If you double-click “My Computer” and click on the C drive (which I assume is where you have installed THe Sims) you can check the amount of space your hard drive currently has. If it gets horribly low, I think less than 1 GB, Windows will give you a hollar and letyou know, but who knows, sometimes it might now. Just make sure you have a few gigabytes free.

When it comes to computers and Windows, you could have tons of programs installed and it won’t affect anything IF none of their resources are running. For example games, these usually do not affect your computer’s performance if they have no resources running. They would affect the performance of your computer if you are low on hard drive space. I have The Sims (+expansion packs), Battlefield 2, Call of Duty, The Sims 2 (& expansion packs), and most hefty of all, World of Warcraft. However, none of these programs have resources running if I haven’t started them up.

With that being said, it is still best to check up on your “start up” programs and making sure you don’t have a a ton of stuff loading up when Windows loads. If some (or any) of these programs are “useful”, you can leave them and just exit out of them when you want to boot up The Sims. You can usually click on their System Tray icons to exit the services.

If you have any further inquiries or more specific information about your setup, you can email me at jenmarsh at mac.com

Yes, I use a Mac, but I am familiar with PCs and have been working on them for 16 years (since I was 10!! hehe) I love The Sims too and become scarily addicted to that game, so I want to help those with the addiction as well. :stuck_out_tongue:

Okay, here’s what I’ve done and what I have:

Checked Defrag and it’s fine, I must have done it recently.

Removed a bunch of stuff from startup so that is running pretty lean.

Ran AdAware and it only found 4 things.

Updated Spyware Blaster which helps tremendously in keeping spyware out in the first place.

Deleted recycle bin stuff, but there were only 4 programs in there.

Uninstalled at least 6 big things.

My computer is a:

Dell Dimension 4550
2.4 Ghz
1G Ram
60G Hard Drive with 26G Free Space

Thanks so much for all the help! I will try The Sims 2 again tomorrow and see if any of this helped!