PC getting very slow and finally refusing to work

  Klodshans 17:16 22 Dec 2006

My PC suddenly became very very slow at everything, when attempting to open things like Backgammon game or MS Word it gave a message that the program needed to close and the usual stuff about reporting to MS. I run Win XP Home Edition, am not connected to the internet on that PC, RAM is 512MB and the PC is usually very fast. No new hardware or software has been installed. I ran a hardware diagnostics from SystemsSuite5 and the tests were fine until half way, then the PC performed a re-start. Virus-scan reported to viruses found. System Restore performed several times, but it made no difference. When attempting to start the PC in Safe Mode or with Last Known Good Configurations it failed. Any ideas????

  Technotiger 17:29 22 Dec 2006

Hi, sounds a if a hardware item is getting tired, how old is pc - I was thinking perhaps HD or PSU on its way out.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:36 22 Dec 2006

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

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. )

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).

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/\ 17:36 22 Dec 2006

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.

  Klodshans 17:46 22 Dec 2006

I did think it might be hardware, hence the hardware test which was not finished before the final crash. The PC is 5 years old next March. I've experienced PSU failures with other PC's and that just caused the PC's to not start at all, so I don't know if that could be it? This time the problem seemed particularly bad if I went into My Computer or when calling up the Start Menus.
I run Registry Fixes through SystemsSuite 5 regularly and also defrag fairly regularly. Crap files are cleaned out fairly regularly. I already have NTFS.

At this point I can't even get the PC to start. I've got an emergency startup disk somewhere (!), I'll try that when I find it!

  Technotiger 18:15 22 Dec 2006

I would suspect that the PSU is dying, does not necessarily always just stop completely and suddenly. Hopefully it is the PSU - easiest and cheapest to replace. Also, if it was the Harddrive dying, they usually show some sort of audible symptoms, like they are in their death-throws.

  Klodshans 18:45 22 Dec 2006

Thanks everybody for your input so far. I've not had any strange noises from the hard drive I did find the floppy emergency startup disk (SystemsSuite5 again) and used it. When I tried the "Disk Fixer" it reported "Unable to access C Drive". Other than that the disk was pretty useless! Now I just have to work out if it's worth getting a new PSU or whether I should assume it's the hard drive - or get a technician to look at it...

  Klodshans 11:07 04 Jan 2007

It was the hard drive, fortunately I had a complete set of backup files. Thanks everybody for your help! And a Happy New Year!

  Technotiger 11:42 04 Jan 2007

OK - thanks for the feedback. Happy New Year to you too.

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