Friend's PC too slow to put antivirus on?

  buel 14:04 08 May 2010

Hi, i am trying to help my friend out by speeding his laptop up, it runs xp and has only half a gig of Ram but when i get to the desktop it is too slow to run any programs and the task manager says the cpu usage is permanently on 100%, what can i do please?

  buel 14:12 08 May 2010

Ps- in safe mode the processor is on near 100% so i am running Malwarebytes, S.Antispyware and AVG scans....any others please?

  birdface 15:28 08 May 2010

cpu usage is permanently on 100%,

What program is using up all of the CPU.System idle process should be showing about 96% if nothing is running that is normal.
Any other program using up a lot of the CPU let us know what.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 15:28 08 May 2010

Yes it sounds like something nasty has got in.
512M is low for XP however I'm running XP at work with 128M.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 15:32 08 May 2010

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

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/\ 15:32 08 May 2010

2. Hardware

a) Hard drives /

i) IDE Channels:
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) 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 slecting the correct memory. click here for a guide to fitting memory.

  buel 16:08 08 May 2010

Hi, nothing inparticular seems to be taking the cpu usage im afraid! Regarding running the scans, as i mentioned earlier, it is just too slow to get any of the anti virus programs working but they work fine in safe mode, is there any reason why the laptop works fine in safe mode but ultra slow in normal mode please?

  bremner 16:15 08 May 2010

It is incorrect to say "nothing in particular seems to be taking the cpu usage".

Can you report the top five CPU processes please and their percentage of use.

  birdface 18:26 12 May 2010

If it works ok in safe mode maybe some of the drivers needing updated.
Maybe try Driver Max free it will only update 2 drivers a day but if you find out what they are you can download them from the makers sites.

  buel 20:51 12 May 2010

Hi again, thanks for all the advice,
After running SuperAntiSpyware and Malwarebytes scan in safe mode, they both didn't find anything and the laptop ran lovely.....but i restarted and run in 'normal'mode and again the task manager is showing 100% usage (17% in safe modee)
The top 5 users are:
Image Name: User Name: Mem Usage:
System System 95,068
avgcsrvx.exe System 35,772
svchost.exe System 23,192
Expolrer Gaz 24,420
smvalid Gaz 12,162

Does this help please?

  Ibanez2010 23:21 12 May 2010

The process "smvalid" is spyware!
You need to update your antispyware programs and run them again.
Also try Malwarebytes anti-malware.

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