Questions

What else can be causing an XP Pro system to be slow?

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What else can be causing an XP Pro system to be slow?

luv2bike2
XP PRO, SP 3, MS Updates all installed. 1.96 Gb of RAM. 3.20Ghz

It takes the system forever to boot up, the user finally logs in and it take forever before she can open up a program, (no matter what program it is: IE 8, AutoCAD, Explorer, MSCONFIG etc)
What I have done:
1) Installed and ran the following Scans:
Malwarebytes, Glary Utilites, Spybot Search and Destroy, Ad-Aware. some Malware, Spyware and Adware were found and removed.

2) Ran Trend Micro Anti Virus program and not viruses were found.

3) Ran SCANDISK, it took several hours (step 4 of 5 took over 6 1/2 hours to complete, it was still running when I left the office and I don't know how long step 5 took) and when I returned the next day the logon screen was up.

4) Defrag the hard drive - 2 times - both times it took forever.

5) went into MSCONFIG and unchecked all the startup programs and booted the system and still it is taking the system forever to boot up and login and do anything on the system.

6) Hard drive has over 95 GB of free space so space is not an issue

7) deleted the Temporary Internet Files.

checked Device Manager for conflicts and there are none.

What else can I do to check this system out before I format and install everything back on to the system. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in Advance!

Robin

PS. I updated all of the scan software in normal mode than ran the scans in SAFEMODE.
P.S.S I just went into Event Logs and tried to pull up the System Event log and it came back saying "The event log file is corrupt". hmmmm
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    OH Smeg

    Not sure which HDD you have here but you need to test it with it's Makers Testing Utility to confirm correct operation. You can get the correct Utility from here but you will need to know who made the HDD

    http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287

    Then if the HDD is OK run chkdsk /r and see if that achieves anything.

    Finally Defrag, Defrag, Defrag and Defrag yet again

    Just running Defrag once isn't enough with a heavily fragmented HDD and the Defrag Utility that comes with Windows isn't good enough either try one of the third party Defragers like

    Ultra Defrag

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/ultradefrag/files/

    Smart Defrag

    http://download.cnet.com/Smart-Defrag/3000-2094_4-10759533.html

    Auslogic Defrag

    http://download.cnet.com/Auslogics-Disk-Defrag/3000-2094_4-10567503.html

    and run them several times. With very badly fragmented HDD I've had to in the past run these utilities up to 12 times then switch to another when the first has done as much as it can.

    After you have run several instances of a Defrag Utility it sort of stops doing any more so you need to try another which works slightly differently and then when that has done as much as it can return to the first and see if that makes any more difference.

    Col

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    seanferd

    Corrupt or overly large logs could be an issue.

    Also, take a look at your system properties. Is the amount of RAM shown the amount you expect?

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    luv2bike2

    I will post back (hopefully) today (Tuesday).
    Thanks for your suggestions. :)

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    0 Votes
    IC-IT

    It could be the controller on the drive itself.
    I just finished working on one that took 10 hours to scan 32000 files with Malwarebytes. 14 hours for a chkdsk /r.
    Imaged the drive and watched the drive to drive copy go from UDMA 5 through the steppings to a PIO rate.
    After the image, the new drive (copy of original) flew.

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    luv2bike2

    the Long Generic test has been going on for over 18 hours but it is still going--1% at a time.

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    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Now for the good news

    If the test shows a Fail you should pull the HDD out of the Computer and fit to another and retest. If it still fails it's the HDD at fault but if it passes the second test it's the M'Board, Power Supply or Data Lead at fault.

    However saying that 18 hours is way too long for a Seatools DOS Test, I've never had one run more than an hour at longest on a fully functioning drive.

    Of course with failing drives this is possible.

    Col

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    0 Votes
    dduely

    On our network here at work, pcs that take forever to login are usually having a networking issue ie: Group Policies are having trouble installing or removing software (Check your event viewer). Which leads me to my next tidbit of advice, Cleaning the registry with a decent cleaner. I suggest ccleaner it's a free download, and does a good job, and after running it on 100's of machines not 1 time have I had to restore the registry. (Still make a backup of the registry - good practice) Or it could just be a crap hard drive :-]

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    bjorn.dohmen

    as mentioned before, "CCleaner", does the job with cleaning the registry.
    - When jou installed CCleaner, go to the tab "Cleaner".
    - Check every option under "System" except the last 3
    - Check every option under "Advanced" except the 2nd and the last one.
    - Go for the button Analyze, and after that run cleaner.

    go to the tab "registry" and scan for issues.

    after all this.
    Run an drefrag tool like mentioned above.
    reboot your computer

    When this doesn't work i always test the memory.

    suc6

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    hunteba

    I had a similar issue before. I thought it was the network so I changed the cable, had a network sniffer (diagnostic tool) to see if it detected any issues, and nothing was wrong, yet the computer was still slow. Then it hit me. There was an external usb device attached to the computer that slowed it down. Once I unplugged it from the pc, it ran speedily. Try disconnecting any usb devices and see if this resolves the problem.

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    0 Votes
    luv2bike2

    I ran the SeaTools from Seagate and passed all the tests. Ran the Dell Diagnostics program and it hung up on me, i had to unplugged the system and when i tried to turn it on it would not. Dell is sending out a technican to replace the motherboard, memory and power supply and possibly the hard drive. will see how the system runs after all is replaced.
    Thanks for your suggestions. I will post back with the outcome.

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    0 Votes
    Laurent Spielmann

    Sorry 'bout your "loss"...
    The problem will probably be solved once the Dell tech's finished, but just to know (and maybe help someone else) :

    Did you per chance put in a new HDD and clone the system on it ?

    Because I did that not long ago, on a XP sp3 system, using a new 800 GB Western Digital HDD.

    The computer then took ages to do anything, and I noticed lots of disk access, for not apparent reason.

    After a quick investigation, I learned that XP does not natively cope with these new HDD (large cache, 64MB and all), and you'll have to fix the disk format (or format it properly before for e clean install)

    WD for instance provides a free tool on their website.
    It solved the problem.

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    0 Votes
    Who Am I Really

    it's not the size of the Cache that causes the problem you're describing
    the cache size could be 2GB and it wouldn't cause the problem

    WD drives with 64MB cache have what they call Advanced Format
    which is 4KB sectors emulating 8 x 512Byte sectors which when formatted at offset 63 causes all sorts of problems due to the drive having to perform electronic gymnastics to do I/O

  • +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Not sure which HDD you have here but you need to test it with it's Makers Testing Utility to confirm correct operation. You can get the correct Utility from here but you will need to know who made the HDD

    http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287

    Then if the HDD is OK run chkdsk /r and see if that achieves anything.

    Finally Defrag, Defrag, Defrag and Defrag yet again

    Just running Defrag once isn't enough with a heavily fragmented HDD and the Defrag Utility that comes with Windows isn't good enough either try one of the third party Defragers like

    Ultra Defrag

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/ultradefrag/files/

    Smart Defrag

    http://download.cnet.com/Smart-Defrag/3000-2094_4-10759533.html

    Auslogic Defrag

    http://download.cnet.com/Auslogics-Disk-Defrag/3000-2094_4-10567503.html

    and run them several times. With very badly fragmented HDD I've had to in the past run these utilities up to 12 times then switch to another when the first has done as much as it can.

    After you have run several instances of a Defrag Utility it sort of stops doing any more so you need to try another which works slightly differently and then when that has done as much as it can return to the first and see if that makes any more difference.

    Col

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    0 Votes
    seanferd

    Corrupt or overly large logs could be an issue.

    Also, take a look at your system properties. Is the amount of RAM shown the amount you expect?

    +
    0 Votes
    luv2bike2

    I will post back (hopefully) today (Tuesday).
    Thanks for your suggestions. :)

    +
    0 Votes
    IC-IT

    It could be the controller on the drive itself.
    I just finished working on one that took 10 hours to scan 32000 files with Malwarebytes. 14 hours for a chkdsk /r.
    Imaged the drive and watched the drive to drive copy go from UDMA 5 through the steppings to a PIO rate.
    After the image, the new drive (copy of original) flew.

    +
    0 Votes
    luv2bike2

    the Long Generic test has been going on for over 18 hours but it is still going--1% at a time.

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Now for the good news

    If the test shows a Fail you should pull the HDD out of the Computer and fit to another and retest. If it still fails it's the HDD at fault but if it passes the second test it's the M'Board, Power Supply or Data Lead at fault.

    However saying that 18 hours is way too long for a Seatools DOS Test, I've never had one run more than an hour at longest on a fully functioning drive.

    Of course with failing drives this is possible.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    dduely

    On our network here at work, pcs that take forever to login are usually having a networking issue ie: Group Policies are having trouble installing or removing software (Check your event viewer). Which leads me to my next tidbit of advice, Cleaning the registry with a decent cleaner. I suggest ccleaner it's a free download, and does a good job, and after running it on 100's of machines not 1 time have I had to restore the registry. (Still make a backup of the registry - good practice) Or it could just be a crap hard drive :-]

    +
    0 Votes
    bjorn.dohmen

    as mentioned before, "CCleaner", does the job with cleaning the registry.
    - When jou installed CCleaner, go to the tab "Cleaner".
    - Check every option under "System" except the last 3
    - Check every option under "Advanced" except the 2nd and the last one.
    - Go for the button Analyze, and after that run cleaner.

    go to the tab "registry" and scan for issues.

    after all this.
    Run an drefrag tool like mentioned above.
    reboot your computer

    When this doesn't work i always test the memory.

    suc6

    +
    0 Votes
    hunteba

    I had a similar issue before. I thought it was the network so I changed the cable, had a network sniffer (diagnostic tool) to see if it detected any issues, and nothing was wrong, yet the computer was still slow. Then it hit me. There was an external usb device attached to the computer that slowed it down. Once I unplugged it from the pc, it ran speedily. Try disconnecting any usb devices and see if this resolves the problem.

    +
    0 Votes
    luv2bike2

    I ran the SeaTools from Seagate and passed all the tests. Ran the Dell Diagnostics program and it hung up on me, i had to unplugged the system and when i tried to turn it on it would not. Dell is sending out a technican to replace the motherboard, memory and power supply and possibly the hard drive. will see how the system runs after all is replaced.
    Thanks for your suggestions. I will post back with the outcome.

    +
    0 Votes
    Laurent Spielmann

    Sorry 'bout your "loss"...
    The problem will probably be solved once the Dell tech's finished, but just to know (and maybe help someone else) :

    Did you per chance put in a new HDD and clone the system on it ?

    Because I did that not long ago, on a XP sp3 system, using a new 800 GB Western Digital HDD.

    The computer then took ages to do anything, and I noticed lots of disk access, for not apparent reason.

    After a quick investigation, I learned that XP does not natively cope with these new HDD (large cache, 64MB and all), and you'll have to fix the disk format (or format it properly before for e clean install)

    WD for instance provides a free tool on their website.
    It solved the problem.

    +
    0 Votes
    Who Am I Really

    it's not the size of the Cache that causes the problem you're describing
    the cache size could be 2GB and it wouldn't cause the problem

    WD drives with 64MB cache have what they call Advanced Format
    which is 4KB sectors emulating 8 x 512Byte sectors which when formatted at offset 63 causes all sorts of problems due to the drive having to perform electronic gymnastics to do I/O