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PC running very slow? Some suggestions


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#1 cnm

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 12:15 PM

Most slowness is not due to malware. Here are some common causes and suggestions:

Overheating
A major cause of slowness is overheating. Open the case and make sure there are no accumulated dustballs or other obstructions to fan operation or air circulation. You can monitor your temperatures with (free) Motherboard Monitor.

Not enough RAM
If you have less than 512 MB, consider adding more memory.

Excessive fragmentation
Defragment your hard disk every so often. The defrag that comes with Win XP is fine, or you may prefer O&O Defrag 2000 Freeware which has more interesting graphics. For defragmenting your pagefile and registry hives, I recommend (free) PageDefrag.

Some legitimate programs are known to use a lot of resources and slow you down
Those described in replies below do not need to be running. If you think that is your problem, please post a HijackThis log and we will help you keep them from starting automatically.

Edited by cnm, 16 December 2005 - 11:57 AM.

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#2 Nocturnal

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 12:43 PM

Hi there, I hope it's ok for me to add this to your post. Whenever I run into a slow down issue, besides your obvious reasons, I also come into a problem where the person's hard drive is actually on its way out. What I do when this occurs, I ask to the person to find out what brand of hard drive they have. Whatever brand it is, I lead them to the proper website where they can download a diagnostic utility made by their manufacture. This will scan the hard drive and see if there are any bad sectors and or if it is failing completely.

In regards to programs causing a sluggish computer, I hate to say this since this site is a anti-virus/spyware website but a lot of the times the newer versions of such programs like Norton and or McAfee can cause a lot of sluggishness, especially if they're not running more than 512MB of memory. The two mentioned programs are resource hogs! I do see people recommending alternative free anti-virus programs like Avast, AVG, etc. Those are very good as well.

If I can think of anything else I will post it here. I hope to help this forum in many ways. If you have any questions just PM me or e-mail me. Thank you.

#3 Budfred

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 08:55 PM

Overheating seems to typically cause erratic shutdowns and other weird behavior rather than slowdowns...

The RAM issue is the opposite in older versions of Windows... More than 512MB can actually cause problems in Win98...

The defrag issue is more of a problem on FAT32 than on NTFS...

I absolutely agree that Norton and McAfee can cause a computer to become sluggish. I believe the same is true of the ZoneAlarm Suite...

Certainly the Fastfind and OSA programs from Office cause slowdowns as well... I will try to gather up some of the HJT items for the list...
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#4 jedi

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 05:24 AM

Could we add a link for how and when to add more RAM? Something like:
http://www.microsoft...ourcomputer.asp
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#5 Trilobite

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 06:30 PM

It's not always one or two programs running that can cause a slowdown. Having too many smaller footprint programs running can really bog down a system. I worked on an old 98 machine a few months back that seemed to load every piece of crap imaginable. The running programs in the system tray stretched almost to the start button. :blink:

I haven't seen anyone talk about free hard disk space. If you have a large hard disk but only a few megs free, it can cause system slowdowns.

I can't agree more about Symantec and McAfee being resource hogs. I have one system that is used primarily as a video capture/dvr machine. Occasionally I have a few captures that I need to convert to another format (avi to mpeg2, etc). Generally on that system it takes about 45 minutes per 1 hour of video. When McAfee was installed, the process would skyrocket to something like 5 or 6 hours per 1 hour of video. :rant:

On the ram issue, perhaps a good rule is to double what the computer originally came with if it isn't beyond the hardware specs. With most older systems the max ram limit usually is not that high.

#6 Avohir

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Posted 26 November 2005 - 01:50 PM

For the overheating thing, we might want to point out that the best way to get rid of the dust is compressed air, so people dont see that and decide they should grab a damp paper towel and go to work on their hardware :wacko:
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#7 rossfingal

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 12:49 PM

To add to what Avohir advises:
When using compressed air to blow out dust -
make sure to use a pencil (or something) to hold the cooling fans from spinning.
Excessive speed can destroy bearings.

As far as computer slowness is concerned:
Address the problem of too many and/or un-needed "Services" running.
A good guide on Services (mirror for one of Blackviper's pages):
http://www.dead-eye.net/services.html

Also, the problem of incorrect pagefile size and configuration.

Edited to correct link... However, the source BlackViper page is linked below...

Edited by Budfred, 05 January 2008 - 04:57 PM.


#8 David68046

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Posted 17 December 2005 - 11:52 AM

To add to what Avohir advises:
When using compressed air to blow out dust -
make sure to use a pencil (or something) to hold the cooling fans from spinning.
Excessive speed can destroy bearings.

As far as computer slowness is concerned:
Address the problem of too many and/or un-needed "Services" running.
A good guide on Services (mirror for one of Blackviper's pages):
http://www.dead-eye....XP Services.htm

Also, the problem of incorrect pagefile size and configuration.



Thank you! That is great to know. I have not done this in the past and just blew the fan blades around. I will hold the blades to prevent this in the future. Thanks again.

#9 TwinsDad2995

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Posted 20 December 2005 - 10:21 PM

Thank you for all the help and suggestions. Norton just popped up, it found and hopefully fixed Idemlog.exe Trojan.Adclicker. I am attaching the hjt log from before and after. Can you tell if it was fixed?
Do I attach the log or paste into the post?

Log removed. Don't post your problems here, start your own topic. This topic is in the nature of a FAQ, didn't expect anything but suggestions for possible general remedies. I am closing it. cnm

Edited by cnm, 24 December 2005 - 12:03 PM.


#10 TheJoker

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 04:52 PM

The above mirror of BlackViper's site is no longer working.

However, BlackViper's outstanding site is back up and running! :D
http://www.blackvipe.../servicecfg.htm

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#11 Indrid_Cold

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 07:20 PM

Miekiemoes has some very helpful advice as well.
Help! My computer is slow!
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