Ongoing issue with slow machine/constant crashes

  Mjones68 10:14 14 Oct 2008

Hi, could someone please help me with a problem that we’re having with my wife’s computer. We both own 1 year old Dell Vostro 1500’s, 2 Mhz, with 2 Meg ram, running windows XP. The only difference between the machines is that I have Office 2002 and my wife has office 2003.

Around 2 months ago, my wife’s computer started acting very strangely………..Internet explorer would start crashing, we’d suddenly find 50 copies of outlook open on the screen and other applications would also open many times, the machine would also be incredibly slow. I closed down IE and tried using Firefox, but we still seemed to have the same problems. We use McAfee and I’ve done all of the usual scans to try and find a virus, but it always comes back negative. I’ve also used CCleaner to keep the machine clean and I regularly delete the tmp files.

I noticed this morning that the ‘PF usage’ under windows task manager constantly sits and 2.48GB, which is much higher than on my machine.

Can anyone please help us to sort this out??

Thanks very much.

  Technotiger 10:27 14 Oct 2008

PF usage does not mean a lot, more importantly are there any high readings under the Processes/CPU tab? The only high reading should be System Idle Process, normally 80-98.

If you use Adobe Reader, the update process for this is notorious at slowing down everything else!

  Mjones68 10:32 14 Oct 2008

Thanks for your input Technotiger,

I've just checked the CPU usage and it's sitting very low at around 5%. I opened up IE and it went up to 30% and then down again, so everything does seem OK, although I'm sure that when the machine starts misbehaving again, it will jump up to 90-100%

  User-1229748 11:04 14 Oct 2008

have you tried running internet explorer with no add ons to see if that makes a difference?also were there any windows updates that you installed about the time the problems started?you could also try a system restore to before the problems say you've scanned for viruses',have you also scanned with any anti spyware apps?

  Technotiger 11:07 14 Oct 2008

Another thing to try ...

click here

  Technotiger 11:08 14 Oct 2008

I am going out now, will look in again later.

  User-1229748 11:15 14 Oct 2008

also have you got plenty of disk space left?

  setecio 11:29 14 Oct 2008

Autoruns and process explorer on this site are both very useful for this sort of thing :

click here

  birdface 11:47 14 Oct 2008

What Firewall do you use.Try right click local Area Connection and press repair and see if it comes up with a DNS fault.Make sure your Flash and Java programs have the latest updates.Maybe try . click here and click here You can also try .Tools.Internet options.Advanced.And press restore advanced settings.Or Device Manager and make sure there is no yellow exclamation marks beside any of your devices.If it is also happening on firefox probably a Virus or Firewall problem.Try doing a defrag if you have just installed SP3.Have you installed any new programs that may be causing the problem.Once again.System Idle Process, normally 80-98. If nothing running system idle process should be showing about 97% this is normal.Anything else using a high % let us know what.Temporary turn of automatic updates and see if it runs any quicker.If not the next time you reboot turn it back on again.And saying that there is supposed to be about 10 Microsoft updates from Microsoft to-night so maybe one of those might sort your problem out.

  Mjones68 13:36 14 Oct 2008

Hi Guys and thanks very much for all taking the time to help me with this. To answer your your questions:

1) smackheadz - There appear to be lots of add ons running under IE and I wondered if it's safe to shut them all off (McAfee site advisor etc). We've also plenty of disk space left
2)Technotiger - I'd love to try the SFC link that you sent me, but my wife has sp3 and we've no CD. Do you know if it's possible to download sp3 onto an external HD and use that, rather than a CD?
3) setecio - Will try these downloads later thanks, if no luck with other stuff.
3)buteman. We use McAfee firewall and not windows firewall (interestingly, my machine's faster and uses both?). On Wifi and tried repair, with no problems. Thanks, installed the spyware program you recommended and it came back with 3 errors. Will defrag later.

Interestingly, when I rebooted the machine, I noticed that a program hadn't shut down - _GD-Crawl and I seem to remember that this has happened before (we rarely shut my wife's machine down at night)

Thanks again for all of your help

  T I M B O 13:54 14 Oct 2008

You should not run 2 software firewalls, only use McAfee firewall or the XP firewall, don't use both.

Also if you are using a router you will be behind a hard ware firewall also, you should be fairly safe.

Any scans carried out by Malwarebytes should be done in safe mode (F8) as Malware relies on internet connection to keep them active.

Ccleaner is good, also run the registery cleaner that’s with Ccleaner also.

Also have a look in ur msconfig and see what’s booting up, stuff like java or ctfmon Yahoo & msn can all be removed.

Best of luck.....

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