Everything has slowed down

  Adam Patrick 19:01 08 Dec 2006

Recently everything the PC tries to do is very slow.
From loading desktop, to accessing files/folders on the hard drive. Loading times of games are also at snails pace, to the point where I have tried to load GTA: Vice City over and over today but won't load.
I'm not sure what the cause is. I have an icon appear bottom-right on desktop saying Service Pack 3 is available to install. Perhaps I need to do that?
Is processor on its last legs?
I have anti-virus and firewall but had them for a long time.
This has been getting worse for about the last couple of months or so.
Any advice will be appreciated.

  Jackcoms 19:05 08 Dec 2006

"I have an icon appear bottom-right on desktop saying Service Pack 3 is available to install. Perhaps I need to do that?"

Yes, you do. It's probably for your MS Office suite.

When did you last do some basic PC housekeeping such as cleaning out all the crap, running checkdisk, scanning with your AV and anti-malware programs, defragging the HDD?

  Andsome 19:26 08 Dec 2006

I suggest that you download and install SUPERAntispyware free version, you will be surprised what it will clear out.

click here

Then run a full scan with this one.

click here

  bluto1 19:36 08 Dec 2006

Do as Jackcoms says.
Click on Start>All programmes> Accessories>System Tools> Disc Cleanup and then let it run to remove all the crap in your PC.

When you`ve done that go through the same procedure except after System tools choose Disc Defragmenter, and run it. Neither of these will harm your PC. If you go on the `Net regularly download cCleaner click here and run it once a week at least. That should start to speed things up a bit. If not, post back here

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:45 08 Dec 2006

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
Ewido 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/\ 19:45 08 Dec 2006

2. Hardware

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

b) 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) 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.

d) 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.

  Adam Patrick 18:04 09 Dec 2006

Sorry this might have posted twice - not sure it worked first time around, so apologise if you've read it twice.

Thanks for the advice - currently running a full scan. It is in defragment at the moment but has been stuck at 47% for the last 6-7 hours. Should it take this long? The progress indicator is still going round and round, so scan is still on-going.

One thing I didn't mention before is that the mouse pointer is not appearing on occasions, which has never happened before.

  Jackcoms 18:09 09 Dec 2006

Did you disable your AV before starting the defrag?

If not, disable it now - it usually speeds up the defrag process.

  freaky 18:45 09 Dec 2006

If the PC is running slow then I suggest you use the tools supplied by Windows: -

a) Open My Computer > Right Click on the Hard Drive > Left Click Properties > Select Disk Clean Up...this will get rid of a lot of rubbish.

b) Once thats finished select Tools > Error-Checking then click the box marked 'Automatically fix file system errors' and 'Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors'. You will need to restart the PC for the scan to commence.

This will take a while and make a note of any messages.

C) Once it has been completed then Defrag the HD.

Once that is completed then print out the report.

Shut the PC down and turn off the power, wait 5-minutes then restart....hopefully it should now run quicker. If not then please report back here with any error messages that you received after steps (A) (B) (C) above.

  Incony 19:48 09 Dec 2006

disable the Java cache.. it stores stuff you view, this eventually leads to jave cache filling up .. it stops java from loading stuff eventually, since their isnt enough space allocated.

There are still some issues i have with IE 7 not least the way the new tool bar is, ive reverted to IE 6 and it is much faster. I realise that the anti phishing filter in IE 7 takes time but i use my old PC as my internet gateway and the newest just links into that.. it stays fast because it doesnt have to deal with all the gateway protection on the same scale. an old PC isnt junk, it still can perfom usefull stuff, even if not as a web gateway slave, then a library of stuff you dont use very often, readily available on command.
i agree with all the posts so far, clean and defrag regularly.

  freaky 20:11 09 Dec 2006

Your post is slightly away from the topic, but while we are waiting for the results from Adam Patrick I will add my thoughts to your thread.

I also have an old PC which is used as workhorse, the other (1-year old is used for games). Both have IE7 and neither PC has slowed as a result.

In fact I am very impressed with IE7 especially the fact you can add ieSpell to the toolbar...find it very useful on here for example. You can make the IE7 tool bar bigger by Right clicking on it and select 'Use larger Icons'.

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