Computer very slow

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Old 05-25-06, 07:53 PM
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family3
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Computer very slow

My computer is exptremely slow, not only slow in operation, but slow with e-mail, slow with web pages etc.
I have dialup with accelerator at 52.0 bps. It takes almost a minute to change pages on a website most of the time.
E-mail comes in very slow.
Games are slow also. Even Word runs behind.
A few days ago a message came up about virtual memory was too low.
I did the defrag thing, cleared my cache, temp files etc.
Is there anything I can do to speed all this up? Internet and the computer itself?
Thank you
 
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Old 05-25-06, 08:18 PM
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Just poking here:

When/how long ago did things change? Was it a quick change, or did the speed slow down over a long time?

Speed issues like that can easily/commonly be caused by Malware but as you are using a modem almost anything will be 'slow'... My brother in Ohio recently had a question like yours.. he was working at work where they have a really fat pipe then going home to his half speed modem. ( no broadband until 5 daze ago when he finally got satellite )

Are your programs and is the operating system still responding at the same speed as before?
 
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Old 05-26-06, 08:54 AM
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How long has it been since you reformatted your hard drive and started over?

Every Windows computer eventually needs to be reformatted and started from scratch. If you have never done this, then it;s time. If it's been more than a year then it's time.
 
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Old 05-26-06, 10:20 AM
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Format is not a bad idea if it's been a while. What OS are you running? What antivirus do you use? Do you use a good spyware program like Spysweeper? How much RAM do you have? If the page file has become corrupt, possibly at a bad shutdown. In the Virtual Memory settings, set to “No page file,” then exit System Properties, shut down the machine, and reboot. Delete PAGEFILE.SYS (on each drive, if more than just C: ), set the page file up again and reboot to bring it into use. If your hard drive is full it can cause this too.
 
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Old 05-26-06, 11:13 AM
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First I don't buy into having to reformat your hard drive regularly if you run Windows. I have been running the same Windows 2000 install for over 6 years with no problems and no significant slow down. This system has seen much more use than simple surfing and email checking. I have installed / uninstalled more programs than I can remember. It was used for programming, gaming, hosting games, ftp server, dvd / mp3 ripping, media hub, etc. With regular maintenance and cleanup, a Windows install should last a long time. There are cases where a clean install is a good idea, (corruption, certain viruses or spyware) but it does not need to be a normal practice.

For the OP, read through this thread dealing with a similar problem.
http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=261325

Here is my contribution:

"I agree with the above poster, after you finish the virus scan, run multiple anti-spyware scans.

Also, check to see how much free space you have on your C: drive. I have seen computers run slow when their C: drive was completely full. I try to leave around 1GB free on my C: drive and a minimum of 500MB. Also check the task manager. You can open the task manager by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ESC at the same time. Look at the "processes" tab and see if any processes are using a lot of the CPU. If there is a process that is "pegging" the CPU, either post it here or do a search for it on Google. Also look at the performance tab and see how much available physical memory you have. If this is under 100,000 K, you should try and see what processes are using up your memory.

You also might want to try to find out what programs and processes are being automattically started at boot. If you install Spybot S&D, there is a tool that lists all the startup processes. I try to have a minimum of programs start at boot. They make windows take longer to start and use up memory and resources."

Look at this thread for a lot of free anti-virus, anti-spyware and other utilities.
http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=157468

Also, in the future try doing a couple different searches before you post a question. A search for "computer slow" gives the above thread as the fifth result.

-Mike
"Don't disturb my friend, he's dead tired."
 
  #6  
Old 05-27-06, 06:39 AM
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I also agree that there is no need to reformat a PC often, I had mine for over two years, used it heavily, installed and uninstalled many many programs and never had problems.

However I run programs that clean the registry, quite often. My guess is that you need more memory, and/or need to check and clean viruses or other malware that may be there eating away the power resources of your PC (RAM, CPU)
 
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Old 05-28-06, 02:32 PM
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I checked the processes and there are a list of 32 items showing. Do I need all them running and if not how do I stop them without wiping out something that is needed.
I am running ad a ware right now also.
Everything is slow, even moving from IE to email is slow.


Originally Posted by ironhead1230
First I don't buy into having to reformat your hard drive regularly if you run Windows. I have been running the same Windows 2000 install for over 6 years with no problems and no significant slow down. This system has seen much more use than simple surfing and email checking. I have installed / uninstalled more programs than I can remember. It was used for programming, gaming, hosting games, ftp server, dvd / mp3 ripping, media hub, etc. With regular maintenance and cleanup, a Windows install should last a long time. There are cases where a clean install is a good idea, (corruption, certain viruses or spyware) but it does not need to be a normal practice.

For the OP, read through this thread dealing with a similar problem.
http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=261325

Here is my contribution:

"I agree with the above poster, after you finish the virus scan, run multiple anti-spyware scans.

Also, check to see how much free space you have on your C: drive. I have seen computers run slow when their C: drive was completely full. I try to leave around 1GB free on my C: drive and a minimum of 500MB. Also check the task manager. You can open the task manager by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ESC at the same time. Look at the "processes" tab and see if any processes are using a lot of the CPU. If there is a process that is "pegging" the CPU, either post it here or do a search for it on Google. Also look at the performance tab and see how much available physical memory you have. If this is under 100,000 K, you should try and see what processes are using up your memory.

You also might want to try to find out what programs and processes are being automattically started at boot. If you install Spybot S&D, there is a tool that lists all the startup processes. I try to have a minimum of programs start at boot. They make windows take longer to start and use up memory and resources."

Look at this thread for a lot of free anti-virus, anti-spyware and other utilities.
http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=157468

Also, in the future try doing a couple different searches before you post a question. A search for "computer slow" gives the above thread as the fifth result.

-Mike
"Don't disturb my friend, he's dead tired."
 
  #8  
Old 05-28-06, 07:02 PM
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family3
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IE 6.0 How do I check the RAM please?
56.0% free space on Drive C


Originally Posted by BuiLDPro68
Format is not a bad idea if it's been a while. What OS are you running? What antivirus do you use? Do you use a good spyware program like Spysweeper? How much RAM do you have? If the page file has become corrupt, possibly at a bad shutdown. In the Virtual Memory settings, set to “No page file,” then exit System Properties, shut down the machine, and reboot. Delete PAGEFILE.SYS (on each drive, if more than just C: ), set the page file up again and reboot to bring it into use. If your hard drive is full it can cause this too.
 
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Old 05-28-06, 07:27 PM
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Family3: I didn't see this info above: what version of windows are you running? The answers to your questions may vary depending on which flavor it is.

I agree with the folks who like to reformat once in a while. With W98 it was a requirement, period. At least for most Work PC's I serviced. W2K became MUCH more stable, however crashes hurt it a great deal more than they did W98 thus we ( I was working for pretty much a single company by then ) still had to redo the systems once a year or so. XP is stable enough that the only problem I see is installing software written by idiots, and those seem to be few and far between these daze.

Do you recall when the 'slowness' started? Anything change at that time?

It's enjoyable, if you have the time, to work on tuning up and troubleshooting your system. However you will NEVER get better speed than you do by backing up, formatting, installing the OS , data, and programs again. It just doesn't get any better than that. That is why those who have Ghosting software use it at that point: the system has no bugs brough in by anyone other than Microsoft. :]
 
  #10  
Old 05-28-06, 07:36 PM
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Slower and slower over time I would say until now I get frustrated as it will take 20-30 sec or so to even get this to submit!
My modem runs 48 to 52 bps. Cannot get Road Runner or anything were I live.

Originally Posted by bluewhale
Just poking here:

When/how long ago did things change? Was it a quick change, or did the speed slow down over a long

Speed issues like that can easily/commonly be caused by Malware but as you are using a modem almost anything will be 'slow'... My brother in Ohio recently had a question like yours.. he was working at work where they have a really fat pipe then going home to his half speed modem. ( no broadband until 5 daze ago when he finally got satellite )

Are your programs and is the operating system still responding at the same speed as before?
 
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Old 05-28-06, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by bluewhale
Family3: I didn't see this info above: what version of windows are you running? The answers to your questions may vary depending on which flavor it is.

Windows XP
But I do not know enough about computers to re format and I do not have the original disk to do this anyway. Also, wouldnt this wipe out everything I have on my computer like files, photos etc?

Its just not the web page to web page that is slow, if you have more than 2 programs open like word, it takes for ever to switch from word to IE etc.

In the processes, why would it need 30+ processes running all the time, I see one iexplore is using something like 30,000 and several more using 10-15,000 etc.


I agree with the folks who like to reformat once in a while. With W98 it was a requirement, period. At least for most Work PC's I serviced. W2K became MUCH more stable, however crashes hurt it a great deal more than they did W98 thus we ( I was working for pretty much a single company by then ) still had to redo the systems once a year or so. XP is stable enough that the only problem I see is installing software written by idiots, and those seem to be few and far between these daze.

Do you recall when the 'slowness' started? Anything change at that time?

Over time, but mainly allot more recently.


It's enjoyable, if you have the time, to work on tuning up and troubleshooting your system. However you will NEVER get better speed than you do by backing up, formatting, installing the OS , data, and programs again. It just doesn't get any better than that. That is why those who have Ghosting software use it at that point: the system has no bugs brough in by anyone other than Microsoft. :]
I wish I knew more as I am sure it would be fun to be able to fix things like this.

I did go out and buy wincleaner 3.0 logo looks like a tide box, and it was a total waste of 35.00. The salesman told me it will give you a list of all the processes and things you do not need and you will have a choice to deleted those items and your systme will fly after you run it. WRONG !!!
 
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Old 05-29-06, 04:40 AM
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When I suggested to reformat the hard drive and reinstall Windows, I did so for a reason. It is the easiest most effective way to fix a myriad of problems with a Windows system. And it has the added benefit of removing programs that you may never have used in months and will never use again.

I still very strongly recommend it in your case.

You should already have your files and pictures and anything else you need backed up somewhere. If you don't, yes you will lose them.. However, if you don;t have them backed up, you could lose them at any time.

You should have a disk based copy of the OS in some way. You should have insisted that you get one with the system, even if you had to pay extra for it. Find a friend who has a copy of the OS on disk and use theirs, with your code.

If you don't want to do this on your own, then take it to a computer shop and have it done. They will back up your files, and then reformat the hard drive and reinstall the OS for you.

Then, when you have more time, learn how to do this yourself so that next time you won;t have to pay someone to do it.
 
  #13  
Old 05-29-06, 08:31 AM
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dial up is slow

I have recently went from Basic Internet(which is the fastest pkg)to high speed light which is just a bit slower all for only 23.00 per month thats in sask canada.The only problem with this is download and upload speeds are 7 times slower
 
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Old 05-29-06, 10:01 AM
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Yes, the 'cleaning' programs are a waste of money.

As to why so many processes running that's the way Microsoft set it. They could all be normal processes or some could be malware. It IS possible to fine tune and knock them out one by one, perhaps getting down to a dozen processes, but IMSHO not worth the time. I just try to keep the system clean, don't install 'suites' but instead use a good AV and a good Malware app like Spy Sweeper. They have fairly small footprints thus don't slow your system down much. And use only Firefox and Thunderbird, even tho MS has improved their offerings somewhat in the last year.

One addition to Racrafts thought on using a friends CD: Microsoft, in it's wisdom, has issued multiple CD's for XP. ( I'm not certain this applies to XP Home if you have that but think it does ). If you had an OEM version any OEM version will do. If you had a Dell you can use an OEM version however the license likely will not allow you to register and get security updates. If this was an OS given to you by a kind soul my suggestion is to bite the bullet and get an OEM copy with it's license code. There is another thread debating the legality of this somewhere on the forum if you have any intrest. Or go back to W2K, which does not register in the same fashion.

You asked about your photos.. do you have a recent backup? If not, do you know of a good PC shoppe or someone who has a good reputation doing it on the side? With so many things to do/learn at one time the suggestions above along those lines might be the best bet. Nothing sets my teeth on edge like losing data, be it mine or a friends. They can dive through your hard drive, copy everything they find ( look EVERYWHERE ) and burn it to DVD's for a permanent backup for you. If you're anywhere near Concord, Ca I can recommend someone if you like.

btw: if you don't have your XP license code I ran across a small program that will pull it up for you so that you can make record of it for future installs. Happy to email it to you if you like.
 
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Old 05-30-06, 10:15 AM
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How is your hard drive formatted?

If your hard drive is formatted as FAT or FAT32, it can get really slow as you get a lot more files. You can check this in the hard drive properties. You can convert it to NTFS, which will scale a lot better. This situation usually happens on a machine that has been upgraded, NTFS should be the default for new installations.
 
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Old 05-30-06, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by wgc
If your hard drive is formatted as FAT or FAT32, it can get really slow as you get a lot more files. You can check this in the hard drive properties. You can convert it to NTFS, which will scale a lot better. This situation usually happens on a machine that has been upgraded, NTFS should be the default for new installations.
Boy you guys are way above my head in the lingo. Sorry. How do I find the FAT files?

Also, I downloaded Spysweeper and after 2 hours, yes 2 hours of downloading, an error came up and said it cannot be completed because of no winsock 32...??? can be found in file xxxx?????

I did the AVI Virus and it found 2 viruses that are not supposr to be bad, but placed them in quaranteen anyway. No worm or torjan virus. Then I read that one of the called 800soluntions ?? caputres Credit Card data of your computer, the other was an ebayxxx virus.
Does anyone know if either would do this to my system?

I want to try spy sweeper as everyone seems to like it, but it will not load on my system.
 
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Old 05-30-06, 02:33 PM
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I see it was a waste for sure.
Now, as far as processes, with a non computer knowledgable person on the inside like me, wouldnt I wipe out something that is needed if I start deleted on that list?
Also, how do I check my RAM please?

Originally Posted by bluewhale
Yes, the 'cleaning' programs are a waste of money.

As to why so many processes running that's the way Microsoft set it. They could all be normal processes or some could be malware. It IS possible to fine tune and knock them out one by one, perhaps getting down to a dozen processes, but IMSHO not worth the time. I just try to keep the system clean, don't install 'suites' but instead use a good AV and a good Malware app like Spy Sweeper. They have fairly small footprints thus don't slow your system down much. And use only Firefox and Thunderbird, even tho MS has improved their offerings somewhat in the last year.

One addition to Racrafts thought on using a friends CD: Microsoft, in it's wisdom, has issued multiple CD's for XP. ( I'm not certain this applies to XP Home if you have that but think it does ). If you had an OEM version any OEM version will do. If you had a Dell you can use an OEM version however the license likely will not allow you to register and get security updates. If this was an OS given to you by a kind soul my suggestion is to bite the bullet and get an OEM copy with it's license code. There is another thread debating the legality of this somewhere on the forum if you have any intrest. Or go back to W2K, which does not register in the same fashion.

You asked about your photos.. do you have a recent backup? If not, do you know of a good PC shoppe or someone who has a good reputation doing it on the side? With so many things to do/learn at one time the suggestions above along those lines might be the best bet. Nothing sets my teeth on edge like losing data, be it mine or a friends. They can dive through your hard drive, copy everything they find ( look EVERYWHERE ) and burn it to DVD's for a permanent backup for you. If you're anywhere near Concord, Ca I can recommend someone if you like.

btw: if you don't have your XP license code I ran across a small program that will pull it up for you so that you can make record of it for future installs. Happy to email it to you if you like.
 
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Old 05-30-06, 02:47 PM
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To check RAM right click on my computer and click on properties. RAM is listed in the bottom right.

With winsock errors ( for spy sweeper! ) in addition to your other problems, I would just save the data and redo the OS. There are far to many things going on: I would do this for a system I owned: the amount of time to fix ( IF you can ) all of those issues plus what's not been found yet... a dozen hours if you work on PC's all day every day?

If I can't be sure most of the system is 'solid' I don't bother: the result you get from certain tests could be flawed because another sub-system of windows is damaged. Sorry, but it does'nt sound feasible to repair it.

Paul
 
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Old 06-04-06, 06:01 PM
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Thank you. I did all the Anti Virus, several things like ad aware etc and nothing serious.
What do you suggest to save my info to? And if I re did the OS, wouldn't I have to have all the disks for all the software and windows XP to start all over again?



Originally Posted by bluewhale
To check RAM right click on my computer and click on properties. RAM is listed in the bottom right.

With winsock errors ( for spy sweeper! ) in addition to your other problems, I would just save the data and redo the OS. There are far to many things going on: I would do this for a system I owned: the amount of time to fix ( IF you can ) all of those issues plus what's not been found yet... a dozen hours if you work on PC's all day every day?

If I can't be sure most of the system is 'solid' I don't bother: the result you get from certain tests could be flawed because another sub-system of windows is damaged. Sorry, but it does'nt sound feasible to repair it.

Paul
 
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Old 06-04-06, 06:03 PM
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Pentium 4 CPU 2.00GHz 1.99 Ghz 512 MB of Ram
Windows XP 2002 Service Pack 2
 
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Old 06-05-06, 07:38 AM
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Sorry, been off on holiday. And have the sore muscles to prove it

Backing up sort of depends on how much data you have and what hardware you have. Do you know where your data is? Many if not most users do not, thus it's better to have someone do it for you. However you seem to like tinkering, as do I, so genera thoughts on data would be look under 'My Documents', look on the Desktop, find where your email messages and address book are stored ( usually you can find this from within the email program itself ), got into all browsers you use and save the bookmarks ( I generally do not save the cookies: gives you a chance to be rid of old cookies ), if you have programs like Quicken .. or almost any program they often set you up with a folder under THEIR folder for the data. Unless you manually redirect the files when saving them in the first place..
And keep in mind that many folders, like 'My Documents' exist separately for each user who logs on. You would find these under 'Documents and Settings' if you log on as an administrator.

Take a look at these types of areas and get an idea how much backup space you will need. If megs or a few gigs then a CD or DVD burner will do. If more, then it gets more interesting.

And yes, when you back your data up you need to have installation CD's to install the OS and other apps again. You normally can use someone else’s same CD with your own serial number, but that depends on the software involved. There are tools that let you copy the program over from one PC to another however none that I have ever tried for W2K or XP actually work well, if at all.

These are general thoughts: if you have specific questions please feel free, I'll try if I know the software.

Oh: thanks for the specs. Your system is what I would call medium slow: IMSHO fine for browsing, email and office work. For more strenuous chores it would come up a bit weak at times.


Paul
 
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