Solved

Sluggish Windows XP Machine.

Posted on 2004-04-21
18
2,884 Views
Last Modified: 2007-11-27
I'm not sure if this is an OS issue or hardware issue, but any suggestions would be helpful.  I have a computer running for my Wife / Kids, and the CPU is the same as my own machine, perhaps a bit more.  The problem machine is a AMD 1.2 Gig with 380 (approx) meg of ram.  Video is a NVidea MX440 32 meg.  Motherboard is a Elite Group. (Not sure of the model)

Problem is that my Intel Celeron 950 will run circles around the AMD.  I have a bit more ram, but only by 128 Meg.

I originally thought it may have been the old 6 Gig drive I had lying around, so I Ghosted the OS to a new 40 Gig 7200 RPM Maxtor drive. (If anything it may have made the situation slightly worse.

It's Running XP SP1a, and all drivers are up to date.  It's slow just loading the OS, and where I can notice it the most is at the login screen.  My mouse keeps "stalling" for a second, then it will continue on it's merry way.  

I have run SpyBot 1.3 and Adaware.  I have no viruses. I have tried different setting for my swap file, I've even tried an overlay of XP. I have tried a few other misc things, but not much seems to have changed.

Everything seems OK in the Windows device manager. (no exclamation or question marks)

Doing a "CTRL - ALT - DEL" I don't see any applications or tasks using a crazy amount of CPU.

As a note, once a application / game loads, it seems to run fine, but it's the initial loading of the application / OS that seems to be the real kicker.

Any suggestions would be great.
0
Comment
Question by:eccs19
18 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:jdissues
ID: 10880750
two things, one get 2 sticks of 512,, or get a neew 10,000 rpm drive, there expensive but thats where the speed lies
0
 
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:snerkel
ID: 10882213
defrag your hard drive would probably help, Ghosting a drive transfers any fragramentation present in the original drive.
0
 
LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Paul S
ID: 10882502
open spybot search and destroy in advanced mode. click on tools on the left. then system start-up. uncheck stuff you don't need and give us a list of what is on there.

then check out the following:

http://www.paulscomputerservice.net/index.php?body=software/speedxp.php

http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/servicecfg.htm
0
 
LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:L0n3W0lf
ID: 10883607
Defraging the drive should do the trick, the best ways is to use an external defrag progi like from O & O look here
http://www.oo-software.com/en/
I had to do this every time i cloned a harddrive, from my point of view cloning makes the fragmentation even more worst
So defrag before creating the image and after bringing it to a new disk.
0
 
LVL 8

Author Comment

by:eccs19
ID: 10883695
Just as a note to everyone.  When I originally Ghosted the drive, I did defrag, trying it with the Windows & Norton Speed Disk, and it has been done after that point, as I thought that could have also been the problem.  I have also gone through and cleaned up a lot of startup items that are not needed.  (Used the tips from blackviper.com & eliminated a lot of the other programs that seem to start as listed in the MSCONFIG. There are other things that I have tried, but can't remember them all.  If I see any other suggestions, and remember I have tried them, I will let you know.

I will have a look in the SpyBot one, and see if anything looks strange in there.  I will let you know.
0
 

Expert Comment

by:MadTechno
ID: 10884439
I'm agree with L0n3wolf defrag extend yout hard life and speed it out also O & O is a nice software.

or try to open the registery and see what is running on the start up go to this key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

then check out any strange values and delete it , but first backup your registery :)
0
 
LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Paul S
ID: 10885678
get info from black viper's website and dis-able services using Start>Run "services.msc"  download spybot from here http://www.safer-networking.org/ and use it to disable stuff in start-up and to scan for spyware. it is better than msconfig. you did all the stuff in my previous post right?
0
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:tatoon
ID: 10886471
A different way to go is checking the BIOS parameters. Very often the motherboard directly out of the box doesnt come with the best settings. Changing parameters, like AGP speed from 1x to 8x, AGP memory (best is double of what you really have), activating DDR memory if available, raising the bus speed, etc... many times the computer can give a lot more power, but the BIOS parameters are slowing it down.
Check the motherboard manual and try "playing around" with the BIOS. You can always go back to where you started by selecting the "Default parameters", so dont worry.
0
Top 6 Sources for Identifying Threat Actor TTPs

Understanding your enemy is essential. These six sources will help you identify the most popular threat actor tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs).

 
LVL 8

Author Comment

by:eccs19
ID: 10887969
There were a couple of strange things happening in the start-up according to SpyBot.  One of them being MS Messenger seemed to be listed in there twice.  I have only 2 things in there, one being a scheduler, and the other one was a Norton item.  I disabled 3 norton items, but left the one running.  (Sorry I'm not at home, and can't remember what one is was I left, but SpyBot didn't tell me that one wasn't needed.)

I have tried all of The_Computer_Guru_777's suggestions execpt for the one link
http://www.paulscomputerservice.net/index.php?body=software/speedxp.php

I will have look tonight.  I will also try some of the BIOS settings as suggested by tatoon.  (I did play in there a bit, but having a second look may be an excellent idea)

0
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:youre1m
ID: 10888519
I would recommend putting the old disk back into the machine and dropping a clean build of XP on there, this way you will see if your build has problems or the hardware. I realise you have upgraded to a faster disk but at that level of CPU the disk will not be much of a bottle neck, particulary when simply booting up. It should only take you an hour or so.

Check how the system performs prior to adding any Norton software and then monitor your machine performance as you install each app.

At least from this point you will know the source of your problem i.e. software / hardware, and we can look at other suggestions depending on your findings.
0
 
LVL 8

Author Comment

by:eccs19
ID: 10903928
I've come to the conclusion that it may be the motherboard. When purchased, it was a cheap one.  There are no setting in the Bios for AGP multiplier, no settings for bus speed, none of the usual things you would see on a good board.  I have checked all items that start-up with Windows, and have deleted a couple of strange entries, but otherwise for the most part everything seems normal.  The tips I got from you people helped somewhat, I guess I'm just expecting to much from a cheap board.  My current board in my computer has all those items for adjusting, plus I'm running IDE Raid, so I guess I'm just always going to have that large gap till I deside to spend some money.

If anyone has any last minute idea's to try, let me know.  Otherwise I will divide the points up, and leave it at that.

Best Regards
0
 

Expert Comment

by:dvanmeter
ID: 10903988
Have you added or removed ram?  I have seen significant performace issues when ram is not quite compatible.  Also if you added ram since the original installation you may need to adjust the virtual memory size, or better yet, just set it to system managed.
0
 
LVL 8

Author Comment

by:eccs19
ID: 10904943
I don't think the ram is an issue.  This machine only takes SDRAM and both sticks are PC-133.  I should check and see if I have a stick I can swap out and try.  I have run one of those RAM test programs for 24 hours, and everything passed.

I have played with the virtual memory, but it didn't make much of a difference.
0
 

Expert Comment

by:yardgames
ID: 10908391
One of the primary reasons slow speed results is because of disk fragmentation. You can attempt to use the disk defragmentor that came with WIndows, but it probably won't do a whole lot. I recommend a program that will do a much better job of defragging your hard drive, and will also keep it defraged automatically, so you computer will always be speedy. It's called Executive Software's Diskeeper 8 and their Website does have a free trial.
0
 
LVL 8

Author Comment

by:eccs19
ID: 10933929
UPDATE!!!!!!

I may have found the culprit, but I'm not sure why.  Here's what I found.  In XP device manager,  I checked my Primary IDE status, and it is set to Automatically detect DMA, but it's detecting PIO for the harddrive.  My CD-Rom is coming up as Multi-Word DMA (I think that's it, I'm not in front of the computer right now).

Harddrive is master on IDE 1 and CD Rom is Slave on IDE2.

During System start-up, HD is being detected as  "Ultra DMA Mode 5"

System Hardware listing (prior to OS loading) is giving me this information  "LBA Mode  32 bit mode on  Block Mode 16 sec  PIO Mode 4   ATA Mode 100"

Does this seem correct with Windows running it as a PIO?  Oh yes, the drive is a Maxtor 40 Gig  (2F030J0)

I think (can't remember 100% for sure) I'm using the default Windows IDE drivers.

Best Regards
0
 
LVL 8

Author Comment

by:eccs19
ID: 10978287
For everyones information,  I did get this issue solved on my own accord.

Best Regards & thanks again for everyones help.
0
 

Accepted Solution

by:
PashaMod earned 0 total points
ID: 11014856
Closed, 125 points refunded.
PashaMod
Community Support Moderator
0

Featured Post

Better Security Awareness With Threat Intelligence

See how one of the leading financial services organizations uses Recorded Future as part of a holistic threat intelligence program to promote security awareness and proactively and efficiently identify threats.

Join & Write a Comment

As the title indicates, I have done this before. It chills me everytime I update the OS on my phone, (http://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/18084/Upgrading-to-Android-5-0-Lollipop.html) because one time I did this and I essentially had a bricked …
Windows 10 is here and for most admins this means frustration and challenges getting that first working Windows 10 image. As in my previous sysprep articles, I've put together a simple help guide to get you through this process. The aim is to achiev…
In this seventh video of the Xpdf series, we discuss and demonstrate the PDFfonts utility, which lists all the fonts used in a PDF file. It does this via a command line interface, making it suitable for use in programs, scripts, batch files — any pl…
This tutorial demonstrates a quick way of adding group price to multiple Magento products.

746 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

14 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now