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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by Snuffy09 In reply to Response.

Depending on how old your Norton AV is could be the reason your not getting updates... the version you are running my not be supported anymore. Also check your processes in task manager if you see "Rtvscan.exe", that is norton hogging up all of your system resources.

yes, if there is a problem with your drivers there should be a yellow "?" or "!" beside the device in the device manager.

I would download Ccleaner anyways. For the same reason you run different versions of spyware removers (ad-aware & Spybot S&D), one will pick up something that another one missed.

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no Unknown devices at all

by Slayer_ In reply to Answers

It's even better installed than my XP machine, no missing devices at all.

Holy Crap, Avast works on Windows 95? I wish I knew that 5 years ago.

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Video issues

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

Is the video card listed as a generic or default (I forget how they label it), basically not specific to a particular brand, e.g. nVidia, ATI, S3, Intel.
If not, find and install the correct ones.

Is graphics acceleration turned on fully?

Just a few ideas that I don't think I saw mentioned.

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Brand is ATI, Acceleration turn on to full

by Slayer_ In reply to Video issues

Thanks for your response.

It is an ATI, and shows it, DXDIAG reports the correct drivers installed. And graphics acceleration is turned to full.

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Motherboard: default the bios and upgrade the Bios?

by robo_dev In reply to Brand is ATI, Acceleratio ...

Just for grins, if that old dog will boot to CD-ROM, load a linux CD distro on there.

I would start to dig into the hardware and try resetting the bios to factory defaults as well as looking for a bios upgrade. Maybe something is weird with the hard drive controller?

Unplug anything extra besides the primary drive and the video card.

Also swap the IDE cable and make sure it's an 80 wire cable.

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Perhaps this is relevant

by Slayer_ In reply to Motherboard: default the ...

I was gonna make a new question but, this things IDE controls don't seem to recognize secondaries on the cables. SO I have one cable for each drive, and no CD drives hooked up.

I tried getting them on the same IDE cable, but it never seems to recognize them at the BIOS. The system wont boot if their is two drives on one cable. It just sits at a black screen, no beeps nothing. I tried just hooking up a HDD and CD, same problem.

I did try loading the defaults, and I tried looking around for optimization features such as bios shadowing, there is nothings. It's a really sparse bios.

What will loading a Linux Distro help me with?

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Why bother?

by reisen55 In reply to Computer far slower than ...

Your specifications are soooo behind the times I would, as I have, keep this as a DOS only station for reference. You can get a Dell Refurb right now for $78 on their website that is contemporary. I would not even bother with this computer. Don't put time or mental anguish into it.

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Where is your sense of adventure?

by Slayer_ In reply to Why bother?

Besides, A refurb means it has likely already died once, this machine has stood the test of time and stands tall. Sure its back may be acheing and its getting slow in its old age, but we have drugs for that, we can revive it, give it new life.

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Dell Refurb for how much?

by Glenn from Iowa In reply to Why bother?

It's still 2/13, and the lowest price I can find on the Dell Outlet store is $209 for an Inspiron 531 with an AMD processor. It is possible that there were only 1 or 2 machines in that price range (~$7 which were purchased before I looked for prices. But how do you find deals like that? Or are you just exaggerating to make your point?

- Glenn

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Some Additional Comments

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

Your 10GB drive is likely a 5400 RPM drive while the 40GB drive is a 7200 RPM drive and has higher areal density. If you clone the 10GB drive to 40GB drive, there should be a noticeable performance improvement.

Test memory to ensure that there are no memory problems in higher range memory. Memtest 86+ is on the UBCD along with other handy utilities including hard disk testing software. --- you'll need to disconnect a hard disk and connect a CD drive.

When you connected drives on same IDE channel, were jumpers set properly? Are you using 80 wire cables for hard disks? 80 wire cable ensures that cable supports CS jumper settings.

You need to determine manufacturer and model of 10GB disk. IBM/Hitachi Drive Fitness Test will give you that information and also test disk. Post back with make and model of 40GB hard disk.

For future reference -- it's good practice to run defrag in Safe Mode. Prevents constant restarts and there are no unnecessary drivers and software loaded.

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