Cause of computer slowdown

By wesley.chin ·
There are many causes of computer slowdown that I have heard of. One person has mentioned the number of icons on the desktop of XP to be a factor in slowdown. Has this been the case for anyone?

Any opinions?

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All Answers

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I havent seen the # of icons

by The Scummy One In reply to Cause of computer slowdow ...

being a problem and would think it suspect. However, running apps would be a big issue. If someone installed lots of startup apps and had icons on the desktop for them as well, this could be a real problem.

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by wesley.chin In reply to I havent seen the # of ic ...

If there icons of the apps that startup on the desktop, slowdown results? Why would that happen?

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a bit more clarity

by The Scummy One In reply to ?

If an app is set to startup on boot, then it will slow the system down. If the user also adds an icon onto the desktop, then lots of them can fill the desktop.
Just having icons on the desktop should not slow the system down. They are shortcuts and not being run. If they are running because they are in the startup folder, or in the startup environment, this would be why a slowdown happens.

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by wesley.chin In reply to a bit more clarity

What you mentioned is what my thinking is also. After all, the shortcuts are just that, shortcuts to programs.

At the same time, if there is a great amount of RAM, the number of startup programs would not slow down as much. But of course, the less startup programs, the faster the bootup.

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The RAM ~large or small~ doesn't come in to it ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Yes

EACH startup program has to start, one at a time.

Then ALL those programs will be competing for CPU clock cycles, leaving less cycles for the User's next program.

A great amount of RAM won't prevent that.

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You also have to look at how Windows is made

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Yes

It uses a lot of different Registers to hold things and if you fill up these or at least one of these registers that can have adverse impact on the system.

From memory the Desktop Icons are stored in the 16 Bit Registry which has limited capacity so if there are a lot of Icons on the desktop it could adversely affect the way that Windows works.

But as you where only asking about Computer Slowdown here RAM isn't an issue as the CPU Clock Cycles are what is being used so if you exceed the Speed of the CPU in operations per second the system has to run slower as it tries to catch up and process the information. The Windows GUI is the single biggest CPU chewing part of the OS so the more that you have stuffed onto the Desktop the more that needs redrawing.

This used to be an issue when XP was first released with the Old Slow Hardware that was available then but it hasn't been much of an issue since the CPU's got faster than what XP could push at them.


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by wesley.chin In reply to ?

Thanks for all of the responses. Someone here mentioned the number of icons on the desktop as contributing to slowdown. Which I was skeptical of.

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Not me.

by bart777 In reply to Cause of computer slowdow ...

The number of icons on your desktop would VERY little effect on your system performance. The only time it would is when you log on or off. If you have a ton of them or if they are actual files and not shortcuts your profile will take time to load. Once it's loaded the scren is static.

I would look more to services\applications that are running. Possible spyware or virus. Misconfigured swap file. Hard drive that is starting to go. These are far more likely to be a culprit than the number of icons on a computer.

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by wesley.chin In reply to Not me.

Would # of icons have been a factor in Win 3.1? The person who mentioned it is of that era I think.

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I respectfully disagree with no slowdown @ startup

by IC-IT In reply to Hm

Though I could just be an old fart. :-)
Work with an older system that has a screen full of Icons and (non)-startup applications on the desktop. Then bury most of those in a folder location other than the desktop.
You will see an amazing difference in speed (especially if you use a system with a 500MHz cpu and 256MB ram). It is only a slight slow down with todays mid range machines.

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