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  1. #1
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    XP SP3 on Toshiba Laptop everything slow

    For several months my computer is slow on everything. I have Windows XP Media Edition SP3, with all updates. I primarily use FF latest version. But whenever I change a tab, there is this long hesitation, a minute or more at times, worse late in the day. But, it is also the same when I have several programs running and change from one to the other, the hesitation is there. I have 1 gig of ram which is what I have for years but just wondered if that is part of the problem. I wiped the drive and reinstalled everything in December, have tested the hd, run all kinds of virus and malware testing, even online testers. I have Zone Alarm Extreme Security and run Malwarebytes regularly. Any ideas appreciated greatly.
    Ken

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    5 Star Lounger chowur's Avatar
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    My best advice,would be to @ least add 1 more gig of ram.32 bit windows will support up to 4gigs.
    Here some more information the subject;http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/libr...its_windows_xp
    Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them. -Albert Einsten

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    A total of 3GB of RAM in XP would be the sweet spot, but since you have gotten by with only 1GB before the slowdown started, and you just did a clean install:

    Besides Firefox browser tabs, what other behaviors have you noticed that are slower than usual. Provide details please.

    What new software or updates versions of software have you installed since the "slow down"started?
    Have you installed the most up to date drivers the last time you did a clean install?
    Did you actually do a clean install, or just reload a factory image?


    Consider downgrading to a lower version of Firefox if Firefox is the only culprit, or at least perform a reinstall of your current version. Consider dumping some of the browser addons if there are any present.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2012-05-22 at 08:32.

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    Thumbs up

    Hi there,

    Could you do the following please.
    1. Hit ALT to turn the text links on (if you cannot see them already) and then click "Help", "Restart with Add-ons Disabled".
    2. In the next menu which appears, click the button called "Continue in Safe Mode" without checkmarking any of the boxes.
    3. When Firefox restarts, all your add-ons will be disabled. Go do what you normally do and see if it makes any difference.

    If tabs open normally, then one of your add-ons is the culprit.

    In that particularly case, repeat step #1 and when you see the menu, checkmark the top one called "Disable All Add-ons". Then click the button called "Make Changes and Restart".

    After that, it's simply a case of re-enabling them one by one until the problem recurs. Then you'll know which one is the troublemaker.

    If restarting in Firefox Safe Mode doesn't make any difference, check the Zone Alarm configuration. It most likely has a scanner which scans every page you try to open to check it for malware before it allows you to view it. That will also cause the kind of delay you're experiencing. I'd suggest disabling it and then go to a few news media sites like BBC News, CNN etc., so that you can monitor any performance difference.

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    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Having only 1GB of RAM shouldn't be a big problem, especially in the first hour or so after boot up with normal browsing only. Upgrading to 2 or 3GB would undoubtedly improve the performance overall though.

    ZA may have a noticeable impact on performance but that should be minimal on a mainstream browser installed in the default location.

    I think it's more likely to be a problem with hardware acceleration enabled in Firefox (it's a recent default setting, I think), (Alt) > Tools > Options > Advanced > General > Browsing > "Use hardware acceleration when available" <--- toggle this setting, save and restart Firefox to test. You can also check whether your graphics chip is 'blacklisted' or not by Mozilla: (Alt) > Help > Troubleshooting information, scroll to the foot of the resulting tab and look at the Graphics information.

    There may also be a conflict/hesitation caused by ZA's website checking feature (assuming it has one) and the built-in (Google) site checker: http://www.google.com/tools/firefox/safebrowsing/.

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    Quote Originally Posted by satrow View Post
    I think it's more likely to be a problem with hardware acceleration enabled in Firefox (it's a recent default setting.........
    Hardware acceleration is not supported in Windows XP purely because that technolgy was not available back in 2001 when Windows XP was released.

    You need to be running either Vista or Windows 7 to be able to benefit from hardware acceleration.

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    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Hardware acceleration may not be supported in XP but the option is in my Firefox 12 on XP Home SP3; it follows that this may have an impact when opening the Home page or subsequent tabs, which is why I suggested toggling the setting and restarting the browser to test.

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    Quote Originally Posted by satrow View Post
    Hardware acceleration may not be supported in XP but the option is in my Firefox 12 on XP Home SP3; it follows that this may have an impact when opening the Home page or subsequent tabs, which is why I suggested toggling the setting and restarting the browser to test.
    Yes, of course the option is there because Firefox runs on many different platforms. But in order to benefit from hardware acceleration there are two basic necessities. First of all either Vista or Windows 7/8 and secondly, Direct3D 10.0 (a.k.a. DirectX) minimum. Since Windows XP only supports D3D 9.0c max, you're out of luck on that score too I'm afraid.

    Yes, you can checkmark the box in Firefox the same way you can checkmark the option in Flash player, but the operating system will ignore it.

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    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    I know the OS ignores it but does FX/security software - that's what I'd like to rule in/out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by satrow View Post
    I know the OS ignores it but does FX/security software - that's what I'd like to rule in/out.
    Sure. But let's do these things one at a time shall we?

    So the OP needs to restart Firefox with add-ons disabled to eliminate an add-on as the cause of the problem as I mentioned above. If that doesn't resolve the issue, then he needs to disable the ZA web scanner as the second most likely culprit. By going to news media sites like cnn.com, he runs no risks of landing on a malware site.

    If neither resolves the problem, then we can proceed further with your own ideas.

    Are we agreed?

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    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    We've wasted more time discussing this than the OP would have taken to do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by satrow View Post
    We've wasted more time discussing this than the OP would have taken to do it.
    I tell you what: you go ahead and do your thing first, OK?

    If you don't resolve the issue, then I'll have a go.

    Happy now?

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    I probably need to add ram. I am thinking maybe another 1 gig stick, which would give 1.5. I did a clean reinstall of Windows. I soon as I get a few bucks I will buy the ram. I wiped the drive and installed everything from scratch and updated all software and any hardware updated indicated. I am beginning to think there is one program, Legacy, which is not letting go of memory. It is a genealogy program and I frequently have it running all day. With that I might have both FF and IE running with several tabs, because some of my research won't work on FF and a lot of my passwords and bookmarks are on FF.

    Thanks for the ideas.

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    Hi, I have played with disabling all of the Add-ons and with all disabled, it make a big difference. I have added 2 of the basic ones, including my RoboForm tool bar and it seems to be better. I will see how it goes after a day or two and report back. Thanks for the ideas

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldgeezer75 View Post
    Hi, I have played with disabling all of the Add-ons and with all disabled, it make a big difference. I have added 2 of the basic ones, including my RoboForm tool bar and it seems to be better. I will see how it goes after a day or two and report back. Thanks for the ideas
    You're welcome.

    Here's the Mozilla article which explains the other options in Safe Mode just in case it's of any use to you: Firefox Safe Mode

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