Slow computer

  Crazy legs 21:01 15 Nov 2008

Right guys,

I need some help big style!

The home PC is running mega slow at the moment and I haven't got a clue why, and basically it's getting on my nerves!

I've listed some basic information if it's any help.

The PC is a Packard Bell unit, it's quite old but is still going strong and has up until now been working fine. It originally came with 256mb which was so slow! I have since had more memory fitted to it and it's now got 703mb of RAM.

I had the extra RAM fitted about a year ago and up until about 2-3 wks ago the PC was working fine and would run multiple programs at the same time with no problems.

Here's a list of the programs on it at the moment. It contains XP home edition with the latest version of Microsoft office.

Spyware Doctor
Spyware Blaster
Windows Startup Inspector
Malwarebytes anti-malware
The Shield anti-virus software

I run a Spyware Doctor full scan regularly, at least twice a week. It mostly brings up the usual low to moderate type of adware, but does sometimes contain trojans too.

I run an anti-virus check every week.

I run CCleaner once a week every week too.

I've defragmented the disk several times with the latest version containing the following info

NTFS capacity: 35.31 GB
Free space: 9.98GB
% Free space: 28%

The number of processes is around 34.

I was and still are having a number of problems starting up internet explorer too. It starts and then crashes.

I right clicked on the IE sign on the desktop and ran an anti virus check which found a worm on the system. This has since been quarantined but IE is still crashing. The worm also doesn't appear under the virus check when I do one.

Sorry to rant on but I really could do with some help on this guys!


  First Bass 21:43 15 Nov 2008

Hi Crazy Legs
You are running a fair number of processes. If you can lose a few it may well help speed things up. You should disable some of your uneccessary start up programs. These are often things like assistant and help programs, or pc health monitors (not the anti spyware ones though!). Your 703MB of RAM might not be enough for your system to cope with XP and some of your applications. Try to bring this up to at least 1GB. You can never have too much memory! I run antivirus checks daily. Once a week is not very safe. Have you tried the free AVG antivirus program? This is easy to schedule, and PC Advisor often includes this program on their monthly disk. Try running an alternative web browser (like Firefox). There may well be a problem with your IE.

  birdface 21:59 15 Nov 2008

If IE7 you could try Tools.Internet Options.Advanced and press reset.This resets Internet Explorer to its original condition. I will point out about 5% of folk that try it have some sort of problem but nothing that a system restore will not fix.Try Device Manager and see if there are any problems on there.Don't know if you want to try here its free. Have you got the latest Flash and Java updates.Maybe check the air vents are not clogged up with dust or fluff,Or try ,Command prompt and type in ipconfig /flushdns a small space between ipconfig and forward slash or it does not work.It should tell you that DNS has been flushed.Then reboot your computer.Or try Winaso Optimizer it will only repair 10 items at a time but you can run it as often as you like. click here

  Crazy legs 22:15 15 Nov 2008

I'll give them a try guys thanks. I have deleted all unnecessary programs that were working at startup but I'll try these other things and will let you know how I get on.

Thanks again for your help!

  Crazy legs 22:18 15 Nov 2008

First bass,

Can I just ask? You mention that the system is running a lot of processes. Can you clarify this a bit for me please as I don't fully understand.

Also, is there anything I can do to cut down on the number of processes that are running?


  First Bass 23:27 15 Nov 2008

Hello again Crazy Legs
A lot of processes that our pCs run are uneceessary. They end up running on our machines as a great many programs we install like to expand their companies'commercial interests via add-ons like IE services or IE helpers.(eg Yahoo, Google etc) Most if not all of these are unecessary. To disable them, there are some useful utilities like ASHAMPOO WINOPTIMIZER 4, or Bilips' WINPATROL.You can search for these yourself or click click here or click here Also, condider removing unecessary start up pograms like Winzip Quick Pick, and ALL registration programs,Imaging Monitors, Microsoft Office (and others) - in any case, you can always run these ad-hoc when you need them. I hope this helps!

  Crazy legs 12:27 16 Nov 2008

Thanks very much First Bass, I'll check them out thank you!

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:02 16 Nov 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 :-
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/\ 14:02 16 Nov 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 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) 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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