PC gets slower and slower

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  #1  
Old 06-23-08, 09:08 AM
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PC gets slower and slower

Hey Guys, help me out.

Have an old re-built Emachine. Athlon 2300, 1.3 Gb RAM, FX5500 AGP 236Mb video. Running XP with latest updates. Hardwired to the router, HS cable internet. AVG, Ad-aware, Spybot S&D, SywareBlaster, all kept updated and run regularly, no infections or critical items. IE and Firefox browsers (mostly use IE, sorry)
This is my garage machine, wife has the nice one in the house.

Here's the problem. After a few hours of use after a cold re-start, my internet seems to slow down. I know its not really, but say I hit "new posts", the back button, or "refresh" while I'm on the board, it takes much longer than right after I re-start.

I know it has something to do with memory or "page file usage" (not that I really know what "page files" are), because when it starts to slow down, if I open task manager, my PF history is way up, and my available physical memory is way down. Also, I very occasionally get "windows virtual memory too low" messages, even though I don't have any massive programs running. Basically a window for here, mail (internet mail, not a standalone) and maybe the TV guide listings.
Closing all open windows doesn't help, have to re-boot to speed back up.

Back in the old days, we used to have memory manager programs for this kinda stuff. What about now?

EDIT: OK I lied. IF I close all open programs, it does speed up some. Not like after a cold reboot, but better. Still, whats a Page file and how does it affect the speed?
 

Last edited by Gunguy45; 06-23-08 at 09:25 AM. Reason: more info
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  #2  
Old 06-23-08, 10:23 AM
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In a nutshell, there are two types of memory:

1. Random Access Memory (RAM)
2. Virtual Memory (Page File)

The page file is created during the XP installation and it's size is, by default, 1.5 times the amount of installed RAM.

Since the page file is located on the hard drive, it's subject to a number of factors that can hinder performance.

When all physical RAM in a computer is in use, Windows starts using the hard disk as if it were additional RAM -- this is why the page file exists. Because RAM is a lot faster than the hard disk, whenever the computer begins to use the page file to relieve memory pressure, we start to notice a drastic performance degradation.

The most effective thing you can do to imporve performance is add RAM to avoid frequent paging between hard disk and RAM.

If that isn't an option, you can try optimizing the page file. Do you know what the current size of the page file is? You can view this by taking the following steps:

1. Hold down the Windows and press the "Pause" button (upper right-hand side of the keyboard). This will bring up "System Properties"

2. Click on the "Advanced" tab

3. Click on the "Settings" button in the "Performance" section

4. Click "Advanced" tab.

5. What is the number under "Virtual Memory"
 
  #3  
Old 06-23-08, 10:39 AM
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Thx Roman
I knew what VM was, didn't realize it was related to PF. And thx for the quick System tip. Always went to Control panel before.

Ok VM 384Mb


I just figure having 1.3Gb for this system was way more than enuf.
 
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Old 06-23-08, 10:48 AM
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Before we mess with your VM settings... let's take a look at a couple things.

When you start to notice a system slow down, go to your Task Manager and click on the "Processes" tab. See if there is anything hogging CPU usage and / or memory.

You might have some memory hog process running.

If we can't pinpoint it that way, we can always increase the VM size (yours is set pretty low).
 
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Old 06-23-08, 10:51 AM
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go to start, run, type msconfig. Hit the "startup" tab. Copy down all the startup items on the left hand side and post them on here. There may be some things running that don't need to be.

You also may try uninstalling AVG and reinstalling it.
 
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Old 06-23-08, 11:20 AM
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Ok, checked the running processes...quite a few so I won't post them all. Most are under 4-5 k, most way under that.

IE the biggest natch...bout 75K, others...

acrord32 (I know Acrobat reader) 35K
Explorer 37K
Svchost 32K

Nothing jumping out as huge.....remember tho, I just closed and re-opened IE a while ago. But theres never been anything showing as a mem hog when it was running slow, I checked that before. This is pretty normal stuff. I'll be sure to look at it again when it does get slower.

@toofer ouch thats a list...Not hugely huge, but since I can't copy and paste..ya know, I don't type that well...lol. Is there another place I can copy them from...maybe the startup folder or the registry or something? I do recognise a couple of programs I don't use, and could probably disable. Had some issues with old programs not un-installing completely before.
We may have to go back to that tho, but theres nothing taking memory as stated above.
 
  #7  
Old 06-23-08, 11:51 AM
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You should have plenty of memory so it's either a program causing it to run slow or a hardware issue.


As for the msconfig, just do a screen print and post the image on here for us to look at. Usually most of the stuff in the startup can be disabled, but let us look it over first as there are a few things that should stay.

*EDIT*
Use "alt + prt screen" to take a picture of just the msconfig window
 
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Old 06-23-08, 02:25 PM
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Hmm ok and where does the snapshot of the print screen go? Always wondered about that.
 
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Old 06-23-08, 02:30 PM
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When you take the initial screen shot, it goes to the clip board. You can then paste it into (almost) any imaging program or a Word document.
 
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Old 06-23-08, 02:52 PM
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Ok, I know I'm not this dumb. Uploading pictures I can do. But I can't get this.
Maybe I should go get the camera and take a real picture of my screen. lol

Did the screenshot, pasted into a wordpad doc, but can't copy to here...jeezz. paste is not an option on a right click.

Ok guys, take me by the nose and lead me to water...I promise, I'll drink.

Vic
 
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Old 06-23-08, 03:05 PM
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No worries!

Click on Start and select "Run". In the run box type "mspaint". You can paste the screen shot in there. Save it as a JPG and upload here
 
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Old 06-23-08, 03:32 PM
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Ok, that was a pain in the patootie. But heres what I have.
BTW my speed has been pretty ok all day. Only thing that has been open is IE and AIM mail (no makin fun of my mail service, I've moved a lot...lol). No TV guide listing, no MY Google. But my PF has gone up almost double what it is after a re-start, and approx 1/2 my RAM is used as System Cache.

http://i297.photobucket.com/albums/m.../1stConfig.jpg

http://i297.photobucket.com/albums/m.../2ndConfig.jpg

http://i297.photobucket.com/albums/m.../3rdConfig.jpg

Man, it actually worked!!! 3 Images, 2nd and 3rd listed items overlap a bit.
 
  #13  
Old 06-23-08, 05:15 PM
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You should be able to disable the following without issue:
jusched
qttask
ituneshelper
AOLSoftware
AOLLaunch
Microsoft Office
Google Updater
Adobe Reader
ctmon
OpenOffice

The following should be OK, but you might want to research:
pctspk (I believe this is for a PCTEL modem)

StartEAK (This is for one-touch keys on a keyboard, usually installed on Compaq machines)

powerreg scheduler (usually associated with Dragon software)

rundll32p17 (I believe this is the ASIO driver for Audigy and Audigy 2 series sound cards. You can try disabling it, rebooting and seeing if audio files will play)

I have no idea what the "reset.exe" is. Might want to dig a bit.
 
  #14  
Old 06-23-08, 05:45 PM
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Thx Roman!

Might keep the Openoffice, cause I do occasionally use that.
Used to have a Compaq keyboard on here, with the smartcard reader and easy access buttons, thats prob what that was.
Sound card is a Sound Blaster, so I'll prob skip that as well.
Most of the rest were when my wife used this before we bought the new one.

I'll mess with disabling the rest. I've tried to un-install the microsoft office apps's, but since I don't have the original disks, I think I get an error when I try...whats up with that?

Might not be an error, but since I have your ear, if I uninstall MSoffice, will all the files go away? Or should I copy those to another folder first, so I can still access them with OpenOffice?
 
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Old 06-23-08, 06:05 PM
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Uninstalling Office should not remove any of your personal files (Word / Excel files, etc), but you might want to make sure they're not in your Office directory (you can always stash them in "My Documents" or under "C:\" just to be safe).

Disabling the OpenOffice startup item shouldn't have any adverse affect on your Open Office suite itself. You can always re-enable it if you need to. Disabling an item on that list doesn't remove it from your computer, it just keeps it from loading on start up.

This may not even solve your problem. We'll see what happens!
 
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Old 06-23-08, 06:13 PM
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Thx again Roman....time ta cook the donuts. Will get back to this tomorrow.
Vic
 
  #17  
Old 06-24-08, 09:51 AM
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Also, if that doesn't help disabling the startup items, make sure you uninstall and reinstall AVG. I've seen it cause similar problems before.
 
  #18  
Old 06-24-08, 10:06 AM
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I agree with Toofer. Antivirus programs are designed to keep constant tabs on your file system. It could very well be the culprit.
 
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Old 06-24-08, 11:54 AM
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Will do Guys,
In the process of building a stepped access to the alley. She Who Must Be Obeyed had set my priorities today. Off to HD to return the auger and pick up some lumber now.

Just an update also, PF and memory usage keeps creeping up..only program running is IE on this site for last 20 hrs. AVG is sounding more likely.

"Remember, if you can't fix it with a hammer, it must be an electrical problem."
 
  #20  
Old 06-29-08, 09:58 AM
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Ok, finally got back to the PC, no long term results yet, but after un-checking the mentioned startup items I noticed the machine is ready to go much faster after a re-start. Also the amount of memory available is larger, which makes sense.

Before I did this, I found if I just closed all my open windows once in a while, it never slowed down at all. But thats such a pain, those 3 or 4 extra clicks will wear out my mouse faster...lol

Ok, final question, why when I open task manager now (and maybe before the startup item changes), it opens, then the IE window I have open comes back to the front. Task manager doesn't minimize, its just behind the IE window. I didn't think I changed any of the settings, but maybe I did. Only task manager does it, not msconfig, or any other IE windows or apps.

Anyway guys, I think its working about as well as I can expect. Thanks again for the help.
 
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Old 06-29-08, 10:33 AM
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When in Task Manager, click Options - Always on top.
 
  #22  
Old 06-29-08, 11:21 AM
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Duuuuuhhhhh Thanks Oneof
 
  #23  
Old 07-08-08, 01:28 AM
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Wink

off the current train of thought but generally old pcs are still perfectly good machines but as they have been running for a long time with many programs being installed / uninstalled the system can become clogged down with lots of useles information

in the case of this pc i would hazard a guess that this is the case and whilst it would be possible to clean up using system registry cleaners removing unused apps etc

my best guess would be to run the system restore cd that you got when you bought the pc.

this will delete everything off the pc so make sure you have all you rdocuments / music/ photos backed up (they should be already )

however once you run this the pc will be as good as the first day you bought it, then you can install anything you need on top.

the process is very easy just make sure you have you windows key ready and should only take 1 - 2 hrs
 
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