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Re: [school-discuss] Diagnostic Software

On Sun, Dec 11, 2011 at 6:03 AM, Joel Kahn <jj2kk4@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
My Desktop Dinosaur running MS Windows XP Pro is showing increasing signs
of its age, and I'd like to get a FLOSS package to keep track of what's happening
inside it.
I second Michael Shigorin's suggest for memtest86+.  Memtest86 and memtest86+ are good ways to check if any of your memory has gone bad:

You can use programs like windirstat to check utilization of your hard drives:
If you're using a lot of file space, you may want to try running the Windows disk defragmenter.  Your computer can work faster if files aren't fragmented all over your hard drives.

As j. Tim Denny mentioned, you can clean out all the unnecessary files your browser downloads and clean out your temp directories.  Some browsers will let you set their properties to delete temporary files every time you close the browser.
There are registry cleaner programs, but I've heard mix reports on them.  They can sometimes damage your system and don't typically give enough speed boost (if any) for the risk in most cases.
There are several sites listing tips for speeding up Windows.  Some work and some don't, so take them with a grain of salt.  I put together some tips I like and listed them here:
The article is for Windows 7 Starter, but most of it applies to other versions of Windows like XP too.
j. Tim Denny wrote:
>use lighter versions of the same type of programs...  i.e.  Foxitreader or  Sumatra  instead of Adobe reader,
If performance is an issue with PDF viewing, mupdf is worth checking out:
It's faster than Sumatra on my netbook and it's available for Windows or Linux.  The code for later versions of Sumatra is based on mupdf.  (Earlier versions used the poppler library.)
I tried both Linux and FreeBSD on one of my laptops when performance became an issue.  I saw no real improvement in speed or performance.  If you put a more modern operating system on your machine, your system will typically perform slower.  Doesn't matter if it's Windows, Linux or FreeBSD.  Latest FreeBSD tended to have slightly better performance than latest Linux distributions or Windows in my tests.  However, earlier versions of Windows (like 98 or 2000) perform better on older machines than more modern operating systems.  So does FreeDOS.  Would think the same would be true for older versions of Linux and FreeBSD.  Some Linux distributions for older machines use earlier kernel versions in order to improve performance (or just to keep working) on very old systems.
Thought this site looked interesting:
Might be something useful there.