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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Windows XP SP3 really slow

    Windows XP SP3 Media Edition on Toshiba Satellite laptop, 1 gig RAM. This has gotten really slow to startup, to open any apps, even to do any task takes way too much time. I have Zone Alarm Extreme Security, MalwareBytes, have run an online anti-virus scan. Today I downloaded MS Rootkit Reveal application and ran it, took 8 hours. Now that it is done I don't know how to interpret the results. I don't see anything unusual, there are some discrepancies, but I am not sure whether those are problems. I could post the text file here if it would help.
    I checked my internet connection and it is up to speed, so the problem is right here.

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks

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    8 hours...wow, that is a long time to run the root kit scan.

    Does it perform equally as slow if booted into Safe Mode (Press F8 during boot up and select Safe Mode)? If it is quicker, check that nothing is running away with RAM in normal mode, but also try a System restore.

    How much disk space do you have left? Media Centres can get very full with movies etc. If the disk is full, you'll need to clean out space, and defrag the drive.
    Disable the internet connection (wired and/or wireless on the laptop), then disable the Zone Alarm and MalwareBytes - is there any difference in performance? Remember to re-enable them before you re-connect the internet connection.

    Did the slow down occur suddenly or over time? If it occured suddenly, take a look at the MS Clean Boot Procedure to see if you can identify a problem application or service.

    Finally, take a look at the Event Viewer to see if there are any faulting applications, or errors in the System, Applications and Security logs (some errors are normal and to be expected, but you are looking for errors that occur at boot up).

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    I would check to see how many apps are starting with Wondows as well. Quite often when you install an app it automatically sets itself to run in the background. This can be especially bad for systems with fewer resources. I would try What's In Startup (you have to scroll down a ways for the download link). It's very easy to disable or delete apps from running in the background. Most of these apps are not necessary and just slow things down. The only apps I have running are my AV/AM app (I use MSE) my software firewall (Online Armor++) and my mouse software. That's it. ( I would possibly consider a different security app)

    Any apps you do not use, get rid of. Use Revo Uninstaller to uninstall these unused apps. Revo finds most of the leftover stuff the regular uninstallers leave behind.

    I would also start cleaning up all the accumulated temp. files. An app such as CCleaner will be a great help with this chore. I would stick with just the temp. file cleanup at this time. I would not use the registry tool yet. I would include all temp. internet files in this cleanup.

    Once you have cleaned up all the accumulated temp. junk, run the Windows Defragmenter. Should be somewhere under All Programs, Accesories, System Tools (I don't remember the exact path in XP)

    After the system is defragmented, I would use a good 3rd party Imaging app to create a system Image, then use the CCleaner registry tool. You will be amazed at all the accumulated and leftover gatbage it finds. Get rid of it. If something breaks you can always restore your Image, or reinstall the app that broke, no sweat.

    All these apps running in the background and all this accumulated temp. junk will slow your system more than you can believe.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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    Quote Originally Posted by oldgeezer75 View Post
    Windows XP SP3 Media Edition on Toshiba Satellite laptop, 1 gig RAM. This has gotten really slow to startup, to open any apps, even to do any task takes way too much time.
    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
    "geezester"
    Hello.. I'm going to suggest this only because I'm new to XP-Pro SP-3.. and just found out about this ( probably old news to you) .. It might be adding to your problems. There is a part to XP that's called "Compress old files" If you Right click on "My Computer" and select "Disk cleanup" you might just be surprised to find GB's worth of compressed files ... Something that XP does on it's own...I have found a way to stop XP from doing this with a simple "Registry Tweak" Have a look see and post back whats in the disk cleanup "compress old files" If you "tick " the check box it will take a long time to run... I can help you to turn this function off . Regards Fred

    PS: If you don't have "Disk Cleanup" as part of your right click context menu ...you need to go to Accessories>System tools>Disk Cleanup.
    Last edited by Just Plain Fred; 2011-11-05 at 14:45.
    PlainFred

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    Hmm, compresses drives on its own? News to me, I'll have to check all mine; now is this being compressed despite the 'Compress drive to save disk space' check box not being checked (I'm in trouble if it is!)?

    For the OP, if this is a sudden change, System Restore to before the slowdown occured gets you right as rain in 5 minutes and if it doesn't there could be a hardware problem if it continues. If its been a gradual process to develop the slowness, you've got bitrot (too many programs stirring the same pot, especially security software, for too long on the same drive), and you can do a lot of things mentioned already to try and speed it up again and they will help a lot but nothing will do the trick as well as a fresh install.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Infinicore View Post
    Hmm, compresses drives on its own?
    Ifc,
    Hello... Not exactly... the box is checked by default ..So when you don't realize this, and do the disk clean up... Windows will automatically compress files that have not been accessed (Selectable # default days) and compress them to "Save Disk Space"... could take forever ...Gb's on my OS...So, if you compress the "old files" and the next time you run "Disk cleanup " ( i do often) your going to compress (or try to) the already compressed ..and probably end up just slowing your OS down ...or so Ive read... Like i said I'm new to XP... I have also gotten "pop-ups" asking to compress things to save space ? don't know why at this point.. If you go to this "Registry Key" HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Curr entVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Compress Old Files... and export it ..there will be no option in disk cleanup ..to compress old files... Just save it to someplace and you can put it back if wanted..(Import) Sorry for my confusion Regards Fred
    PlainFred

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  12. #7
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    That's odd JPF.

    I just checked on two machines: an XP Home and an XP Pro box - both do not have the Compress old files box checked in the disk cleanup wizard.

    Perhaps your XP Pro machine was part of a managed network in the past, where this setting may have been enforced by group policy?

    Nevertheless, it is a valid point to raise for the OP and his slow PC issue. I have seen at least one machine where the user wished to save space on a very small drive (less than 10GB in that case) and checked the Compress old files box, only to find the machine slowed to a crawl. Un-checking the box made it run like a spring chicken, well comparatively speaking anyway.

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    I always check (visually) the boxes as well and its never been checked (graphically), which makes more sense cuz that's quite a commitment to go ahead and compress old files by default.
    Email, including WLM will message every so often that its compressing the files or the database or something which I think is a good thing to let happen by default.
    Last edited by Infinicore; 2011-11-05 at 18:06.

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  16. #9
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    Windows XP SP3 slow

    Thank you for the responses. I did a defrag, which I haven't done for awhile, but it wasn't bad. Then ran ccleaner which I do run regularly, not much there either. Then I used the MS Clean Boot Procedure. That shuts off all except minimum and that makes a big difference. Yes, I really need to do a re-install but I really dislike going through that process. But on some cold day, I probably will. I checked on disc compression and it isn't checked. I have 33% free space. Using F8 doesn't seem to work to get to Safe Mode. It seems like I went through msconfig to get there once, but forget the exact way to do that. I went to Event Viewer and got this:
    Attachment 29655

    Not sure you can see this at all but there were several hangs for several different apps including FireFox. I will keep playing with these ideas and see what else I can come up with.
    Thanks again for all the suggestions

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    OK, the screen grab was for windows fault reporting, but it gives some very useful info too. It seems that since late July there have been many faulting applications, from Thunderbird and MalwareBytes through to Windows Media Player and Notepad. I mention the range of apps because the latter two are installed with Windows, rather than user installed - hence very unlikely to have a corrupt installation. They don't look they are corrupt, but there are failures while running those applications.

    Without seeing the Event Viewer (Control Panel > Performance and Maintenance > Admin Tools > Event Viewer) it's difficult to be sure, but I'm now leaning toward a hardware issue, possibly with the hard drive.

    What I might expect to see in the event viewer are timeouts or disk errors being logged in the System log. There may be errors in the Security log - those are not security errors in terms of viruses or hackers, but likely to be errors due to data corruptions. The Applications log may give you similar data as the Error Reporting log your the screen grab.

    I would now run a chkdsk. Open My Computer, right click on your system drive, select Properties, then Tools. Under Error Checking click Check Now. Select both tick boxes and click Start. The system will tell you this can't be done while Windows is running and schedule a check at the next boot, which you do want to do. Reboot the machine and let the disk check run - it might take some time.

    After reboot, open Even Viewer and locate the entry in the System logwhich records the result of the disk check. If there is a hard drive issue, you may encounter several erors and fixes during that check. If there are many errors, it might be time to swap out the drive.

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  19. #11
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    Thanks Tinto, I went through the registry this morning and deleted a bunch of entries from old programs that I had uninstalled months ago, but ccleaner had not found them. Things are a little faster now, but I will run a chkdsk in the morning and see what it finds.

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