Computer far slower than it logically should be

By Slayer_ ·
Anyone that has answered my questions before, this might seem familure....

Anyways, since ye ole 95 detonated and will no longer startup, I took the drive out, and stuck it in a slightly newer machine, set it up as a secondary drive, and now just use it as file storage. This drive is a modern 40 gig drive (the last year they made 40 gig drives) and its pretty fast. Worked great in the old system.

The problem:
This new system is inexplicably slow, and seems to be getting worse. As simple as browsing a drive, even the faster drive, is really slow, almost a full 3 seconds per folder. There is constant "window peeling" for everything you do, which is "usually" a cause of not enough RAM, but that is impossible, as 256 RAM is far more than Windows 98 needs, and a quick memory usage check, even after constant running for a month, shows 60mb of RAM free.
Running programs, everything, is all crazy slow. Once a program is running, it is good, but the initial loading is slow as well as the unloading. I even made a simple app in Vb6 that just displays a message, and closes, it took 10 seconds to load, 3 seconds to display the message, and 5 seconds to finish peeling the message off the screen. I thought it should just be that the 10gig C drive is ridiculously slow, far slower than the original 3gig HDD in ye ole 95, but that doesn't explain why every action has ridiculous window peeling. So My last guess is Windows is convinced it MUST use swapfile for everything, as it doesn't seem to be utilizing the RAM as good as Windows 95 did.
But I am not certain, any suggestions?

Even by the standards back then, this machine is borderline unsuable (Viewing a webpage is pretty much impossible, it never finishes loading it takes so long)

The brief system specs are
Windows 98SE
P2, 350mhz
C drive is a 10 gig drive, not sure of year or manufacturer.
D,E drives are partitions of the 40 gig drive
256 mb DIMM RAM, 2 out of 3 slots filled, RAM is fairly modern, dated 2002.

I do not had indepth knnowledge of this system as it was purchased a long long time ago, and wasn't used by me until recently.

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All Answers

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Unwanted processes and programs

by robo_dev In reply to Computer far slower than ...

Look for programs that are running...like add-on scanner applications, mouse applications, viruses, etc, etc.

There was a version of Systernals "Process Explorer" for Win98...probably one on the net somewhere.

But look in the startup folder as well as in Win.ini, autoexec.bat, as well as the registry..... or just run Msconfig and it will do all that for you.

Windows 98 Solution Center

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Running processes doesn't seem out of the ordinary

by Slayer_ In reply to Unwanted processes and pr ...

I'll post a list when I can, ATM I do not have any process explorer installed, and you can't screen Ctrl+alt+delete in Win98 (especially not remotely like I am trying now)

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Also check for things like:

by robo_dev In reply to Running processes doesn't ...

Hardware installed that is not being used (network adapters, scanners)

Network connections that are not being used (shared folders, shared printers)

Other stuff installed that slows things down: Network Client (e.g. Novell Client).

Defragging the drive may help a little.

Run Chkdsk and also clear out temp files.

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Ok... help...

by Slayer_ In reply to Also check for things lik ...

Hardware installed that is not being used (network adapters, scanners)

Network connections that are not being used (shared folders, shared printers)

Other stuff installed that slows things down: Network Client (e.g. Novell Client).

Defragging the drive may help a little.
no Check!

Run Chkdsk and also clear out temp files.

Why no check? It says last run in 1200 days, and it won't let it run, it loads it, says 0 percent, then hangs, if iI contrl + alt + delete it goes blue screen and complains about the system is busy. How can I defrag this thing?

Also the other cheques in place, it is no faster at all. I deleted the other network protocols and such etc.

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This may help:

by CaptBilly1Eye In reply to Ok... help...

Here's where there is quite a bit of info on what to do when you have difficulty running Defrag or ScanDisk in Win98:

One of the steps is to disable any programs starting up automatically at boot.
That's where I would start.

A couple of questions -
1. Is the system vented well?
2. How many fonts are installed?
3. Are there any third-party disk-caching programs installed?
4. Is Virtual Memory set to be Windows Controlled?

I agree with robo_dev's suggestions in his first post.

Win 98 includes a program called walign.exe that organizes pieces of programs on your hard disk in an order that decreases loading time. Run walign.exe by choosing Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Maintenance Wizard. A wizard will pop up and offer to delete unnecessary files, check your hard disk for errors, and speed up frequently used programs. If you set the wizard to run regularly, Windows 98 will load your programs as quickly as possible.
(excerpt from http://sisnet.ssku.k12.ca.us/technology/Win)

Although most of the sites that held tips for tweaking Win98 no longer exist, this one may be of help:


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Interesting errors listed

by Slayer_ In reply to This may help:

I particularly like the one about it shutting down properly but runnign scan disk afterwards. I have no idea if that ever happens, since it's windows 98 99% of the time it doesn't shutdown. Anyways, I can't try anything of what you said righ tnow till I get home, but I can answer these

A couple of questions -
1. Is the system vented well?
-The case is off right now, so yes
2. How many fonts are installed?
-unsure, w/e the stock fonts with Win98 are
3. Are there any third-party disk-caching programs installed?
4. Is Virtual Memory set to be Windows Controlled?
-Should be but I will double check when I get home, I am not sure if I remember where to check this though, its been so long.

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Ok, I did the performance changes and defrag finally working

by Slayer_ In reply to This may help:

And man is it fragmented, it's having to go one at a time, no grouping here! The poor old drive sounds terriable.

I'm almost tempted to set the other drive as primary and let the ole 95 partition boot up (I wonder if it would, being a different... everything)

I did the swapfile thing, 640 to both min and max. Changed it to be a network server (go figure).
And when its done ill make the performance winzard do its stuff.

However not much of this explains the window peeling, why it behaves like it has no extra memory at all. Every small action is coupled with an excessivly long redraw time. And although the drive is heavly fragmented, it's a 10 gig drive, and only 1.5 gigs are used.

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by vhrocker In reply to Ok, I did the performance ...
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Test the drive

by Jacky Howe In reply to Computer far slower than ...

You can use the Hard Drive Makers Testing Utility to Test the Drive

Hitachi / IBM - DFT "Drive Fitness Test"


Works with all manufacturers

Western Digital "Data Lifeguard"


Works with WD drives only

Fujitsu "FJDT"


Works with fujitsu models only

Samsung "hutil"


Compatability unknown...

Seagate "Seatools"


Works with Seagate drives only

It may be time to wipe the Hard Drive for a fresh start.

Darik's Boot and Nuke.


Autonuke should do it. Recreate your Partitions and you should be good to go.

Also make sure that you have the latest device drivers installed.

Link to speeding up Win98.

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It's ancient but

by Slayer_ In reply to Test the drive

It's fairly fresh, it only has about a months worth of use on it, granted it hasn't been used for..... 9 years??? (The Cmos battery was still good amazingly!).
I remember even back then my old machine of half the power, ran circles around this thing, it was slow back then.

I don't know the drive manufactuer, its one o fthose old systems where the HDD is locked inside a supposedly removable case. I have no idea what the drive manufactuer is, is there an easy way to check?

....Uh the defragmenting is SO SLOW, I have never seen such slow drive access, I am almost tempted to defrag the larger faster drive, to see if it goes as slow, or if its a proper speed. If it's slow then I know its not the drives fault....

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