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Computer too slow - maybe a better way to configure win98se, or access more memory ???

Posted on 2004-04-09
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Last Modified: 2013-12-29
Hi.  My computer has slowed to the point of complete frustration
Here's what I have already tried with no significant improvement:

- ctl+alt+delete and remove everything except explorer and systray
- disabling or closing everything except bare minimum in the systray
- Kicking it.

I haven't installed any memory-hogging software that I'm aware of.

Following is machine specs:

Microsoft Windows 98 4.10.2222 A
Upgrade using Full OEM CD /T:C:\WININST0.400 /SrcDir=D:\WIN98 /IZ /IS /IQ /IT /II /NR /II /C  /U:xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
IE 5 5.50.4807.2300
Uptime: 0:05:38:31
Normal mode
On "CLIVQ" as "Default"
Dell Computer Corporation
GenuineIntel x86 Family 6 Model 8 Stepping 1
128MB RAM
75% system resources free
Windows-managed swap file on drive C (13267MB free)
Available space on drive C: 13267MB of 26092MB (FAT32)

Here's config.sys:

DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS
DEVICE=C:\CDROM\ATAPI_CD.SYS /D:MSCD001 /PIO
DEVICE=C:\CDROM\HIT-DVD.SYS /D:MSCD001
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\SETVER.EXE

Just as a side note:  I realize a new machine would probably be a great solution,
but trying to avoid that just yet...  

If you need any more info just ask..  Thanks.
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Question by:ccbon
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blue_zee earned 500 total points
ID: 10789899

You are running an updated Anti Virus?

First clean your system of any nasties:

Download Ad-Aware from here:
http://lavasoft.element5.com/support/download/
Install, UPDATE and run.
You may need to reboot and run again to clean all the nasties that cannot be deleted at once (“in use”).

Also excellent is SpyBot Search & Destroy available here:
http://www.safer-networking.org/index.php?page=download
Install, UPDATE and run.
You may need to reboot and run again to clean all the nasties that cannot be deleted at once (“in use”).

Even if Ad-Aware and SpyBot S&D are similar, they do clean different things. You should have both of them and use REGULARLY.

You can also install “preventive” software that will help you control these nasties:

SpywareBlaster:
http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html
Avoids malicious Active X installs.
Advantage: no system resources used!!!
Just download, install and UPDATE.

SpywareGuard:
http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareguard.html
Monitors for attempts to install malicious software.

All of them extremely useful but you must keep them UPDATED.

Zee


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by:blue_zee
ID: 10789903

Run a full scandisk and defrag:

Get the free ScanDefrag. It is the most advanced disk maintenance program there is. It runs Disk Cleanup, ScanDisk, and Disk Defragmenter.

It's easy to setup and use, and it can deal with problems like "drive's contents have changed: restarting...".

Get it and read about all the options it has that you can use. It is a small download.

http://home.earthlink.net/~bblanton2/scandefrag/main.htm
http://www.blueorbsoft.com/scandefrag/index.html

First configure Disk Cleanup (tick all options), then ScanDisk (as suggested by ScanDefrag) and at last Disk Drefagmenter.

Click RUN and let the process finish. If the HDD is as messy as it sounds, it may take a while to finish the 3 processes, but be patient, it will pay back.

Zee
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Author Comment

by:ccbon
ID: 10790165
Hello.  I note that you, too are awake rather early !
Thanks for your quick response;

I have Ad Aware, use it almost religiously - certainly after every online session.
I use it on an ad hoc basis, i.e., it's not resident, I just run it manually as needed.
Have Macafee anitvirus and also their firewall.  Both resident.

Regarding the other suggestions you made, it might take a day or two, but I intend to try it.  

I will get back to you as soon as I've completed the tasks.

Thanks again.
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by:Asta Cu
ID: 10790925
Prior versions of IE had Memory Leaks, which could well be your case here, although Zee's information will definitely help you improve your environment.   When you visit WindowsUpdate, aside from IE 6 with Service Packs (recommended), which other components are recommended to you in terms of needed updates?

Unclear if your version of IE 5.5 includes SP 2 or not, but that version as well as IE 6 no longer supported the standard old Netscape-style plugins, and updated plugins are needed such as Flash Player, Shockwave Player, VHS Player and others (a few example and links follow)...  

Using the start-run-msconfig setup to uncheck the start-up files just to test performance and recheck one-by-one often helps narrow the scope and find the culprint on reboot.  This has proven quite helpful when in troubleshooting mode to find culprits and/or create a Clean Boot environment.  Also, do check control panel if FastFind is running, which is MS Office related indexer which can impact response time if major changes and indexing them in the background...  I opt not to use it.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;192926&Product=w98

Do you recall what you did around the time these performance hits occurred, such as new installs, config changes and/or add-ons such as Toolbars or the like?
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by:Asta Cu
ID: 10791000
Any idea what this is?  On "CLIVQ" as "Default"  .... I have no idea what this is.

Just worked with a friend who was experiencing performance problems on W98SE, with all WindowsUpdates current and he had installed a new Toolbar aid, which caused response time issues as well as having his Virtual Memory file very fragmented and read only as well as settings for the CD-ROM.  These links were helpful in those regards.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;239094&Product=w98

When you run a program that accesses a CD-ROM drive, you may notice that the program is not performing optimally. You may notice slow data transfer in a business or reference program, or skipping or slow audio and video in a multimedia program.
CAUSE
This behavior can occur when the Supplemental Cache Size and Optimize Access Pattern For settings are not be set correctly for your CD-ROM drive.
RESOLUTION
To resolve this issue, follow these steps improve your CD-ROM drive's performance:

Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double- click System.
On the Performance tab, click File System.
Click the CD-ROM tab.
Move the Supplemental Cache Size slider to the right to allocate more random access memory (RAM) for caching data from the CD-ROM drive or to the left to allocate less RAM for caching data.

Note that many multimedia programs perform better with a smaller cache because these program tend not to reuse data.
For reading continuous data, such as .avi files, use a higher setting in the Optimize Access Pattern For box. For reading random data, increase the Supplemental Cache Size setting and decrease the Optimize Access Pattern For setting.
Click OK, and then click Close. When you are prompted to restart your computer, do so.
NOTE: If you are using real-mode drivers for your CD-ROM drive, these settings have no effect.
MORE INFORMATION here at the source link:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;141368&Product=w98


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by:G_Carter
ID: 10791401
good comments from asatec
You only have 128 MB in the machine, I do not recommend using IE 6, it is too  much of a resource hot.  Go Back to IE 5.5 sp2.  Also, you are loading real mode dirivers in your config.sys file.  In my experience, you do not need any of those things in your config.sys, certainly not the CD-Rom drivers, Unless you need to use the CD -ROM in DOS mode, they are just taking up resources.  

Also, I like to disable the virtual memory, boot into safe mode and then run defrag.  When Defrag is finished, re enable virtual memory and boot normally.  That will also defrag the paging file.  

Really check the msconfig file as mentioned above. Here is a great resource to use for finding out what all that stuff means

http://www.pacs-portal.co.uk/startup_index.htm
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Expert Comment

by:Baryonic_Being
ID: 10793504
Many people, including myself, have had the same problem with Windows 98. I reliably solved the problem by upgrading my computer altogether and using a faster OS. If all else fails, I recommend using Linux or Unix.
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Expert Comment

by:richierich72
ID: 10794024
I had same problem with win 98.I reformated my hard drive wiped it completely clean.This is not hard if your system has system recovery cds.I was not that fortunate though.It speeded my system up to like new and I only had 4gb hd and 64mb ram.I since have upgraded to 80gb HD and 256mb ram.I also have a new HP and I do full system recovery on it about every 6 months.If you do this make sure you save all files and data you wanna keep on a disk.If you don't have system recovery cds and want to reformat it is a little tougher espically if you dont know much about it.
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by:Asta Cu
ID: 10796911
I sure would consider increasing RAM, since the cost has significantly become more affordable than in the past and additional memory improves so many elements of computing ...  if you do, ensure it's compatible.
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Author Comment

by:ccbon
ID: 10798578
To Astaec
Regarding your inquiry about "On CLIVQ as "Default" ":
CLIVQ is, according to my registry, Dell's service tag for this machine.
It also shows up as the "machine id" and in a couple of other similarly-named keys in the registry.

TO ALL RESPONSES:  Thanks - W.I.P. checking out your suggestions.

Appreciate all.


CCBON.
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by:Asta Cu
ID: 10799137
Thank you, ccbon, I appreciate your response; I've learned something new about Dell and On CLIVQ ... I'm still baffled, though, that I never received any hits for it anywhere in any search engines.  That is definitely a rarity.

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by:CraDanKaSoft
ID: 10800091
Apperantly this is your Config.sys file. Do you use DOS at all for watching DVD's or using CD Drives? If not, then delete the 2 middle lines.

DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS
DEVICE=C:\CDROM\ATAPI_CD.SYS /D:MSCD001 /PIO
DEVICE=C:\CDROM\HIT-DVD.SYS /D:MSCD001
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\SETVER.EXE

As for your computer being slow, Reformat or defrag (note, Defrag could take a while.)
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Expert Comment

by:WilfredoPerez
ID: 10810282
run ad aware to clean up the pc in safe mode, becasue in safe mode you will be able to remove ALL instances of spyware(you get to safe mode by hitting the F8 key at boot up every second) then run csandsik and disk defragment.
enjoy!
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by:gonzal13
ID: 10810459
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS
DEVICE=C:\CDROM\ATAPI_CD.SYS /D:MSCD001 /PIO
DEVICE=C:\CDROM\HIT-DVD.SYS /D:MSCD001
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\SETVER.EXE

You need to put under himem the following
Device = c:\windows\emm386.sys noems.
Dos = umb, high

then put everything under dos= to
Devicehigh=

First go to dos from windows. Type chkdsk. you should be around 590k. You need at least 600.
Then make the changes as shown. You should not need Device...setver.exe since the machine loads this by itself. You can try and put in high, but it should not make any difference.


gonzal13(Joe)
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Author Comment

by:ccbon
ID: 10812747
Thanks Wilfredo & Joe.
I'll try your suggestions.

Side note: I find it annoying that microsoft.com doesn't seem to address this issue anyplace on the site, at least not in the support section.  I also checked the K.(known) B.(bugs). and nothing there either.  I guess they only address this topic if you're in a section that they interpret means you're ready to upgrade (BUY something).

and FINALLY my own joke:  How do you know when you've got yourself a truly great anti-virus program ?  (a:) When you install it, everything Microsoft disappears.
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by:blue_zee
ID: 10812906

LOL @ ccbon

You may want to spend a little time with these 2 excellent articles:

SYSTEM RESOURCES FAQ
http://www.aumha.org/win4/a/resource.htm

Windows 98 & WinME Memory Management
http://www.aumha.org/win4/a/memmgmt.htm

I am sure these are useful, and you will find something to improve the performance of your system.

Zee
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by:amanda333
ID: 10891614
You might want to try and do these two things becuase I think one of them is your problem.  First get rid of the spywear on the computer (which someone has mentioned) but also try a virus scan becuase my computer did the same thing when it had spywear and a virus running on it.
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by:Asta Cu
ID: 10900279
Please provide us with an update on your progress here so that we can help you further, as needed.  

Also, amanda333, BOTH issues have been previously mentioned by others, including "updated" viruscan software.  Help is always appreciated, but also that previous information is read to minimize redundancy and confusion.
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Author Comment

by:ccbon
ID: 10908627
Thanks to all who responded...
To Blue Zee:  The combination defrag and scandisk seems to have improved things immensely - it took awhile but it was worth it.  Thanks for everything.
CCBON
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by:blue_zee
ID: 10908694

ccbon,

Thanks.

Great news.
:)

Zee
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by:gonzal13
ID: 10908783
I may be biased, but i think that the people on this site actually do try to comment well on the questions. Where else can you find a free site that is so great.

Still check out config.sys. It will allow you to run larger programs like Illustrator and Photoshop.

Gonzal13(Joe)
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by:Asta Cu
ID: 10910177
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