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Thread: freezing up

  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    freezing up

    The computer has been freezing and moving very slowly lately. I have had to use Task Manager several times to shut programs down. Sometimes the computer wouldn't close and I would have to shut it off manually. I did defrag and Nortons scan and didn't find anything. I have been having problems lately that things are missing. The other day I noticed that the icon for volume control was no longer in the tray. A minor inconvenience but weird. Today I looked for Disc Space under Accessories/ System Tools and it is not there. Am I losing it or is something going on? I looked under my computer to figure out the disc space which is35.7GB used and 12.1GB free on C and 35.8GB used and 35.5GB free on D
    Not sure what's going on or what to do further.
    I have an Acer laptop Aspire 1690 and am using XP Home 5.1
    Thanks for any help,

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: freezing up

    This isn't going to be about an answer, but rather where I think you should start the search. Running Norton scan and defrag is fine, but I think the next thing you should do (and in the future, do this FIRST) is open a CMD prompt window (Start, Run, CMD) and run the command: <big>chkdsk c: /f</big> to see if chkdsk finds anything bad on the C: drive. You could also run that same command for the other drive by using D: in place of C:

    If you haven't already done so, you ought to run a couple of spyware checks and most of us here recommend Ad-Aware - Lavasoft and then Spybot-S&D. I also have SpywareBlaster installed ever since it was first recommended here in The Lounge and it doesn't require repeat running - it monitors in the background and must do a fabulous job... <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    Let's see if you find any dirtbags before we decide what to do next...

    Added: PS I'm going to move this thread to the Windows XP Forum since that is your operating system.

  3. #3
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    Re: freezing up

    First of all I want to say thanks and sorry it took me so long to get back here. Partly I couldn't find my post after it got moved, but mostly I've been trying to figure out the problem so that I would have something to report. Spybot found several things which I removed. Every time I run the scan again I find several of these have returned because apparently the Spybot immunization doesn't work for Firefox. AdAware found a lot of tracking cookies but I was wondering if these were really the problem. How do I know which cookies I agreed to and which cookies are just in there? For example, I presume I accepted cookies from my online course, my bank, amazon. I am worried that dumping the cookies wholesale might cause a problem. I dumped quite a few of them that sounded dodgy, but I am like a blind woman wandering around since I don't know what I'm doing. I also found out that I had a problem with my touchpad mouse (oh yeah its a laptop) having been reactivated and fighting with my wireless mouse. I fixed that. I also found out that my wireless internet had made a connection despite my ethernet cable. I found it sending one day. I truned that connection off but that really worried me or did it just make that connection when I had the cable out one day? Anyway, the few things I did do have improved the function. At least it is not crashing all the time. However, it is still very slow. If I am watching any video online it will pause frequently or scramble the pixels and stop altogether. Watching Netflix instant viewing is a chore. According to the system tray I am connected at 100.0Mbps. I did a speed check on a couple of those test sites and it was 330kbps down and 324kbps up although I don't really know how to interpret this. I am also wondering if this just means it's getting old but I would like to try to fix it before just assuming that.
    Thanks again for any help. You guys are doing a great service.

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    Re: freezing up

    I'd not worry about cookies. They are text files that are used to hold you site preferences or other information that is generally useful when navigating a site. Various ad companies use cookies to see the last ad you saw or from which site you came. Some people are paranoid about that and insis on getting rid of those. I'm not terribly concerned.

    As far as you PC goes, have you used Task Manager to see what processes are running? You could also tell us a little more about the hardware configuration such as processor, RAM, & video card.

    Joe
    Joe

  5. #5
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    Re: freezing up

    Again thanks to all for patience with my continuing saga.
    I used to be able to run with multiple tabs open on Firefox--a big pdf in my online course, a site or two for research, plus an Excel file with a list of data, plus Word for taking notes. I started noticing the problem when I would have that pdf open and searching in it and then I would open one or even two of my Excel files and go back and forth too many times and that's when something would freeze up. I don't know if the types of tiles were any part of the problem. More recently everything is painfully slow and I notice it mostly when I'm watching online video clips. I don't know if it's really related to what I'm doing or just how much of it I'm trying to do at one time. But now it's hard to do even one thing if it's big! Don't know if it matters but I usually run Firefox since I learned about it. I only open IE if I'm going to watch Netflix instant viewing.

    I have an Acer laptop. Windows XP Home 2002. IntelŪ PentiumŪ M 1.50 GHz processor 504MB RAM. I don't know exactly how to find my video card. I tried looking under Device Manager under Control Panel and found lots of sound and video things, but I don't know what they are. I know I added memory after I bought it, but I don't know whether that shows or what.

    I have a lot of hardware peripheral stuff hanging around. The laptop is plugged into a stand that has USB ports. That stand has one port hooked up to more ports. External keyboard and stand are hooked directly to the laptop and the ethernet cable. (I gave up on wireless due to interference or something and that really helped.) A lot of the things plugged in at the USB end are not turned on most of the time (wireless mouse connection, external speakers, external DVD drive, external hard drive, printer, etc) I keep them plugged in so I don't have to find the wires. :-0 It was not causing a problem in the past and I have not changed it so I think all that's okay.

    Below is a mighty list of processes I copied out of Task Manager when I only had that and Word open:
    GoogleToolbarNotifier.exe 584K
    ccApp.exe 1,228K (went up a few times, now holding)
    epm-dm.exe 424K
    ALG.EXE [local service] 736K
    taskmgr.exe 2,248K
    WSCNTFY.EXE 276k
    VentC.exe [system] 356K
    TrueImageTryStartService.exe [system] 216K
    SVCHOST.EXE [system] 184K
    HPZipm12.exe [system 236K
    WINWORD.EXE 22,680K (also changing as I add to my Word file)
    ccSvcHst.exe [system] 1776K (changing)
    SVCHOST.EXE [local service] 1320K
    LSSrvc.exe [system] 116K
    EXPLORER.EXE 17,692K (changing)
    SVCHOST.EXE [network service] 1,432K
    SPOOLSV.EXE [system] 1664K
    SVCHOST.EXE [local service] 272K
    InCDsrv.exe [system] 332K
    SVCHOST.EXE [system] 8092K
    MsMpEng.exe [system] 20,404
    SVCHOST.EXE [network service] 1248K
    AluSchedulerSvc.exe [system] 112K
    SVCHOST.EXE [system] 984K
    LSASS.EXE [system] 1100K
    SERVICES.EXE [system] 1400K
    WINLOGON.EXE [system] 608K
    CSRSS.EXE [system] 2168K
    aawservice.exe [system] 472K
    anbmServ.exe [system] 704K
    SMSS.EXE [system] 52K
    schedul2.exe [system] 124K
    SYMLCSVC.exe [system] 560K
    AppSvc32.exe [system] 5980K
    System [system] 52K
    System Idle Process [system] 28K

    I have no idea what to think about any of that. Hope you have better luck. ;-)

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    Re: freezing up

    Is the system OK right after a boot? Various versions of FireFox are known to have memory leak issues which would eventually cause problems and force you to re-boot. As far as the files go I don't see anything that is a known problem file. Some people really don't like the integrated Symantec suite because older versions in particular would be a big drain on system resources. What version are you running?

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: freezing up

    It is a little better when I freshly start it up but not really. I was testing that just the other day by starting it up and immediately watching something with video and it was still halting. But the longer it runs on one boot it often does get worse -- and I'm not just talking internet. But it seems a problem sometimes with Word or Excel that if you keep working on them you end up with all sorts of stuff on the clipboard. Sometimes even at work I find it better to just close Word. The thing is I was working in the same way for many months without problem. But a couple of months ago it got slower and slower.

    Symantec Suite? I think you mean Ghost? I used to have Ghost on my machine but I got fed up with not being able to understand how to work it and no customer support so I supposedly uninstalled it and installed Acronis which is working fine. In fact, I've uninstalled it a couple of times. However, just yesterday I found the Ghost was still there. Appropriately named I suppose it keeps haunting you forever. I am afraid to just uninstall all the Norton's stuff after nightmares about having the right code to enter. I had to order this Norton upgrade 5 times to get it going. the problem was I wanted the disc. They kept sending me discs with no codes. But since I do have the disc somewhere with the code. I could probably really do that if it would help.

    Again, thanks. This is not only helpful but I am learning too and I really appreciate it.

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    Re: freezing up

    Well, I can say that by todays standards your machine is a little underpowered to be running several apps at once and still get snappy response. If possible, you should check on adding RAM to your system taking it to a total of 1GB. Adding RAM is usually the easiest and cheapest way to get a big improvement. I've had very good luck getting memory from Memory upgrades, flash media, and usb storage at Crucial.com.

    Even if you decided to remove the Norton suite (btw, provided by Symantec Corp.) you still need to find adequate anti-virus and anti-spyware applications. That may not be worth the effort for you. I very strongly recommend that you do not make multiple changes at once to the system. If you do you won't know which is responsible for the improvement.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: freezing up

    It's me again. I couldn't figure out how to get back except to re-register under an alias. ;-) I was off-line for a while. For one thing there was a trojan in there which explains the disappearing stuff. Had someone do a system restore for me which of course leads to so many other troubles. I did follow your advice and up my memory to 1Gig and I installed Kaspersky's for security. I had lost my Norton's disc and remember how hard it was with them the last time so I bailed. Previously I was not using a firewall due to slowdown. Big mistake, nuh? Kaspersky's doesn't seem to slow it down. In fact it was working so well in the computer shop I now realize that I have a problem with my actual connection. Don't know when I'll be able to afford to get someone out to figure that out. But I learned a lot through this ordeal and thanks very much for all your good suggestions.

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    Re: freezing up

    Thanks for posting back. I'm glad the situation has improved. What kind of connection do you have?

    Joe
    Joe

  11. #11
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    Re: freezing up

    Yes, i know. Takes me long enough to reply. I have DSL and a Siemens modem. I finally and very reluctantly called att. I have had previous negative experiences with them. They had me jump through a couple of hoops, not too many and then they switched me to maintenance and they tested the line. They said the line was okay but somehow from their side they rebooted the modem and lo and behold this has solved the problem. I am still a little mystified. You mean I was suffereing for months with this and all I had to do was turn that modem on and off? I am not sure how they can reboot it from there or what they actually did but it did work. However, I hate solving the problem without knowing what to do to prevent it in the future.
    Thanks for your interest and help. I must say I've learned many things on this site.

  12. #12
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    Re: freezing up

    With both DSL & Cable modems re-booting them is usually one of the first troubleshooting tasks that the vendor support people have you try. Re-booting remotely is just a simple command that is an invaluable tool for the support departments. It does save many un-necessary on-site trips. Unfortunately, there is probably nothing you can do to prevent the same thing from happening again. Just remember to try a modem re-boot first. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    Anyway, thanks for posting back.

    Joe
    Joe

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