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XP running extremely slow, especially when starting applications

Posted on 2004-08-06
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Last Modified: 2010-08-05
Hi guys,
Got another one for you!  I have a clients PC and it was barely running when I first got it.  I cleaned off all viruses, spyware and ran sfc /scannow.  It is still running extremely slow... it takes minutes to open any applications.  Here is the hijackthis log... can you please help me speed up this monster please?

Logfile of HijackThis v1.97.7
Scan saved at 8:27:46 PM, on 8/6/2004
Platform: Windows XP SP1 (WinNT 5.01.2600)
MSIE: Internet Explorer v6.00 SP1 (6.00.2800.1106)

Running processes:
C:\WINDOWS\System32\smss.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\winlogon.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\services.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\lsass.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\svchost.exe
C:\WINDOWS\system32\spoolsv.exe
C:\hp\drivers\keyboard\PS2.EXE
C:\WINDOWS\LTMSG.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\hkcmd.exe
C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVG6\avgcc32.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Intuit\QuickBooks\QBUpdate\qbupdate.exe
C:\Program Files\Scansoft\PaperPort\SmartUI\SmartUI.exe
C:\Program Files\WinZip\WZQKPICK.EXE
C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVG6\avgserv.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\cisvc.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\tcpsvcs.exe
C:\PROGRA~1\NORTON~2\NORTON~1\SPEEDD~1\NOPDB.EXE
C:\WINDOWS\System32\svchost.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\CCPD-LC\symlcsvc.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\cidaemon.exe
C:\WINDOWS\explorer.exe
C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Desktop\HijackThis.exe

R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Default_Page_URL = http://us10.hpwis.com/
R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Default_Search_URL = http://srch-us10.hpwis.com/
R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = http://www.bbandt.com
R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings,ProxyServer = cavtel.net:80
R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings,ProxyOverride = localhost
O2 - BHO: (no name) -  {06849E9F-C8D7-4D59-B87D-784B7D6BE0B3} - (no file)
O2 - BHO: (no name) -  {12D02C08-218F-4A11-BDE1-6611ADB7B81F} - (no file)
O2 - BHO: (no name) -  {53707962-6F74-2D53-2644-206D7942484F} - (no file)
O2 - BHO: (no name) -  {549B5CA7-4A86-11D7-A4DF-000874180BB3} - (no file)
O2 - BHO: (no name) -  {FDD3B846-8D59-4FFB-8758-209B6AD74ACC} - (no file)
O3 - Toolbar: &Radio - {8E718888-423F-11D2-876E-00A0C9082467} - C:\WINDOWS\System32\msdxm.ocx
O3 - Toolbar: HP View - {B2847E28-5D7D-4DEB-8B67-05D28BCF79F5} - c:\Program Files\HP\Digital Imaging\bin\hpdtlk02.dll
O3 - Toolbar: (no name) - {2CDE1A7D-A478-4291-BF31-E1B4C16F92EB} - (no file)
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Recguard] C:\WINDOWS\SMINST\RECGUARD.EXE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [PS2] C:\hp\drivers\keyboard\PS2.EXE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [LTMSG] LTMSG.exe 7
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [HotKeysCmds] C:\WINDOWS\System32\hkcmd.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [AVG_CC] C:\PROGRA~1\Grisoft\AVG6\avgcc32.exe /STARTUP
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [NVIEW] rundll32.exe nview.dll,nViewLoadHook
O4 - Global Startup: QuickBooks Update Agent.lnk = C:\Program Files\Common Files\Intuit\QuickBooks\QBUpdate\qbupdate.exe
O4 - Global Startup: SmartUI.lnk = ?
O4 - Global Startup: WinZip Quick Pick.lnk = C:\Program Files\WinZip\WZQKPICK.EXE
O8 - Extra context menu item: E&xport to Microsoft Excel - res://C:\PROGRA~1\MI1933~1\OFFICE11\EXCEL.EXE/3000
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Sun Java Console (HKLM)
O9 - Extra button: Research (HKLM)
O9 - Extra button: AIM (HKLM)
O9 - Extra button: Messenger (HKLM)
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Messenger (HKLM)
O12 - Plugin for .bcf: C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\Plugins\NPBelv32.dll
O16 - DPF: {D27CDB6E-AE6D-11CF-96B8-444553540000} (Shockwave Flash Object) - http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/get/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab
O19 - User stylesheet: C:\WINDOWS\win32.bmp

THANK YOU in advance!
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Question by:mchyzik
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42 Comments
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:billyea
ID: 11740850
Did it run fast before? System restore to the time it did. Then reinstall your programs. After installing each program, test out an application. When an application starts to run slow recored the program that did it, then system restore again and install all programs EXCEPT that one. It shoould be fine now.

And >> YOU'RE WELCOME in advance.
0
 

Author Comment

by:mchyzik
ID: 11740874
No it has not run right in months my customer says.  System restore points are not an option.  Any other suggestions?  I know there are guys out there that can help me clean this thing up... they did before!
0
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:billyea
ID: 11740880
Yeah, like me.
0
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:billyea
ID: 11740891
You see, your system cold be reverting to Virtual Memory, an extremely slow hard drive based version of RAM, this is caused when RAM has depleted (which would make it slow in itself), Ram gets depleted by multitasking or simply opening a big program.

Ask the customer to open a small program like notepad and time it.
Then post the loading time up here.
0
 

Author Comment

by:mchyzik
ID: 11740916
I have the computer here in my lab.  The first time I opened wordpad, it took about 20 seconds.  THe second time it was faster.  I just went into 'system information' after waiting a full 3 minutes for it to open... and they have 256MB total physical memory, with 50 MB available.  So what do you suggest we do.. add more memory?
0
 

Author Comment

by:mchyzik
ID: 11740924
This is also a 2.7GHz machine, I have a much older one, slower processor and the same memory running XP and it is much faster.  THey are not running anything unusual either.  Basic home computing.
0
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:billyea
ID: 11740974
Hmm, lets see, have you checked the physical memory DURING runtime? And the ram (get a graphing and optimizing tool like Ram Booster). Watch the graphs while you load the program, if they jump, there is a serious problem (already is though).

Checklist:
And does the application remain slow even after being started? Then it is a RAM problem.
If two programs are running does it get slower? If so, it is a RAM problem.
Does the application in the background slow down when another program is starting up? RAM problem!
Does the user have lots of programs installed? This could limit the capacity for Virtual Memory, making it have to spend more time deleting itself to save room.
0
 

Author Comment

by:mchyzik
ID: 11741034
cant I change the virual memory settings?  What is the optimal setting.
0
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:billyea
ID: 11741068
I doubt it would help. Virtual memory is still slow.
Go to: Control Panel >> System >> Advanced >> Performance [Settings] >> Advanced >> Change
Set the optimum size: I like 750 MB, its a nice number for a new computer.

But before you do it, do my other diagnostics first, and report the results back here.
0
 

Author Comment

by:mchyzik
ID: 11741109
IM thinking its a memory problem.  When I open one program (word), then have the performance window open (task manager) and move the window over there is a 'blank open space' where the window was for a while.  Is this a memory issue?
0
 

Author Comment

by:mchyzik
ID: 11741117
Then I tried opening quickbooks and while waiting for it to open just tried to keep typing in word.. then word really slowed down.. still waiting for quickbooks to open available memory went from the mid 40K down to the low 30's.. still has not opened!
0
 
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Expert Comment

by:billyea
ID: 11741141
It means that Windows is failing to repaint the screen with the new window location.
It happens when windows is busy crashing. Or more likely, freezing. It could also be a memory issue, but rather not.
This could mean signs that the hard drive is faulty, if this happens often (which means Windows is trying to fight a program crash), there could be serious hardware problems.
Send it off to a computer technician, they can probably trace the problem to a specific hardware device. I know that it's relatively new but things like this happen.
 
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Expert Comment

by:billyea
ID: 11741151
Oh, and your second comment, you mentioned it dropping into the mid 30's, this IS a memory error.
You should mention a possible 'Memory Leak' in Windows or perhaps one of your common programs.
Tell it to the computer technicial when you come along. (Now I know that you're a computer technicial, but send it to another one)
0
 
LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 11741291
Are you absolutely sure you cleaned off all the virii?  

Do you know what processes are running in the background?  (Process Explorer from Sytsinternals)

http://www.sysinternals.com/ntw2k/freeware/procexp.shtml

After you deleted the infected files did you run sfc /scannow?  

Assume you have gone into the System Config utility and stopped everything from starting on boot..??  

How bout the host file (cleaned up)?  

Eliminate software before looking at the hardware..

FE
0
 
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Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 11741294
Oh..  and clean out the temp folder too..    Start > Run > %temp% (OK) (for all profiles)
0
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:billyea
ID: 11741305
No FC, I still think it's a memory leak and nothing is actually WRONG with the computer. Just that It's leaking.
0
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:darkfriend
ID: 11741579
I had a problem with the indexing service dragging down my computer once.  The service itself seemed to be malfunctioning.  I reinstalled SP1 and that fixed it for me.  Probably not my recommendation right off.  But try ending the indexing processes in task manager just to see if that's it.

cisvc.exe
cidaemon.exe

-DF
0
 
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Expert Comment

by:billyea
ID: 11741583
You know darkfriend that I already mentioned that.
0
 
LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 11742389
If it is a memory leak, we still need to find out what is causing this.  As I mentioned above, Process Explorer is one tool he can use to discover this.  This is one of the first steps in cking for memory leaks.  Another would be to create the proper counters with System Monitor.  

Memory leaks are also sometimes caused by hardware drivers.  He can start by disabling hardware devices in Device Manager, than start turning them on one by one to discover what the problem is.  But before he does anything at all, he should follow the steps I outlined above to narrow down the problem...  Once these steps are followed, and if he finds no difference, then start looking at the device drivers.

If anyone wants to know more about these leaks, this article was written regarding NT, but it still applies to this thread:

http://www.winnetmag.com/Windows/Article/ArticleID/4754/4754.html

FE
0
 

Author Comment

by:mchyzik
ID: 11743090
I made some changes that microsoft recommended to help with memory issues and it seems to have helped.  I am also going to install another 256MB ram and see how that works out.  I will also try the steps you mentioned above... will keep you posted!
0
 

Author Comment

by:mchyzik
ID: 11743121
QUICK QUESTION:  I notice that spoolsv.exe is taking over 90% of system resources constantly... why is this?
0
IT, Stop Being Called Into Every Meeting

Highfive is so simple that setting up every meeting room takes just minutes and every employee will be able to start or join a call from any room with ease. Never be called into a meeting just to get it started again. This is how video conferencing should work!

 

Author Comment

by:mchyzik
ID: 11743147
I ended the process through task manager and all is working much quickly now... how can I get this process to work more efficiently?
0
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:sp_100
ID: 11743839
mchyzik,

Here is all you need:

Spyware/Virus Removal and Prevention:
http://www.fixyourwindows.com/windowsxpsolutions.htm
(make sure to use online scans on the this page)

How to optimize Windows XP for the best performance:
http://www.fixyourwindows.com/optimizewindows.htm

Good Luck!
0
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:bprimm
ID: 11743852
Are there any critical errors in the event viewer?  If so can you post them?
Delete any printers from the system, does this help?
0
 
LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 11744236
spoolsv.exe is the Windows Printer Spooler, a service that stores printer jobs and forwards them to the printer when it is ready.  If you were running a server, and had separate hard drives, I wouls suggest you move the print spooler to the second hard drive.  You could also increase the size of your page file, and increasing the amount of RAM will help tremendously.

To find out more about the print spooler, I have written a small insert on it here, which discusses moving the spooler to another drive:

http://65.24.134.81/KipSolutions/XP%20Performance%20Tips/IncreasingPerformance/increasing_performance.htm

And if you are not using the print spooler service, then you can disable the service, or better yet, set it to manual in your Services Management Console.  

Start > Run > Services.msc (OK)  look for Print Spooler...

FE
0
 

Author Comment

by:mchyzik
ID: 11744247
I have 5 instances of this running, one taking 98% of resources all of the time.  I know through researching that having multiple instances is fine but the one in question could be casuing my grief.
0
 

Author Comment

by:mchyzik
ID: 11744271
AND when I end the one in question.. the PC runs like it should!  Hardly any delay in opening ANY applications... so this seems to be the cause of my slow PC.. now to resolve it.

I checked the event log and have MANY application hang errors (all apps running on this PC are listed). Also have a timeout waiting for performance data collection (perflib) only one though.  OK guys.. now what?.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Fatal_Exception earned 500 total points
ID: 11744287
Turn off the spooler service as I mentioned above, and see if the problem still exists..

0
 

Author Comment

by:mchyzik
ID: 11744382
dont I need the print spooler to print?
0
 

Author Comment

by:mchyzik
ID: 11744399
never mind.. set it to manual and its running MUCH faster now!
Would this also cause the system to be so SLOW booting up?  THis is driving me nuts.
0
 

Author Comment

by:mchyzik
ID: 11744415
I also wanted to mention that this pc has 4 different kind of memory card slots on the front (HP).  Could this also be causing it to run slow?  Is it loading these devices when we dont need them?  Suggestions?
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Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 11744508
You don't necessarily need the spooler service running.  It just is for spooling the print jobs.  If you setup your printer to start printing immediately, it will print just fine.

You could disable these if you are not using them..  In fact I recommend you disable any devices if you are not using them, including ports..  Do this within Device Manager..

Glad it is working now...  anything else???  :)

FE
0
 
LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 11744513
Again, go to my that page I posted above, and it will help you in your performance..  

FE
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Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 11747416
and thank you..

FE
0
 

Author Comment

by:mchyzik
ID: 11752211
I hate to say this but we still have an issue with this one.  We know that the spoolsv is the cause of this machine running slow.  I stopped the process through task manager and all apps run perfect.  So then I took your advice and set it to be 'manual' using srvices.msc.  I installed the PC back at my clients office and they could not print anything, and all printers in the control panel were not there.  I then had to go back and set the spoolsv to auto again in order for them to print (which then causes CPU to run at 98% again).  This PC has 2 printers attached..one is being shared over the network.  

Now what?
0
 
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Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 11752340
Oh..  did not know that this was being used to serve print jobs...  I am flat out of ideas, but let me think on this today while I am sitting in some boring meetings..  :)

FE
0
 

Author Comment

by:mchyzik
ID: 11752437
I am wondering if perhaps there is a print job out there waiting from one of the client pcs that is hogging it... I plan on going back to my clients office and look at things.  I also checked other posts where they have this same issue and will try reinstalling the driver and not sharing, see what happens after I share it.
0
 
LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 11755954
Excellent idea..  Another, if you configure the system to start printing immediately (Advanced Tab > print directly to printer), then it should not use the print spooler...  You might just try that setting, just for grins..

FE
0
 

Author Comment

by:mchyzik
ID: 11756007
I was able to fix it!  I found that there were 2 print jobs 'waiting' and deleted them. They were corresponding with a printer called : MS Office Image Writer which I have no idea what it is.  Once I cancelled the jobs, the cpu went down to 0!  Thanks for your help!
0
 
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Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 11756416
Whoa..!!  great troubleshooting my friend..   another anomaly bites the dust..!!

FE
0
 

Author Comment

by:mchyzik
ID: 11756836
thanks for all your help as always!  I am so glad I subscribe to this on a monthly basis!
0
 
LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 11757056
Yes, a great site, with good people.  These guys and gals are definitely top of their fields..

Good luck with everything, and see you back when you run into trouble again...

FE
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