Windows XP is frustratingly slow

  Mike D 16:59 22 Feb 2008

I have a newish (less than 6 months old) PC - Intel E6850 dual core Processor, 2 Gb DDR2 and XP Professional. I has over the last few weeks started to go slow - not once in the applications - but in Windows itself. For example, it takes 45 seconds to open the Recycle Bin, and even then it shows the torch searching for the contents for a few more seconds. Control Panel Add/Remove Programs also exhibits the same symptoms.

I have scanned and rescanned for spyware etc using A Squred, Spybot, Adaware, Avast (full scan) but nothing shows.

I did do a repair install, would this cause the slow down?

Any suggestions welcomed.


I know that I can cure by doing a complete format and reinstall but I would like to avoid this if possible.

  stylehurst 17:02 22 Feb 2008

Check the Registry using something like CCleaner & Eusing Free Registry Cleaner.
Then defrag the Registry; also defrag the system files.

  Mike D 17:09 22 Feb 2008

Should have mentioned that, but I seem to be having a few senior moments today. I have defragged using Diskkeeper, used Eusing, CCleaner and PC Optimiser.


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:16 22 Feb 2008

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/\ 17:16 22 Feb 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, 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.

  Mike D 17:33 22 Feb 2008

Thanks Fruit Bat /\0/\

I will try your suggestion - I have done some of them already - but it will be late tonight or tomorrow evening before I get chance (at work)


  birdface 18:06 22 Feb 2008

You could try this Optimizer it certainly speeded up opening pages in my computer click here .When my computer acts up like yours It is usually problems with my ISP or modem.Try turning your modem of for 10 seconds,Turn it back on and leave for 2 minutes before you use it. Speed here make sure that you are getting the proper download speed.

  Mike D 07:45 25 Feb 2008

Thanks, everyone, for your suggestions. whilst I regularly use Diskkeeper, my version doesnot defrag things like page file, so I tried a free download, JkDefrag. This took over 10 hours to run yesterday, but it now appears to have cured the problem - touch wood!


This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 review

What went wrong at the Designs of the Year 2017

iPhone X news: Release date, price, new features & specs

Comment regarder des séries et talk-shows américains en France ?