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XP Pro 64bit slow on launch of applications

Posted on 2007-03-30
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I'm running XP Professional 64 bit edition.  I've noticed that applications (CAD/CAM, Office, IE, etc) are slow to launch.  The computer is a Dell Precision with 4Gb ram.   AVG antivirus is running in the background.  Suggestions?
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Question by:pnkljohnson2
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warrenbuckles earned 375 total points
ID: 18824524
Hello  pnkljohnson2:

Have you defragmented your hard drive recently?  

That's probably the easiest and most useful thing to do.  The defragment utility in Windows does an adequate job; I wouldn't spend money on any of the third-party defraggers as their performance isn't much better and they consume background resources.

Also, if your drive is running near capacity (less than 25% free space), that can slow things down as the swap file will get (re)fragmented quickly.

If you haven't already done it, you might want to consider adding another drive for your large CAD files  - this will decouple some of the system and application file accesses.  There are many other things to do with drive subsystems, from adding a SCSI controller and drive to changing to a RAID array, but this is something for a system builder to consider.

There can be many other applications running in the background, many of which are un-necessary for your system to function and some of which are malware.  AVG has a reasonable good track record in finding malware but a scan for rootkits and trojans would be a good idea.

Take a look here:

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/Security/RootkitRevealer.mspx

The above is a root kit finder from Microsoft that is easy to use.

You might also take a look at what is running in the background with this tool:

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/ProcessesAndThreads/processmonitor.mspx

Again, a Microsoft tool that can replace Task Manager and gives a detailed picture of what's running in the the system.  If you look at the CPU usage column during 'slow' periods it might catch something that is consuming cycles.

Finally, this tool:

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/ProcessesAndThreads/PsService.mspx

lets you look at running services.

This is a not-bad discussion of Windows services that might not be necessary:

http://www.jasonn.com/turning_off_unnecessary_services_on_windows_xp

but I would be careful about turning things off unless you know what they do.

On the hardware side, hard drives age and can have high soft error rates before you actually see anything.  This is one of the more far-out possibilities, but there are utilities around for checking hard drives.

This utility:

http://www.hdtune.com/

HD tune, does a good job of scanning drives for errors and can do a speed test, as well.

wb

Regardless, backup your system before changing anything...
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