Still sluggish-Now What?

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by RS, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. RS

    RS Guest

    I wrote a few days ago that I had a sluggish computer - I had done a clean
    install of XP on a new HD, added a router, and did a few other upgrades to
    software and hardware. The computer - a P3 800MHZ older machine worked great
    for about a week. Then it started getting real sluggish - applications take
    30-50 seconds to open, frequent freeze ups where I have to use Task Manager
    to shut applications down, screen saver moves like slow motion.

    I have anti virus, have SpyBot and Ad-ware. No problems indicated.

    It was suggesated that I upgrade my RAM which had been at 256 MB. I did
    increase it to 512MB. The computer works faster when it works, but the
    problems originally listed still persist.

    I am thinking of wiping the HD clean and starting over, but wondered what
    suggestions anyone would give me as a step or two short of that.

    I am pretty good with hardware, but don't know much about registries and
    internal software configuration.

    Thank you.
    RS, Oct 6, 2004
    #1
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  2. RS

    Thor Guest

    "RS" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I wrote a few days ago that I had a sluggish computer - I had done a clean
    > install of XP on a new HD, added a router, and did a few other upgrades to
    > software and hardware. The computer - a P3 800MHZ older machine worked
    > great
    > for about a week. Then it started getting real sluggish - applications
    > take
    > 30-50 seconds to open, frequent freeze ups where I have to use Task
    > Manager
    > to shut applications down, screen saver moves like slow motion.
    >
    > I have anti virus, have SpyBot and Ad-ware. No problems indicated.
    >
    > It was suggesated that I upgrade my RAM which had been at 256 MB. I did
    > increase it to 512MB. The computer works faster when it works, but the
    > problems originally listed still persist.
    >
    > I am thinking of wiping the HD clean and starting over, but wondered what
    > suggestions anyone would give me as a step or two short of that.
    >
    > I am pretty good with hardware, but don't know much about registries and
    > internal software configuration.



    open the task manager (right click the taskbar and choose task manager) and
    under the processes tab, see if anything in there is using a substantial
    amount of CPU time when the pauses occur. Ignore the "system idle process"
    as it is a measure of unused CPU cycles. It will normally be high (95-99%).
    Everything else should be pretty low (1-5%) when nothing super-demanding is
    running, for example right after a fresh boot, and the system has had time
    to settle down. If something is spiking CPU usage, you can get big pauses
    like you describe. You can also click on the "performance" tab and see a
    graph of CPU usage history as long as you have that window open, and with a
    VU-style meter showing realtime stats. Look for periodic spikes in the graph
    coinciding with the moments you notice it pausing. You can minimize the
    graph display and go about your normal usage routine and check it
    periodically to see if you can notice a pattern of spiking.
    Thor, Oct 6, 2004
    #2
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  3. RS

    bmoag Guest

    You probably heard this all before:
    That hardware should run XP reasonably well. That configuration is similar
    to my first XP computer which ran without the glitches you describe.
    You say you have excluded viruses and spyware.
    Sluggish performance usually means something in the background is eating up
    CPU clock cycles or their is a bad driver for a basic component.
    It is also possible your bios settings are incorrect.For example improper
    settings of bus, memory or cpu speed can cause what you describe. Make sure
    that the jumper settings on the motherboard are correct.
    If you have not installed the correct motherboard/chipset drivers that may
    cause these problems.
    Video card drivers can cause these issues.
    Check what loads with your startup program group and check MSCONFIG under
    start-up and win.ini. Windows should still boot even with everything in
    msconfig/startup turned off. You might be able to isolate the culprit by
    selectively restoring items in msconfig/startup. This is probably not the
    problem but worth trying.
    Shut off any applets in the system tray: antivirus programs and firewalls
    may cause this performance lag, particularly Norton products. If that is the
    case make sure you have all the upgrades to these programs (Norton AV
    requires about 25mbs of updates out of the box!). Antivirus programs,
    especially Norton, interact badly with many other programs and drivers but
    often updates resolve those problems.
    See what your swap file size is: restrict it to a size double your RAM;
    depending on the types of programs you run you may even need a smaller swap
    file. If you have a second hard drive put the swap file on the second hard
    drive immediately.
    Press ctrl-alt-delete and see what processes are running. Google them to see
    what they are and if they are vital if you do not recognize them.
    Disable all your peripherals under control panel/device manager (better:
    pull them out of the computer) except the video card and selectively add
    them back. It may be a driver problem.

    If this is a clean install then if you repeat whatever you did you will
    likely have the same problems. Troubleshoot first before you wipe your hard
    drive.
    bmoag, Oct 6, 2004
    #3
  4. RS

    mark mandel Guest

    "RS" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I wrote a few days ago that I had a sluggish computer - I had done a clean
    > install of XP on a new HD, added a router, and did a few other upgrades to
    > software and hardware. The computer - a P3 800MHZ older machine worked

    great
    > for about a week. Then it started getting real sluggish - applications

    take
    > 30-50 seconds to open, frequent freeze ups where I have to use Task

    Manager
    > to shut applications down, screen saver moves like slow motion.
    >
    > I have anti virus, have SpyBot and Ad-ware. No problems indicated.
    >
    > It was suggesated that I upgrade my RAM which had been at 256 MB. I did
    > increase it to 512MB. The computer works faster when it works, but the
    > problems originally listed still persist.
    >
    > I am thinking of wiping the HD clean and starting over, but wondered what
    > suggestions anyone would give me as a step or two short of that.
    >
    > I am pretty good with hardware, but don't know much about registries and
    > internal software configuration.
    >
    > Thank you.
    >

    When you check the page file(as suggested by another poster)make sure you
    don't have a finite maximum setting. There are those who maintain the
    minimum and maximum should be set for the same(which supposedly prevents
    defragging)but if you ever run a memory intensive program you could get
    crashing and freezups. So it might be best to have Windows to determine
    your page file setting because this is an improvement over Win 9x.

    Secondly, disable index servicing. You'll find it by first typing in
    "services.msc"(without the quotes)in the Run box. Then look in the
    applications or services(I forget which)and disable this index service in
    the list you'll see.

    Lastly, check in the Device Manager to see if there are any yellow
    exclamation or question marks indicated driver problems(but with XP alot
    less likely to have IRQ conflicts).
    >
    mark mandel, Oct 6, 2004
    #4
  5. RS

    Thor Guest

    "mark mandel" <> wrote in message
    news:ZYK8d.5273$...
    >
    > "RS" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> I wrote a few days ago that I had a sluggish computer - I had done a
    >> clean
    >> install of XP on a new HD, added a router, and did a few other upgrades
    >> to
    >> software and hardware. The computer - a P3 800MHZ older machine worked

    > great
    >> for about a week. Then it started getting real sluggish - applications

    > take
    >> 30-50 seconds to open, frequent freeze ups where I have to use Task

    > Manager
    >> to shut applications down, screen saver moves like slow motion.
    >>
    >> I have anti virus, have SpyBot and Ad-ware. No problems indicated.
    >>
    >> It was suggesated that I upgrade my RAM which had been at 256 MB. I did
    >> increase it to 512MB. The computer works faster when it works, but the
    >> problems originally listed still persist.
    >>
    >> I am thinking of wiping the HD clean and starting over, but wondered what
    >> suggestions anyone would give me as a step or two short of that.
    >>
    >> I am pretty good with hardware, but don't know much about registries and
    >> internal software configuration.
    >>
    >> Thank you.
    >>

    > When you check the page file(as suggested by another poster)make sure you
    > don't have a finite maximum setting. There are those who maintain the
    > minimum and maximum should be set for the same(which supposedly prevents
    > defragging)but if you ever run a memory intensive program you could get
    > crashing and freezups. So it might be best to have Windows to determine
    > your page file setting because this is an improvement over Win 9x.


    By default, WindowsXP automatically sets a maximum pagefile setting. The
    difference is that XP is capable of resizing the pagefile should that limit
    prove inadequate (but virtually never does, as long as XP's chosen settings
    are not altered). XP will warn the user that it is resizing the pagefile to
    prevent a problem.

    >
    > Secondly, disable index servicing. You'll find it by first typing in
    > "services.msc"(without the quotes)in the Run box. Then look in the
    > applications or services(I forget which)and disable this index service in
    > the list you'll see.


    Wholeheartedly agree on that one.
    Thor, Oct 6, 2004
    #5
  6. RS

    Matt Pascoe Guest

    Now reinstall

    "RS" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I wrote a few days ago that I had a sluggish computer - I had done a clean
    > install of XP on a new HD, added a router, and did a few other upgrades to
    > software and hardware. The computer - a P3 800MHZ older machine worked
    > great
    > for about a week. Then it started getting real sluggish - applications
    > take
    > 30-50 seconds to open, frequent freeze ups where I have to use Task
    > Manager
    > to shut applications down, screen saver moves like slow motion.
    >
    > I have anti virus, have SpyBot and Ad-ware. No problems indicated.
    >
    > It was suggesated that I upgrade my RAM which had been at 256 MB. I did
    > increase it to 512MB. The computer works faster when it works, but the
    > problems originally listed still persist.
    >
    > I am thinking of wiping the HD clean and starting over, but wondered what
    > suggestions anyone would give me as a step or two short of that.
    >
    > I am pretty good with hardware, but don't know much about registries and
    > internal software configuration.
    >
    > Thank you.
    >
    >
    Matt Pascoe, Oct 7, 2004
    #6
  7. RS

    keexer Guest

    RS, I'm convinced there are secret factory settings/motherboard
    drivers installed when computers are set up at the factory. My guess
    is that when you reformatted and reinstalled XP you got everything
    back except these special motherboard helper files.

    Maybe someone more knowledgeable than I can comment on where you can
    download those motherboard utilities files.

    The same thing hapened to me when I had 98 reinstalled professionally
    with all the updated drivers--My computer never recovered. I tried
    all the suggestions you read posted here and more! my computer sped
    up yes but never recovered. Before my reinstall my lowly win98 and
    small computer could open 3 major software and two small software
    *and* print a 40-page document running in the background with a barely
    perceptable slow down. Today I can only two major software before my
    computer slows anoyingly and when I print any document the computer
    does not slow at all while the document gets read in (spooled) but the
    whole computer freezes until the printer finishes printing on paper.

    Good luck.
    keexer, Oct 7, 2004
    #7
  8. RS

    Matt Pascoe Guest

    > RS, I'm convinced there are secret factory settings/motherboard
    > drivers installed when computers are set up at the factory. My guess
    > is that when you reformatted and reinstalled XP you got everything
    > back except these special motherboard helper files.


    Two letters, one word, beginning with N and ending on O.
    Matt Pascoe, Oct 7, 2004
    #8
  9. RS

    Trent© Guest

    On Thu, 7 Oct 2004 18:56:33 +0100, "Matt Pascoe"
    <> wrote:

    >> RS, I'm convinced there are secret factory settings/motherboard
    >> drivers installed when computers are set up at the factory. My guess
    >> is that when you reformatted and reinstalled XP you got everything
    >> back except these special motherboard helper files.

    >
    >Two letters, one word, beginning with N and ending on O.
    >


    Sure there are.

    Think about it.

    Many people make that mistake. They reformat and reinstall...but they
    forget to reinstall those files.


    Have a nice one...

    Trent

    Budweiser: Helping ugly people have sex since 1876!
    Trent©, Oct 8, 2004
    #9
  10. RS

    Thor Guest

    "Trent©" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Thu, 7 Oct 2004 18:56:33 +0100, "Matt Pascoe"
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >>> RS, I'm convinced there are secret factory settings/motherboard
    >>> drivers installed when computers are set up at the factory. My guess
    >>> is that when you reformatted and reinstalled XP you got everything
    >>> back except these special motherboard helper files.

    >>
    >>Two letters, one word, beginning with N and ending on O.
    >>

    >
    > Sure there are.
    >
    > Think about it.
    >
    > Many people make that mistake. They reformat and reinstall...but they
    > forget to reinstall those files.


    They aren't "secret" settings or drivers though. LOL! Just not as well known
    perhaps.
    Thor, Oct 8, 2004
    #10
  11. RS

    Trent© Guest

    On Thu, 7 Oct 2004 21:31:39 -0400, "Thor" <> wrote:

    >
    >"Trent©" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> On Thu, 7 Oct 2004 18:56:33 +0100, "Matt Pascoe"
    >> <> wrote:
    >>
    >>>> RS, I'm convinced there are secret factory settings/motherboard
    >>>> drivers installed when computers are set up at the factory. My guess
    >>>> is that when you reformatted and reinstalled XP you got everything
    >>>> back except these special motherboard helper files.
    >>>
    >>>Two letters, one word, beginning with N and ending on O.
    >>>

    >>
    >> Sure there are.
    >>
    >> Think about it.
    >>
    >> Many people make that mistake. They reformat and reinstall...but they
    >> forget to reinstall those files.

    >
    >They aren't "secret" settings or drivers though. LOL! Just not as well known
    >perhaps.
    >


    Sshhhhhhh!!!!! <Trent looks over left and right shoulders>

    And be vetty, vetty quiet! lol


    Have a nice one...

    Trent

    Budweiser: Helping ugly people have sex since 1876!
    Trent©, Oct 8, 2004
    #11
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