HP desktops can't play videos well

I have two 5 year old HP desktops at home, both work fine except they are bad on run of the mill videos - youtube, Facebook, etc. Just the basic 3 minute video doesn't run smoothly, on FF, IE, or Chrome.

The PCs are in pretty good shape, I've upgraded them both over the years, and it has Windows 7 Enterprise, Office 2010, etc.

I always have lots of Windows open, many Chrome tabs and some FF tabs, hardly ever IE.

Could I do something reasonable to increase the video capacity / quality ? Nothing fancy, just want to watch a Youtube cleanly.

PC 1 Specs are:
Windows 7 Enterprise, upgraded from Windows 7 Ultimate, upgraded from Vista Home Premium, SP 2
HP, Model a6600f, 64-bit
AMD Phenom 9650 Quad-Core Processor 2.3 GHz
4.0 GM RAM
Display Adapter ATI Radeo HD 3200 Graphics
Windows Rating 3.8
connected to Internet router
FF 34.05, Chrome V39.0.2171.95 m, IE 11.0.9600
FlashPlayerPlugin 16_0_0_257.exe *32
mostly at 25% CPU, Memory 90%+

PC 2 Specs are:
Windows 7 Enterprise, upgraded from Windows 7 Ultimate, upgraded from Vista Home Premium, SP 2
HP, Model a6600f, 64-bit
Processor Intel Pentium Dual CPU E220 @ 2.2Ghz
4.0 GM RAM
Display Adapter NVIDIA GeForce 7100 / NVIDIA nForce 630i
Windows Rating 3.2
Wireless but right next to Wireless router.
(same as above) FF 34.05, Chrome V39.0.2171.95 m, IE 11.0.9600
CPU runs hight 55%+ with not much going on, Memory 90%+
Gadsden ConsultingIT SpecialistAsked:
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jcimarronConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Gadsden Consulting--
What codecs are installed on the PC?
Try using the standard version of K-Lite Codec Pack .
http://codecguide.com/download_kl.htm
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JohnConnect With a Mentor Business Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Try reducing things that are running at the same time.

On any machine, CPU should run < 5% more than 95% of the time.

mostly at 25% CPU ; CPU runs high 55%+ with not much going on

This is probably why video is not working well. CPU normally has nothing to do.

Run Task Manager and sort by CPU. You may have viruses.
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dbruntonConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Or malware of some type.  Quite possibly you've downloaded and installed something like Conduit which is hogging CPU usage and network bandwidth.

And then that is a pretty old CPU in terms of grunt so if you've got malware on it, it will slow down.

Have a look in your browser for addons and remove anything that shouldn't be there.
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nobusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
i always start by looking in the installed programs - and uninstall all programs not needed, or not wanted; eg toolbars, old games and programs etc..
that usually helps a lot
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@Gadsden Consulting  - I would not spend much time on video itself until the CPU issue (BIG one) is sorted out. CPU on both machines is way too high.
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Gadsden ConsultingIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:
Sorry for the delay in responding, thanks all for the replies.

I look closer at what's ruining a like but later today. PC #2 does have Oracle.

I don't think it's malware, I've dealt with that a fair amount in the past, and it doesn't have any of this symptoms.
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JohnConnect With a Mentor Business Consultant (Owner)Commented:
So long as you are running good commercial software compliant with Windows 7, CPU should sink to 0 or just a bit above very quickly. Constant 25% or more is not correct.

Let us know when you have looked at Task Manager and seen what is chewing up CPU.
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jcimarronConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Gadsden Consulting --
Process Explorer is a good tool to see what is running.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653

And AutoRuns tells you what is started at boot.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902.aspx

Have you run scans with antivirus and antimalware, as has already been suggested?
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Gadsden ConsultingIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:
Ok, here are Task Mgr shots of each PC.

My takeaway from this is to focus on CPU, which I hadn't been doing. I don't think it's malware.

As you see from PC # 1, Chrome takes up CPU, that's usually the case. For FF, FlashPlayerPlugin_16_* seems to be relatively quiet. I use Chrome mostly, FF some, and IE rarely.

On PC # 2, it's a little better, but the same effect - Chrome takes up CPU. Typically I have 15+ tabs open and re-boot about 1 time per week.

So I'll continue to monitor CPU and see what I can off load / remove.

If you think there are other under-the-covers things to look at, please advise.

For PC # 1, one of the Chrome windows is sucking CPU, that's my typical scenario.
PCFor PC # 2, I do start Oracle and Sql Server on startup. I stopped them but still ended up with this, Java is sucking up some CPU and a few other things. Basically the same, Chrome windows take up CPU.
PC
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I am not sure what is wrong.

I use IE11 and can have 20 tabs open and still very low CPU. I do not use Chrome.  On the first PC, it is only Chrome using CPU.

I have Java 8 running on my Windows 7 and Windows 8 machines and it does not use CPU. On the second PC you have Network Provider using CPU. Do you have something connected to your router that is talking to your PC.

My Windows 7 desktop runs 7x24 and maintains very low CPU all the time.
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Gadsden ConsultingIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:
John Hurst
- thanks for the tips, will focus on CPU. Would still like any tips on how to reduce CPU, but all software is legit, storage is still available, and like I said, I don't think it's malware.

dbrunton,
- I reviewed the Add-on's and they look reasonable.

nobus
- ok, I will look at installed programs, thx.

jcimarron
- never heardof codecs, what is this for ?
- Process Explorer and AutoRun look good, thx
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Gadsden ConsultingIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:
John,

I guess I will chalk it up to old age . . . I might try using one PC for web-surfing, and the other for videos, as I RDC into PC # 2.

I will keep this open until tomorrow to see if anyone else chimes in.

Thanks again.
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jcimarronConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Gadsden Consulting--
" I don't think it's malware"
Have you run a scan?

"never heard of codecs, what is this for ?"
These are apps that translate video files into video using a graphics program (like Media Player) on your PC.  .mp3 and .mp4 files are very common for YouTube videos.  You want to use the codec in K-Lite, for example, to read them.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/codecs-frequently-asked-questions#codecs-frequently-asked-questions=windows-7
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Gadsden ConsultingIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:
jcimarron
- running a scan now, so far so good. I have Panda Free and Windows Essentials 2012.

- re: Codecs, so I have something (standard?) now and I need to get a good converter ?
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jcimarronConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Gadsden Consulting--
Going back to your recently posted screenshots.
By my standards you have many too many programs running, which runs up you CPU usage.  Are you really using these programs, or have they started themselves automatically at boot.  Process Explorer will help you decide.
You really need very few programs to run at start.  Your antivirus, router, would be among the few.  You can always start another program when you need it.   Many non-Microsoft programs start from settings in Start|Run|type msconfig|OK|Startup tab. Uncheck the box to the left of programs you do not need to start at boot|Apply.
A site to help you decide what is needed.
http://www.sysinfo.org/startuplist.php
The next time you boot, you will get a message. It is really not necessary to read it. Just check the box at the bottom left and then OK.

You have many instances of Chrome running.  That happens over time.  Are you rebooting from time to time?
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Gadsden ConsultingIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:
jcimarron
- that's a really good point that I hadn't considered, so I will look into that. on PC # 2, I can definitely stop Oracle and Sql Server from launching on startup.

- I re-boot about once a week.

Overall the PC's are good, having been dragged along for 5 years but hanging in there. I'll look at Process Explorer and AutoRun as well.
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Gadsden ConsultingIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:
jcimarron,
>>By my standards you have many too many programs running, which runs up you CPU usage.  [...]Many non-Microsoft programs start from settings in Start|Run|type msconfig|OK|Startup tab. Uncheck the box to the left of programs you do not need to start at boot|Apply.
- great, I de-selected several items

>>A site to help you decide what is needed, http://www.sysinfo.org/startuplist.php
- excellent, but a little bit much for the moment. I'll see after doing some other clean-up

>>Try using the standard version of K-Lite Codec Pack .
- Ok, I installed that, now what ? Does it work for run of the mill Youtube videos, or embedded videos on various websites?
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jcimarronConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Gadsden Consulting--
Try a reboot more often.  Like once every day or so.  In fact try one now before you do anything else.
Tell us how a YouTube video looks afterward.
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Gadsden ConsultingIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:
jcimarron,

sorry, got busy today last couple of days. I'll re-boot now.

I see my K-Lite Codec Pack in Control Panel/Programs, but how does it get invoked  ?

---------
Here are my Panda scan results, seems pretty good I think
PC 1
PC 1 Panda scan resultsPC 2
PC 2 Panda scan results
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Gadsden ConsultingIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:
I did a quick test - ran a Youtube video before shutting down, and the voice was clean but video jerky. Then I re-booted and the same video ran clean as a whistle ! woo-hoo.

So the clean up I did, scan/removal, reduced start up programs, and the K-Lite Codec Pack looks like it has had an impact.

I will re-boot more often and if not every night, shut down the browsers.

Great help !

Thx.
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Gadsden ConsultingIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:
excellent, thanks all !
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@Gadsden Consulting  - Thanks for the update and I am glad you made progress. Good News
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jcimarronCommented:
Gadsden Consulting--
Glad to have helped.
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Gadsden ConsultingIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:
John and jcimarron,

it was some minor tweaks but looks like it did the trick :-)

Again, appreciate the assist.
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jcimarronCommented:
Gadsden Consulting--
" will re-boot more often and if not every night, shut down the browsers."
Rebooting serves the purpose of clearing the many versions of chrome.exe.  Shutting down the browsers won't accomplish that.
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Gadsden ConsultingIT SpecialistAuthor Commented:
jcimarron, ok, good point, thx.
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