Laptop grinding to a halt

  willyv 19:39 21 Sep 2009

hi there. in the past 2 days my dell laptop seems to have slowed down to the degree it can hardly go online. i run Avast, Spyware Terminator and Windows Firewall and occaisionally scan with Malwarebytes and A-squared. this security set up has been fine for a long while. I have installed Vista SP 2 last week and wondered if this could be the prob. please help as I am very worried.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:21 21 Sep 2009

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 :-
Superantispyware click here
Malware removal tool click here

Free Antivirus software
Avast4 click here
AVG antivirus click here

c) Clean the registry -- Free Registry cleaners :-
RegscrubVistaXp 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/\ 20:21 21 Sep 2009

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 or Vista, 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 .com click here will guide you through the process of slecting the correct memory. click here for a guide to fitting memory.

  willyv 10:05 22 Sep 2009

Cheers Fruitbat.
I have used this advice before for sharpening up my old desktop and it was fine. On this one we are talking about a 4gb ram with only 30 % of hard drive full which has taken a nosedive in 2 days. It has taken 10 mins to open PC aDvisor, log on and post this. Also my Thunderbird is now not recieving mail. I spose all this points to virus but Avast?Spyware usually does the job.
I dont think i have enough grunt to download software. Are there any windows tools which may help- since installing vista sp 2 - i have lost all previous restore points. Im thinking a clean reinstall is only option???????????

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 10:51 22 Sep 2009

click here method 1

  willyv 11:06 22 Sep 2009

Managed to restore back to sp 1 but all other restore points gone. Pulling my hair out over this.............

  tims31 11:20 22 Sep 2009

Have a look in task manager and see if there is anything running in there that you do not recognise. Scan down the list and see what is running your CPU the most? Often killing this process and then doing a google search for the item thats was hogging the processor can give an indication as to the problem.

Hope you get it sorted.

  tims31 11:24 22 Sep 2009

Sorry, not sure if you know how to do this. Ctrl+Alt+Del and select task manager on the splash screen. Select process tab and scan the list. A virus or malware often has no explanation as to the manufacturer or the software involved. Select the process and click end process.

Also starting up in safe mode and seeing if the problem is still there can also help. If not then this also suggests a process that is running.

  Les28 11:35 22 Sep 2009

Is it only when using the pc online that it crawls along, or is it all of the time?

Maybe no help but since you have Avast you can schedule Avast to do a scan at boot time, also if it's only internet problems maybe they've been caused by a recent malware removal with one of your anti malware programs that's damaged winsock, or if you think it's since installing SP2 you could try removing SP2.

click here

click here

click here

How does it run in safe mode and safe mode with networking.

click here

  Les28 12:55 22 Sep 2009

Just looking at this from Avast about Spyware Terminator, if you use Spyware Terminator don't install the toolbar or crawler or the anti-virus module with ST, but if as you say they've been running together ok for a while I guess you were aware of this, unless the settings have changed in ST.

click here

  willyv 07:02 24 Sep 2009

It finally gave up, so I reinstalled windows from Disc. Got all perograms back etc but now when i boot up it goes to a black screen asking me which os windows vista or microsoft windows vista. I have also notices some of my old programs on a virus scan. I know I have a 2nd HDD- could remnants of the original install still be here?

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