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I visited my brother-in-laws yesterday (I mentioned that in my previous post). My wife had mentioned to me that their PC was running very slow and was very noisy. Now I know they’re not overly IT literate, so I thought I’d help out.

My external 2.5 hard drive was packed full of software, I had a PC toolkit with me and a box full of hardware goodies. And a pencil and paper.

We got there whilst they were out – thankfully we knew where the key was, so we were able to get in – and I set to work. The side of the base unit came off and I started it up. Good lord that was noisy. It’s not an overly powerful machine and only has 2 fans in entirety (one rear case fan and the processor fan). The rear fan was, well, rubbish – it was very low quality and had a PSU power connector, so was bypassing the “proper” connection on the motherboard. I had a spare so swapped it over and connected it appropriately. The processor fan was okay but dusty – as was the heat sink underneath. I used my compressed air can to give that a good clean. In fact, I cleaned the rest quite thoroughly too.

The memory.. well I didn’t have any spare of that type so I wasn’t able to help. But they were running XP Pro with 1GB of memory, which should have been fine.

So, I booted into the BIOS and ensured that Cool N’ Quiet was active (it was an AMD machine) and all other measures of that sort.

After that, a swift boot into Windows showed the root of many of the problems – some spyware. That was swiftly removed. I also installed the latest AMD processor driver, did a thorough clean of the system (Ccleaner coming in handy, as always) as well as various de-fragmentations (main file system, registry and page). They also had so many IE toolbars installed that the main browser window was only about half the screen – many of these toolbars have come, by default, from the ISP software and various other software they’ve installed (shame on BT for the former). They don’t actually have a great amount of software on their machine so it was easy to pick over where things had come from.

And that was it. I was down a fan but had a cracking Indian meal that evening, and they were very grateful for my help.

The noise isn’t 100% though. Although Cool n Quiet is definitely switched on, etc, the fan doesn’t appear to be powering down so is still hammering along at full speed – strange. But it’s still a hell of a lot better than it was.

I’m also available for weddings and Bar Mitzvah’s 😉