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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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This is really odd

by Slayer_ In reply to Unauthorised

It shows software version 5.3, but the version on that site is only version 4.####.


NVM, Installed version is exact same as the version on that website...
So I guess that isn't the problem.

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It was worth a try

by Jacky Howe In reply to This is really odd

and another suggestion. Remove Norton and if it doesn't uninstall use the Removal Tool.

Download and run the Norton Removal Tool

http://service1.symantec.com/Support/tsgeninfo.nsf/docid/2005033108162039

You can try Avast

For a computer running Windows? 95/98/Me:
486 Processor, 32MB RAM and 100MB of free hard disk space.

http://www.avast.com/eng/download-avast-home.html

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Yes might aswell remove it

by Slayer_ In reply to It was worth a try

It's not like its updating anyways, and altho it seems to do a good job with huestics, let's face it, its Nortan lol.

I wanted to install Avira on it, but no support for 98, so I'll try Avast, thanks. I'd do it now but I can only remotely control the machine, and well, being 98, its not safe to restart unless your sitting infront of it, reset button at the ready.


The scanning files as they are created or run, I find is important for such an insequre system with probably millions of remote code execution vulnerablilites.


Also, something else I noticed, while trying to do the SMART scan, I saw the CPU usage in speedfan, and its spiking up and down, from 3% to 100% back and forth, sometimes just to 60%.

What's a tool I can run on that system to figure out what process is doing this?

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You can try

by Jacky Howe In reply to Yes might aswell remove i ...

Process Explorer. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-au/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx

I couldn't get it to run in a Virtual Win98 environment but it may run on your System as the older versions were compatable.

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Ok I tried Avast, extremely unimpressed

by Slayer_ In reply to You can try

The burning all 256 MB of RAM and glueing the CPU at 100%, is counter productive.

I'll stick with Nortan.

Any other speed improvement suggestions???

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Before you go too much further

by Jacky Howe In reply to Ok I tried Avast, extreme ...

I would consider using Disk Cloning software to take an Image of the drive in case something goes wrong. You can then use the Image to restore the Operating System at a later stage if needed.

WIN98 is more swap file intensive than WIN95, even with lots of free Real RAM. By default WIN98 first goes to Virtual Memory, then Real Memory, which is a rather clumsy way of doing it considering the respective access speeds. Allegedly it was done for better performance, but I found a noticeable speed up for many tasks by including this tip. The first access to the system object is just as slow as the default, but subsequent acceses to the same system object are noticeably faster (provided the the task mix has not caused it to be paged out to disk). Such tasks include repainting the desktop, opening a previously opened and closed directory, saving an image from a webpage, saving a URL to the DeskTop or Favourites, etc. Even games like Mordor (has lots of file I/O - a game designed from a UNIX original) seem to speed up! Add this line to the [386Enh] section in the SYSTEM.INI file.

ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1

http://homepage.powerup.com.au/~rhayes/serious/techinfo/optwin95.htm

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I actually got a decent boost by moving my swap file

by Slayer_ In reply to Ok I tried Avast, extreme ...

to the second drive. The boost is noticable.

Man am I ever getting tempted to stick the XP pro disc in this thing already. I techincally excede the minimum requirements, but its so painfully slow as it is, I dont know if I'd want to try it.

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willcomp is right

by Jacky Howe In reply to Unauthorised

you are handicapped with a 5400 rpm. Why don't you take willcomps advice and clone it to the 40GB drive and use the 10GB as a Backup. Good spot to keep your drivers etc...

Also check to see if there is a copy of win98 on C: drive and check in windows. I used to hide the install folder on there. It saved having to find a CD later.

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some other things to check

by Snuffy09 In reply to Computer far slower than ...

do you have conflicting AV programs?

since you have a good size HD with extra room increate your max pagefile (virtual memory) to 1024.

check your device manager, you may be lacking important motherboard/controller or other drivers needed for your rig to run properly.

clean up your temp files. ccleaner is good tool for doing this fast and easy. i do not know if you can install it on 98 tho. its worth a try.

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Response.

by Slayer_ In reply to some other things to chec ...

do you have conflicting AV programs?
-I have an old version of nortan coproate edition that refuses to update, I suspect it could be slowing file access down slightly because it is set to scan each file as they are run or created. Stupidly I forgot about this, I will try with it off when I get home and see if it significantly speeds up file access.

since you have a good size HD with extra room increate your max pagefile (virtual memory) to 1024.
-Ok, I shall do this when I get home.

check your device manager, you may be lacking important motherboard/controller or other drivers needed for your rig to run properly.
-I asume anything missing should show up as a question mark? Will a screenshot of the device manager be helpful?


clean up your temp files. ccleaner is good tool for doing this fast and easy. i do not know if you can install it on 98 tho. its worth a try.
-I believe this should be covered with my regular Maintenance plan I scheduled, if not let me know.

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