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System slowdown when installing software.

Posted on 1999-01-09
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
Everytime I install a piece of software and the install shield runs, my system slows down immensely (e.g. the other night it took an hour for Need for Speed 3 to install). I know it isn't a hardware deficiency, as I have a PII 400mhz, with 128 mgs of RAM. At first this was just irritating, but now it is downright infuriating as it means installing anything takes forever. Any suggestions?
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Question by:jcemf
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Author Comment

by:jcemf
ID: 1651280
Edited text of question
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by:jcarlo
ID: 1651281
Are you installing from a CD?  If your CD is slow it could take that long (but guessing from your other hardware i doubt that very much!  :)

When you are installing something and the system slows down, try pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del to see what is running.  If you have multiple instances of a program running, quit the setup program and kill them (I wouldn't recommend that you kill a program while setup runs, as you run a risk of screwing up system files if the setup program is editing them and your system crashes or something).

You could also use Ctrl-Alt-Del to strip down to just Explorer and Systray, then try installing something - let us know what the results of that are.  

Barring that, check your BIOS CPU Soft Menu (or your motherboard CPU speed jumpers) to be sure that it is set correctly (100x4).  If they are not, your CPU may run at a slower speed (particularly make sure the jumper setting is 4 - the bus speed is usually variable)

Regards,
Jeremy
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by:myqlG
ID: 1651282
Just a question here but do you have some virus scanner running?
It seems to me like when you introduce the new files into your system a virus checker is scanning them..this would cause the program to slow down.
Other than that.. I cannot possibly think of anything that would slow your system down that much
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by:jcemf
ID: 1651283
Ok, I will try stripping down to just Explorer and Systray. That will also take care of the virus checker. I have a 2x DVD drive (yes, I am very spoiled with my system, I know 3:)), and I am pretty sure it is not that, just because the same problem happens when I run a set-up file from C:\. And we are talking massive slow down too. So much so that the mouse pointer moves jerkily across the screen (it's a lot like running a 386!!). I will keep you posted. Thanks for the advice so far, and keep it coming. I am willing to try almost anything to solve this.
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Expert Comment

by:smeebud
ID: 1651284
Try, in this order:
Search the hard disc for uninst*.exe; if you find files that fit, make sure they are not Read-Only.
Create the directory C:\Temp and add to autoexec.bat the lines

SET TEMP=C:\Temp
SET TMP=C:\Temp

and reboot. (Optional - also create c:\tmp and use SET TMP=C:\tmp)
Before and after, delete any files in C:\Temp and \Windows\Temp.

[UNLESS YOU DO HAVE BAD RAM]
It has noting to do with RAM.  I have found out that if you change the location of the TEMP directory, it takes care of this error in
some cases.
Just edit your autoexec.bat file and change the line:
SET TEMP[SOMEPATH]
to point to another location.

THIS IS THE ONLY LINE I USE
SET TEMP=C:\TMP

1. Turn off CD-ROM caching.

2. Make approximately 45 MB of hard drive space available at minimum, as Installshield (depending on the parameters set by
the software writer) will look at the minimum set when the file(s) are compressed. This makes room for the program files
(38 MB base parameter) and extra working space for cleanup if that parameter has been chosen. Compressed drives only estimate
the amount of free space available and may need even more than the amount being reported as available (Installshield parameter
minimum as against acutal free space plus cleanup).
If this has been left at default values in Installshield, a program with 15MB of files could be calling for 40MB plus another 40MB for
cleanup)

3. Free up memory. Installshield requires 8 MB of physical RAM, with approximately 5,500k free.

NOTE: In addition to the foregoing, if QEMM or Stacker are running in the background, the probability of failure increases
progressively in a linear fashion, eg: the lower the amount of installed ram, the higher the probability of a failure.

If you are interested in getting the latest build of the EXEBuilder, it can be downloaded from the InstallShield3 support section of
InstallShield's web site http://www.installshield.com

===============================
Regards,
Bud
http://www.geocities.com/~budallen/
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Author Comment

by:jcemf
ID: 1651285
Thanks Smeebud. I will try this and post a response as to how it works!
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Expert Comment

by:dew_associates
ID: 1651286
Please tell us more about your system. Is it home built, custom built, mail order (from whom) as well as the component make up, such as motherboard, and other hardware.
Dennis
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Author Comment

by:jcemf
ID: 1651287
It is a Dell Dimension XPS_R. Hardware: 2x DVD drive, Turtle Beach Montego A3D sound card, ATI Xpert98, 8mb, 2xAGP video card, 10.1 GB EIDE Ultra ATA Harddrive, Cinemaster DVD Decoder Card, 128 mb SDRAM, 1 DIMM.

Can't tell you off-hand anything about the motherboard, but I can find out. I have also tried Smeebud's suggestion, but have yet to install something (probably tomorrow). One thing I haven't found is where to turn off CDROM caching. I looked under system properties, performance, file system properties but couldn't see anything other than a slider bar for supplemental cache size. It is currently set to "large". Should I slide it to "small"?  
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by:dew_associates
ID: 1651288
JC, try using your "Ctrl", "Alt" and "Del" keys and terminate all running programs except for "systray" and "Explorer" and then load the software. Do you have any antivirus software running?
Dennis
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Author Comment

by:jcemf
ID: 1651289
Ok, I have tryed most of the proposed solutions. The successful one was close everything except systray and explorer. That definitely speeded up the install, but I can't believe this is the only answer. A friend has a virtually identical Dell machine (he has a 450 instead) and he has none of these problems with Install Sheild, despite having hte same things running in the background. Any other suggestions that I should try? Worst case scenario, I will shut everything down to load things, but I would prefer not to. BTW, I tried the temp directory solution to no effect. And I don't know how to adjust my CD caching or to check my BIOS CPU soft menu - any hints would be welcomed.

Thanks for all the advice so far!

Jeremy
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Expert Comment

by:dew_associates
ID: 1651290
jcemf, I'm glad my suggestion helped you. In any event, what processor do you have? Does your friend also have a 2X DVD player. Unless I missed something, 2X is 2X, which in itself is rather slow. What you could do is run some tests, use the Ctrl, Alt and Del and remove one or two items at a time and try it. There may be something running that's slowing things down. Your friend may have a similar computer, but with a 450, he has a different motherboard and bus speed, and his configuration may be different.
Dennis

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Author Comment

by:jcemf
ID: 1651291
Dennis - I have a PII, 400 mhz. Our machines have the same bus speed. He has a faster DVD (4.8x I think), but the ratio isn't the same as for CD drives. 2x DVD is about 18x Cd speed, or so I have been led to believe. And the stuff I am loading up won't load much faster than that anyway. I am going to try closing different things and running set-up files cause I think it is only one or two things slowing me down. Again I will keep everyone posted.
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by:smeebud
ID: 1651292
J,
 Since my answer didn't help, how about re-opening the question so Dennis can post the right.

I know Dennis is not point hungry, but for anyone looking this question up for the future, the right answer will be shown.

Thanks.

Regards,
Bud
http://www.geocities.com/~budallen/

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Author Comment

by:jcemf
ID: 1651293
Sorry it has taken me so long to respond. Let me give a short update:

I tried most of the solutions proposed. The only one that worked was to strip down to Explorer.exe and systray. To be fair, several people recommended this. It wasn't my ideal solution but it worked.

I then tryed the same solution using trail and error (i.e. I closed one program at a time to see the effect). What I discovered was that it was my virus checker that caused the slowdown - as soon as I closed it, things speed up immensely. Again, several people suggested this.

Finally, I had cause to update my virus checker this week. Last night, after a scan disk and a defrag (something I do regularly) I installed some software without shutting anything down. Voila! No problems at all. It was as fast as it should be - heck even faster than I had ever expected. I installed another piece of software later with the same result.

So the moral of the story is follow all the advice until you get a solution - and then find something else! But I am now in a bit of a quandry. i would like to award points to all those who suggested correct answers. I don't have enough points to give everyone 100. I will post the question again, but I don't know how to ensure that everyone gets some points. By my count there are 3 deserving souls - Dennis, JCarlo and myqIG. Anyone want to help me out with the etiquette on this? I do have a new question that needs to be answered - maybe we can factor that in. Ever since I installed the viruschecker update (McAfee 4.0.2) my MS Outlook has returned an error when exiting. Specifically: "OUTLOOK caused an invalid page fault in module KERNEL32.DLL at 0177:bff87eb5." Nothing serious, but irritatating nonetheless. I can post this question elsewhere, or maybe work it into the solution to solving the point awarding problem - i.e. first of those 3 to solve the second prob. gets the 1st 100 + 50 more (or something like that). Anyone care to advise me on this?

Just trying to be a good web citizen! Thanks everyone for all the help!

Jeremy
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by:dew_associates
ID: 1651294
Jeremy, there are several reasons for this error in Outlook, but I need to know which version your using. Outlook Express (early version or version 5?) Outlook 97 or Outlook 98?
Dennis
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by:jcarlo
ID: 1651295
You could try to check your virus scanners' manufacturer's website - there might be a patch for your problem, although I kind of doubt it.

-JPC
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Author Comment

by:jcemf
ID: 1651296
Outlook 98
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by:dew_associates
ID: 1651297
Thanks Jeremy. Do you use Outlook for just Internet Mail such as Hotmail etc, or are you connecting to a global mailbox. If your logging onto somthing like Bell Atlantic or the IBM Global Netwrok, let me know. Also, is this computer networked in any manner and/or do you have several mail boxes that you are checking?
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Author Comment

by:jcemf
ID: 1651298
I am using it for internet mail (geocities) as well as several mail accounts from my cbale internet provider (@home). I am not networked, though I believe the cable hook-up works along the same lines (i.e. a network card was installed to enable the cable modem). Does that help? BTW, I think I should reopen this question so you can qualify for the points. Any particular place you want me to do that? Under a specific title, or just report it here?
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Expert Comment

by:dew_associates
ID: 1651299
You can do that by just rejecting the answer posted. The Geocities account should be okay, but the several cbale accounts might be a problem over the cable hook-up. Give me more info on what you have setup with ebale and how you have setup the cable modem.
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Expert Comment

by:smeebud
ID: 1651300
Yes, please as I asked, reject my answer.

bud
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Author Comment

by:jcemf
ID: 1651301
Rejected as per discussion. The cable modem is set-up with a 3com NIC ethernet card. I have several email accounts on the cable side. Can't tell you too much more, as I didn't do the install (it's a terayon modem if that helps). If you can be more specific with the question I can try and find out.

Jeremy
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Accepted Solution

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dew_associates earned 100 total points
ID: 1651302
Jeremy, rather than repeating myself by re-posting to the original question, I'll just continue with the Outlook problem.

Since I don't know how you have your Internet Mail accounts set up, what I would like you to do is check your settings. The should be like this for each one:

1. On the Tools menu click Services.
 
2. Click the each of the Internet E-mail services you use and then click Properties.
 
3. Click the Connection tab and then select "Connect using my local area network (LAN)."
 
4. Click OK and then Close

Repeat the process for each one, close Outlook and restart the system and then test it and let me know!
Dennis
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Author Comment

by:jcemf
ID: 1651303
Ok, I followed your suggestion, but I still get the same error when Outlook closes. I should add, that this problem only began when I installed the new version of the virus checker (which solved my install problem).
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by:dew_associates
ID: 1651304
Okay Jeremy, next step. Disable your anti-virus and then reload Outllok 98, but don't do it with the CD Rom version, download the newest version from MS. www.microsoft.com/office

Once downloaded, disable the antivirus and use close programs again and install the newer version over what you have already.
Den
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