drastic change of computer performance

  boheme 23:24 24 Jun 2008

Had this computer put together 5-6 months ago, all new parts. It has recently started to perform very poor considering the hardware. I'm just looking for maybe an analysis and possibly some advice on what i can do to improve the performance of the computer, whether it be a clean up or new hardware, I'm wide open for suggestions. My main concern is how slow the computer has become. Even the smallest of programs take an irritating amount of time to load.

My specs,

System Information
Time of this report: 6/24/2008, 23:11:22
Operating System: Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 2 (2600.xpsp_sp2_rtm.040803-2158)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: System Manufacter
System Model: System Product Name
BIOS: Phoenix - AwardBIOS v6.00PG
Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) Dual CPU E2180 @ 2.00GHz (2 CPUs)
Memory: 2046MB RAM
Page File: 607MB used, 3331MB available
Windows Dir: C:\WINDOWS
DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
DxDiag Version: 5.03.2600.2180 32bit Unicode

Display Devices
Card name: Radeon X1800 Series (Omega 3.8.442)
Manufacturer: ATI Technologies Inc. (Omega 3.8.442)
Chip type: ATI Radeon Graphics Processor (0x7100)
DAC type: Internal DAC(400MHz)
Device Key: Enum\PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_7100&SUBSYS_0B121002&REV_00
Display Memory: 256.0 MB
Current Mode: 1152 x 864 (32 bit) (60Hz)
Driver Name: ati2dvag.dll
Driver Version: 6.14.0010.6755 (English)
DDI Version: 9 (or higher)
Driver Attributes: Final Retail
Driver Date/Size: 12/5/2007 04:04:08, 269312 bytes

If you need to know anything else, just ask.

  boheme 23:30 24 Jun 2008

I forgot to mention, i do only have one Hard Drive currently in place, i can't remember what model, but it holds 180bg and i currently have 149gb used up.

I am thinking of getting a new Hard Drive to add to the one i have, probably use my current HD for media files and then get a fast HD for general programs.

Does anyone have any tips for a good HD for programs?


  brundle 23:33 24 Jun 2008

Press Ctrl - Alt - Del, click on the Processes tab, click on the CPU heading to sort the list ascending/descending. Which task is occupying the highest % of CPU time?

  boheme 23:42 24 Jun 2008

Firefox is #1 on the list, by nearly 3x more than #2.
Generally thought i have Firefox open most of the time, however, i have only ever used firefox throughout having the computer, and the change in performance has only become apparant this past month.

  brundle 23:47 24 Jun 2008

More detail, what's next on the list, is the PC still slow if you don't open Firefox at all? What sort of percentage is it occupying. I realise it changes quickly but you can adjust the refresh period or just give a rough figure. Mine is using less than 1% of CPU time at the moment.

  boheme 01:23 25 Jun 2008

Next on the list would be explorer.exe, and both are below 1%

  birdface 06:39 25 Jun 2008

If nothing running System Idle Process should be showing about 97%this is normal.Have you ran your security programs.Run a Defrag .Maybe run C Cleaner to get rid of any junk.

  ronalddonald 07:31 25 Jun 2008

u used any kind of malware or adware cleaner to clean out the spying cookies

have you done a virus check

if you dont have the programs try click here download some of the programs to do a clean.

Have you disk defrag

cleaned out the harddrive?

  Gongoozler 09:35 25 Jun 2008

I would definitely go for a second hard drive. With 149G of a 180G drive full there will be a lot of sorting to find a file. I find that a hard drive becomes inefficient when it gets to 75% full. Eventually defragging becomes impossible because there's nowhere to store files while they are being moved around. I would guess that a large part of the 149G is stored data, probably pictures or music files. If you fit a second hard drive get one with ample capacity for the data files - perhaps a 300G one - and fit this as slave, you can then simply transfer the files from your original drive. Then set any programs to use the slave drive as the default location for saved files. You can also put your email store on the slave drive. With such large amounts of data make sure that you have a regular backup routine. Hard drives do fail and recovering data is very expensive. I recently tried to help a friend get data recovered from a failed hard drive and it cost £260 only to find that the data was unrecoverable.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:43 25 Jun 2008

1. Software

a) Clear out all temporay files and folders -- use Crap Cleaner click here

b) Scan for malware spyware and viruses --Free Anti Spyware :-
Adaware click here
Spybot S&D click here
Spywareblaster click here
a2 click here
Windows Defender click here

Free Antivirus software
Avast4 click here
AVG antivirus click here

c) Clean the registry -- Free Registry cleaners :-
RegscrubXP click here
Regseeker click here
TweakNow RegCleaner 1.3.2 click here
Easycleaner click here ( Use with care, It advises you to back up the registry first, this is a good idea as it cleans rather aggressively. )

d) Pagefile (Virtual Memory) -- Rght click MY Computer - select propeties - Advanced tab - Performance - advanced tab - Virtual memory click change, you can put the page file on a differnt 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 startup -- Start - Run type msconfig - startup tab- untick everything except for firewall, antivirus and antispyware

and the services that run in the background. click here

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:43 25 Jun 2008

2. Hardware

a) Hard drives / IDE Channels:

i) 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 click here 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, 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) Divers
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 .com click here will guide you through the process of slecting the correct memory. click here for a guide to fitting memory.

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