Computers & Electronics

Please help - laptop is very slow

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[OP]
Sr. Member
Feb 16, 2006
988 posts
154 upvotes
Mississauga

Please help - laptop is very slow

Hope this is in the right section, and apologies for the newbie style questions.

I have a laptop, specs are as follows:

Acer Aspire
Intel Core i5-7200u 2.5ghz with turbo boost up to 3.1ghz
Intel HD graphics
8gb DDR4 memory
1TB Hard Drive

The problem is, this damn thing is slow. It lags quite a bit. I.e when i try to open an excel file that is text (16kb in size), it takes the better part of a minute. I don't get it.

I use this laptop to browse the web and do online shopping. I don't game on it (I cant with an Intel HD Graphics card). I run office on it, norton antivirus, I watch movies, and that's honestly about it. Of the 1tb hd, i have about 250gb used. I've defragged the computer before as well, and its still slow.

It is an older laptop, maybe 4 years old or so, but I dont see how that should impact my ability to run office and browse the web.

Can someone explain to me why it would lag as such? Also, recommend a replacement? I've been toying with the idea of just building a small desktop to replace the laptop, but I have no idea where to start. I'm good with my hands and I've built computers in the past (10+ years ago), but I'm in no way looking for a power house - but I legit have no idea where to start. I've searched online for building computers, but 99% of the stuff is about power house gaming computers and then everything gets into the video card discussions.

Honestly, I just want something that's fast so I dont have to wait a minute to load an excel document, or chrome. Ideally, I'd like to watch my 4K movies on it as well, since on my laptop, the video card isnt strong enough and the video gets choppy. I'm not looking to buy/build a gaming computer either.

Any help is greatly appreciated.


UPDATE: Thank you to everyone that replied and provided guidance/suggestions. Your comments are greatly appreciated.
To anyone that may have this problem in the future looking to RFD for guidance, the solution really was the hard drive. I installed the SSD last night doing a fresh install of windows using the MS Media Creation tool suggested by @birthdaymonkey - I honestly didn't know I could do that. Window's boots in a matter of seconds, files load in a matter of seconds, it really is great.

This community is awesome. Thank you - up votes for all that provided help. Thank you!
Last edited by a_souljah on Dec 17th, 2019 8:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
47 replies
Jr. Member
Sep 29, 2011
132 posts
104 upvotes
Quebec
Change the hard drive for a SSD if possible.
What is the exact model number of your laptop?
[OP]
Sr. Member
Feb 16, 2006
988 posts
154 upvotes
Mississauga
What's printed on the laptop is as follows:
Acer Aspire E 15 - E5-575-5476
Deal Expert
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Dec 12, 2009
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OP, just do a youtube search for a video on how to do a drive replacement based on your model number. You probably won't get the exact number, but close enough is good enough. It should take no more than half hour generally. Get a SSD, clone the hard drive and do the swap.
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Feb 16, 2006
988 posts
154 upvotes
Mississauga
Seriously? That's all it'll take to get everything running faster? I'll give it a go. Thank you.
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Dec 11, 2003
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a_souljah wrote: Seriously? That's all it'll take to get everything running faster? I'll give it a go. Thank you.
Yes. That's all it'll take. Seriously, once you get the SSD up and running your mind will be blown. Mine was when I first made the swap 3 or 4 years ago.
P10 2.4 THz CPU || 8 TB Ram || WD 300 TB HD || Nvidia w/ 32 TB Memory

"You're only as dumb as you look"
Member
Nov 10, 2015
315 posts
262 upvotes
Thornhill, ON
+1 to SSD swap. Night and day difference
Deal Addict
Jul 26, 2004
3774 posts
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+1 to SSD... might even want to do a total clean Windows install to get the most benefit. Just remember to back up the documents you need before taking hard drive out. To show how much of a difference SSD makes, it made a 1st gen i-core usable again for web browsing for me....that's a almost 10 year old machine...
Deal Addict
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Dec 11, 2003
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The Western Digital 500 GB drive is $85 at Newegg if you're interested. I have these drives and they have been great for me. I don't know if the Samsung drives are on sale anywhere.

https://www.newegg.ca/western-digital-b ... 6820250087
P10 2.4 THz CPU || 8 TB Ram || WD 300 TB HD || Nvidia w/ 32 TB Memory

"You're only as dumb as you look"
[OP]
Sr. Member
Feb 16, 2006
988 posts
154 upvotes
Mississauga
ds2chan wrote: The Western Digital 500 GB drive is $85 at Newegg if you're interested. I have these drives and they have been great for me. I don't know if the Samsung drives are on sale anywhere.

https://www.newegg.ca/western-digital-b ... 6820250087
Thanks...just noticed the 1tb is the same price as the samsung 500gb. i might just bite that.
Thank You.
Deal Addict
Jul 26, 2004
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a_souljah wrote: Thanks...just noticed the 1tb is the same price as the samsung 500gb. i might just bite that.
Thank You.
Yeah grab the 1tb if you can... makes for more straight forward cloning. If you're going that way.... or else clean install :)
[OP]
Sr. Member
Feb 16, 2006
988 posts
154 upvotes
Mississauga
i went with the 500gb samsung. i was able to grab it for $75 all in...should be more than enough. I have an 8tb external drive i store all my movies/photos on.
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Nov 21, 2002
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a_souljah wrote: i went with the 500gb samsung. i was able to grab it for $75 all in...should be more than enough. I have an 8tb external drive i store all my movies/photos on.
did you buy and external enclosure usb 3.0 2.5 inch? if you don't have one your probably gonna want too.
a) you put the ssd in it to clone it from main in laptop.
b) put the 1tb you pulled out for a repurposed archiving external drive.
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Jul 26, 2007
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When you get it, do a clean windows install as many suggested. You gathered junk programs, even malware over the years that may slow down the computer.

I try to do clean install on my computers after few years too.
Deal Guru
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Sep 3, 2003
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I'll echo that you should get an SSD for it - the laptop will feel like new. Ninite.com to get your commonly-used freeware apps back.

But regarding the original OP, it kinda sounds like the mechanical hard disk is dying. I'd run a chkdsk to see if there are any bad sectors.

https://neosmart.net/wiki/chkdsk/
Deal with it.
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Aug 21, 2009
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Also go with a clean install if you can bear the hassle. Something might have gotten f---d up and a fresh install can really help.
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Jun 30, 2009
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If it's still slow, run Task Manager and go into More Details to see if there's any services/applications bogging down your disk usage or CPU. There's some background stuff that Microsoft runs that isn't really necessary but can hog resources, like SysMain, that you can get away with disabling.
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Jun 27, 2004
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Well, I'm not going to read this thread because I know the typical RFD solution would be, "Get an SSD." Now, I'm not saying that getting an SSD is a bad idea, but all it would do is mask the current problems you're having. The real issue is that your system is most likely full of crap. My main system is a Core2Duo, and even when Windows + software was installed on a 7200RPM HDD, it wouldn't take a minute to open up an Excel file.

Whether you get an SSD or not, I recommend a clean install of Windows. Whenever you install software, check custom install, and uncheck all that crap that run in the background.

Remember, at RFD, some people think that i3 CPUs are only for browsing the internet and some word processing ... so I wonder what Pentium Gold is for ;) .
[OP]
Sr. Member
Feb 16, 2006
988 posts
154 upvotes
Mississauga
rabbit wrote: Well, I'm not going to read this thread because I know the typical RFD solution would be, "Get an SSD." Now, I'm not saying that getting an SSD is a bad idea, but all it would do is mask the current problems you're having. The real issue is that your system is most likely full of crap. My main system is a Core2Duo, and even when Windows + software was installed on a 7200RPM HDD, it wouldn't take a minute to open up an Excel file.

Whether you get an SSD or not, I recommend a clean install of Windows. Whenever you install software, check custom install, and uncheck all that crap that run in the background.

Remember, at RFD, some people think that i3 CPUs are only for browsing the internet and some word processing ... so I wonder what Pentium Gold is for ;) .
Appreciate the insight. I bought the SSD and plan on doing a fresh install of windows. I don't use a lot of 3rd party apps to be honest - as mentioned before, I have norton, VLC, and office installed and I use mIRC as well for my files. That's honestly it. I'm not in the dark about malware/viruses/click-bait, etc. and I when i say i browse the web, i honestly mean shopping, plus RFD.

I got the SSD for cheap, so if it doesnt solve the problem, I will re-evaluate.

Thank you to all that have responded and provided details. Much appreciated.

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