Performance issues

Tarra used Ask the Experts™
Ive had this prob for about 1 and a half year now... My PC's performance is way worse than what it should be, i cant even burn cd's faster than 20x, everything goes pretty slow (not slow, but slow for having these specs) like copying files from cd-rom or just copying at all, it still runs slow. Booting the OS up and everything takes quite a while (like 1 min or something, which is way too long compared to what it should be), and this all even when i have no programs running in the background, newly formatted HDD, reinstalled windows and so on... STILL SLOW...
I can play stuff and work on my pc just fine and all, its just really annoying when i f.ex. wanna burn on my 48x burner(using 48x cd's), and it wont burn faster than 20x, or the buffer will go way down, then up again (thanks to BURN-proof) and down and up etc.... until the burn is finished, and NERO or w/e program im using would say like: buffer underrun avoided 213 times. the cd turns out fine and all, but takes more than twice the time to burn....

-Ive traded in my HDD for a new one, once before, and i know its not the hard drives fault now....
- Ive checked all the wires and cables and they are where they should be
- Ive bought a new motherboard, and im pretty sure its installed correctly, but i still have the same problem!

My pc specs:
- amd athlon xp 2100+ (1.733mhz)
- one 512 mb ddr dimm pc2100, and one 256mb ddr dimm pc2100
- wdc 80 gb 7200 high performance hdd
- atapi dvd-rom 16x (dunno much about this one) and a plextor 48x/16x/48x burner
- nvidia geforce 4 ti 4600 128 mb ddr graphicscard
- msi k7n2 delta-L motherboard

plzplzplz help, sorry if this question got alittle long, but ive tried this here before, with no luck, and just wanted to make sure u guys understoof my prob =/
My friend has a pc with half the specs of mine, but still his would boot faster and load games faster and so on (tho mine plays the games better and so on)
Thanks in advance :)
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Glen A.IT Project Manager

Which operating system are you using??  That's one spec you didnt' give us . . .

Nero's Help - How Can I Prevent Buffer Underruns?
1. defragment your hard disk from time to time (see my steps below first!)
2. no other tasks should be performed by the computer during the burn process
3. before burning, you should always run the speed test and the simulation in order to get the optimal speed. If you don't do that, the maximum possible write speed of the recorder is kept as default.

Clean up hard drive
1) del any c:\file####.chk
2) del all temp files (*.tmp) in c:\temp & c:\windows\temp
3) Cntl panel - internet options (or rtclk desktop Blue E & click prop's) (or in IE click Tools - internet options): click delete cookies, delete files, & clear history.
4) Open Windows Explorer - expand in left pane to c:\windows\temporary internet files, hit shift + * on numkeypad to expand all of its subdirs - if there are any files still in there or any of its subdir's - delete them.
5) run scandisk & defrag


im running windows xp home edition and my hard drive is partitioned as NTFS. Anywho, my comp runs the same, even tho i have formatted/reinstalled from scratch and everything, so i dont think cleaning up my hard drive is the answer... ive also tried with two different hard drives (both are same model)

could it be any bios settings? power supply?
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For the Nero Problem Under Misc Settings in Nero do you have the box checked to cache files to Disk and network? It should be checked by default but may not.
Also there is a check box where you can specify the size of files to be cached. I suggest setting that to about 50 or 60 kb.

As for the system go to start run and type in msconfig and see what is listed in start up and post here.
Do you have adaware or Spy-bot? If not download and run one of those.
I assume you have scanned for viruses and such.

Post back after trying all that has been posted and let us know where you stand!


i have everything disabled in msconfig, except msn messenger...
and keep in mind that this problem is still here, even though ive just formatted my drive, and its totally clean.
and i have no spyware, no virus... ive checked.
anywho, i could also ask what u guys think would be the appropriate bios settings for my system, for best performance (might be the solution)

Is  Use DMA Mode Checked in the control panel,system Hardware , device manager Primary and Secondary IDE Controllers?




  Being it is only a 1.7 it is not going to have blazing speed! I will give you some registry tweaks you can try.
Do these one at a time,reboot in between and take your time. If you are not comfortable using the registry editor then leave it alone.

Before doing the registry tweaks go here
This site will help you to turn off un-needed services running in the background. Read each one carefully to determine if you need it running or not! See if system performance improves. If it does and you are happy then forget the registry tweaks! Remember use all the things listed here AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!!

[Clean your Pre fetch folder to improve performance ]
This is a unique technique for WinXP. We know that it is necessary to wash registry and TEMP files for Win9X/ME/2000 periodically. Pre fetch is a new and very useful technique in Windows XP. However, after using XP some time, the pre fetch directory can get full of junk and obsolete links in the Pre fetch catalog, which can slow down your computer notably. My suggestion is: open C(system drive):/windows/pre fetch, edit, select all, Hold down the shift key and hit delete, select yes, reboot. It is recommended that you do this every month.

[System Pages Memory Tweak (good)]
By default, if you look in the [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]key, you'll see the 'SystemPages' DWORD Value set to something around  524288 (KB), or something close to that value. Simply reduce the value to something around 128 MB (131072 KB) or 256 MB (262144 KB). Personally, I'm using the 128 MB setting, since my total RAM is 256 MB. It might help to experiment a little, since each machine will most likely yield better or worse results.
Fix Outlook's slow load time without editing registry
There has already been one suggestion for fixing Outlook's load time after uninstalling Messenger, however if you don’t feel comfortable editing the registry simply open OE, click on the Tools menu, then Options, then go to the 'Other' tab, then un-check the box at the bottom that reads "Enable instant messaging in Microsoft Outlook".
Speed up menu display
When using the start menu  you will notice a delay between different tiers of the menu hierarchy. For the fastest computer experience possible I recommend changing this value to zero. This will allow the different tiers to appear instantly.

Start Regedit. If you are unfamiliar with regedit please refer to our FAQ on how to get started.
Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
Select MenuShowDelay from the list on the right.
Right on it and select Modify.
Change the value to 0.
Reboot your computer.

[Optimize NTFS ]
NTFS is a great file system, but its feature-set comes at a slight cost in performance. You can negate this a little with the following tips:

* By default NTFS will automatically update timestamps whenever a directory is traversed. This isn't a necessary feature, and it slows down large volumes.

Disable it by pointing regedit to:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem and set 'DisableNTFSLastAccessUpdate' to 1.

* NTFS uses disparate master file control tables to store file system information about your drives. Over time these core MFT files grow and become fragmented, slowing down all accesses to the drive. By setting aside a little space, MFT's can grow without becoming fragmented. In the same key where you disabled the last access feature create a new DWORD value called 'NtfsMftZoneReservation' and set it to 2.

[Memory Performance Tweak (questionable Results)]
These Settings will fine tune your systems memory management –at least 256MB of ram recommended

go to start\run\regedit -and then to the following key

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management

1.DisablePagingExecutive -double click it and in the decimal put a 1 - this allows XP to keep data in memory now instead of paging sections of ram to hard drive yields faster performance.

2.LargeSystemCache- double click it and change the decimal to 1 -this allows XP Kernel to Run in memory improves system performance.

3.create a new dword and name it IOPageLockLimit - double click it and set the value in hex - 4000 if you have 128MB of ram or set it to 10000 if you have 256MB - 512MB of ram, this tweak will speed up your disc cache

[Disk Write caching ]
Windows defaults to write-behind caching, holding data in a memory buffer before writing it to disk. Disabling this function will increase your system performance by writing data immediately to disk. To disable this function, right click on My Computer and choose Properties, or open Control Panel and select System. Select the Hardware tab and click the Device Manager button. Click the plus sign next to Disk Drives and select a drive. Choose Properties and uncheck Write Cache Enabled. Repeat for all drives in your system."

You may want to consider a processor upgrade if your motherboard will allow it.

Glen A.IT Project Manager

I don't think a processor upgrade would make any difference here.  and an  Athlon 2100+ should be booting to WinXP in 20 - 30 seconds, fyi.

You say the problems are basically two things:

1.  Nero burns at a slower speed than you want ...  

2.  You PC boots to windows slowly and loads it's games slowly ...   Yet it plays the games fine, and faster than your friends PC.

Is this correct?

It sounds to me like there might be something physically wrong with the IDE controller on the motherboard, or that there are some kind of drivers conflicting with the IDE controller on the motherboard.

Did you install the nVidia motherboard drivers??  They'll make a difference, if you haven't.  They should be on the CD that came with your system.  If you don't have them anymore, you can d/l them here:

If that doesn't correct it, try running either with the DVD rom only OR the CDRW only, and see if that makes a difference.  It may be one of them causing issues with the IDE controller.

It shouldn't be the hard drive as you just replaced it.


well, it was slow on my last motherboard too, and on my last hard drive (got a new one, same model and all, traded in cuz it got fried once) , and i used to have only the dvd-rom, and there was no difference from having one in and not the other (i tried). i have the nvidia motherboard drivers installed...
I've posted this many times on different boards, with no luck yet ... the only positive thing about this, is that ive learned practically all i know about computer hardware through trying to fix this :)

and to leadhead, ill try the tweaks later (its 1 AM here and ive got school at 7 AM D: ) And another thing.... even though 1.733 ghz isnt extremely fast, ive seen 800 mhz machines burn at 48x, and my friend , who i told u about, has 1.6ghz and loads everything fast... installs things and copies things quickly from cd's and so on...
 (i install things insanely slow compared)

so its: installing slow from cd's/burning at only 20x (i just copied a whole cd to my drive and it took me nearly 10 mins)
           loading in games slow (not too slow, loads half life in 1 sec, but the prob was f.ex. mafia, which took 30 secs to load, when my friend used a few secs)
           copying files slowly


Tried the tweaks, didnt help much.... mmm... just to copy a 700 megs file on the same hard drive, takes about 4-5 mins. it seems that copying files from one folder to another on the same hard drive is going at the same rate as burning to a cd...


plzplzplzplz someone answer, i seriously need help on this one!

Tara: I may have missed it but how much memory does your system have.
How much room is left on your hard drive.
Does your hard drive and CDRW and CD-Rom have the 80 wire IDE cables with the blue end.

Go to Create a login  and run a full system test and see what it has to say about system performance.
Before you run the test put a cd with some information on it into the CDRW and CD Drive. and close them if they open programs.

Since everything you have is new or nearly new we are running into a wall as you say this system performs the same as your old one.


omg, i havent tried the cdrom test yet (dont worry, i will), but i saw the other numbers, and they scored as high as they should, even tho the system is running slow in windows. i think windows hates my comp ^^. I liked the pcpitstop though, hehe. I have 80 wire IDE cables, 50 gigs free and 786 mb ddr dimm pc2100 memory

About your cd-writer...
One thing that wasn't mentioned that is simple an sometimes overlooked...

Make sure that your cd-writer is set as a master and not a slave drive.


hey, i think i figured it out, at least alittle..... It keeps being set to PIO instead of DMA. i uninstall the secondary controller, restart my comp, and it installs again. I then have DMA, but it seems to go back to PIO after a while again. Ive heard that windows xp does that if it finds some errors when doing DMA, do you know where i can find these errors?

even if this isnt my problem, i think its a windows xp or software problem. Everything in the bios and inside my comp is set as it should, i think...
PAQed, with points refunded (500)

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