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slow computer

Posted on 2003-03-29
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I have a Dell 8200 series computer. i have had it for about a year. I am using only about 25% of its capacity. My problem is it is slow. It never was a ball of fire, but now it is slow, slow, slow. What can I do. Note I have a very large web site We are wholesalers of silk flowers, so we have a lot of images, but I can't see that as the problem
                          jim boyle
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Question by:jboyslkflo
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33 Comments
 
LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 8231212
Greetings, jboyslkflo!
   Look at what is being loaded at startup. Select Start > Run and type "msconfig". From the Configuration Utility select Startup. Look at the programs that starts up and see which ones that you don't need. Uncheck them. Reboot. Don't uncheck Sys Tray and Scan Registry.

http://www.internet4classrooms.com/sysresource.htm

If you are running Windows 95/98/ME, look at why the following system resources FAQ

http://www.aumha.org/a/resource.htm

User Resources and GDI Resources are limiting factors. So is the RAM. If you have more RAM, you would be running faster. The reason is that many programs load data into RAM as you used them. When you close those programs, the data is not removed. Microsoft programs are notorious for leaving data in RAM. When your RAM is full, the computer uses virtual memory on your hard disk. This extra seating and finding open space consume time. Transfer of data to hard disk is slower than transfer to RAM.

http://www.crucial.com/win2000/test_ram1.asp#moreram

So more RAM means better performance. You cannot do anything about system resources except change operating system. You can do something about RAM.

Best wishes, war1
0
 

Expert Comment

by:bsheragy
ID: 8231237
There are a lot of things that can cause a computer to slow down like that.  I am assuming you host and run the web site off of this computer.

What OS are you running?

How much ram do you have?

Do you run Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter regularly?
0
 

Expert Comment

by:markske100
ID: 8231383
i reccomend you install more ram because my friend had the same problem and when he installed more ram his system went a lot faster
you can also try to install a system that requires less ram
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:pallidin
ID: 8232393
Defrag might be a solution. Also, with your images you likely have 2 problems: Excessive .temp files and/or low video RAM. Point to remember: run a THOROUGH" scandisk, i.e. surface scan, before DEFRAG.
0
 

Expert Comment

by:pd_4u
ID: 8234606
Hey pal,
1) clear out cookies
2) delete temporary internet files
3) defrag ur system
4) delete stuff that u dont want from the task bar (steps as given by "war1")
5) get urself a good anti-virus software (norton / mcafee). there might just be a non-malacious virus too.

n'joy!!!
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Author Comment

by:jboyslkflo
ID: 8235013
OK guys here is what I have;
1- Dimension 8200, Pentium 4 , processor1.9 GHz
2- 512MB PC800 RDRAM
3- 80 GB 7200 RPM Ultra ATA Hard Drive
   I don't belive I am using much more than 25%
   of capacity
4- 64 MB DDR BVIDIA GeForce 3 TI 200 Graphic Card
   with DVI
5- Symantec Notton Antivirus 2000
6- my operating system is "Windows XP Professional
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Now to answer your questions;
War1, I followed your suggestion, and did what tou have suggested with "msconfig" NO LUCK, it still locks up many times a day and still going slow  
I must compliment you on the other information that you gave me "http;//www.Aumna.org/A/resource.html. This is great information, which I will take advantage of. I don't have the time to go through it all now, but I will. For now I am sure you are right about the ram. I am
will work on that now. Don't know what I am doing, but will try    jim
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:Jorpho
ID: 8235158
A surprising number of problems (including system slowdowns) can be caused by adware/spyware that was inadvertently installed on your system.  Try

http://www.lavasoftusa.com/
http://security.kolla.de/
0
 

Author Comment

by:jboyslkflo
ID: 8235196
I always get great information from you tech's, I g=just found out something that might be a problem. here is what I did, War1, I Right clicked on My computer and and was told to select Preformance, but I did not have preformance on my sys. so on my comp I selected "Explore" from there I right clicked on my image file from my web site, It stated I have 212 MB on a 218 MB disk, I then checked my web site and that indicated 230 MB on a 237 MB disk, that is over 90%, could this be the promlem and what do I do    Jim
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 8235246
Jim,
   The problem maybe System Restore. If it is not working right, it can take up a lot of CPU time, thus slowing your computer. Disable it and see what happens.

1. Right click the My Computer icon on the Desktop and click on Properties.
2. Click on the System Restore tab.
3. Put a check mark next to 'Turn off System Restore on All Drives'.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:mikelima
ID: 8236092
your problem is on BIOS adjustments. Reboot your computer and enter on BIOS. Then adjust:

to the lowest numbers available every entry that says "wait times", "R/W wait times", "R/W latency time", "PCI LATENCY TIME"

turn AGP mode to the fastest your video board can do (are you using an AGP board? I hope so...),2x, 4x or 8x

turn on every entry which says, "turbo mode", "fast mode", "L1 CACHE", L2 CACHE...

turn off every entry that says SHADOW, VIDEO SHADOW, BIOS SHADOW, BLA BLA SHADOW, ETC. OFF OFF OFF

before changing, take notes of the values you have, for any energency...

The main key for speed is the wait times and cache L1 and L2. If your system do not boots after that return there and increas memory r/w wait times. You will have to discover the limit you can decrease wait times until it is not operational.

THAT WILL MAKE YOUR SYSTEM FLY.

hope this helps
0
 

Author Comment

by:jboyslkflo
ID: 8246655
Mike Lima, war1, and the rest of you guy's, and gal's. I have been trying to get back to you, but there was no place to answer on this page. I had to go back to the page with all my past questions to get here. anyway, onward
War1, first I have had no education about computers, I do have a very large web site, but you know the old saying
"a self made man" is the product of unskilled labor, this is me. So war1 i did as you said I went to Sys restore and turned it off and then clicked OK. A message came up stating "you have chosen to turn off Sys Restore, if you continue All sys restore points will be deleted. That scared me. should I have continued????????
Next, Mike as you noted above I am but a click above being dumb. I have been in the registry before, but do not know my way around, but am good at following orders.
                     Jim Boyle
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:Jorpho
ID: 8246777
Mike was referring to the BIOS.  This is not part of the registry.  Right after you turn on your computer, a message appears on the screen saying "Press Delete to enter SETUP" or a similar phrase.  It is by pressing this key after turning on one's computer that one enters the BIOS.  

In my opinion, though, that is a rather drastic measure.
Have you tried downloading and running the programs I linked to already?
0
 

Expert Comment

by:bsheragy
ID: 8246875
I'm with Jorpho on the adware/spyware, also windows comes with two very good maintenance programs:  Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter.  Running these programs regularly really help.  When a system slows down over time it is usually due to too many temp files or a fragmented hard drive.

Stopping system services and other sytem tweaks in this instance should be a last resort, especially if you're not sure what you're doing.  They can often do more harm than good, and every computer system is different, what works on one may hurt another.
0
 

Author Comment

by:jboyslkflo
ID: 8247325
I tried to answer you again, but no place to answer. The new format came up again. It looks more like an add page they have (6) squars on the left side, which I believe are adds, and one across the middle (where your comments are) this one says "EE is totally free & sign-up is quick and easy" never seen this before. I had to go back to my page and click on last question, in able to make a comment
NEXT I am going to try the bios, will get back to you   Jim
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 8247912
jboyslkflo,
   If there is nothing that you want to save, you can remove System Restore and the restore points. It may fix your problem.
0
 

Author Comment

by:jboyslkflo
ID: 8248261
That same screen came up.
OK Mikelima,I did as you suggested and went to the bios. I rebooted and clicked on f2 to get into bios. i did not find any thing related to what you said, probably because, I did not know where to go. Her is where i was.

Intel Pentium 4 Processor 1.90GHz
Level 2 casche: 256KB integrated
Bios Version: A03
service Tag: JRJQC11
----------------------------------------------------------Sys Time---------------------------
Sys Date---------------------------04/01/03
Prim Drive 0 ----------------------Hard Drive
Prim Drive 1 ----------------------Off
Sec Drive  0 ----------------------CD Rom Reader
Sec Drive  1 ----------------------Off
----------------------------------------------------------
Boot Seq --------------------------Enter
Sys memory ------------------------512 MB RDram
AGP Aperture ----------------------128 MB
CPU Info --------------------------Enter
----------------------------------------------------------
Integrated devices (legacySelect Options)-----Enter
PCI IRQ Assignment ---------------------------Enter
IRQ Reservations -----------------------------Enter
Sys Security ---------------------------------Enter

Keyboard Numlock -----------------------------On
report Key Board Errors ----------------------Report

Mute Power On --------------------------------Disabled
Remote Wake-Up -------------------------------Off
AC Power Recovery ----------------------------Off
Fast Boot ------------------------------------On
Suspend Mode ---------------------------------S3
System Event Log -----------------------------Enter
Asset Tag
I went every where I could in the above and found nothing, where did I go wrong.   Jim Boyle
 
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:Jorpho
ID: 8248398
Your system may lack the appropriate options.

As I said, this isn't necessarily a great idea.  Allow me to emphasize once again that downloading AdAware from http://www.lavasoftusa.com/ or Spybot from http://security.kolla.de/ may quickly and easily solve your problem.  Both programs are completely free, easy to install, and easy to remove.
0
 

Author Comment

by:jboyslkflo
ID: 8248601
Jorpho, I am going to do as you suggest. I'm sure your right, one of my major faults is closing a program and going to another before the first one is really closed. I'm sure this contributed to my problem
    Thanks Jim
0
 
LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 8276589
jboyslkflo,
   We have not heard from you in awhile? Did any comment help you solve your problem? Do you have any more questions? If an Expert help you, please accept his/her answer and provide him with an excellent or good grade.

Thanks, war1
0
 

Author Comment

by:jboyslkflo
ID: 8279385
war1 and jorpho, I did down load, AdAware, but I was waiting to see what happened. Here are the results, I believe it did speed up a little, but the the freeze up apear more. It took me a haf an hour just to get to Expert-Exchange, just mbecause of the freeze up's, I also lost the address bar, I got around that. I'm lost guys, I know you can get be back. you always have    jim
0
 

Expert Comment

by:saivon
ID: 8282949
you need to have a certain amount of free space on the drive for the paging file. You could try turning virtual memory off as you have quite a lot of ram. try and move some data to a pertition with more free space. Save the C partition for the operating system only.

Good luck
0
 

Author Comment

by:jboyslkflo
ID: 8283154
saivon, I only have C: drive, are you saying I should Partition my work     jim
0
 

Expert Comment

by:saivon
ID: 8283414
Sorry I misread your comment about

" It stated I have 212 MB on a 218 MB disk, I then checked my web site and that indicated 230 MB on a 237 MB disk"

but this means the size that the data actually takes up on the disk drive. At a glance I thought that it meant you had multiple partition of different sizes on your machine.

Try this: Right click on My Computer on the desktop and select Properties. Click the Advanced Tab > Preformance > Settings. In here select optimise visual fx for best performance and select processor scheduling and memory usage to background services and system cache.

Make sure that the disk is defragmented and do a scan of the drive (not a thorough scan) Try setting the paging file in virtual memory to about 2 times the installed RAM of the machine.

Check that disk intensive programs are deactivated, such as realtime scanning of viruses and FindFast (if this is on make sure that it is disabled) Its used by MS office to be 'helpful' regarding disk access. What it actually does if cause the drive to grind away at random times for no useful reason.

Failing these, you could look into altering the registry entries for 'Conservative Swap File Usage' and IO Page Lock Limit', but I suspect that these will be optimised by default.
0
 

Author Comment

by:jboyslkflo
ID: 8284015
saivon, I followed your directions, Here is what I came up with.
Went to <my comp><Properties><advanced tab><Preformance>
<Settings>I could not find (optimise visial fix, etc)I clk on advanced and got the same thing. Under Performance Options, two tabs, I clk on advanced.
On the advanced tab I found three areas;
1-Processor scheduling= two choices Programs---"Background service"
2- Memory usage=two choices Programs----"System Cache"
3-Virtual Memory= total pg size for all drives=768MB

Virtual Memory
size= 768 MB----1536 MB  
Space Available= 63382 MB

Custom Size
Inital Size= 768 MB
Max size= 1536 MB
 Neither of these next two items were checked
O system Managed Size
O No Paging File

Total Paging File Size for all drives
  Min Allowed= 2MB
Recommended= 765 MB
Currently Allowcated= 768 MB
Saivon, I believe you want me to increase the paging file to 1530 MB. I could not find any place where I could. This as far as I got.   jim boyle  
0
 

Expert Comment

by:saivon
ID: 8284170
The paging file should optimally be about 1024 MB for you physical RAM (512 MB) but 768MB is fine. You should however set the minimum and maximum amounts to be both 768 MB (this saves windows having to continuously resize the paging file - which is a slow process)

Just click 'change' in the virtual memory frame and set the max and min to the same amount.

So its Right Click My Computer > Properties > Advanced > Performance Settings >Advanced Tab > Virtual Memory Change Button then enter the required amount into the text boxes there. If they are greyed out, click the radio button "Custom Size" to enable them.

This will help, but to be honest it is unlikely to be the cause of the problem. Your system should be able to cope with the tasks you require. If you have a lot of small images (and I mean a lot) the system may be choking on llisting the files / properties etc. You may not have indexing enabled. To do this, Press Windows Key + E to get to windos explorer, find the directory you require > Right Click > Properties > Advanced and then check the box to enable fast indexing.

Im afraid there are many many reasons that the computer has slowed down, but make sure that you try all the suggestions in the thread. Defrag the HD, and check for errors / viruses. You could have accidentally picked up some spyware from the net. Try Lavasoft's adaware to get rid of it. You could also use Regedit to remove registry entrys that are no longer needed.

There is also a great utility called TweakXP that will let you adjust all manner of hidden options within windows including memory optimisation, Disk optimisation and configuration for scheduling etc

Good Luck!
0
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:mikelima
ID: 8286030
Due to my experience with computers, any "improvement" or optimization done in windoze will not represent that much you probably is looking for. Windoze optimizations will represent, 1, 2 or 10% increase in performance. Just BIOS adjustments, in case of not well adjusted, can increase up to 200% or more...

But, as you said, your BIOS is very limited.

Can you tell us what machine is that? Do you know the name and model of the motherboard (better) your machine uses? ABIT? ASUS?
0
 

Author Comment

by:jboyslkflo
ID: 8287262
saivon, I followed your directions And when I went to make the change to Initial=768MB and Max=768Mb, I found it at initial= 768Mb an Max at= 1536MB, so I did not change any thing. I was not sure what you ment by "find the directory you require?
mikelima I'm not sure how to get the information you want, but Here is what I have;

1- Dimension 8200, Pentium 4 , processor1.9 GHz
2- 512MB PC800 RDRAM
3- 80 GB 7200 RPM Ultra ATA Hard Drive
  I don't belive I am using much more than 25%
  of capacity
4- 64 MB DDR BVIDIA GeForce 3 TI 200 Graphic Card
  with DVI
5- Symantec Notton Antivirus 2000
6- my operating system is "Windows XP Professional
0
 

Author Comment

by:jboyslkflo
ID: 8348211
Guy's and Gal's, by problem is getting worse. This morning as I was typing an e-mail some of the words I typed did not show up until a few seconds later. and the computer is still running slow. Do you believe that because i have a very large web site (silk Flowers) We are wholesalers of silk flowers, as such we have very large amount of images,  take a look <www.boylesilkfloralsupply.com> that this may be my problem, or am I short on ram    Jim Boyle
0
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:Jorpho
ID: 8348590
Did you ever try running Disk Defragmenter, as suggested?
0
 

Author Comment

by:jboyslkflo
ID: 8348678
yes I do this every week. Scheduled   jim
0
 

Expert Comment

by:bsheragy
ID: 8348714
How is the performance on your website?

If your website is running ok, you may just want to have a second pc for everyday purposes.
0
 
LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:paullamhkg
ID: 9307364
No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is to:

Be PAQ'd/Points No Refunded

Please leave any comments here within the next seven days.

PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT THIS COMMENT AS AN ANSWER!

Paul
EE Cleanup Volunteer
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Accepted Solution

by:
SerCouWisMOD earned 0 total points
ID: 9371903
The question will be PAQ'ed, with refund, because there is useful information that other questioner might find helpful.

SerCouWisMOD
Community Support Moderator

Personally it comes across as something to do with the hardware. Perhaps overheating of the HDD or CPU or the Video card.
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