Troubleshooting Slow PC

  chuckylefrek 12:05 07 Jun 2007

I need some advice on diagnosing my PC as it is running really slow and I have tried everything I can think of short of reformatting.

Here are the details of the PC

Dell Dimension 4600
Intel Pentium 3.06 GHZ
2.5 GB RAM
32 Bit Operating System (Vista)

The following are the steps I have taken to date to try and improve things.

Hard Disk Diagnostics Tools
Full Antivirus Scan (Norton and McAffee)
Registry Clean
Deleted all temporary files
Reduced the number of start up programs to a minimum

I have 2 internal hard drives both of which have over 50% free space plus an external USB hard drive which has over 80% free space.

The symptoms are basically everythng takes ages to do. For example if I right click on a file to look at its properties, it takes about a minute for the properties dialogue to appear.

It took about 4 hours to install Vista (Ultimate) and I have read it should only take between 30mins to an hour.

Another example of the slowness is when I installed the software for my soundcard yesterday - it took about 40 mins and I would have thought it should only take about 5 to 10 mins.

I installed the Vista upgrade on top of XP a few days ago however before this upgrade the machine was still very slow. It has got somewhat slower but this is probably due to Vista requiring more resouces.

I would like some advice on what steps to take next to get to the bottom of this problem. There appear to be so many programs out there that claim to fix such problems and I do not know what to try next.

One theory I had is that it is due to the power supply not being sufficient as I have added 2 extra hard drives (one being USB) since purchasing the PC. Can anyone tell me if my symptoms could be related to not enough power?

I have read other theories that it could be the CPU, Motherboard or Memory causing the problems but I have no idea how to check these.

Vista gives my PC a Windows Experience Index of 4.2 which I believe is pretty good.

I would be most grateful for any advice on what could be the problem and suggestions for how to fix it.

Many thanks


  [email protected] 12:11 07 Jun 2007

just to rule one thing out of the equation,you mention av scans with norton and macfee,are they both installed on pc?

  wee eddie 12:14 07 Jun 2007

Norton is a terrible System Hog anyway and if you are to ditch one. That should be the one to go.

  chuckylefrek 12:21 07 Jun 2007

Thanks for the swift replies

Unfortunately Norton is not the problem. This came free with my BT Broadband installation software so I ran it once to check the system then uninstalled it.

The PC has been running slow now for months so it must be something else causing the problem.

  wee eddie 12:23 07 Jun 2007

Remove the External Drive > Only plug it in when you need to use it.

Remove all but 1 Anti Virus > see above > 2 Anti Viruses, on a machine (they don't even have to be running, just installed) can cause conflicts of an unpredictable nature.

Reduce your RAM to 1GB or below. (that can be temporary)

  chuckylefrek 12:26 07 Jun 2007

Thanks wee eddie

Well the antivirus side of things is already done.

I am curious as to why you suggest reducing the RAM?

  [email protected] 12:27 07 Jun 2007

norton removal tool
click here

click here

  chuckylefrek 12:30 07 Jun 2007

Thanks Raven - I will download the memtest now. Norton is no longer on my system but thanks for the link anyway.

  [email protected] 12:36 07 Jun 2007

hi have you upgraded memory prior to the slow down?
if so how did you ensure compatability?

try removing the stick/s youve added to see if its at fault

the removal tool was for ref in case its left anything behind on your system,never used norton but im sure ive read on other posts to run it after uninstalling norton

  wee eddie 12:47 07 Jun 2007

No real reason other than we have had several folk here with problems that relate to excessive RAM on MOBOs which, although designed to handle that amount, have been unable to do so.

  Pamy 12:52 07 Jun 2007

chuckylefrek,My computer is slowed down by one particular program. As soon as I remove it all is back up to speed again. Can you remember if your problem started after installing a particular program? My only other suggestion would be to remove all programs , hopefully with only the bare operating progs, your computer will run as it should, then install your progs one at a time checking the speed as you go. It's long winded I know.

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