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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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Need advice......

As I know very little about computers,I need a bit of advice. I'll start by saying that I have arather large amount of music on my computer. I have some concern that I am using up a lot of space on my hard drive, and it is slowing down the machine. I have been told that I should have sometning called a "memory stick" to store my music on.

My questions are as follows:
1) Is it true I am slowing down my computer by storing music on it (it sure seems like it ) ??

2) Will this memory stick help ??

3) Are they difficult to use ( remember,I know very little about these things ) ??

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.......thanks
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 07:09 PM
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Re: Need advice......

I have the same questions too. Thank you!

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 07:48 PM
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Re: Need advice......

if a memory stick is the same thing as a flash drive then yea it should help. they vary in size, i have a 512 mb one, and you could stick your music on there. that way you could also transfer your music to different pc's or lap tops too. i don't know exactly how much space you're looking to free up though. if you have a crap ton of music and you really need a good amount of space then you might want to invest in an external hard drive

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 07:55 PM
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Re: Need advice......

having many files on a hard drive will not slow down your PC, unless the drive itself has become fragmented...(large files sometimes get broken up into small pieces...)
try running a defrag...that will put your files back together so they aren't fragmented across your drive...

i would also recommend an external hard drive...makes it easier to share your files if you want to...

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 10:27 PM
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Re: Need advice......

[quote author=mazda3nut link=topic=104493.msg2118831#msg2118831 date=1204585643]
As I know very little about computers,I need a bit of advice. I'll start by saying that I have arather large amount of music on my computer. I have some concern that I am using up a lot of space on my hard drive, and it is slowing down the machine. I have been told that I should have sometning called a "memory stick" to store my music on.

My questions are as follows:
1) Is it true I am slowing down my computer by storing music on it (it sure seems like it ) ??

2) Will this memory stick help ??

3) Are they difficult to use ( remember,I know very little about these things ) ??

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.......thanks
[/quote]
Ok, before I start, a brief bit about me: I manage a series of data centers for a large corporation, so I know a bit about this stuff.

So, first off, a large amount of songs is only going to slow down your PC if: a) your hard drive has less than 10% available free space; or b) your hard drive has become heavily fragmented. To see how much free space is left on your hard drive, click on Start, select My Computer and then click (once) on the drive letter (C:, D:, whatever) that has all your music on it. Right-click on that drive and left click "Properties" in the menu. You will see a pie chart showing used space in blue and free space in purple (assuming you are using XP). If the pie chart shows 10% free or better, click on the Tools tab and click Defragment Now. This will sort the files and folders on your hard drive to optimize access time. Unfortunately, Microsoft's built in defragger kinda sux. If you want better defragmentation, I would recommend PerfectDisk 2008 from Raxco. They offer a free trial you can download.

OK, so much for the hard drive . . . onto the "memory stick" you reference. The person talking to you might be suggesting you need more RAM (memory). This is different from a flash drive; it is the high speed memory your PC uses to perform real time tasks. If you are using XP, I would recommend at least 1GB (gigabyte); 2GB for Vista. To see how much you have, click Start and then right-click on My Computer. Left click Properties in the menu. On the General tab under "Computer" it will show your processor type, speed and amount of RAM. Look for a number followed by "MB of RAM" or "GB of RAM". This is the amount of memory your machine has for real time processing. If it says 512MB or, heaven forfend, 256MB, I would HIGHLY recommend getting some extra RAM installed. This is something that even the Nerd Herd can do at Best Buy or Circuit City and is the best, easiest and cheapest thing you can do to speed up your PC. If it says 750MB or more (1,000 MB = 1GB) then you should be OK and the problem lies elsewhere.

If hard drive space, fragmentation and memory are all fine, then you likely have a virus, trojan or some type of malware installed. If you don't have a good Antivirus program installed, you will need one. Contrary to popular belief, Symantec is terrible. You are much better off with something like Trend Antivirus or Kaspersky (I use NOD32 because it is consistently rated best). Alternatively, you can try Avast. There is a free version you can download from the web. Also, Kaspersky and Trend both offer free on-line virus scans for a quick ad hoc scan (http://housecall.trendmicro.com/ and http://www.kaspersky.com/virusscanner).

If your PC is free of viruses and malware, you may have too many legitimate programs that run on startup. If there are a LOT (more than 5) of tiny icons in the taksbar by your clock, you may have all kinds of things running. You can try uninstalling anything you don't need or right-click on the icons and shutting down programs. Also, I strongly recommend you do not run any file sharing programs like Bear Share, Limewire or Kazaa. The are nothing more than a virus gateway. Not worth the risk.

Oh, and as to the external hard drive: Great idea. A Western Digital or Maxtor USB drive can be your best friend if your internal hard drive dies. However, don't keep your files only on the external drive. Just use the included utility to backup your files to the external drive. That way you won't lose them.

Anyway, sorry for the long winded post, but I hope this helps some people.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Need advice......

Thank you , enormus, for the explanations. I am,however, using Vista Home Premium(it came on the laptop), and as far as protection, I am using Norton360, as it was recommended where I purchased the machine. From what you are telling me, more memory(RAM) is probably what I need.

I do use Limewire, simply because of the music I like(60's and 70's rock and roll). I presently have about 1500 songs on my computer. From what you are saying, I should not use Limewire any longer. Should I also delete all the music that I have downloaded ?? Or, is the damage(if any) already done.

Thanks again and I appreciate the help.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008, 05:23 PM
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Re: Need advice......

It would not be uncommon for a laptop to be underpowered for Vista. There is even a lawsuit over this. I would add as much memory as your laptop can handle . . . at least 2GB of RAM if possible.

As to Limewire, if it is the paid service, you are very likely OK. I would recommend checking your laptop with one of the free on-line virus scanners I listed (or both!) to verify you are not infected. Don't panic and don't delete any music unless you know a file is infected. MP3s are not the primary vector for spyware; Peer to Peer clients themselves ARE a vector, but licensed services are OK.

Also, Norton360 could be part of the problem itself, but uninstalling it is a BEAR! Try the RAM route first and also download a defrag utility. See if that helps.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008, 05:37 PM
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Re: Need advice......

[quote author=enormus link=topic=104493.msg2121495#msg2121495 date=1204665800]
It would not be uncommon for a laptop to be underpowered for Vista. There is even a lawsuit over this. I would add as much memory as your laptop can handle . . . at least 2GB of RAM if possible.

As to Limewire, if it is the paid service, you are very likely OK. I would recommend checking your laptop with one of the free on-line virus scanners I listed (or both!) to verify you are not infected. Don't panic and don't delete any music unless you know a file is infected. MP3s are not the primary vector for spyware; Peer to Peer clients themselves ARE a vector, but licensed services are OK.

Also, Norton360 could be part of the problem itself, but uninstalling it is a BEAR! Try the RAM route first and also download a defrag utility. See if that helps.
[/quote]
+1
Sounds like a lack of RAM. Vista requires a lot more RAM to run efficiently.

Mazda3nut, using limewire is fine. You live up in canada like myself, downloading music is not illegal for us. I recommend downloading AVG free anti virus. It's pretty good, updates every day. If you wish, you can look into getting spy bot for spyware.

Also, do you know if you are behind a router or firewall? Does your laptop connect to the internet via wireless?
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Need advice......

Thanks again,enormus. The limewire I use is the paid version, so you think that is alright? I hope so, because i just renewed it not that long ago and upgraded to the latest version available.
I think you are correct about the Norton360 as well. I did not know when I bought it that it ,in itself, creates problems, and you are not the first person to mention it. Unfortunatly, I have a 2 year subscription,so I dont really want to un-install unless I absolutely have to. But you can rest assured, I am going to look into it.
Yes,I am definatly going to get as much ram as possible in the laptop. As a matter of fact that is probably the first thing I will do.

Thanks again for your input, you have been a great help.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Need advice......

[quote author=agm_ultimatex link=topic=104493.msg2121521#msg2121521 date=1204666620]
[quote author=enormus link=topic=104493.msg2121495#msg2121495 date=1204665800]
It would not be uncommon for a laptop to be underpowered for Vista. There is even a lawsuit over this. I would add as much memory as your laptop can handle . . . at least 2GB of RAM if possible.

As to Limewire, if it is the paid service, you are very likely OK. I would recommend checking your laptop with one of the free on-line virus scanners I listed (or both!) to verify you are not infected. Don't panic and don't delete any music unless you know a file is infected. MP3s are not the primary vector for spyware; Peer to Peer clients themselves ARE a vector, but licensed services are OK.

Also, Norton360 could be part of the problem itself, but uninstalling it is a BEAR! Try the RAM route first and also download a defrag utility. See if that helps.
[/quote]
+1
Sounds like a lack of RAM. Vista requires a lot more RAM to run efficiently.

Mazda3nut, using limewire is fine. You live up in canada like myself, downloading music is not illegal for us. I recommend downloading AVG free anti virus. It's pretty good, updates every day. If you wish, you can look into getting spy bot for spyware.

Also, do you know if you are behind a router or firewall? Does your laptop connect to the internet via wireless?
[/quote]....yes I am behind a firewall....and also, I am wireless......do those two factors have something to do with my problems as well ???
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