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needing suggestions for speeding up Compaq Presario V5000  laptop

Posted on 2013-06-18
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Last Modified: 2013-07-11
Hi Everyone,

            I am needing to help a friend who is experiencing very sluggish and slow performance from his Compaq Presario V5000 laptop.  With respect to symptoms of sluggishness, the Windows Startup sound event for Windows XP is choppy instead of being audibly smooth.  Windows XP takes 5 minutes to load its desktop with all of its icons.  Itunes takes about 10 minutes to load when launched from the desktop.  Of course, everything else takes several minutes to load as well including Internet Explorer.

          With respect to system specifications of the Compaq Presario V5000 laptop,  it is running Windows XP Professional SP3.  It has an AMD Turion chip running at 1.79GHz and 2GB of RAM.  1.87GB of this RAM is free because the other is likely to be shadowed for the video RAM.  

           In terms of wrap up thoughts, it is almost like this laptop is bottlenecking for some reason.  Could it be due to certain programs loading at startup, thus, depleting the system resources?  Throughout all of my experiences with this laptop, I never remember it being this sluggish.  

            Any shared thoughts, suggestions, or tips for improving the performance or speed of this laptop will be greatly appreciated.  I look forward to hearing from everyone regarding this post.

            Thank you

            George
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Question by:GMartin
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Assisted Solution

by:JohnnyCanuck
JohnnyCanuck earned 100 total points
ID: 39258596
Scan with MalwareBytes free.

http://www.malwarebytes.org/products/malwarebytes_free/

Remove antivirus and install MSE (uses less resources) and do a scan.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security-essentials-download

Run chkdsk c: /f to repair file system errors.  Run sfc /scannow to check for and replace bad or altered system files.  Run msconfig and remove unnecessary items from startup.
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by:mayank_chaudhary
mayank_chaudhary earned 150 total points
ID: 39258734
In case the system is slow, it can be caused due to following reasons:
1. Less Hard Drive Space
2. Cluttered Desktop
3. Disk Fragmentation
4. To many programs in startup
5. Too many toolbars
6. Temp files
7. Low virtual memory

Following can be done to speed up PC

• Delete Temporary internet files from Tools>internet Options
• Delete History
• Delete internet cookies
• Reset Security Settings to Default from advanced options in internet option popup
• Manage Add-ons. Add-ons which are not required disable them
• Run Disk Cleanup. Click on start>all Programs> accessories> system tools >Disk cleanup • . if Disk Cleanup halts delete Compress Old files from Registry
• Manage Virtual Memory
• Run Disk Defragmenter from System Tools
• Delete Prefetch Files - Click Start>Run> Type in Prefetct > Delete All files present
• Click Start>Run> Type in msconfig> in the startup tab uncheck the programs which are not required at boot up time. DO NOT Uncheck Internet Service Provider and Anti-Virus Entry. This will help computer to boot up early
• Also try to get into BIOS and look for Option of Processor. If it is in compatible mode change to normal mode. If it is in Normal Mode do not do anything else your PC will take at least 20 minutes to boot up.
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 39259168
Hi Everyone,

           Thanks so much for the followup tips.  Since XP has SP3 on it, can I still use the original XP CD without SP3 to do any kind of system repairs?  Also, the laptop also is generating a great deal of heat in addition to the AC power pack.  Could overheating be a culprit as well?  If so, how may I go about troubleshooting that aspect?

           George
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Expert Comment

by:mayank_chaudhary
ID: 39259282
Dear George,

You can still use the CD for repair option , however there is a strong possibility that the SP3 would be required to update again in case the repair is Major.

Overheating is a common problem in laptops and would require servicing to remove dust from inside, overheating might not be the culprit since overheating will cause stopping of operating system and might even crash windows. Overheating can also give stop screen messages but Sluggish behavior is primarily due to operating system and not hardware.

From hardware side just check is processor is in Normal mode of compatible mode. It should be operating in Normal Mode, if not change to normal mode

Warm Regards
Mayank
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by:
nobus earned 250 total points
ID: 39259470
since this system is running for more than 5 years, the OS probably is corrupted
i suggest to backup all the data, and do a fresh install
that will be the best speeding up you can do

if possible, you can also upgrade the ram to 3-4 GB
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 39260678
Hi Everyone,

        What are the steps in determining if the processor is running in Normal Mode?

        Thank you

        George
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 39260685
Hi

          Sorry.. Please disregard my latest followup question because it was answered by Mayank.  

           Thank you

           George
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 39260929
Hi Everyone,

          Just out of curiousity, under what circumstances would Compatiable Mode be selected within the BIOS for the CPU or processor?  I am not sure what circumstances are appropriate for Normal Mode and which ones are agreeable for Compatiable Mode.  

          Thanks

          George
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by:JohnnyCanuck
ID: 39261274
That usually refers to the mode SATA operates in.  Compatible mode emulates an IDE drive and normal is regular SATA mode.  Compatible mode is for when your OS doesn't have native support for SATA.
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 39264726
Hi Everyone,

            Thanks so much for the followup tips and explanations given to the procedures which have been brought to light within this post.  With respect to managine virtual memory, could someone provide some tips on that part?  I have always let the operating system manage virtual memory.  As a result of this, I have never gone into any settings to manage virtual memory.  

            Any shared thoughts about recommended ways of managing virtual memory within Windows XP will be deeply appreciated.

            Thank you

           George
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Assisted Solution

by:mayank_chaudhary
mayank_chaudhary earned 150 total points
ID: 39264986
It is good in case OS is managing Virtual Memory and in ideal situation we should let OS manage VM. If all other steps are followed then Virtual memory will work fine by OS managing the same.

Still if you want to work on Virtual memory here are the steps:

If you receive warnings that your virtual memory is low, you'll need to increase the minimum size of your paging file. Windows sets the initial minimum size of the paging file equal to the amount of random access memory (RAM) installed on your computer plus 300 megabytes (MB), and the maximum size equal to three times the amount of RAM installed on your computer. If you see warnings at these recommended levels, then increase the minimum and maximum sizes.

1. Click to open System.

2. In the left pane, click Advanced system settings.

you would require Administrator permission

3. On the Advanced tab, under Performance, click Settings.

4. Click the Advanced tab, and then, under Virtual memory, click Change.

5. Clear the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives check box.

Under Drive [Volume Label], click the drive that contains the paging file you want to change.

6. Click Custom size, type a new size in megabytes in the Initial size (MB) or Maximum size (MB) box, click Set, and then click OK.

If you Increases the size usually you don't require a restart for the changes to take place however if you decrease the size, you'll need to restart your computer. I would recommend not to disable or delete the paging file.
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 39266628
Hi

            Thanks so much for your easy to follow steps for customizing virtual memory within XP.  Incidentally, is there any rule of thumb of setting the new size when customizing virtual memory?  

             George
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 39273701
Hi Everyone,

           I thought I would take a moment and update everyone on my progress.  Within the BIOS, I did see some basic information about the processor, namely, its name and speed.  However, there was not any option to change any value contained within the processor such as Normal or Compatiable Mode.  With that point in mind, I could not check that part out.  Most likely, it is though because nothing has ever been changed within the BIOS configuration anyway.  

           Secondly, I did carry out the recommeneded browser changes.   Unfortunately, it did not resolve the sluggish performance.  Also, manually configuring virtual memory did not speed it up any either.  When I did attempt to delete the prefetch files, I got an error message which gave me the impression the operating system (XP) did not recognize the command.  Disabling startup programs within the msconfig utility did not resolve the sluggish performance either.  

            Thirdly, I did unintall Norton Security Suite based upon the notion that this program may be depleting the system of needed resources to operate efficiently.  But, it did not help either.  Of possible troubleshooting interest, I did noting a few popups making reference to Ascentive Performance Center and Ascentive Finally Fast.  Could this software be disguising itself as a legitmate technical tool for cleaning the registry, speeding up the pc, speeding up the internet, etc. but yet really be a virus?  If someone could check out that part for me, that will be greatly appreciated.  I am inclined to believe the culprit for the slow performance is malware.  

             Thanks

             George
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39273845
George,
you cananot change these in the processor values -  they are part of the sata controller, so look there
i must say most of the HP/Compaq models i saw do not let you change many options in the bios, meaning that they can be missing

in short, i still say the same i posted before :
i suggest to backup all the data, and do a fresh install
that will be the best speeding up you can do

if possible, you can also upgrade the ram to 3-4 GB
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Expert Comment

by:mayank_chaudhary
ID: 39274062
Before running Fresh install you should just check for malaware infection. Try Malawarebites and if it resolves the issue well and good else Fresh installation would be best solution since you have tried almost everything.
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 39275295
Hi

          I carried out a Quick Scan using the latest and updated version of Malwarebytes; it came back clean of malware.  At this point, I will do a Full Scan and see if it turns up anything.

         Thanks again for the suggestions and guidance given here.  I will post back soon.

         George
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by:nobus
ID: 39275383
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by:GMartin
ID: 39288321
Hi Everyone,

            I apologize for the lengthy delay in responding back to this post.  With respect to my progress, I am afraid nothing has really changed.  After trying out all suggestions given here, it looks like the only thing remaining is a wipe and reload.  While I am fairly confident that will straighten everything out, I will wait before fully closing this post in fairness to everyone who tried to help here.  With that point in mind, I will need some additional time before providing closing remarks because I am not absolutely sure a wipe and reload will solve the issue.  Either way, I will be reporting back further on my progress again soon.

            Thanks again everyone for your suggestions.  If anything else should come to mind, please feel free to make comments and suggestions.

            George
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by:nobus
nobus earned 250 total points
ID: 39289138
George, did you test the disk yet?  could be it has problems
i believe you have the UBCD -  use the manufacturers diag - long diag

check also if the drive is running in DMA mode, not PIO  : http://winhlp.com/node/10
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 39298455
Hi Everyone,

             I just want to take a moment and let everyone know I have not forgotten about this post. During the course of this upcoming weekend, I will resume my interest and need in speeding up this laptop.  

             With respect to the UBCD bootable CD, I do have v.4 already created consequently from a previously closed post.  Will v.4 of UBCD be sufficient or should I use the most current version of 5?   All other suggestions have been tried out.  The hard drive has not been wiped and reloaded yet though.  Since this laptop has a history of software issues such as the hard drive filling up because of a setting enabled within Norton Security Suite and Norton 360 and difficulties uninstalling various pre-existing software, I strongly suspect the entire issue has its roots within the operating system itself.  Perhaps there are some registry keys and values which are beyond repair.  

              At any rate, I will not get carried away with much speculation here.  I will resume my work on this project within this upcoming weekend; report back the results of diagnoistics done with UBCD in addition to the last resort option of wiping and reloading this laptop.  

              Thanks again for the great suggestions shared so far.  

              I will be back in touch.

             George
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by:nobus
ID: 39299194
i believe the version 4 will be ok (and if it isn't - you can still download and use the latest)
a fresh install would be my choice, after a couple of testing other solutions
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 39309235
Hi Everyone,

             Just in case it is needed, I am currently backing up my friend's end user files which include 29GB of iTunes music.  I apologize for everything going so slow with this project, but, I will report back with some results within a day or two.  

             Thanks once again everyone for your patience and indulgence with me as I sort everything out here.

             I will be back in touch again soon.

             George
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by:nobus
ID: 39309437
take your time George, no hurrying needed
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 39318510
Hi Everyone,

           I am happy to report this problem is now resolved.  Basically, I went ahead and backed up all of the iTunes music and drivers which was on the drive onto an external USB drive within Safe Mode because everything was very sluggish in Normal Mode.  Following the backup of about 29GB of music which took a few hours, I went ahead and set the first boot device to CD/DVDROM within the BIOS while having my bootable, XP CD in the CD/DVDROM drive.  Once the laptop booted to the CD, I basically deleted the pre-existing partitions, created a new one and formatted it in NTFS format.  Following those procedures, I carried out a fresh install of XP and installed whatever native XP drivers which could not loaded using my backup of drivers from the external USB drive.  Now, everything works great!!!  The Windows starting and exiting sounds are clear and without being choppy or bottlenecking.  

               Before installing the applications back onto the system, I will probably go ahead and create a bootable, restore DVD for this laptop because it does have a long history of software issues.  

                Thanks again everyone for the easy to understand and detailed troubleshooting instructions.  Without a doubt, all feedback given within this post certainly did give me a better understanding of possible causes of sluggish behavior of a laptop or desktop.  

                 George
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by:nobus
ID: 39319918
>>  , created a new one and formatted it in NTFS   <<   on an already formatted disk, i always use the quick format (saves at least 20 minutes, and does the same formatting, without scanning the whole disk

anyway - thanks for the feedback George, and glad it is solved
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