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Desktop reacts slow

David-Howard asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-28
Win98 SE
500Mhz CPU
128M RAM
5G HDD (Defragged)
System is clean of malware and viruses.
All Temp files cleaned.
Issue: This systems boots to the desktop and then D-i-e-s. It is five minutes before the hard drive
stops activity and I have normal use of the mouse. Attempting to use the mouse after log in results in
jerks and stops. I have edited the msconfig Startup and removed everything except the AOL,
Calendar Reminder and McAfee system tray icons.
The OS was reloaded without effect.
I need a solution that will speed up normal desktop functions after log in.
I'm thinking of using a registry cleaner on the OS. But, I've also read many reviews stating registry cleaners do little if any good. I haven't seen any hard proof of performance increases.
If you have suggestions concerning this I would like
to hear them.
Thanks. :-)
Watch Question

When you say "Dies" do you mean you have the desktop up, and you can just move your mouse around but to no avail when you try to click something?

There are a couple of solutions for this David:

1.) There is a possibility that your Chip is overheating.  When a chip overheats, it stops processing requests.  I have had reports from my users (with a bad processor) that it happens sometimes, but I would have to say it's usually not the case.  With an overheating processor, usually the desktop freezes completely.  There are however exceptions.  A good test of this would be to go into your BIOS and watch the processor temperature monitor if it is available there.  Let it cool for about 10 minutes, and then go in and watch it for about 5-10.  You'll notice the differences.  Also good if you have a "CPU Temp Alarm" feature in your BIOS.  It takes the guesswork about what is "too high".

2.) Another possibility is a bad spot on the hard drive, perhaps a sector that has a hard time reading.  This would be the case sometimes if you keep clean installing and it happens every time in the same spot.  To make sure about this, I would run something along the lines of ScanDisk or one of the Norton System Utilities if you have them available.

3.) Yet another possibility is the event of a driver hangup in Windows.  This is especially true if you keep reinstalling the same set of things over and over with the same results, but nothing coming up with the physical HD scan.

Hope one of these solutions is helpful David.


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Top Expert 2005


Start by doing a registry fix/optimisation:

Tap F8 at startup, select Command Prompt.

At the C:\ prompt type:

SCANREG /FIX (space between G and /)

Press enter and restart when finished.

Any help?

Top Expert 2005


Try also a deeper cleanup with CCleaner:


Download and install the program.

Start it and under the "Cleaner" section select/tick all options listed and then click the "Run Cleaner" button.

Restart the PC when finished and test.



Thanks for the input.
1) It's not an overheating issue. I didn't mention that in the original post. But I've checked that out.
2) I have run Defrag and am running Scandisk now.
3) Driver hangup. Probably the best bet. Tracking this down should be a blast. :-)

That's for sure David.  Your best bet on that being to just get fresh copies of all the drivers for your hardware (easier said than done huh?) and just re-install all the drivers.

And if that doesn't work, I have this cyanide pill you can have =D


Opening mouth at this time. :-)
Be back in touch guys. I'll try your ideas out and post soonest.
paraghsDy General Manager

Does this happen in safe mode too ? Pl. check and give feedback.
Distinguished Expert 2019

how much free space do you have on the harddrive?
Is there a zipped big file in the root?
You said system is clean, but did you run these ( and i mean ALL) - updated ?

     adaware :      http://www.lavasoftusa.com/
     Spybot :        http://www.download.com/3000-8022-10122137.html
http://housecall.trendmicro.com/                                                               online scan for trojans
http://www.spychecker.com/program/hijackthis.html                                   download
http://www.hijackthis.de/index.php?langselect=english                                check the log
http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/spyware/software/default.mspx       Anti spyware

Do you have Microsoft Office 97/2000 Installed?
If so, then it installs something named "FindFast Indexer" that runs in the background supposedly making it faster for Office to locate and open documents.
In actual fact, it seriously degrades performance and there is no apparent benefits gained by having it installed.
The good news is that you can uninstall it as an optional component of Office.

Add/Remove Programs > MS Office > "Add/Remove".
Choose the "Add or Remove COMPONENTS" or "Add or Remove FEATURES" option, and then hunt for the references to "FindFast Indexer" to uncheck.
Reboot after applying the changes and waiting for the MS Office dialogs to finish.



matricii ,
After posting to your reply that it wasn't a heat issue it dawned on me that I saw during boot up that the processor is an AMD. AMD=Heat. I revisited the CPU and found that one of the two heat sink fans was seized and the other was intermittently spinning. I replaced both fans. This greatly reduced the lag at the desktop. A few more tweaks and it appears that I'm good to go. Thanks for the input everyone. :-)

Glad to hear that David...  AMDs are indeed notorious for heat issues, but in the end it really is because most pentiums had their heat sink/fan built on... and I promise you... that huge bulk of the older chips aren't all chip =D

Cheers and have a good day.

Distinguished Expert 2019

>>  but in the end it really is because most pentiums had their heat sink/fan built on  << wrong; they had a heat protection system

Please allow me to offer my input to clear up this misunderstanding.

There are two simple calculations you can use to forecast the probability of overheating issues for ALL makes and types of processors (pseudocode, so you can adapt it for any programming language) :

// Applies to Intel AND AMD CPU's with Heatsink Fan //
define CPU_Fan = X
define Not_Spinning_Properly = Y

If  (X = Y)
End If

// Applies to Intel AND AMD CPU's with Vaned Heatsink Block //
define HeatSink_Vanes = V
define Clogged_Up_With_Navel_Fluff = F

If  (V = F)
End If

You will have to write your own "overheat_processor" and "work_normally" functions.
Suggested actions for the overheat_processor function are:
Jerky mouse movements, slow desktop functions, random crashes and screen freezes, mysterious error messages, etc.
Whatever you do, don't base your "work_normally" function on any part of the Windows operating system, or the code above just won't work as intended.

Top Expert 2005

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