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Slow computer

By 8039 ·
I bought a computer about a year ago and it's working incredibly slow. I had a few viruses because i don't use protection and keep getting random issue with it so i re-install windows which helps but my computer still works slow. I reformat the harddrive with my Windows XP cd but it doesn't work like a fresh copy.

Specs are
Dual core 6420
2gb ram
Gigabyte S-series 965p-s3 m/b
400gb hardrive
EN8600GT asus card

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All Answers

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Some thoughts

by nepenthe0 In reply to Slow computer

The 3 most important reasons for poor performance despite capable hardware are:

1) Antivirus software
2) Windows services
3) Background processes

Antivirus applications are notorious for converting perfectly decent computers into molasses. McAfee and Symantec/Norton are among the worst offenders.

Disable your antivirus program and see if this makes a difference. Uninstall it if my suspicions prove correct. If you feel you absolutely must have antivirus protection, the Avast! freeware has received favorable commentary in this Forum:

http://www.avast.com/

Disable unneeded Windows services. Review Scott Lowe's excellent June'05 TR post:

http://tinyurl.com/yohler

You will need to use judgement, because some of the services that you can disable might actually be useful for what you're doing with the computer. You will find Windows Services at:

Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services

Right click the service, select Properties, and disable an unneeded service. Those services already set to manual that have not started can be left alone, because they do not automatically load into memory at startup.

Finally, investigate background startup processes, and disable those that you don't need. To determine what processes load at startup, open the Task Manager:

Ctrl-Shft-Esc

and examine the Processes list. Identify the processes at ProcessLibrary.com website:

http://www.processlibrary.com/

If you have access to the command msconfig, you can selectively disable processes that load at startup. If you do not have access to this command, download and install the free antispyware program Spybot Search and Destroy:

http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html

Install Spybot. Under the Tools menu, you will see a list of startup processes. Uncheck the ones you wish to disable. This is completely reversible if you change your mind later.

It goes without saying that, before commencing any series of computer configuration tweaks, create a Restore Point in System Restore. That way, should you assassinate an essential startup process, you can recover your computer to a working configuration, and then cautiously retrace your steps.

When you have finished, your computer should fly like an F-15 on afterburners. Have fun, and post back in this thread if you have further questions.

Rick/Portland, OR

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A few more thoughts

by w2ktechman In reply to Slow computer

It is best to protect yourself with AV, a few good free ones are AVG free and Avast free.

Do a good system cleanup. this should include
Defragmenting your hard drive (even after an installation).
deleting temp files
c:\temp
%systemroot%\temp
c:\documents and settings\%current user%\local settings\temp

Every few months I like to empty the prefetch as well
c:\windows\prefetch

clean out temporary Internet files

The slowness may also be due to poorer seek times if your hard drive is old.

Adding more RAM may improve performance as well, but I suggest 2 GB for XP (3 max).

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Good Stuff

by nepenthe0 In reply to A few more thoughts

I have also seen computers run like a turtle when the hard drive fills up with files.

Hard drives are so fast these days that some folks don't think defragmenting is useful. Then, there are some who think you can leave your spark plugs in the cylinder head for 100,000 miles and not worry about engine efficiency.

The day may come when a computer will maintain itself. Meanwhile, all the stuff you mention remains necessary.

Rick/Portland, OR

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See how you go with this

by Jacky Howe In reply to Slow computer

Faulty Fans, Dust and Grime build up on the Heatsink restricting air flow. I would give the inside of the case a blowout with compressed air. When blowing air through the fans make sure that you physically stop them from spinning, as they may generate power and **** something up. Remembering to ground yourself by placing the back of your hand on the Power Supply Unit and not moving your feet. By not taking this precaution it is possible that you could inadvertantly cause damage to the PC from an electrostatic discharge. Then remove the Heatsink, giving it a thorough clean and reseat the CPU applying new CPU grease. If the Fans spin freely when you give them a spin they are probably OK. If there is resistance replace them.

Clean the golden edge of each memory stick with a soft rubber, remembering not to touch the golden edge of the memory stick. Check with one stick at a time, remembering to disconnect the power from the PC.
Also check Capacitors around the CPU for swelling or bulging.

Check the memory.
You can test the memory by running Windows Memory Diagnostic that can be downloaded from http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp. If memory problems are found, try re-seating the RAM. If it doesn't work, replace the defective RAM.

Test the Power Supply Unit.

Download Prime95.

http://www.mersenne.org/freesoft.htm

Prime95 is used to put your system at full load. You want your system at full load when checking your voltages to ensure your PSU is up to spec. The whole point is to make sure your PSU can handle what your system asks of it. When it is installed run it and go to Options and run the Torture Test. Run the Inplace FFTs (Max Power, Heat and some Ram).
If your PC restarts during this test you have a faulty Power Supply (PSU) and it will need replacing.

Download SpeedFan and check the Voltages and Temps while Prime95 is running.

http://www.almico.com/sfdownload.php

You will want your 12-volt rail to be within 11.52 to 12.48 during load. This means when you are running your cpu at 100% you do not want to drop below 11.52 or you may experience stability problems including but not limited to system restarts and Windows crashes. For the 5-volt rail, you want it to be within 4.8 to 5.2 to be within the 4% range. As for the 3.3 volt rail, you want it to be within 3.17 to 3.43

Video Memory Stress Test 1.4
http://www.majorgeeks.com/Video_Memory_Stress_Test__d5896.html

Note: A damaged or insufficiently charged internal battery can corrupt CMOS or BIOS settings. It can also cause all sorts of weird things to happen to a PC.

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

Hitachi / IBM - DFT "Drive Fitness Test"
http://www.hgst.com/hdd/support/download.htm
Works with all manufacturers

Western Digital "Data Lifeguard"
http://support.wdc.com/download/index.asp#dlgtools
Works with WD drives only


Fujitsu "FJDT"
http://www.fel.fujitsu.com/home/drivers.asp?L=en&CID=1
Works with fujitsu models only

Samsung "hutil"
http://www.samsung.com/Products/Hard...ties/hutil.htm
Compatability unknown...

Seagate "Seatools"
http://www.seagate.com/support/seatools
Works with Seagate drives only

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

Darik's Boot and Nuke.

http://dban.sourceforge.net/

Autonuke should do it.

Recreate your Partitions and you should be good to go.

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