Slow Computer

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LesWinn
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Joined: Sep 3 2002

Computer is an Evesham Axis 2200+ (Athlon) with XP Home. This is for internet and general use, not editing.
Recently it has slowed and now takes a long time to find Google, Internet Explorer, Firefox - all from deskitop icons, and also from other HDD icons.
I have run AVG ver.7.5 and the new version 8 for both Virus and Spyware. I have also run Spybot Search & Destroy and Reg, Cleaner. All was fine.
After runing these, (more than once), the speed still remains very slow, much slower than it used to be.
I would be interested to hear of any suggestions for a remedy - apart from a reinstalling Windows XP Home.

Les

Alan Roberts
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Joined: May 3 1999

Have a look at what's running in the background. Press Ctrol/Alt/Delete at the same time, and press the "Performance" tab, the graph should normally show less than 10% cpu usage when you're not doing anything (mine's reading 3~7% while I'm doing this). If it's much more, press the "Applications" tab, it should show you what's running, it's a list of applications, close anything you're not sure of. If that still doesn't change things, press the "Processes" tab, this is a list of all that's actually going on, at the bottom of the list is an item called "System Idle process", if this one's less than, say, 80%, sfroll up the list and look for anything that's using the cpu. Tell us what's happening and we'll take it from there.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

JMCP
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Joined: Nov 21 2000

Les,

have a look at how much hard disk space you have left available, it could be you are running very low on disk space. You should also have a look at defragging your hard disks.

Cheers John

Dave R Smith
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Joined: May 10 2005

Hi Les,
Yes, what John says.
I use ye olde faithful win98 pc for web browsing, and occasionally get similar symptoms.. or atleast my pc does.
I find part of sulution is deleting history files, cookie files, after noting important stuff of course.
You'd be surprised at the hundreds of tiddly cookie files that accumalate along with other rubbish

AFTER doing this, do a defrag, but probably worth housekeeping first for any other old files you don't want and empty recycle bin beforehand (if you are sure of course).

Defrag may take many hours, so best to pick a convenient time.

HTH

LesWinn
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Joined: Sep 3 2002

First thank you Alan.
Performance Tab: Was 4% and dropped in a split second to zero.(From desktop)
Page file history was 4.33MB
Applications Tab: Idle process said CPU 99

JCMP: HDD. C;\ 28.3 GB used. 46.2GB free
F:\ 4.63GB used 69.9GB free.

Dave: Was defragged recently.
Cookies: Many were deleted when the described programs were used.
I am rather loathe to delete all the cookies as the passwords all disappear and must be found again.
CCcleaner is very efficent deleting cookies..

Many thanks for all the replies.

Although I find the computer very slow finding things from the initial start-up, it does speed up a little later - when it has been running 15 mins. or so, but is not as 'instant' as it has been.

Les

Alan Roberts
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Joined: May 3 1999

Is your anti-virus scanner busy when it's slow? When I last suffered from Norton, the laptop was almost unsuable when Norton decided it had to check things. Much better now with AVG or McAfee.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Z Cheema
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Joined: Nov 17 2003

Have a look at the drivers for the HDD and make sure they are not in PIO mode as this will make the PC very slow, it should be in DMA Mode.

Look dive manager, - IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers, Primary, Advanced...

If oyu cannot change , reomve the driver and re-boot and hopefully the correct one will take its place.

Look in Device manager.....right click my computer and select manage I think..

LesWinn
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Joined: Sep 3 2002

Thank you both for the postings. Sorry that I couldn't reply before. I have been away for a week. Now have about 700 Spam. The Spam folder, created in Outlet Express, has disappeared.

Alan. No. My AVG (ver.8) is not busy scanning.

Z Cheema.Checked DMA for both Primary and Secondary HDD. It is not P10. It reads: DMA if available. There are only those two choices.

Les

Z Cheema
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Joined: Nov 17 2003

That is correct Les, but do check "Current Transfer Mode" that should tell you what mode you are in in DMA Mode, 3, 4 or 5, they should match your HDD type.

LesWinn
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Joined: Sep 3 2002

Primary (Maxtor) HDD 75.4GB (80GB) with 28.4GB used.
Ultra DMA mode: Current transfer mode: Device 0 is 6. Device 1 is 5

Secondary (Seagate) HDD 75.4GB (80GB) with 4.63GB used.
Ultra DMA mode: Both read 2 for Current transfer mode

Les

getlostdave
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Joined: Feb 14 2003

How much RAM do you have in the PC?

My mothers PC used to run XP fine with 256Mb RAM, but over time as Microsoft patched and re-patched the OS, and virus scanners needed a larger and larger RAM footprint, the PC ground to almost a halt. Doubling the amount of Ram did wonders for boot times and responsiveness!

Another thing to check is all the temporary files left on the hard disk (typically in c:\WINDOWS\TEMP & C:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Temp) and delete them, as large numbers of files can cause performance problems (although nowhere near as bad as with the FAT file system.)

Dave

LesWinn
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Joined: Sep 3 2002

I have one Gigabyte of Ram Dave.

Today I ran Microsoft "One Care Safety Scanner". No virus or spyware was found.
I also ran disc clean-uo and Reg Scrub XP, and defragged both HDD. No difference.
Perhaps the computer is telling me its age!

Les

getlostdave
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Joined: Feb 14 2003

My next suggestion would probably to review IE plug-ins, and after that consider restoring an older version of your registry.

However I would consider neither tasks trivial.

I would suggest that you actually cross post this to the general forum, as I suspect that the problem isn't related specifically to AMD based PCs, and you are likely to get opinions from more experienced eyeballs!

Dave

foxvideo
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Joined: Sep 9 1999

I regularly get asked to look at computers that have slowed down, I now run CCleaner - Make sure you get the 'slim' version, it's a free download and the slim version does not carry the Google search bar install.

After running the junk cleaner, then use the Reg repair until it reports no errors. If you have more than one user setup on the machine you need to do it for each user, then look in the Tools > Startup and disable anything you don't need. After that run Spybot (again free), then a Windows defrag.

I usually find this solves most 'slow down' problems.

Dave Farrants Fox Video Editing

LesWinn
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Joined: Sep 3 2002

I already have CCleaner version 2.02.527.
Is this the version you recommend Dave?
I have been reluctant to use this before as it completely deletes all the passwords.

I also stated the Ram as one GB. This is incorrect. I have only 512MB.

Les

foxvideo
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Joined: Sep 9 1999

Any version will do, There are check boxes you can untick - however - the passwords you probably refer to are stored in the 'cookies' and it's probably hundreds of these that are not being deleted on your machine - very simple to re-enter, if you've forgotten any there's always an "email me my password" option on all sites that require password entry ;)

More RAM would also certainly help.

Dave Farrants Fox Video Editing

getlostdave
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Joined: Feb 14 2003

512Mb could be OK, depending on how much stuff is being loaded at start-up.

If you have lots of background processes that have been installed by applications, then Windows can spend several minutes at boot time, loading an application into memory from disk, only to have to page it out to the paging file back on the disk, while another process is still attempting to load itself from the same disk leading to what is known as thrashing the hard disk.

Do you notice the hard drive flashing vigorously at boot time?

Probably the easiest way to check might be to again check task manager.

If you open task manager, select the processes tab.
Then select the View/Select columns option off the menu.
make sure both memory and virtual memory size are checked.
Close the dialog box and click on VM size to sort by the total size of the process.

Then compare the value in the memory usage column against the VM size value.
If you have plenty of memory then the figures should be similar.

Just as an example of a machine with too little ram, my current PC lists outlook.exe as my process with the largest value under VM size at 145,588k, however the mem usage column lists 6,876k. IE. Because Windows is short on Ram, about 140,000k that was allocated to outlook has been cleared out of RAM and written to the page file on the disk.

If your 'largest' processes indicate that a substantive part of your largest programs have needed to be paged out, then RAM may be your problem.

Although if this is your problem then it might be possible to resolve using msconfig. which can be used to selectively disable optional services and programs from running at startup.

Dave

LesWinn
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Joined: Sep 3 2002

I have run CCleaner but do not notice any difference.

On boot-up the LED (for HDD) flashes, stays on at times, but I do not think flashes excessively.

Clicking on control panel -
Takes 28 seconds to appear as a blank screen and another 12 seconds to populate with icons.

Task manager:
Boxes were already checked for User name / CPU usage / Virtual memory size.

From here I am unsure of the procedure. I see the column headings but how do I find memory and virtual memory, and where should the right click be?

Les

John Disdle
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Joined: Dec 28 2000

I installed Ashampoo Win Optimizer some time ago, which can clean registry and do a few other things.
This pc has become slow, and pages take up to 10sec. to appear-even this page. I'm now using AVG 8 free, which installs the Yahoo toolbar by default and seems to slow down browsing.
I have just re-installed AVG 8 free, and used the remove/install option not to install the yahoo toolbar—result = faster pc!!! I hope the exercise won`t be a waste of time.

JMCP
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Joined: Nov 21 2000

Hi Les,

you have obviously spend an awful lot of time on this problem but since you only have 512mb of ram on your system, I would go and buy some more ram as that will definitely give you a performance boost, not saying it will cure an issue that you may or may not have with your pc setup but with the resources that operating systems and even browsers take up these days, 512mb is way under what I would consider a base recommendation.

Ram these days is really cheap (just bought 4GB for an apple laptop at a cost of £70 delivered next day), try somewhere like crucial.com and you can configure your requirements to help you work out what you should order.

Cheers John

LesWinn
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Joined: Sep 3 2002

John (Disdle). Have uninstalled Yahoo bar & rebooted. Not sure if there is an increase in speed.

John:.
I understand what you are saying but, as this computer slowed suddenly, I would like to get to the reason why.
I thought it might be an infection. I have tried a number of combat programs without any problems showing.
Another computer, I use for editing video, is an internet standby.
Perhaps its RAM could be used to resolve this problem?
I do not know if that second computer RAM is compatible. Perhaps you may know?
The problem computer has 512MB of RAM on an ASUS A7V333 motherboard running an Athlon 2200XP (1.8GHz) with two 256MB Ram Modules.
The standby computer has an MSI KT3 Ultra2 (MS-6380E) motherboard, Athlon 1800 (1.53GHz) and two RAM modules of 512MB.
My question is: Are the Ram modules interchangeable?
If so, this may resolve the memory question.

Les

John Disdle
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Joined: Dec 28 2000

Hi Les.
You need to check which memory is fitted before you try a swap. These links tell more, and the prices look ok…hope it helps.

http://www.orcalogic.co.uk/asp/prodtype.asp?prodtype=38321&ft=M&st=1

http://www.orcalogic.co.uk/asp/prodtype.asp?prodtype=37491&ft=M&st=1

JMCP
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Joined: Nov 21 2000

Hi Les,

if you go to the crucial.com website, they have a tool that scans your system and gives you recommended upgrades. If you run that tool on both your systems then you will hopefully get a better idea if you can mix and match your current available ram from your two systems, even if it doesn't tell you that, you will at least get an idea what it would cost to upgrade your ram.

PS. I have some older SD ram ships lying around somewhere, if you can let me know what the recommended upgrades are and they make sense to me, I would happily send you my ram chips for free,

Cheers John

LesWinn
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Joined: Sep 3 2002

Thank you John D. for the URL's and advice.

Thank you too John for the advice and kind offer.
I have run the Crucial scan on both computers.
The Evesham (problem) has 2 x 256MB modules and 3 slots.
They suggest a one GB module at £27-01. 184pin PC3200 (400MHz) Dimm, OR
184 pin PC7200 (333MHz) Dimm. An alternative is a 256MB at £8-80.

The MSI has 2 x 512MB modules so I don't suppose I can try this.
I have emailed crucial to enquire about compatibility but, as this is a bank holiday, I cannot exspect a very swift reply.

Les

JMCP
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Joined: Nov 21 2000

Hi Les,

I'll have a look around and see what I have that might be compatible. I used to have a couple of AMD self build machines but they have been stripped and dumped a while now, might take me a day or two as my "working" room is a real mess at the moment for one reason or another.

Cheers