Questions

Computer is still slow after reinstall of Windows XP Home Edition

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Computer is still slow after reinstall of Windows XP Home Edition

lenipena
Okay... this is a long one, here I go...

- trying to fix cousin's computer, it was infested with Trojans, viruses, etc...
- tried a lot of things to clean it up to no avail
- so I decided to do a reinstall, it took over 5 hrs, thought I had installed incorrectly so I did it again... but got same result... computer was still slow after fresh install...
- spoke to Microsoft for about 2 days they were trying to help me with the 100% CPU utilization, finally they recommended I try to reinstall again, so I did, with them on phone, reinstall was taking too long, so they said it was probably issue with hard drive, closed ticket
- I ran the chkdsk, no errors
- I ran the HDD regenerator, found no errors on hard drive...
- The only thing that gave any warnings about hard drive was a program named HD Tune, that showed (05)Reallocated Sector Count and (0A)Spin Retry Count highlighted in yellow...

I'm going crazy here, trying to figure what's going on....

whelp please!!!

System Info:
Dell Dimension 2400
WinXP Home Edition SP2
Pentium 4 2.66GHz
256 MB of RAM
Seagate HD 80GB
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    0 Votes
    HAL 9000 Moderator

    From Seagate and the correct testing utility here

    http://preview.tinyurl.com/yk8p3r

    If the HDD passes that test it's A OK and you need to perform the install correctly which involves wiping the HDD with a utility that writes zero's to every sector and not just the every third sector that is done on a format. There are quite a few wiping utilities available but if you do not have one Boot & Nuke works quite well and is available here

    http://preview.tinyurl.com/4rfur

    After the drive has been wiped you can then set about reinstalling the software and applying patches. When this is finished run Defrag or as XP calls it Disc Defragmenter found in the System Tools Folder on the Start menu under Accessories.

    The other thing that can cause slow starts is lack of RAM and as you list only 256 MEG here that is way below the minimum that I would consider for XP particularly if this is an All In One M'Board that shares System Ram to make a Video Signal. But if you are stuck with the 256 MEG you can up the Page File Size to improve the Boot times and apparent speed of the computer. It's not a Real Fix but it will improve things.

    The next thing to look at is install errors that happen every time that you install something. To fix these self inflicted problems Iolo's System Mechanic 7 will do and you can download a 30 day trial here or you may have to dig around slightly but this is the main description of the product.

    http://preview.tinyurl.com/yuuau5

    Do not consider System Mechanic Pro as the only difference is that it has an AV Tool and if you are only using this for a 30 day trial the extra download required will not be worth the time or effort.

    Also with this tool DO NOT chose the option of removing Duplicate Files or you'll crash the system but everything else should be OK.

    Once you do this you will have the unit booting at it's MAX speed which depending on your current Hardware may seem slow to you but as this a a base machine you can not expect it to perform as well as a higher end Speced computer.

    Col

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    jun_anonuevo_usa

    Dell 2400s has a diagnostic partition saved in the HDD. try accessing it by pressing F12 after a cold boot. Select 32bit diags, then run custom test for HDD. This will give you an error code (if there is any) If the said partition is already gone you can try booting to the resource CD that came with the system at day 1 (fresh from delivery) then run the diags for HDD. consider upgrading the memory, this will give more working room for your programs. For other tech info visit www.support.dell.com or call dell support at 1-800-624-9896. Let me know about the codes/error codes.

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    bogdan.botezatu

    I have seen such issues with a HDD whose MBR has been infected by viruses. Fixing this requires, however, the deletion of the whole C partition and then, its recreation.

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    0 Votes
    internetspider

    Please read all before u do something..

    Virus is a big tension when it hits any system the system slows down even u reinstall, what u do that backup ur data on and external Device (USB HDD, Flash,DVD..)

    1.Repartition ur hard disk when formatting and reinstalling windows and continue.

    2.if u have important data on c or any where u can keep it at D drive and then format the C Drive only and continue installation.

    Now when u have fresh windows if u want to open any drive so do'nt double click on that use ur mouse right click and select open this is a very good way to avoid from viruses.

    First off all install antivirus , update it ( on Fresh windows before u do something )
    and then scan ur computer with ur d drive data.

    Open ur D drive and if there is autorun.inf file delete it.

    Before u attach any drive right click and scan it.

    In this way you can use ur computers performance.

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    NOW LEFT TR

    How - if it has not been attached yet?

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    0 Votes
    OldER Mycroft

    Clicking the fingers of the right hand!

    (Some sort of voodoo thing maybe)

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    0 Votes
    stuffit.now

    If the drive has a large number of hard errors, then Windows switches from DMA or Ultra-DMA down to PIO mode. This DRAMATICALLY reduces speed and throughput.

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    0 Votes
    jhilgeman2

    What is wrong with you people who think that 256Mb of RAM is so low that it'll slow the system to a crawl? Sure, it's not AS fast as 512Mb or 1Gb, but it's not going to cause the computer to be that slow.

    I would definitely recommend the posts by other techs to check the hard drive and its transfer modes (also check the drive settings in BIOS in case there are any hard drive transfer modes in there that are out of whack).

    But to be honest, it sounds like there may be some bad disk issues coming your way, even if the drive is still functional now. I'd just try to get a new hard drive. If you're still under warranty, you should be able to talk to Dell support and get them to send you a replacement drive after they try a dozen stupid things over the phone. Otherwise, 80 gig drives are cheap these days (around $40). A couple more dollars will go a long way for an upgrade, too. I bought a 500 gig drive last week from NewEgg.com for $99.

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    0 Votes
    lenipena

    Thank you all for your responses... I just took the computer to a friend who is a tech, he is gonna use some of his hard drives to test the system, I had already ran the Seagate tools on it and reformatted the drive... no success, anyhow it's in tech(better) hands now...

    once again, thank you

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    0 Votes
    wpbdia48

    Tech

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    0 Votes
    donaldcoe

    Having had my full share of Virus'. The best offense is an effective defense. If you are so unlucky to acquire a nasty just reinstallation of an OS is not enough. To make sure the bug (Mr. Nasty) is NO Longer playing hide and seek is to delete the Partition, create a new Partition, Format that new Partition and then try reinstall the OS. It is human nature to try and cut corners because we did not create a successful data backup of our valuable data prior to the nasty. Today's Viruses are being designed to hide themselves to later replicate and deny access. An excellent utility application called Partition Magic by now Symantec can delete, recreate, and format drive partitions in 1 move, for a speedier OS install without complications.

    Next boost your system memory to a minimum 512Mb or 1Gb you will be amazed by springs in its step. Last Step: invest into a Virus app of your choosing and get very religious about scanning every day your computer is ON.

    If you have the chassis space install a second drive (a size that your system can recognise) for data storage and an occasional full system backup resting place.

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    0 Votes
    lenipena

    Okay, I'm back to post an update... maybe someone can explain this one to me...

    okay so the computer was super slow even after the reinstall, I had been troubleshooting for days to no success... then Microsoft said it was hard drive so I called my friend, the tech so he could check it,

    while waiting for him to come... I decided to clean it from inside, I was following some online instructions,

    anyway to make story short,
    I moved the memory card from original slot to see if it would make a difference, but nope still the same,
    I tried to remove the heatsink and woe! the cpu came with, I was freaking out, I tried to put it back and it wouldn't turn on... I thought I had burned it,

    my friend took the computer and he switched the memory card back to original place and reseated cpu... and GUESS WHAT! the darn thing started working as fast as ever...

    I couldn't believe it, but I'm still confused, what was it, the tech said that it was the memory card that was in the wrong place, but I told him that the memory card had been in that slot the whole time, I had just switched to see if it would make a difference and just didn't switch it back because I freaked out when the cpu came out... he said it might have been the reseating of the cpu that made it work better...

    yes, I had wiped down the whole system before reinstalling,
    no it wasn't the hard drive
    no it didn't need more memory
    it's working great... like new

    I don't know, but can someone explain to me what it was and why...

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    0 Votes
    HAL 9000 Moderator

    By your description the CPU was no longer locked properly into the Zero Insertion Force Socket and when you pulled the heat sink the Heat Sink Transfer Paste allowed the CPU to pull out of it's socket. So there was no where near enough pressure on the pins or whatever are on the bottom of the CPU and this was allowing Electrical Resistance to form causing the unit to slow down.

    Generally these ZIF Sockets have a locking lever that locks the CPU in place and this may have been allowed to unlock so that there was an electrical connection but not a good one. To a lesser extent some ZIF Sockets have an eccentric in them to lock the CPU in place and this could have become loose though with this type of socket they tend to become so loose as to not make contact so the unit fails to work, but anything is possible here as this isn't common and shouldn't happen if the CPU has been properly fitted.

    Col

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    0 Votes
    lenipena

    thank you... that makes sense to me...

  • +
    0 Votes
    HAL 9000 Moderator

    From Seagate and the correct testing utility here

    http://preview.tinyurl.com/yk8p3r

    If the HDD passes that test it's A OK and you need to perform the install correctly which involves wiping the HDD with a utility that writes zero's to every sector and not just the every third sector that is done on a format. There are quite a few wiping utilities available but if you do not have one Boot & Nuke works quite well and is available here

    http://preview.tinyurl.com/4rfur

    After the drive has been wiped you can then set about reinstalling the software and applying patches. When this is finished run Defrag or as XP calls it Disc Defragmenter found in the System Tools Folder on the Start menu under Accessories.

    The other thing that can cause slow starts is lack of RAM and as you list only 256 MEG here that is way below the minimum that I would consider for XP particularly if this is an All In One M'Board that shares System Ram to make a Video Signal. But if you are stuck with the 256 MEG you can up the Page File Size to improve the Boot times and apparent speed of the computer. It's not a Real Fix but it will improve things.

    The next thing to look at is install errors that happen every time that you install something. To fix these self inflicted problems Iolo's System Mechanic 7 will do and you can download a 30 day trial here or you may have to dig around slightly but this is the main description of the product.

    http://preview.tinyurl.com/yuuau5

    Do not consider System Mechanic Pro as the only difference is that it has an AV Tool and if you are only using this for a 30 day trial the extra download required will not be worth the time or effort.

    Also with this tool DO NOT chose the option of removing Duplicate Files or you'll crash the system but everything else should be OK.

    Once you do this you will have the unit booting at it's MAX speed which depending on your current Hardware may seem slow to you but as this a a base machine you can not expect it to perform as well as a higher end Speced computer.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    jun_anonuevo_usa

    Dell 2400s has a diagnostic partition saved in the HDD. try accessing it by pressing F12 after a cold boot. Select 32bit diags, then run custom test for HDD. This will give you an error code (if there is any) If the said partition is already gone you can try booting to the resource CD that came with the system at day 1 (fresh from delivery) then run the diags for HDD. consider upgrading the memory, this will give more working room for your programs. For other tech info visit www.support.dell.com or call dell support at 1-800-624-9896. Let me know about the codes/error codes.

    +
    0 Votes
    bogdan.botezatu

    I have seen such issues with a HDD whose MBR has been infected by viruses. Fixing this requires, however, the deletion of the whole C partition and then, its recreation.

    +
    0 Votes
    internetspider

    Please read all before u do something..

    Virus is a big tension when it hits any system the system slows down even u reinstall, what u do that backup ur data on and external Device (USB HDD, Flash,DVD..)

    1.Repartition ur hard disk when formatting and reinstalling windows and continue.

    2.if u have important data on c or any where u can keep it at D drive and then format the C Drive only and continue installation.

    Now when u have fresh windows if u want to open any drive so do'nt double click on that use ur mouse right click and select open this is a very good way to avoid from viruses.

    First off all install antivirus , update it ( on Fresh windows before u do something )
    and then scan ur computer with ur d drive data.

    Open ur D drive and if there is autorun.inf file delete it.

    Before u attach any drive right click and scan it.

    In this way you can use ur computers performance.

    +
    0 Votes
    NOW LEFT TR

    How - if it has not been attached yet?

    +
    0 Votes
    OldER Mycroft

    Clicking the fingers of the right hand!

    (Some sort of voodoo thing maybe)

    +
    0 Votes
    stuffit.now

    If the drive has a large number of hard errors, then Windows switches from DMA or Ultra-DMA down to PIO mode. This DRAMATICALLY reduces speed and throughput.

    +
    0 Votes
    jhilgeman2

    What is wrong with you people who think that 256Mb of RAM is so low that it'll slow the system to a crawl? Sure, it's not AS fast as 512Mb or 1Gb, but it's not going to cause the computer to be that slow.

    I would definitely recommend the posts by other techs to check the hard drive and its transfer modes (also check the drive settings in BIOS in case there are any hard drive transfer modes in there that are out of whack).

    But to be honest, it sounds like there may be some bad disk issues coming your way, even if the drive is still functional now. I'd just try to get a new hard drive. If you're still under warranty, you should be able to talk to Dell support and get them to send you a replacement drive after they try a dozen stupid things over the phone. Otherwise, 80 gig drives are cheap these days (around $40). A couple more dollars will go a long way for an upgrade, too. I bought a 500 gig drive last week from NewEgg.com for $99.

    +
    0 Votes
    lenipena

    Thank you all for your responses... I just took the computer to a friend who is a tech, he is gonna use some of his hard drives to test the system, I had already ran the Seagate tools on it and reformatted the drive... no success, anyhow it's in tech(better) hands now...

    once again, thank you

    +
    0 Votes
    wpbdia48

    Tech

    +
    0 Votes
    donaldcoe

    Having had my full share of Virus'. The best offense is an effective defense. If you are so unlucky to acquire a nasty just reinstallation of an OS is not enough. To make sure the bug (Mr. Nasty) is NO Longer playing hide and seek is to delete the Partition, create a new Partition, Format that new Partition and then try reinstall the OS. It is human nature to try and cut corners because we did not create a successful data backup of our valuable data prior to the nasty. Today's Viruses are being designed to hide themselves to later replicate and deny access. An excellent utility application called Partition Magic by now Symantec can delete, recreate, and format drive partitions in 1 move, for a speedier OS install without complications.

    Next boost your system memory to a minimum 512Mb or 1Gb you will be amazed by springs in its step. Last Step: invest into a Virus app of your choosing and get very religious about scanning every day your computer is ON.

    If you have the chassis space install a second drive (a size that your system can recognise) for data storage and an occasional full system backup resting place.

    +
    0 Votes
    lenipena

    Okay, I'm back to post an update... maybe someone can explain this one to me...

    okay so the computer was super slow even after the reinstall, I had been troubleshooting for days to no success... then Microsoft said it was hard drive so I called my friend, the tech so he could check it,

    while waiting for him to come... I decided to clean it from inside, I was following some online instructions,

    anyway to make story short,
    I moved the memory card from original slot to see if it would make a difference, but nope still the same,
    I tried to remove the heatsink and woe! the cpu came with, I was freaking out, I tried to put it back and it wouldn't turn on... I thought I had burned it,

    my friend took the computer and he switched the memory card back to original place and reseated cpu... and GUESS WHAT! the darn thing started working as fast as ever...

    I couldn't believe it, but I'm still confused, what was it, the tech said that it was the memory card that was in the wrong place, but I told him that the memory card had been in that slot the whole time, I had just switched to see if it would make a difference and just didn't switch it back because I freaked out when the cpu came out... he said it might have been the reseating of the cpu that made it work better...

    yes, I had wiped down the whole system before reinstalling,
    no it wasn't the hard drive
    no it didn't need more memory
    it's working great... like new

    I don't know, but can someone explain to me what it was and why...

    +
    0 Votes
    HAL 9000 Moderator

    By your description the CPU was no longer locked properly into the Zero Insertion Force Socket and when you pulled the heat sink the Heat Sink Transfer Paste allowed the CPU to pull out of it's socket. So there was no where near enough pressure on the pins or whatever are on the bottom of the CPU and this was allowing Electrical Resistance to form causing the unit to slow down.

    Generally these ZIF Sockets have a locking lever that locks the CPU in place and this may have been allowed to unlock so that there was an electrical connection but not a good one. To a lesser extent some ZIF Sockets have an eccentric in them to lock the CPU in place and this could have become loose though with this type of socket they tend to become so loose as to not make contact so the unit fails to work, but anything is possible here as this isn't common and shouldn't happen if the CPU has been properly fitted.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    lenipena

    thank you... that makes sense to me...