Questions

My computer has slowed to a dead crawl.

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My computer has slowed to a dead crawl.

fmlondon
In the past few days, my computer has slowed to a dead crawl. I have defragged, run virus scans, malware scans, and nothing has helped. If my system is to be believed, I do not have a virus or spyware. So, what has happened, and what can I do about it? For example, when I went to register so that I could ask this question, it took me 25 minutes.
  • +
    1 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Run the AV Scan and Malware Scans in Safe Mode not the Normal Mode. Any infections that have been picked up are more likely to show up that way.

    Or better still use a Rescue Disc like one of the ones mentioned here in this Blog on cleaning computers

    http://www.techrepublic .com/blog/security/rescue-cds-tips-for-fighting-malware/3803

    Remember to remove the space from between the techrepublic and the .com

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    fmlondon

    Hi Oh,

    How do I get a Rescue Disc?

    Thank you.

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Go tot he Link provided above and the different Rescue Disc's can be downloaded from Links within the Blog.

    The Blue writing in the Blog are links.

    Col

    +
    1 Votes
    ARandomPenguin

    I assume it was running fine in the past? did you update your os or something? (xp specs arent great in the long run on win 7 versions later than home basic) can you give a brief outline of your laptop specs and age? (memory, cpu, hard drive size (and capacity), etc).

    after running the can from the boot disk or safemode try going through and uninstalling any unused lagware (effects of that depend on your specs).
    maybe clear out your temp files (i dont recommend using registry cleaners for that though. Revo uninstaller (download the trial at http://www.revouninstaller. com/ remove the space at the .com) has works beautifully more me when removing and maintaining my system)

    +
    0 Votes
    databaseben

    if you have hardware malfunction, it can cause the system to crawl. but this in only one of a number of possibilities. it can be due to the recent microsoft updates. it can also be due to a corrupt master file table. it can also be that your ram chips are bad or they are overloaded with superfluous data and processing the data is taking too long. you may also have lost your page file, ie virtual memory.

    one of the best ways to see if the operating system is corrupted or not, is to boot up in the safe modes. try booting in safe mode and see if your computer works better. then reboot into safe mode with networking and also see how it runs.

    if windows runs ok in safe mode, then the operating system doesn't need to be repaired. instead your computer needs to be tweaked.

    the first tweak is to execute a clean boot before booting up into windows normal mode:

    http://pcsmarties.wordpress.com/cleanboot/

    afterwards, look at the "low virtual memory" page on the above site.

    +
    2 Votes
    Whing

    I have just had a similar problem. Sometimes the issue isn't software - particularly if you haven't installed anything recently.

    After a few weeks of steadily worsening performance (for which I blamed the kids installing lots of games and crapware) I had decided to reimage my PC. Before I could get round to this, I started to get disk errors. The disk was ok so I thought I had a disk controller or motherboard issues. However opening it up I found the CPU cooling system was covered in dust and cobwebs. After giving it a clean out and a blast with compressed air and double checking everything was seated ok the performance was back to normal and the disk errors a thing of the past.

    +
    0 Votes
    Bruce Epper

    Check your event logs for disk errors. If the hard drive is failing, especially with a large number of read errors, the entire system slows to a crawl. If you are getting a large number of errors, back up everything you need and prepare for a hard failure (get a replacement drive).

    +
    1 Votes
    Jono.W

    May not be a cataclysmic failure/virus/doomsday situation: I found this on an XP PC when we kept hitting the limit on the hard drive - as it gets nearer to being full it slows down worse & worse (and you lose the ability to system restore as there isn't space to save the restore point).
    Run a system clean (programs, accessories, system tools, disk clean, then another tool like CCleaner) , then delete/save anything else you can to make space. And prepare yourself to by a bigger hard drive or at least an external one....

    +
    0 Votes
    levi.long

    If you haven't made any changes recently (adding new hardware, installed new programs, etc...), check your task manager. Just hold Ctrl, Shift, and Esc keys at the same time, and it will popup. There are tabs on the top; Applications, Processes, Performance, and Networking. Select the processes tab. It gives four colums of information by default. Look for a process that has CPU value higher than 50% that is not coming down. (Except for your System Idle Process it's ok for that to be high) If there is a service or application choking your system this is how you find it. Hope this helps.

    +
    0 Votes
    TheDJTee

    Download & run CCleaner (http://filehippo.com/download_ccleaner/) before you get started with anything else!

    +
    0 Votes
    richard.gardner

    Sounds like a full hard drive to me, or possibly the beginnings of a hardrive failure. Right click on your harddrive and select properties to see how much space you have, I like to have at least 250Mb free for Windows to use as swap space (extra memory, in effect), but better to have a Gig free if you can.

    Could also be a cooling issue, is your CPU fan working? If not you need to replace it before your processor burns out.

    Although Whing has a point, about 90% of electrical device failures can be repaired with a good clean.

    Msconfig is quite useful for removing things that start up automatically, just go to Start-->run and type msconfig. Go to the startup tab and uncheck all the clagware that inevitably gets installed (quicktime launcher, adobe reader etc) You don't need any of this stuff, it just sits there taking up memory, your software will still work it just might take an extra couple of milliseconds to react.

    The only things to leave are probably systray and your virus software.

    The single most useful thing you can do is reinstall the operating system, this will get everything back running as normal, yes it is a pain but you just have no idea what is installed on your machine and uninstalling software isn't always as effective as you might like it to be.

    Memory is not your problem here, but more of it never hurts.

    If it was me, if it wasn't a space issue I'd buy a new hard drive, install the operating system on there and slave the old drive off the new one to get my old files. But that's just me.

    +
    0 Votes
    LeonBA

    My wife's system would slow to a crawl at certain times. Turned out the machine was low on RAM, so it was constantly paging to disk when she had certain things running. I bumped it up to 4GB, and problem was solved.

    Also, as suggested above, make sure your C drive isn't nearly full. That can slow down a system too.

    +
    0 Votes
    Dave51

    Had a problem with one of my machines running XP home. It turned out to be the "Parity" virus on the secondary drives. My anti-virus software did not report it for a long while, when it did it tried to remove it on a reboot but that did not work, in the end I found a free s/w anti-virus program that cleared it. It was probably picked up from one of my old 1980's floppy???s that I was checking out for something.

    +
    0 Votes
    benitohenri

    I believe you may not have done a proper virus scan, and if you did than the only solution would be for you to to check it all of your hardware part are compatible with your current Operating System. A way to verify this is to go online and resreach your hardware compatibly list, and check if all the gigabytes and magabytes reached in between the max and min requirements of the specfic Os.

    +
    1 Votes
    ARandomPenguin

    I assume it was running fine in the past? did you update your os or something? (xp specs arent great in the long run on win 7 versions later than home basic) can you give a brief outline of your laptop specs and age? (memory, cpu, hard drive size (and capacity), etc).

    after running the can from the boot disk or safemode try going through and uninstalling any unused lagware (effects of that depend on your specs).
    maybe clear out your temp files (i dont recommend using registry cleaners for that though. Revo uninstaller (download the trial at http://www.revouninstaller. com/ remove the space at the .com) has works beautifully more me when removing and maintaining my system)

    +
    0 Votes
    databaseben

    if you have hardware malfunction, it can cause the system to crawl. but this in only one of a number of possibilities. it can be due to the recent microsoft updates. it can also be due to a corrupt master file table. it can also be that your ram chips are bad or they are overloaded with superfluous data and processing the data is taking too long. you may also have lost your page file, ie virtual memory.

    one of the best ways to see if the operating system is corrupted or not, is to boot up in the safe modes. try booting in safe mode and see if your computer works better. then reboot into safe mode with networking and also see how it runs.

    if windows runs ok in safe mode, then the operating system doesn't need to be repaired. instead your computer needs to be tweaked.

    the first tweak is to execute a clean boot before booting up into windows normal mode:

    http://pcsmarties.wordpress.com/cleanboot/

    afterwards, look at the "low virtual memory" page on the above site.

    +
    2 Votes
    Whing

    I have just had a similar problem. Sometimes the issue isn't software - particularly if you haven't installed anything recently.

    After a few weeks of steadily worsening performance (for which I blamed the kids installing lots of games and crapware) I had decided to reimage my PC. Before I could get round to this, I started to get disk errors. The disk was ok so I thought I had a disk controller or motherboard issues. However opening it up I found the CPU cooling system was covered in dust and cobwebs. After giving it a clean out and a blast with compressed air and double checking everything was seated ok the performance was back to normal and the disk errors a thing of the past.

    +
    0 Votes
    Bruce Epper

    Check your event logs for disk errors. If the hard drive is failing, especially with a large number of read errors, the entire system slows to a crawl. If you are getting a large number of errors, back up everything you need and prepare for a hard failure (get a replacement drive).

    +
    1 Votes
    Jono.W

    May not be a cataclysmic failure/virus/doomsday situation: I found this on an XP PC when we kept hitting the limit on the hard drive - as it gets nearer to being full it slows down worse & worse (and you lose the ability to system restore as there isn't space to save the restore point).
    Run a system clean (programs, accessories, system tools, disk clean, then another tool like CCleaner) , then delete/save anything else you can to make space. And prepare yourself to by a bigger hard drive or at least an external one....

    +
    0 Votes
    levi.long

    If you haven't made any changes recently (adding new hardware, installed new programs, etc...), check your task manager. Just hold Ctrl, Shift, and Esc keys at the same time, and it will popup. There are tabs on the top; Applications, Processes, Performance, and Networking. Select the processes tab. It gives four colums of information by default. Look for a process that has CPU value higher than 50% that is not coming down. (Except for your System Idle Process it's ok for that to be high) If there is a service or application choking your system this is how you find it. Hope this helps.

    +
    0 Votes
    TheDJTee

    Download & run CCleaner (http://filehippo.com/download_ccleaner/) before you get started with anything else!

    +
    0 Votes
    richard.gardner

    Sounds like a full hard drive to me, or possibly the beginnings of a hardrive failure. Right click on your harddrive and select properties to see how much space you have, I like to have at least 250Mb free for Windows to use as swap space (extra memory, in effect), but better to have a Gig free if you can.

    Could also be a cooling issue, is your CPU fan working? If not you need to replace it before your processor burns out.

    Although Whing has a point, about 90% of electrical device failures can be repaired with a good clean.

    Msconfig is quite useful for removing things that start up automatically, just go to Start-->run and type msconfig. Go to the startup tab and uncheck all the clagware that inevitably gets installed (quicktime launcher, adobe reader etc) You don't need any of this stuff, it just sits there taking up memory, your software will still work it just might take an extra couple of milliseconds to react.

    The only things to leave are probably systray and your virus software.

    The single most useful thing you can do is reinstall the operating system, this will get everything back running as normal, yes it is a pain but you just have no idea what is installed on your machine and uninstalling software isn't always as effective as you might like it to be.

    Memory is not your problem here, but more of it never hurts.

    If it was me, if it wasn't a space issue I'd buy a new hard drive, install the operating system on there and slave the old drive off the new one to get my old files. But that's just me.

    +
    0 Votes
    LeonBA

    My wife's system would slow to a crawl at certain times. Turned out the machine was low on RAM, so it was constantly paging to disk when she had certain things running. I bumped it up to 4GB, and problem was solved.

    Also, as suggested above, make sure your C drive isn't nearly full. That can slow down a system too.

  • +
    1 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Run the AV Scan and Malware Scans in Safe Mode not the Normal Mode. Any infections that have been picked up are more likely to show up that way.

    Or better still use a Rescue Disc like one of the ones mentioned here in this Blog on cleaning computers

    http://www.techrepublic .com/blog/security/rescue-cds-tips-for-fighting-malware/3803

    Remember to remove the space from between the techrepublic and the .com

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    fmlondon

    Hi Oh,

    How do I get a Rescue Disc?

    Thank you.

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Go tot he Link provided above and the different Rescue Disc's can be downloaded from Links within the Blog.

    The Blue writing in the Blog are links.

    Col

    +
    1 Votes
    ARandomPenguin

    I assume it was running fine in the past? did you update your os or something? (xp specs arent great in the long run on win 7 versions later than home basic) can you give a brief outline of your laptop specs and age? (memory, cpu, hard drive size (and capacity), etc).

    after running the can from the boot disk or safemode try going through and uninstalling any unused lagware (effects of that depend on your specs).
    maybe clear out your temp files (i dont recommend using registry cleaners for that though. Revo uninstaller (download the trial at http://www.revouninstaller. com/ remove the space at the .com) has works beautifully more me when removing and maintaining my system)

    +
    0 Votes
    databaseben

    if you have hardware malfunction, it can cause the system to crawl. but this in only one of a number of possibilities. it can be due to the recent microsoft updates. it can also be due to a corrupt master file table. it can also be that your ram chips are bad or they are overloaded with superfluous data and processing the data is taking too long. you may also have lost your page file, ie virtual memory.

    one of the best ways to see if the operating system is corrupted or not, is to boot up in the safe modes. try booting in safe mode and see if your computer works better. then reboot into safe mode with networking and also see how it runs.

    if windows runs ok in safe mode, then the operating system doesn't need to be repaired. instead your computer needs to be tweaked.

    the first tweak is to execute a clean boot before booting up into windows normal mode:

    http://pcsmarties.wordpress.com/cleanboot/

    afterwards, look at the "low virtual memory" page on the above site.

    +
    2 Votes
    Whing

    I have just had a similar problem. Sometimes the issue isn't software - particularly if you haven't installed anything recently.

    After a few weeks of steadily worsening performance (for which I blamed the kids installing lots of games and crapware) I had decided to reimage my PC. Before I could get round to this, I started to get disk errors. The disk was ok so I thought I had a disk controller or motherboard issues. However opening it up I found the CPU cooling system was covered in dust and cobwebs. After giving it a clean out and a blast with compressed air and double checking everything was seated ok the performance was back to normal and the disk errors a thing of the past.

    +
    0 Votes
    Bruce Epper

    Check your event logs for disk errors. If the hard drive is failing, especially with a large number of read errors, the entire system slows to a crawl. If you are getting a large number of errors, back up everything you need and prepare for a hard failure (get a replacement drive).

    +
    1 Votes
    Jono.W

    May not be a cataclysmic failure/virus/doomsday situation: I found this on an XP PC when we kept hitting the limit on the hard drive - as it gets nearer to being full it slows down worse & worse (and you lose the ability to system restore as there isn't space to save the restore point).
    Run a system clean (programs, accessories, system tools, disk clean, then another tool like CCleaner) , then delete/save anything else you can to make space. And prepare yourself to by a bigger hard drive or at least an external one....

    +
    0 Votes
    levi.long

    If you haven't made any changes recently (adding new hardware, installed new programs, etc...), check your task manager. Just hold Ctrl, Shift, and Esc keys at the same time, and it will popup. There are tabs on the top; Applications, Processes, Performance, and Networking. Select the processes tab. It gives four colums of information by default. Look for a process that has CPU value higher than 50% that is not coming down. (Except for your System Idle Process it's ok for that to be high) If there is a service or application choking your system this is how you find it. Hope this helps.

    +
    0 Votes
    TheDJTee

    Download & run CCleaner (http://filehippo.com/download_ccleaner/) before you get started with anything else!

    +
    0 Votes
    richard.gardner

    Sounds like a full hard drive to me, or possibly the beginnings of a hardrive failure. Right click on your harddrive and select properties to see how much space you have, I like to have at least 250Mb free for Windows to use as swap space (extra memory, in effect), but better to have a Gig free if you can.

    Could also be a cooling issue, is your CPU fan working? If not you need to replace it before your processor burns out.

    Although Whing has a point, about 90% of electrical device failures can be repaired with a good clean.

    Msconfig is quite useful for removing things that start up automatically, just go to Start-->run and type msconfig. Go to the startup tab and uncheck all the clagware that inevitably gets installed (quicktime launcher, adobe reader etc) You don't need any of this stuff, it just sits there taking up memory, your software will still work it just might take an extra couple of milliseconds to react.

    The only things to leave are probably systray and your virus software.

    The single most useful thing you can do is reinstall the operating system, this will get everything back running as normal, yes it is a pain but you just have no idea what is installed on your machine and uninstalling software isn't always as effective as you might like it to be.

    Memory is not your problem here, but more of it never hurts.

    If it was me, if it wasn't a space issue I'd buy a new hard drive, install the operating system on there and slave the old drive off the new one to get my old files. But that's just me.

    +
    0 Votes
    LeonBA

    My wife's system would slow to a crawl at certain times. Turned out the machine was low on RAM, so it was constantly paging to disk when she had certain things running. I bumped it up to 4GB, and problem was solved.

    Also, as suggested above, make sure your C drive isn't nearly full. That can slow down a system too.

    +
    0 Votes
    Dave51

    Had a problem with one of my machines running XP home. It turned out to be the "Parity" virus on the secondary drives. My anti-virus software did not report it for a long while, when it did it tried to remove it on a reboot but that did not work, in the end I found a free s/w anti-virus program that cleared it. It was probably picked up from one of my old 1980's floppy???s that I was checking out for something.

    +
    0 Votes
    benitohenri

    I believe you may not have done a proper virus scan, and if you did than the only solution would be for you to to check it all of your hardware part are compatible with your current Operating System. A way to verify this is to go online and resreach your hardware compatibly list, and check if all the gigabytes and magabytes reached in between the max and min requirements of the specfic Os.

    +
    1 Votes
    ARandomPenguin

    I assume it was running fine in the past? did you update your os or something? (xp specs arent great in the long run on win 7 versions later than home basic) can you give a brief outline of your laptop specs and age? (memory, cpu, hard drive size (and capacity), etc).

    after running the can from the boot disk or safemode try going through and uninstalling any unused lagware (effects of that depend on your specs).
    maybe clear out your temp files (i dont recommend using registry cleaners for that though. Revo uninstaller (download the trial at http://www.revouninstaller. com/ remove the space at the .com) has works beautifully more me when removing and maintaining my system)

    +
    0 Votes
    databaseben

    if you have hardware malfunction, it can cause the system to crawl. but this in only one of a number of possibilities. it can be due to the recent microsoft updates. it can also be due to a corrupt master file table. it can also be that your ram chips are bad or they are overloaded with superfluous data and processing the data is taking too long. you may also have lost your page file, ie virtual memory.

    one of the best ways to see if the operating system is corrupted or not, is to boot up in the safe modes. try booting in safe mode and see if your computer works better. then reboot into safe mode with networking and also see how it runs.

    if windows runs ok in safe mode, then the operating system doesn't need to be repaired. instead your computer needs to be tweaked.

    the first tweak is to execute a clean boot before booting up into windows normal mode:

    http://pcsmarties.wordpress.com/cleanboot/

    afterwards, look at the "low virtual memory" page on the above site.

    +
    2 Votes
    Whing

    I have just had a similar problem. Sometimes the issue isn't software - particularly if you haven't installed anything recently.

    After a few weeks of steadily worsening performance (for which I blamed the kids installing lots of games and crapware) I had decided to reimage my PC. Before I could get round to this, I started to get disk errors. The disk was ok so I thought I had a disk controller or motherboard issues. However opening it up I found the CPU cooling system was covered in dust and cobwebs. After giving it a clean out and a blast with compressed air and double checking everything was seated ok the performance was back to normal and the disk errors a thing of the past.

    +
    0 Votes
    Bruce Epper

    Check your event logs for disk errors. If the hard drive is failing, especially with a large number of read errors, the entire system slows to a crawl. If you are getting a large number of errors, back up everything you need and prepare for a hard failure (get a replacement drive).

    +
    1 Votes
    Jono.W

    May not be a cataclysmic failure/virus/doomsday situation: I found this on an XP PC when we kept hitting the limit on the hard drive - as it gets nearer to being full it slows down worse & worse (and you lose the ability to system restore as there isn't space to save the restore point).
    Run a system clean (programs, accessories, system tools, disk clean, then another tool like CCleaner) , then delete/save anything else you can to make space. And prepare yourself to by a bigger hard drive or at least an external one....

    +
    0 Votes
    levi.long

    If you haven't made any changes recently (adding new hardware, installed new programs, etc...), check your task manager. Just hold Ctrl, Shift, and Esc keys at the same time, and it will popup. There are tabs on the top; Applications, Processes, Performance, and Networking. Select the processes tab. It gives four colums of information by default. Look for a process that has CPU value higher than 50% that is not coming down. (Except for your System Idle Process it's ok for that to be high) If there is a service or application choking your system this is how you find it. Hope this helps.

    +
    0 Votes
    TheDJTee

    Download & run CCleaner (http://filehippo.com/download_ccleaner/) before you get started with anything else!

    +
    0 Votes
    richard.gardner

    Sounds like a full hard drive to me, or possibly the beginnings of a hardrive failure. Right click on your harddrive and select properties to see how much space you have, I like to have at least 250Mb free for Windows to use as swap space (extra memory, in effect), but better to have a Gig free if you can.

    Could also be a cooling issue, is your CPU fan working? If not you need to replace it before your processor burns out.

    Although Whing has a point, about 90% of electrical device failures can be repaired with a good clean.

    Msconfig is quite useful for removing things that start up automatically, just go to Start-->run and type msconfig. Go to the startup tab and uncheck all the clagware that inevitably gets installed (quicktime launcher, adobe reader etc) You don't need any of this stuff, it just sits there taking up memory, your software will still work it just might take an extra couple of milliseconds to react.

    The only things to leave are probably systray and your virus software.

    The single most useful thing you can do is reinstall the operating system, this will get everything back running as normal, yes it is a pain but you just have no idea what is installed on your machine and uninstalling software isn't always as effective as you might like it to be.

    Memory is not your problem here, but more of it never hurts.

    If it was me, if it wasn't a space issue I'd buy a new hard drive, install the operating system on there and slave the old drive off the new one to get my old files. But that's just me.

    +
    0 Votes
    LeonBA

    My wife's system would slow to a crawl at certain times. Turned out the machine was low on RAM, so it was constantly paging to disk when she had certain things running. I bumped it up to 4GB, and problem was solved.

    Also, as suggested above, make sure your C drive isn't nearly full. That can slow down a system too.