Seiously (and I mean SERIOUSLY) slow PC!

  Rob_101 17:47 22 Nov 2007

Turned on my trusty (old) PC today which I use daily and it is very, very slow. I just don't know why. I never download anything. Just use it for browsing the internet, word processing, e-mails etc. All the usual boring stuff! If I click on the 'start' button in the task bar, it takes about 15-20 seconds to show the start menu!

The PC is old and doesnt have very high specs. Pentium 4 1.8ghz, 512mb RAM, 60GB HD.

Even when I type there is lots of 'typing lag' (is there such thing? lol). I use AVG anti-virus which updates daily. Used it for years and never had any trouble.

I just can't understand why it is so slow!

What could be wrong? Does anyone have any suggestions?

Or is it time for a new PC?


PS. It has taken me a long time to type this out, So i'm hoping it works. lol.

  DieSse 17:56 22 Nov 2007

Lots of things can cause slowdowns. A sudden and large slowdown smacks of a hardware problem.

A failing hard drive can cause this - for instance. Is the hard-drive light on all the time while the system is very slow?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:59 22 Nov 2007

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/\ 18:01 22 Nov 2007

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.

  birdface 18:12 22 Nov 2007

Like you said old PC.Check the air vent for fluff and dust,If clogged up will probably need cleaning inside.And Fruit Bats 2nd list Make sure it is set to DMA.

  Rob_101 17:10 23 Nov 2007

Thanks FruitBat! Really helpful. Also, cheers Buteman, I had cleaned out the tower a few weeks ago. Removing a thick layer of dust from all the components!

Last night I spent hours going through the things you said. De-frag'd the HD, deleted un-wanted programs, virus scan (nothing was found!), and just a general tidy up of the PC.

Now it's running perfect again. Faster than it was before! Hopefully it will stay like this. *touches wood*.

Thanks again.

  birdface 17:16 25 Nov 2007

A good program to keep it running well Winaso Optimizer free or trial version,It only repairs 10 items at a time but you can use it as often as you like.It also has a registry defrag on it,Well worth here

  Demora 18:06 25 Nov 2007

Was having the same problem with my friends pc. Unfortunately it was the Hdd for her. Whilst we managed to back up her documents we weren't able to get the game backups. Before the drive failed totally.


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