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Win XP Home SLOW after SP2

Win XP Home running slow after upgrade to SP2. Especially IE to HOTMAIL (wife is NOT pleased). McAfee suite (Virus, Firewall, Privacy), IE, Office/Word (2002 SP3). eMachines 2200 Athlon 512MB memory.

Already DISTROYED Dell laptop with SP2 and Dell advice (lost CD drive, they had me repair Windows which could not see the cd after the reboot so couldn;t get more files off of it -- since reinstalled).

Any advice?

Bill Smith
1 Solution
Well... actually SP2 installs many security management stuffs.  For fun, disable your antivirus and the firewall.

FIREWALL: Go to Start -> Parameters -> COntrol Panel -> Security Center
                                          Disable everything (for the moment).
                              [This will disable all securities SP2 installed on your PC.  The is one more...]
                  Go to Start -> Parameters -> COntrol Panel -> Network COnnections
                              Click on Properties, then go to advance and in Windows Firewall click on the "Properties" button.
                              Click in the radio button "Disable"

Antivirus: In McAfee, remove the automated scan.  I don't have the full path, but I'm sure you can find it. You have to disable all the scans (for now)

Try that.  If it's faster, enable  the antivirus. Is it okay? If yes, the firewall must be blocking an application that is looking on the net.  So watch for the application and remove it from the startup or give it access in the "Exceptions" in the Security Center.

If it were slow again with the antivirus back on, give it access to the net the same way I said before (In Security Center -> Exceptions).

That may be one of those because SP2 is mainly a security patch.

Hope this will help you!

Jean-François "Maxter" Trépanier
BCE Emergis
bill_tnAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the suggestion...

Tried no McAfee anything and it is still terrible. Cannot even get to much of anything right now. On same network on this newly installed non-SP2 laptop and network is quick. (Laptop is wireless and PC is wired [Linksys]). Defragging disk at moment to see if that helps.

Other comments?
This may answer some of your questions:

Top portion of the same page should help with your future SP2 installations.

Also, please don’t run two firewalls (McAfee & Windows) simultaneously.

Good Luck!
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XP will need to reinitialize its boot structure after installing SP2.  This is the same thing that happens when you first load XP onto your system.  It usually takes 3 reboots for this to start to happen, and over time you will see your system boot times speeding up.  If you wish to do this manually, you can run the following commands:

rundll.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks

And personally, I would remove SP2 fromt the system until such time that  MS has got a good database of these issues built in their KB.  Feel free to read my thoughts on SP2 here:


bill_tnAuthor Commented:

The culprit was McAfee, but not the Firewall or Virus checking. REMOVED Privacy Service, rebooted and things are normal again.

Privacy Service cannot just be turned off because it prevents access to the Internet.

Symptoms were 'Waiting bars' on IE status line. Took sometimes 10 minutes for Hotmail to come up. BUT no CPU usage or network bandwidth. Turning off the pop-up killer added by Windows SP2 did not  have any effect.

Will email McAfee.

Thanks people. Bill
Very good..  glad you posted the solution.  I will add it to my SP2 page on www.doverproductions.com


i personally dont like service pack 2 becayse its sooo sooo slow on my maching.. altho im only running amd athalonXP 1700+ with 512 ddr ram
i am running it on my home box with out any issues.  i had to disable the security center at first but after that it is running fine.
I had a similar slow down issue with XP2 and XP Home on a Dell Inspiron laptop with a Celeron processor.  A post on their forum suggested (with great caution) rolling back the cpu driver back to its original (which XP2 replaced).

This returned the laptop back to its fast and normal self.
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