XP intermittent slowness

By majo213 ·
I am actually losing sleep over this issue. I have a user who I gave a new Dell D620 laptop to about 4 months ago. Per policy she had admin rights on the laptop. We run XP pro, Office Pro 03, Sophos AV with Exchange server for mail on the back end. She was experiencing the following issues:

1.After booting up on the network she would open Outlook and it would give her the message box saying she was offline and would she like to Retry, Cancel or Work offline. She did not have Outlook set tp auto open and was not opening immediately upon the system booting up.

2. The other problem she would have is at random intervals the laptop would slow to a crawl to the point of just typing letters, whether in word, notepad or the run box, would take a second per letter for them to show up. She thought it was Sophos as it was newly installed. I turned off on access scanning and went so far as to uninstall spophos and install AVG with the same issues.

3.he last issue was that from time to time IE7 would not open. It would just hang on opening, even in no add-ons mode.

I did the following things to fix:
1.uninstalled Sophos replaced with AVG
2.Demoted her to Power User
3.uninstalled all user installed apps
4. reinstalled IE7
5.Cleaned out wupdates SoftwareDistribution folder
6.Ran AV on whole computer
7.Ran Hardware diagnostics

Finally..............I rebuilt the laptop....I went so far as to **** away the partition with linux boot disk and cfdisk and rebuilt XP pro. It is installed, fully updated with no extraneous apps and..........................The same symptoms are happening. The only things I transferred from old profile to new were office .ops settings, favorites, My Documents and Desktop. I scanned all of these folders with AV before putting them back on.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Answers

Collapse -


by Alfa11 In reply to XP intermittent slowness

Have you loaded task manager while the notebook presents the slowness symptoms to see which process is taking CPU priority?

Collapse -

Yes... check what's running.............

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to XP intermittent slowness

I'll bet svchost is sucking CPU's. Been there, done that.

Let the computer run until it's done processing whatever it needs to process and the CPU usage settles down. Then, make sure Windows/Office critical patches are ALL applied, that java, adobe reader and antivirus are all up to date with patches. Once all of these have completed updating, rebooting between each, reboot again. Let it run again until the CPU comes down to normal. Reboot again. Do this over and over until the laptop finally boots to some sort of normal CPU usage within a minute or two of the desktop loading.

There is some patch, forget now which one, that gets applied and takes absolutely forever to work it's way through the system. The only solution I've found after having the same problem on multiple systems that I've set up since early last Spring (laptops/desktops) was to do the patch thing, reboot, patch, reboot, and reboot some more, each time allowing the system CPU to settle down to normal (1%-3% usage) before doing the next cycle.

We never have pinned it down to what causes it (some MS patch more than likely), but this seems to help it work its way through the problem.

Collapse -

That is the thing

by majo213 In reply to Yes... check what's runni ...

I have run task manager at boot up and checked the processes and run Process explorer at boot but there is no abnormal cpu usage. Keep in mind that the biit issue is one with Outlook not necessarily a slow boot. TH real issue is the slowness during the day at random times. I have not been able to run Task Manager or Process Explorer because I am not told about it until after it happens. I will see what I can find. I am shocked though that this is the only laptops I am seeming to have issues with and we have a full Dell laptop shop. When I get some definitive Process info i will post. Thanks for the replies!

Collapse -

Consider yourself lucky.........

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to That is the thing

Our shop uses a different brand of laptops all imaged exactly the same way. Some have the problem, some don't, and the split is about 50/50. There's no rhyme or reason to which ones will have "the problem".

I figure it has something to do with the order in which the patches get applied. When we do first boot on them, there's 60 to 70 patches that come down all at one whack the first time it's connected to the internet. Probably, one patch gets a file overwritten that has registered itself but the system hasn't been rebooted yet before another patch is applied that doesn't see there is a newer version of the file. Confusion ensues and it takes a while for it to work itself through the problem.

Right now, I have 4 more sitting on the bench ready for first boot. I think I'll do a selective update the first time for each of them, applying just a few patches each pass through and see if the problem goes away. Of course, it's been so random as to which one gets the problem and which ones don't. I'll probably never know if the order that I did things prevented the problem or if they simply just don't have the problem in the first place.

Collapse -

reinstall the NIC

by w2ktechman In reply to XP intermittent slowness

with the latest drivers. It may be hanging up while trying to access shared drives.

Also, look for any mapped srives that are no longer available, or cause great slowness. Whenever explorer tries to do anything, it tries to reconnect to all mapped drives.

Another thing may be that the HDD is going out. run a chkdsk on the system.

defrag as well (if chkdsk shows ok).

Collapse -


by TheVirtualOne In reply to XP intermittent slowness

download this iso and burn to cd'

its called Ultimate Boot CD. you'll never regret this one.

boot it on the pc

run any one of the memory tools and check to see if the memory has gone bad. I like both versions of memtest.

Related Discussions

Related Forums