Computer is still slow after reinstall of Windows XP Home Edition

By lenipena ·
Okay... this is a long one, here I go...

- trying to fix cousin's computer, it was infested with Trojans, viruses, etc...
- tried a lot of things to clean it up to no avail
- so I decided to do a reinstall, it took over 5 hrs, thought I had installed incorrectly so I did it again... but got same result... computer was still slow after fresh install...
- spoke to Microsoft for about 2 days they were trying to help me with the 100% CPU utilization, finally they recommended I try to reinstall again, so I did, with them on phone, reinstall was taking too long, so they said it was probably issue with hard drive, closed ticket
- I ran the chkdsk, no errors
- I ran the HDD regenerator, found no errors on hard drive...
- The only thing that gave any warnings about hard drive was a program named HD Tune, that showed (05)Reallocated Sector Count and (0A)Spin Retry Count highlighted in yellow...

I'm going crazy here, trying to figure what's going on....

whelp please!!!

System Info:
Dell Dimension 2400
WinXP Home Edition SP2
Pentium 4 2.66GHz
256 MB of RAM
Seagate HD 80GB

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All Answers

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First things first test the HDD with Seatools available

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Computer is still slow af ...

From Seagate and the correct testing utility here

If the HDD passes that test it's A OK and you need to perform the install correctly which involves wiping the HDD with a utility that writes zero's to every sector and not just the every third sector that is done on a format. There are quite a few wiping utilities available but if you do not have one Boot & Nuke works quite well and is available here

After the drive has been wiped you can then set about reinstalling the software and applying patches. When this is finished run Defrag or as XP calls it Disc Defragmenter found in the System Tools Folder on the Start menu under Accessories.

The other thing that can cause slow starts is lack of RAM and as you list only 256 MEG here that is way below the minimum that I would consider for XP particularly if this is an All In One M'Board that shares System Ram to make a Video Signal. But if you are stuck with the 256 MEG you can up the Page File Size to improve the Boot times and apparent speed of the computer. It's not a Real Fix but it will improve things.

The next thing to look at is install errors that happen every time that you install something. To fix these self inflicted problems Iolo's System Mechanic 7 will do and you can download a 30 day trial here or you may have to dig around slightly but this is the main description of the product.

Do not consider System Mechanic Pro as the only difference is that it has an AV Tool and if you are only using this for a 30 day trial the extra download required will not be worth the time or effort.

Also with this tool DO NOT chose the option of removing Duplicate Files or you'll crash the system but everything else should be OK.

Once you do this you will have the unit booting at it's MAX speed which depending on your current Hardware may seem slow to you but as this a a base machine you can not expect it to perform as well as a higher end Speced computer.


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Have you tried this?

by jun_anonuevo_usa In reply to Computer is still slow af ...

Dell 2400s has a diagnostic partition saved in the HDD. try accessing it by pressing F12 after a cold boot. Select 32bit diags, then run custom test for HDD. This will give you an error code (if there is any) If the said partition is already gone you can try booting to the resource CD that came with the system at day 1 (fresh from delivery) then run the diags for HDD. consider upgrading the memory, this will give more working room for your programs. For other tech info visit or call dell support at 1-800-624-9896. Let me know about the codes/error codes.

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Infected MBR

by bogdan.botezatu In reply to Have you tried this?

I have seen such issues with a HDD whose MBR has been infected by viruses. Fixing this requires, however, the deletion of the whole C partition and then, its recreation.

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See what u do!!

by internetspider In reply to Have you tried this?

Please read all before u do something..

Virus is a big tension when it hits any system the system slows down even u reinstall, what u do that backup ur data on and external Device (USB HDD, Flash,DVD..)

1.Repartition ur hard disk when formatting and reinstalling windows and continue.

2.if u have important data on c or any where u can keep it at D drive and then format the C Drive only and continue installation.

Now when u have fresh windows if u want to open any drive so do'nt double click on that use ur mouse right click and select open this is a very good way to avoid from viruses.

First off all install antivirus , update it ( on Fresh windows before u do something )
and then scan ur computer with ur d drive data.

Open ur D drive and if there is autorun.inf file delete it.

Before u attach any drive right click and scan it.

In this way you can use ur computers performance.

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"Before u attach any drive right click and scan it"

by NOW LEFT TR In reply to See what u do!!

How - if it has not been attached yet?

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He must be meaning...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to "Before u attach any driv ...

Clicking the fingers of the right hand!

(Some sort of voodoo thing maybe)

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check the mode of your HD

by In reply to Computer is still slow af ...

If the drive has a large number of hard errors, then Windows switches from DMA or Ultra-DMA down to PIO mode. This DRAMATICALLY reduces speed and throughput.

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256M RAM is fine. Listen to the others and read this.

by jhilgeman2 In reply to check the mode of your HD

What is wrong with you people who think that 256Mb of RAM is so low that it'll slow the system to a crawl? Sure, it's not AS fast as 512Mb or 1Gb, but it's not going to cause the computer to be that slow.

I would definitely recommend the posts by other techs to check the hard drive and its transfer modes (also check the drive settings in BIOS in case there are any hard drive transfer modes in there that are out of whack).

But to be honest, it sounds like there may be some bad disk issues coming your way, even if the drive is still functional now. I'd just try to get a new hard drive. If you're still under warranty, you should be able to talk to Dell support and get them to send you a replacement drive after they try a dozen stupid things over the phone. Otherwise, 80 gig drives are cheap these days (around $40). A couple more dollars will go a long way for an upgrade, too. I bought a 500 gig drive last week from for $99.

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Getting a new hard drive

by lenipena In reply to 256M RAM is fine. Listen ...

Thank you all for your responses... I just took the computer to a friend who is a tech, he is gonna use some of his hard drives to test the system, I had already ran the Seagate tools on it and reformatted the drive... no success, anyhow it's in tech(better) hands now...

once again, thank you

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You need more memory

by wpbdia48 In reply to Computer is still slow af ...
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