Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 17
  1. #1
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Knaphill, Woking, Surrey, UK
    Posts
    3
    Thanks
    6
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    PC slowing down throughout the day

    Admittedly our PC is 5 years old and due for replacement (when we have the money!). But it noticeably slows down during the day. I have taken various steps:

    1. I regularly clean the system unit, using a can of compressed air;
    2. I have been through msconfig and disabled absolutely everything I don't need to start up;
    3. I have uninstalled software I no longer use;
    4. I defrag the hard drive weekly using Auslogics;
    5. I run a weekly malware scan with Malwarebytes;
    6. I give CCleaner a daily run over the system;
    7. When Task Manager shows me that RAM use is escalating I defrag the RAM using Iolo System Mechanic.

    We're running Windows 7 SP1 32-bit, maxed out on RAM to 4 GB. Typically we have Outlook 2010, Firefox and Chrome running all day, with other applications (e.g., Word, Excel, iTunes or Photoshop Elements) launched as and when needed. I still have about 20% of a 600 GB hard drive free.

    I feel like I've run out of ideas. Does anyone have any thoughts, or will this only be sorted by splashing the cash?

  2. Subscribe to our Windows Secrets Newsletter - It's Free!

    Get our unique weekly Newsletter with tips and techniques, how to's and critical updates on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows XP, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google, etc. Join our 480,000 subscribers!

    Excel 2013: The Missing Manual

    + Get this BONUS — free!

    Get the most of Excel! Learn about new features, basics of creating a new spreadsheet and using the infamous Ribbon in the first chapter of Excel 2013: The Missing Manual - Subscribe and download Chapter 1 for free!

  3. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California & Arizona
    Posts
    5,380
    Thanks
    127
    Thanked 481 Times in 442 Posts
    A format and clean install maybe what is needed. This should give you a chance to get fresh new everything; Updated drivers, updated versions of common software, all you Windows updates and service pack installed at once in a fresh clean pre software application install.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2012-02-17 at 09:46.

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to CLiNT For This Useful Post:

    davefaulkner (2012-02-17)

  5. #3
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    74
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    If it's slowing down as day moves on why not just restart now and again.

    simple to do and may resolve the issues - whatever they are...

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to mandarin For This Useful Post:

    davefaulkner (2012-02-17)

  7. #4
    Lounge VIP
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    1,168
    Thanks
    44
    Thanked 134 Times in 115 Posts
    Hello davefaulkner and welcome.

    You have run through several useful tests already and cleaned up start up programs too. So, first a couple of observations:

    Any product that suggests it is "defragementing the RAM", is in my opinion full of marketing fluff and it makes me wonder what it is actually doing - perhaps it is contributing to the issue. RAM is Random Access Memory. In other words, it doesn't matter where in ram the data resides, it will be accessed in the same time. Personally, solely based on the claim to defrag the ram, I would put that particular product to one side.

    There should be no need to manually defrag the drive - Windows 7 will do a perfectly good job by itself. It may be that the scheduled Win 7 defrag might be "undoing" the defrag that Auslogics has performed - that would have an impact on resources and slow the machine while the Windows defrag is underway.

    Having got that bit off my chest, there is no fundamental reason why it should progressively slow down during the day.

    Lets turn to the symptoms: during the time the PC is turned on, it slows and becomes increasingly unresponsive. With 4GB ram (albeit 3.5GB usable) and Windows 7, it should run quite happily. The applications you mentioned are standard and should not tax the system.

    Given the age of the machine (5 years old also means it has been through an earlier OS, perhaps Vista or XP), the hard drive might be starting to suffer a little, especially with all the defragging going on.

    The hard drive is getting full, even with 20% free space, there is less wiggle room and the drive will be working harder to write data and that will impact performance.

    However, none of those fits the symptoms of progressive slowing during operation. That suggests an application problem: perhaps a memory leak or conflicting software. Look for the cause of the escalating ram rather than blitzing it. Try taking regular notes on the largest memory allocation and see if that application increases. Secondly, do you have more than one antivirus product installed, or is the product that is installed compatible with Windows 7 (given that the PC ran an earlier OS at some time in the past). Running more than one AV tool is known to be a cause of slowing machines.
    Last edited by Tinto Tech; 2012-02-17 at 11:49. Reason: Friday afternoon spelling

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to Tinto Tech For This Useful Post:

    davefaulkner (2012-02-17)

  9. #5
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Knaphill, Woking, Surrey, UK
    Posts
    3
    Thanks
    6
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Thanks so much for all the detail. Whatever Iolo System Mechanic does or doesn't do, a reduction in the amount of RAM used is correlated by checking Task Manager before and after. I don't run it all the time, only when there's a problem, then I shut it down.

    Yes, the machine has been through a previous OS - Vista.

    I do suspect a memory leak, and often run Task Manager most of the day to keep an eye on this. I have seen applications increase their RAM usage over a period of time, even while - as far as I am concerned - they are idle. The classic culprit is Firefox, although the figures bounce around a lot. I suspect Chrome too, but it's hard to measure, because Task Manager shows the RAM for all the Chrome processes separately rather than as one global figure. (I need to run two browsers, one for me and one for my wife, to deal with separate accounts on certain websites, and have already ditched using Opera in favour of Chrome.)

    As to anti-virus products, no, I purposely only run one, because I know they conflict. Currently that's Norton Internet Security 2012.

  10. #6
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,625
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 928 Times in 851 Posts
    I would also wonder when the PC was updated from Vista to Win 7 was it Custom (Clean) installed or was it Upgrade installed? I have found that Custom (Clean) install gives a more pristine clean better running system with optimized apps. Some people have had success with the Upgrade install but I have read of more problems than with the Custom (Clean) install route. If you do a reinstall I would choose the Custom (Clean) install route. Yes you will have to reinstall all apps and redo all customizations but you will end up with a better installation IMHO. I would also switch to MSE for your AV/AM security rather than Norton IMHO. You will have vigorous arguments from some of my coleagues on this point, but that is my opinion.

    I use IE 9 as my default browser with Chrome as my back up so running 2 browsers is no problem with your setup.

    I might also look at moving some of the less used or accessed stuff or data of the HD to perhaps Ext HD to gain some extra space on your hard drive. It's still easily accesible, but allows your main HD more room for it's work.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  11. The Following User Says Thank You to Medico For This Useful Post:

    davefaulkner (2012-02-17)

  12. #7
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Knaphill, Woking, Surrey, UK
    Posts
    3
    Thanks
    6
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    It was an upgrade installation, Ted. I was impatient! I regret not taking the time to do a clean install and going 64-bit so I could access more RAM, too!

  13. #8
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    20,375
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 595 Times in 532 Posts
    Windows memory management has improved quite a bit since the Win9x days. Windows purposely now leaves RAM occupied until it is needed. Based on most peoples use of RAM it is better to leave some dlls loaded. What good is RAM that you are not using? If Windows needs it it will free it up. All you do by running a "memory optimizer" is force Windows to write stuff to disk prematurely.

    If there are memory leaks involved you are better trying to identify the culprit and checking for an update.

    Joe

  14. #9
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    4,612
    Thanks
    66
    Thanked 525 Times in 474 Posts
    I fully agree with Joe

    Jerry

  15. #10
    Lounge VIP
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    1,168
    Thanks
    44
    Thanked 134 Times in 115 Posts
    Re the upgrade install: I've seen both upgrade and clean installs when migrating from Vista to 7 and would always lean to the clean install. There is a chance that something might not be right with the upgrade, but it's a sledgehammer approach to re-install and if there is a memory leak in a user installed app, it won't fix the issue.

    Re possible memory leak: In the past, I recall there were lots of complaints about Firefox and memory leaks, but since I don't use it often, I can't say if that is true of more recent releases. One way to check that might be to try IE9 in place of Firefox and see if the Ram utilisation stabilises.

    To look for memory leaks, you can download Process Explorer from Sysinternals which will allow you to keep track of memory much better than task manager. It's really good at tracking child processes.

  16. The Following User Says Thank You to Tinto Tech For This Useful Post:

    davefaulkner (2012-02-19)

  17. #11
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    10,172
    Thanks
    129
    Thanked 1,139 Times in 1,050 Posts
    I'd suggest using Windows 7 native Resource Monitor, instead of relaying on the bloated and useless System Mechanic. When the performance worses, check and see what is using RAM, CPU and disk. Standard disks are the main source of performance issues these days, so have a look to see if something is using the disk when the slow down occurs.

  18. The Following User Says Thank You to ruirib For This Useful Post:

    davefaulkner (2012-02-19)

  19. #12
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Montréal
    Posts
    1,139
    Thanks
    7
    Thanked 37 Times in 36 Posts

    RAM at 3 Gs.

    Ruirib, hello.
    Can I pick your mind once more ? I have asked this before and I wonder if some new solution has come up !

    3 G.jpg




    I have read that this Acer uses single channel read in the RAM. Would this be the limiting factor ? It would be nice to have the use of the full 4 Gs. What say you ?

  20. #13
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    10,172
    Thanks
    129
    Thanked 1,139 Times in 1,050 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by handcuff36 View Post
    Ruirib, hello.
    Can I pick your mind once more ? I have asked this before and I wonder if some new solution has come up !

    3 G.jpg




    I have read that this Acer uses single channel read in the RAM. Would this be the limiting factor ? It would be nice to have the use of the full 4 Gs. What say you ?
    Hi Jean,

    There will be no solution, I am afraid. If I remember the discussion, it was chipset limitation and that has no solution, other than getting a new motherboard.

  21. #14
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,625
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 928 Times in 851 Posts
    I believe you are right Rui. Even though the OS can access more RAM the MB is the limiting factor in this case.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  22. #15
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Slough, Berkshire UK
    Posts
    916
    Thanks
    51
    Thanked 52 Times in 50 Posts
    Maybe updating the Bios and or chipset might improve the motherboards control of ram. Only a thought.
    Clive

    All typing errors are my own work and subject to patents pending. Except errors by the spell checker. And that has its own patients.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •