bpzoom 23:12 04 Jan 2011

XP HOME Service Pack 3.I can get on the internet and here I am to prove it. Windows takes 5 minutes to perform any function. It runs fine in Safe mode. Problem began the day after I downloaded 4gb of videos via Bit torrent, when I tried to watch a video with Real Player that program played it OK but none of the other functions of Real Player would work. The machine froze and I did system restore to previous day which failed, I restored OK to 3 days earlier, and still reduced to a crawl. I scanned the C drive with Kasperky and it found nothing. Ran CC Cleaner and ran spybot in safe mode which found nothing.Removed suspect Bit Torrent in safe mode. No windows command will operate faster than 4 or 5 minutes later. Any ideas please?

  birdface 23:58 04 Jan 2011

Try Device manager to see if any yellow exclamation marks beside any of the drivers,

  bpzoom 09:50 05 Jan 2011

No, there are none.

  xania 12:03 05 Jan 2011

Run msconfig and look to see if anything unexplained is being loaded at boot-up. Also take a look at Task Manager and see if anything is hogging your resources.

  woodchip 12:12 05 Jan 2011

As hit the nail on where to look for the problem. check Task Manager first on Processors hogging memory

  bpzoom 12:51 05 Jan 2011

I had checked Task Manager and the biggest user of memory is Chrome.exe which shows up twice as 123k and 84k. That is the Google Chrome browser. Yesterday looked at msconfig and I took all the ticks off selected startup and todays boot has replaced one tick only against the Kaspersky programme.
I have two hard drives both 40gb. The system on the C leaves 6 or 7 gb spare space. I assume that is big enough for Windows to operate in? The downloaded videos took up 4gb on the C so I shifted them to the D drive in case I was squeezing XP for space,.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:11 05 Jan 2011

The system on the C leaves 6 or 7 gb spare space.

too little space for the pagefile

see 1. d) next post

try moving stuff from C drive

work through the following post and should improve your speed problems.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:14 05 Jan 2011

1. Software
a) Clear out all temporary 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
MicroSoft Security Essentials click here
Avast4 click here
AVG antivirus click here

c) Clean the registry -- Use the tool in Crap Cleaner its very safe and also allows you to back up the registry first.

d) Pagefile (Virtual Memory) -- Right click MY Computer - select properties - Advanced tab - Performance - advanced tab - Virtual memory click change, you can put the page file on a different 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 start up -- Start - Run type msconfig - start up tab- untick everything except for firewall, antivirus and antispyware

and the services that run in the background. click here

f) Force Windows to Unload DLLs from Memory
Windows Explorer caches DLLs (Dynamic-Link Libraries) in memory for a period of time after the application using them has been closed. This can be an inefficient use of memory on low memory systems, and may cause problems or delays for programmers developing with Windows DLL files.

Open your registry and find the key [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer].
Create a new sub-key named 'AlwaysUnloadDLL' and set the default value to equal '1' to disable Windows caching the DLL in memory.
Restart Windows for the change to take effect.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:14 05 Jan 2011

2. Hardware

a) Hard drives /

i) IDE Channels: (Not required if you have SATA drives)
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, Vista or Windows 7 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 selecting the correct memory. click here for a guide to fitting memory.

  bpzoom 17:33 05 Jan 2011

Wow, I have already done some of the more obvious stuff like crapcleaner and anti malware. I am struggling ti find things on the C to offload elswhere but I will certainly have another crack at that and the rest of all you have listed and will report back. Thank you very much for your detailed list. The solution lies in there someehwere I hope. The machine is 2ghz and has 2gb memory and has bowled along Ok until now. I know the decisions to partition the drives was not a smart move. A cockup with Partition Magic reduced the C to 30gb from 40, and as I say I have around 6 or 7 free now.

  GaT7 18:19 05 Jan 2011

Your main problem appears to be the lack of free space. Try to maintain the OS drive at a minimum of 50% free space for optimum performance - so in your case 15Gb free.

A few things that tend to hog space (apart from the more obvious ones) that other cleaning methods & tools may not cover, are:

1. System Restore files - so clean up older restore points (click here - near the bottom) & reduce the space reserved for it: Start > Control Panel > System > System Restore tab. Highlight the C drive > Settings button > Move the slider to the left to reduce the space allocated > OK

2. As you have 2Gb RAM, you can have a much smaller Pagefile. Make it a minimum of 512Mb & a max of 2Gb

3. Delete all the files in the C:\Windows that have $NTUninstallKB in their names. You will need to enable 'Show hidden files & folders' in Folfer Options to view them. Do NOT delete the $hf_mig$ folder though

4. Disable hibernation if you have it enabled

5. Delete all files & folders contained in this folder - C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\Download

6. If using AVG10, delete all files in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\AVG10\Dumps folder if present

7. Don't forget to empty your Recycle Bin when done with the above.

When you reply, also let us know the size of the following folder: C:\WINDOWS\system32\Cache


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