XP Pro with SP3 and updates runs very slow

Posted on 2012-04-04
Last Modified: 2012-04-26
I have an older Thinkpad that I recently decided had some use for someone.  I loaded XP Pro, SP3 and the system was running great with very reasonable response times to load programs etc.  It is a single processor so was not expecting high response rates.  However, after loading approximately 125 MS updates, this system is extremely slow.  I am using MS Security Essentials.  I've also run CCleaner, JV16 PowerTools Lite but nothing seems to fix this issue.  What could the MS updates be doing or have done that would slow down this system so much? new programs have been added that would change the response rate.
Question by:tonyadam
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 37807654
How much space is on the machine and how much RAM?  Does the machine appear to be pegged on startup?  What services / startup programs are running when you go to start > run > msconfig

You could try disabling all the non Microsoft Services to test and enable 5 at a time.  Same with startup programs.

Check to see if HDD needs a defrag as well
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Expert Comment

ID: 37807693
Have you looked for vendor-specific device drivers for that model Thinkpad that might be newer/better than XP's built-in drivers?
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Expert Comment

by:Sudeep Sharma
ID: 37809750

You would need to disable or remove the software and services which are not required or not necessary. I would suggest you to use "AutoRuns" which is part of Sysinternals from Microsoft, which would give you insight of every program, application, drivers, dlls etc loaded on your system.

Autoruns Download:

Autoruns Info:

Sysinternals Suite:

In case if you are unable to work with it let us know, we would try to help you out with it as well.

I hope that would help.

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LVL 20

Accepted Solution

Iain MacMillan earned 250 total points
ID: 37810411
you want to get Thinkvantage System Update installed to make sure all the drivers, power management and chipset software is up to date.  Also remove Access Connections, it can cause a lot of network slow downs on older XP Pads.  Also check that all the updates are done (any MSIEXEC showing in the Process tab of Task Manager)

you can download the file from here if you don't have a copy for use with ThinkPad's on your LAN (this v3.15 is the final version for XP, Win 7 laptops use v4.0) -

Author Comment

ID: 37811805
One quick comment to IainNIX....I'm aware of the TP issues.  Therefore, I elected to load XP Pro from an OEM version....not from the TP recoverable partition.  I'm assuming that doing the gen this way, I would not have any of the TP issues like Access Connections.  Would you still recommend loading the Thinkvantage System Update?  I'm concerned that that will even slow things down further.  Again, everything was very responsive until I loaded the MS Updates.
LVL 32

Assisted Solution

_ earned 250 total points
ID: 37814734
Updates causing problems has been known to happen, and is quite possible.

What I would do is undo the 125 updates and see if the system goes back to running good.
If yes, then add the updates back in groups (say 10 - 20 at a time), until something causes problems. Then start uninstalling them until you find the one(s) causing the problem.

Or you could do it the other way, and undo them in groups until you find which is causing the problem. Then add them back until you find it.

Author Comment

ID: 37825899
Just an update....I've been out of pocket for a few days and will attempt to remove the updates to see if the system goes back to behaving correctly.  Will let you know what I find out.
LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:Iain MacMillan
ID: 37826528
in answer to your question, yes i would install the System Update package, you need to install the basic drivers for audio, video, chipset and wireless/bluetooth/biometric if you have the hardware and you will most definitely need the power management software.

i would do this before you add any windows patches, to verify your system is ok.  I have done this many times before without incident.  even a T43 and T60 with Win 7 Pro 32bit worked fine this way.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 37892211
I found that .NET was one of the reasons for the "sluggish" performance.  However, it is still not performing as well as I think itshould.  I'm closing the question and will implement the suggestions provided and hope that it is a usable system.  Thanks for the help.
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Expert Comment

ID: 37895254
Thanks for the Points and the feedback.   : )
LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:Iain MacMillan
ID: 37896526
good to know thanks and good luck.

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