Computer is running slow and keep crashing

  willnewcastle 01:42 21 Aug 2011

My computer is running very slow, pages take ages to load, and often go "non responsive". Last time I had this problem I managed to get it sorted by adding more memory, not sure if I can do the same this time. I've just deleted 1GB of stuff off the computer, but it didnt seem to make any difference...

  gengiscant 08:17 21 Aug 2011

You certainly do not believe in giving out to much info,do you? Basic stuff,what make/model of PC? what operating system? how long have you had the PC? have you run various anti-virus,spyware,malware programs.

Have you thought about backing up your personal files and doing a complete reinstall of Windows?

You say you have removed/deleted 1GB of stuff, if you have a 60SSd then that would be a lot, if you have,say a 500GB hard-drive that is nothing.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 10:36 21 Aug 2011

1. Software

a) Clear out all temporary files and folders -- use CCleaner

b) Scan for malware spyware and viruses --Free Anti Spyware :- Malwarebytes Superantispyware

Free Antivirus software MicroSoft Security Essentials Avast

c) Clean the registry -- Use the tool in Crap Cleaner its very safe and also allows you to back up the registry first.

d) Pagefile (Virtual Memory) -- Right click MY Computer - select properties - Advanced tab - Performance - advanced tab - Virtual memory click change, you can put the page file on a different drive (if you have one), click custom size and set Initial size to one and a half times the amount of memory you have fitted i.e. 512MB memory = set to 768MB, set maximum to double your memory amount i.e. 512MB memory = 1024MB click ok. If your hard drive is full and there is not enough room for the pagefile this can slow down, freeze or even cause the PC to crash (restart).

e) Cut down on the programs that load at start up -- Start - Run type msconfig - start up tab- untick everything except for firewall, antivirus and antispyware

and the services that run in the background.

2. Hardware

a) Hard drives /

i) IDE Channels: (Not required if you have SATA drives) Check the transfer rate, you need to have the transfer mode set to DMA not PIO. Right click My Computer - Properties - Hardware - Device Manager - Expand (click the + ) IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers right click Primary Channel - Advanced Settings Tab - If transfer Mode is PIO then follow the instructions at to change.

ii) Check for errors and defrag your hard drives -- My Computer - select drive - properties - tool tab - Error checking / Defragmentation.

ii) If you are using Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 it's a good idea to convert your system drive to the NTFS file system if you have not already. In addition to providing numerous security and data recovery improvements over FAT32 (the file system of choice for Windows 9x/ME and XP Home) it can also speed up your system slightly.

In fact, the only real reason for sticking with the FAT32 file system for any of your data is if you have more than one operating system on your PC and the other OS's can only see FAT32 partitions (as would be the case with Windows 98, for example, which is incapable of reading NTFS data).

To convert your drives to NTFS: Right click on 'my computer' and select 'manage' From the computer management window, expand storage and select 'disk management.' Using the 'file system' column of the upper pane of this window, you can easily check what file system each of your logical drives is using. Make a note of this information. Now open a command prompt window by going to 'start\run' and typing 'cmd' To convert a disk to NTFS, type 'convert (drive letter): /fs:ntfs' So for example, if you were going to convert your C: drive, you would type 'Convert c: /fs:ntfs' at the prompt.

b) Drivers Obtain the newest drivers for your hardware This may seem a bit obvious, but keeping your system's drivers up to date can give both your performance and stability a boost. Video card manufacturers release updates especially often, and these can often give "significant boosts" to gaming performance as video card in question is "optimized."

Don't neglect the other components of your system either. Your motherboard manufacturer may have released newer versions of its Input/output drivers for your board, and sound cards and other peripherals can also benefit from newer software.

c) Memory Add more physical memory, this of course means opening the "box" and fitting a memory module, make sure you buy one that is suitable for your PC. Crucial will guide you through the process of selecting the correct memory. for a guide to fitting memory.

  willnewcastle 12:52 21 Aug 2011

My computer is Dell Dimention 3000, system: Windows XP 2002 version, I bought this computer in 2005. I have Norton Anti-Virus on it.

Thanks for the advice! By the way, how do I check if I have enough memory on the computer?

  wee eddie 13:05 21 Aug 2011

Which version of Norton's AV?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 13:23 21 Aug 2011

As long as you have at least 1Gb of RAM XP should run well

To check right click My computer select properties - General tab - will tell you system CPU and speed and amount of RAM.

  willnewcastle 13:37 21 Aug 2011

Fruit Bat,

It says CPU: 2.66 GHz, RAM: 1.25 GB... Is that ok?

wee eddie,

It the latest Norton, I think 2010 version...

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 13:42 21 Aug 2011

Yes XP should run quite well at that so you need to look at the other options to see why its slow and crashing.

Use task manager to look at processes and see what is using the most emory and Cpu %

How much space left on the HDD? is the drive in PIO mode?

  willnewcastle 13:56 21 Aug 2011

How do I acceess the task manager? Sorry I'm not very good at computers...

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 15:00 21 Aug 2011

Ctrl + Alt + Del to access task manager

do not stop any processes as it could stop windows

follow the steps I posted earlier

Clear out all the rubbish of your drive using CCleaner

Scan for viruses and malware with Norton.

Use CCleaner to clean the registry and under Tools - startup look at how many programs you have running at start.

  willnewcastle 18:24 21 Aug 2011

I accessed the task manager, Under Performance tab: CPU usage is very low, its mostly at 0-4%... Then occasionally it goes high, over 60%... Is that normal?

Under Processes: System Idle process is 98% CPU, and in Memory usage the highest one is iexplore.exe with 160.248 KB

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