?
Solved

PC running very slow

Posted on 2007-08-03
28
Medium Priority
?
287 Views
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I have a HP media center PC running windows xp media edition.  It started running slow about 6 months ago.  I noticed the AV ran out in 2004 so I just bought and loaded Norton 2007.  I ran the updates and scanned the PC.  Only about 6 spyware items came up that it cleaned.  I stopped all startup programs.  The CPU and memory utilization is very low but when trying to do things it takes forever for windows to come up.  I noticed the hard drive light stays solid a lot but there is not internet traffic and the cpu/memory is low to nothing.  Any clue what could be causing this to happen?  Its almost to the point where I want to throw the thing away it has become so slow.
0
Comment
Question by:wrwiii12
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • +8
25 Comments
 
LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:weellio
ID: 19630152
simple things to do would be

search for *.tmp and delete all those files
delete the internet cache
clear out the startup programs
- start - run - msconfig -startup tab - desellect all

do all that, then reboot and tell me what happens
0
 
LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Alan Henderson
ID: 19630158
A.   Run defrag.

B.   Run System File Checker to restore and repair all Windows files:

Start » Run » Type "sfc /scannow" without the quotes. There's a space before the /.
Click OK.
Have your Windows CD ready to insert if prompted when repair is necessary.

If SFC doesn't fix the problem:

C.   Repair installation of Windows.

This leaves all your programs and data intact while reinstalling Windows.

1.  Boot the computer from your XP CD.
2   When you see the "Welcome To Setup" screen, Press Enter to start Windows Setup.
3.  Be careful NOT to choose R - "To repair a Windows XP installation using the Recovery Console".
4.  Accept the License Agreement.
5.  Windows setup will search for existing Windows installations.
6.  Select the XP installation you want to repair (probably only one) and press R to start the repair.

More complete instructions on how to do this, complete with pictures, are here:
http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm

Back up your data first, just in case!

You need at least 3 anti-spyware programs. See here:
http://www.mistywindow.com/security/virus-protection.htm

If none of that works I suggest a reinstallation of XP.
0
What does it mean to be "Always On"?

Is your cloud always on? With an Always On cloud you won't have to worry about downtime for maintenance or software application code updates, ensuring that your bottom line isn't affected.

 
LVL 14

Accepted Solution

by:
smiffy13 earned 336 total points
ID: 19630307
Your problem could be hardware related:

You say that memory usage is low, but how much memory do you have? How are you gauging how much memory and cpu is being used? Nortons is well known to resource hungry. Norton AV 2007 demands 256Mb ram as a minimum. I've seen PC's become unusable after installing Nortons AV.

Even on the newest dual core PC's, the cpu usage should be 100% utilised during startup, so I'm wondering why you say that yours is low.

The HDD light staying on during periods of no activity is also of concern, do you know the manufacturer of the HDD? You should download a diagnostic program from the manufacturers website. The Seagate utility will do a basic diagnosis for most brands: www.seagate.com

Check your actual memory usage with Everest: http://www.majorgeeks.com/download4181.html
0
 
LVL 23

Assisted Solution

by:phototropic
phototropic earned 332 total points
ID: 19630312
"...I noticed the AV ran out in 2004 so I just bought and loaded Norton 2007..."
If you are referring to Norton Internet Security 2007, it is no surprise that your pc is running slowly.  Norton Internet Security suite contains many apps., not just av.  You will have loaded Parental Controls, Spam Blocker, Privacy,etc.etc. NIS is a well known resource hog.  If you have the disk, I would suggest removing NIS to check whether the pc runs well without it. If it does not, you can always re-install.
To remove NIS use the symnrt download:

http://www.majorgeeks.com/Norton_Removal_Tool_SymNRT_d4749.html

Remove NIS, disconnect from the internet and check to see how well your pc is now running. If no change, re-install Norton.  If there is improvement, go with another av that make less demands on your computer's resources:

http://www.grisoft.com/doc/products-avg-anti-virus-free-edition/
http://www.avast.com/eng/avast_4_home.html

Good luck!
0
 
LVL 32

Assisted Solution

by:Mark
Mark earned 332 total points
ID: 19630366
One thing I didn't see mentioned is perhaps your hard drive controller has reverted to PIO mode. This would slow your computer down considerably. This link give an excellent overview and solution to the PIO mode problem.
http://winhlp.com/?q=node/10
0
 
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:lauchangkwang
ID: 19630556
The final way to go, reformat the PC and the PC will become just like a new PC with every things clean.
0
 
LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Alan Henderson
ID: 19631760
Nice of lauchangkwang to back up what I already said. :o)
With normal usage, XP needs to be reinstalled at least once a year to clean out the junk. Unless you make life easy for yourself by using imaging software like Acronis True Image or Ghost.

Have you checked Task Manger to see what your CPU and RAM usage is and to establish which startup items/programs are using the resources.

See here:
http://mywitsend.co.nz/?p=14

This will show you what, if anything, needs to be disabled in msconfig.

Alan.
0
 
LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:weellio
ID: 19631816
""XP needs to be reinstalled at least once a year to clean out the junk""?

seriously? i've been utilizing the same machine for several years and never had to do this.

if you know what the junk is, then it is easier to just no lt it accumulate.
0
 
LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Alan Henderson
ID: 19632124
@ weellio
Just my opinion. :o)
Depends upon usage obviously.
If you never install and uninstall programs, don't experiment with your installation, never have power failures, rootkits or BSODs, then the need diminishes.
Most people I help never reinstall, many of their PCs are in a mess. OK, XP's much better than 98 was in this regard - but a regular clean installation is, in my opinion, a very good idea.

Alan.
0
 
LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:PUNKY
ID: 19632235
Yes, indeed. I reinstall my system at home every year :o) that system is being used my wife and kids for general purposes and after a while, it is messy system :o)
0
 
LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:rpggamergirl
ID: 19632468
There can be many causes for a pc slowdowns, can we look at some logs please? (Hijackthis, Combofix)

http://danborg.org/spy/hjt/alternativ.exe
Open Hijackthis, click "Do a system scan and save a logfile" please don't fix anything yet.


Download ComboFix to your Desktop, from either of these locations:
http://www.techsupportforum.com/sectools/sUBs/ComboFix.exe
http://download.bleepingcomputer.com/sUBs/ComboFix.exe

Double click "combofix.exe" and follow the prompts.
When finished, it shall produce a log for you.
Post that log and a HiJackthis log in your next reply

Note: Do not mouseclick combofix's window while its running. That may cause it to stall

You can upload logs to any hosting sites or at EE-Stuff.com,
alternatively you can paste the logs here,(to be removed later)
0
 
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:lauchangkwang
ID: 19632737
Opps ..... sorry vallis ....... I didn't saw the last sentence you posted same with my thinking ...... sorry for repost the same suggestion. Guess I should quit from this topic.
0
 
LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Alan Henderson
ID: 19633039
No worries lauchangkwang. :o)
0
 
LVL 4

Author Comment

by:wrwiii12
ID: 19634537
smiffy13,
You are in the same ballpark as I am.  I was suspecting the HD because that thing was running non stop and everytime I tried to open something it took forever.  I ran the seagate diags and it came out clean but I didnt believe it.  I spent half the day finding a good dos cloning tool (so i wouldnt have to install it) and cloned to an old hard drive that I have.  Took about an hour and I am talking to you on the PC now.  Its seems to be running so much faster.  Im gonna give it a burn in test to see how long it lasts.  I cant stand when things are not fully broken and just act funny because its on its last leg.
0
 
LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:smiffy13
ID: 19635915
try installing HDD Health: http://www.panterasoft.com/ It should tell you if there have been any SMART failures.
0
 
LVL 4

Author Comment

by:wrwiii12
ID: 19640275
This system has a system partition labeled HP_PAVILION (NTFS) and another HP_RECOVERY (FAT32) I used a cloning software to clone the hard drive.  Windows loaded fine but when I try to initiate the system recovery from the bios it just gives an error so quick I cant read it and then reboots.  If its a clone shouldn't it work just fine?
0
 
LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:rpggamergirl
ID: 19772847
Has he tried some of the suggestions here? No.


0
 
LVL 4

Author Comment

by:wrwiii12
ID: 19773089
I did all of the suggested things above with no luck.  I found the fix by putting in a new hard drive and cloning it to the old one and now it runs fine with all of the existing software.  It was a bad hard drive or should I say going bad.  All were good suggestions but none helped that I could see.  If you think there is let me know and I will give those points asap.
0
 
LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:smiffy13
ID: 19773632
Sorry you feel that we couldn't help. I've found the Seagate tool pretty reliable in diagnosing hard drive failures. You didn't say if you'd installed the HDD health program from panterasoft, which should have also warned you of an imminent disk failure.
0
 
LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 19773792
Please follow the instructions inside my Link above to close the Question.

Thanks,
rindi,
EE Cleanup Volunteer
0
 
LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 19806381
wrwiii12,

Are you experiencing any problems in closing the Q, do you need some support there?

Thanks,
rindi,
EE Cleanup Volunteer
0
 
LVL 4

Author Comment

by:wrwiii12
ID: 19807337
Please close question with points refunded as none of the solutions solved the problem nor led to me finding the problem.
0
 
LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 19808307
Do that yourself by following the instructions in the Link:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/help.jsp#hs5
0
 
LVL 4

Author Comment

by:wrwiii12
ID: 19856693
0

Featured Post

Prep for the ITIL® Foundation Certification Exam

December’s Course of the Month is now available! Enroll to learn ITIL® Foundation best practices for delivering IT services effectively and efficiently.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

This article may be useful for troubleshooting your PC. Power Supply - no lights or fans running If you have no lights or fans running then either you power is bad, turned off (check switch) or the power supply needs to be replaced. That's a r…
How can this article save you time AND money?  In just a few minutes you may discover something you didn't know existed that is easy enough for you to fix yourself!
The viewer will learn how to successfully create a multiboot device using the SARDU utility on Windows 7. Start the SARDU utility: Change the image directory to wherever you store your ISOs, this will prevent you from having 2 copies of an ISO wit…
The viewer will learn how to successfully download and install the SARDU utility on Windows 7, without downloading adware.
Suggested Courses
Course of the Month16 days, 20 hours left to enroll

864 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question