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Very slow XP operating system.

Posted on 2006-11-30
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-06
Hi. My XP OS is extremely slow and the disc always seems to be busy.

I've done a disc check  defrag. and registry clean-up but to no avail.

Any suggestions welcome.

Thank you.
Question by:WEBPLODDER
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Accepted Solution

jgilmour earned 750 total points
ID: 18049285
try doing a system restore to a previous date when it was working faster.
LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 18049342
Do you have a reasonable amount of RAM in your PC?
Perhaps swapping to HD??
LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
ID: 18049410
verify that you do not have any malware running (such as spyware).  malware tends to hog system resources.

also, what is your setting for virtual memory?  if it is not set correctly, you may encounter thrashing.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 18049651
- disc keeps spinning;  Is it almost full?
- What's running?
- what specs do you have
- since when is this behavious occuring?
- what starts at system startup

loads of info someone might need to actually give you an answer that makes sense.
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 18049725
You wouldn't be happening to running any Antivirus or antispyware software that is doing checks every time you startup your PC - these will take some time and slow down your PC a lot. What's running in Task Manager under processes?
Get HijackThis and upload your log file here

Expert Comment

ID: 18049779
Comment from jgilmour
Date: 11/30/2006 04:49PM EST

try doing a system restore to a previous date when it was working faster.


Good grief I feel sorry for your users if thats how you resolve a sluggish OS...
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 18049808
go start>run  msconfig

goto the last tab that shows startup items - remove anything that you don't need to startup

there are heaps of questions here about slow OS's and making them faster - do a search throughout EE for them (mainly in the OS and WINXP TAs)

Expert Comment

ID: 18050010
I agree with zephyr_hex...

I have solved MANY slow XP problems by downloading and running Spybot and AdWare SE Personal.  Usually they will find multiple occurances of malware which when removed will result in your PC running a LOT faster.

Expert Comment

ID: 18051217
If your running an IDE drive - most likely you are - it must remain less than 75% full to function properly; also, if you have two antivirus programs loaded that will almost stop you in your tracks as will to Adware programs with active scanners - the free version of AdAware does not sport an active scanner.

Of course use AdAware (free download) to remove add/spyware, use Registry Cleaner (30 day trial) and scan with antivirus with updated dats. Go through the Add/Remove Prgrams function through the Control Panel and remove all un-needed softwares but be careful to not uninstall drivers. Type the software name into a search engine to be sure of what you are deleting.

You can also go though the Task Manager Processes and do the same internet search on suspicious processes, if one is found remove from registry after backing registry up, also search for process file on HDD and delete. If a known bad process is reinstalling intself the adware/virus has installed itself into a service, do the same internet search on all running services.

If your drive has not been rebuilt in a year or so and someone has the habit of downloading games etc. - back it up and refresh the system meaning re-format and rebuild from scratch.

If you have had AOL on the PC and removed it - refresh the system.
Good Luck - Bruce

Expert Comment

ID: 18051229
One other thing, as more and more "junk" rides the internet the dat files and security updates take up more and more RAM to protect you from the "junk" - 256MB is just not enough anymore for XP. Upgrade to 512MB RAM or a gig if your Vista capable.


Expert Comment

ID: 18051237
System restore.........bad.  If it's Malware or a virus, which is highly likely, it often plants itself in either the system restore point or other places on the system that render system restore useless in situations such as these.
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 18052288
Create a new profile should solve it.

But check for spyware first please
download here
install and runit save the log DONT FIX it copy the entire log to here http://www.hijackthis.de/  paste it into that panel
hit analyze below it.
Check out your analyzed log, right at the bottom is save it,
re-run it and fix next time if necessary.
then if you would like us to look at it copy the URL from that final page back here.

Expert Comment

ID: 18056121
Set up a Performance Monitor to check for Average Disk Queue Length on that drive. If it is over 2.00% you need to replace the hard drive. This is a way to check to see if you have a bad hard drive.


Author Comment

ID: 18056216
*Set up a Performance Monitor to check for Average Disk Queue Length on that drive. If it is over 2.00% you need to replace the hard drive. This is a way to check to see if you have a bad hard drive.*

Sorry that's gone right above my head. How do I do that?

Author Comment

ID: 18056242
*try doing a system restore to a previous date when it was working faster.*

I don't want to do that just yet because of possible loss of something needed. (It's my mom's PC).

*Do you have a reasonable amount of RAM in your PC?
Perhaps swapping to HD??*

How do i check that?
LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 18056810
'Do you have a reasonable amount of RAM in your PC?'

Winxp start at around 128Mb so less than 256Mb is not good, depending on what programs you want to run.

hit <ctrl><Alt><Del>
to see details

if your alocated top exceeds total physical,
 then you must have been using some amount of cache(= using HD )
at some point in time.


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