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Thread: PC extremely/unreasonably slow/slower

  1. #1
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    Unhappy PC extremely/unreasonably slow/slower

    (winXP Pro; OE 6.0; IE 6.0; Dell Dimension XPS T450MHz Pentium III; Symantec AV Corp. Edition; spybot S&D; ad-aware; spyware blaster)

    Since about a year or so my entire computer is progressively slowing down - no matter where or how I click to the extent that what took only seconds now takes MINUTES! True, my computer is about 6 years old but I take good care of it, including frequent anti virus, anti spy, anti ads, etc. and have no pets or children. Before spending good money, and search time from among oceans of diff. types, is there a way I can find out whether this extreme slowness is due to old age? Or something wrong with my registry (which I never touched for fear)? Or I may have accidentally deleted a system file?

    My servers made a speed test and told me as far as THEY are concerned, it's fine. Is there any other tests I could take? which ones and where?

    Thanks ever SO very much for any help in uncovering this puzzle!

    Adela, NYC

    P.S. How can I backup my registry into a zip100 disk? I have a bunch of good guides to backup OE and other applications, which I'll do soon, but don't know whether it will also include the registry. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Hardware guy Super Moderator FastGame's Avatar
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    How much system memory do you have ? and how much is being used ?

    Make sure no programs (except AV & Firewall) are starting up with windows.

    Use a lighter running AV (Dr Web, F-Prot, AVG), or trun off the real time scanning in Symantec and use on-demand only.

  3. #3
    She who must be obeyed Super Moderator piaqt's Avatar
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    See attached for backing up the registry.

    Last night, I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I'll never know.
    love, piaqt

  4. #4
    Security Intelligence TZ Veteran cash_site's Avatar
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    Perhaps a MemTest will help determine if the Memory modules are starting to die out... after a few years they could be unstable.

    --- 0wN3D by 3gG ---

  5. #5
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    Hello and big thanks to FastGame, piaqt, and cash_site!
    How much system memory do you have ? and how much is being used ?

    Make sure no programs (except AV & Firewall) are starting up with windows.

    Use a lighter running AV (Dr Web, F-Prot, AVG), or trun off the real time scanning in Symantec and use on-demand only.
    FastGame, I have 128MB which came with the computer. Is tnis the hard drive memory? The pink picture somewhere in my comp. shows about 2 thirds or so available. I've disabled Norton's in/outgoing email scanning. As to starting up with windows, I should uncheck ALL programs except AV & firewall? Also uncheck system files? When Norton/Symantec accomplishes getting me insane...I intend to get AVG.
    See attached for backing up the registry.
    piaqt, thanks so much for the link on how to backup the much feared registry. I hope to first fix and clean up my comp. as much as possible, then backup everything and then change my OS...
    Perhaps a MemTest will help determine if the Memory modules are starting to die out... after a few years they could be unstable.
    cash_site, thank you for the idea of a MemTest. Where and how do I do it? At MemTest.com? This is great since if it's dying out then I won't waste my time and that of all of you kind souls.

    When it goes belly up...I'll go to internet cafes, I can't cope with all of these "hi tech" headaches...Again thank you all so much! Adela

  6. #6
    Techzonez Governor Super Moderator Conan's Avatar
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  7. #7
    She who must be obeyed Super Moderator piaqt's Avatar
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    Also, get a cd/dvd burner. Zip drives are notoriously problematic, and the disks are seriously overpriced. You'll save yourself a lot of grief and $$ in the long run.

    Last night, I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I'll never know.
    love, piaqt

  8. #8
    Friendly Neighborhood Super Moderator phishhead's Avatar
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    also if its been six years has the pc been reformatted. over time the registry gets clogged along with leftover apps and all the temp junk. I try and reformat my pcs atleast every 6 months to keep it running fast and smooth.



  9. #9
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    I am with phishhead on this. I do the same thing every 6 months. just make sure you have your win xp pro serial first. No matter how hard or how much you try to take care of your computer, it will get clogged up with leftover crap from programs.

  10. #10
    Security Intelligence TZ Veteran cash_site's Avatar
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    It does sound like some misconfiguration due to many programs being installed/uninstalled etc.. registry must be a mess... a backup of data then format would be recommended...

    I agree that regular formats are good... but 6months (for most people) is too quick... i try to do it 1 or 2 years (more to reset AV licenses), but with only 1 computer, trying to backup 200GB of music/movies/photos and files... is a major pain! Dont get me started on drivers...argh!

    --- 0wN3D by 3gG ---

  11. #11
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    Thanks so much my good friends!

    Conan: I went to www.memtest.org but didnt' find where to make that test, but it's ok since I believe now my best bet is to format the hard drive to get rid of all problems (or so I hope). Being the tech challenged person I am, I'll have to take a big chunk from my savings to have a techi do it (I called some and after describing my problem their estimate was 2 or 3 hours at about $175 per hour!!!).

    Piaqt: You're right about using a cd/dvd burner instead of the zip disks, which I intend to buy after I finish my project of bakcup/format hd/change OS. Meantime, I already have bought quite a few of them so for now they'll have to do.

    Phishhead, ragnarok and cash_site: I can imagine that the registry gets terribly clogged up after a while, but every 6 months??? I tremble only to think of the pain of having to backup, restore, and perhaps having to fix glitches in the process, etc.!!! ;o) So far I haven't experienced backing up my data even once since I bought the comp. (6 yrs) though, of course, I intended to do it each time I read about it! However, the techis I called when I had problems did it. Also, I have VERY little music, photos, movies, graphics, etc. let alone large ones, so I guess it's ok in my case?

    cash_site: I intend to do exactly as you say and at the same time change my OS too...if I ever find a competent and honest techi who dosn't charge a fortune!:
    It does sound like some misconfiguration due to many programs being installed/uninstalled etc.. registry must be a mess... a backup of data then format would be recommended...
    Thanks again everyone! Adela

  12. #12
    Friendly Neighborhood Super Moderator phishhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adela View Post
    cash_site: I intend to do exactly as you say and at the same time change my OS too...if I ever find a competent and honest techi who dosn't charge a fortune!
    well we have members all of the world. Where you from? Fastgame will come over regardless of where you live.



  13. #13
    She who must be obeyed Super Moderator piaqt's Avatar
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    Here's how to save $500:
    Wipe an NTFS hard drive by using the Recovery Console on the XP CD. To use the Recovery Console to reformat a drive:

    Press F2 to go into your BIOS to change the boot sequence to make your CD-ROM drive your primary boot device.
    Boot from CD
    After all the drivers have loaded (shown along the bottom), press F10 or wait and choose the recovery console (item #2).
    In the "Recovery Console" (see http://support.microsoft.com/default...en-us;314058&), specify the appropriate Windows installation. If you have never assigned a password, just hit ENTER. To turn off the password prompt: learn how here http://support.microsoft.com/default...b;EN-US;312149.
    Next, type: map and hit ENTER. Note the drive that you want to reformat. The drive letters may be different in the Recovery Console from what they are in Windows, but to reformat the C: drive, it's likely the largest.
    Next, type:
    format C: /fs:ntfs
    and hit ENTER. Type: y, then ENTER to continue. When the formatting process is finished, type exit and then press ENTER to reboot.

    When you type these commands, PRESERVE SPACING.

    Last night, I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I'll never know.
    love, piaqt

  14. #14
    Titanium Member Tinker's Avatar
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    You might want to try this first (IMHO)

    1] Defrag the hard drive.
    http://helpdesk.its.uiowa.edu/window...ons/defrag.htm

    2] Buy and install another 256MB of ram. XP likes memory and you should have at least 384MB and 512MB would be even better.
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...2006&CatId=543
    (You do not have to buy the ram from here but it will show you what you are looking for. You should be able to get it from Best Buy.)
    When you at tigerdirect.com be sure to watch the video on how to install the memory.

    3] Check out these Performance Tweaks.
    http://www.tweakxp.com/performance_tweaks.aspx

    4]
    Last edited by Tinker; April 27th, 2007 at 18:08 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conan View Post
    Hello Conan....have I infringed your rules? I'm sorry if I did, but would liek to know how. Thanks. Also thaks for the memtest. Adela

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