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  1. #1
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    AntiVirus using too much CPU in old laptop

    I have a HP G62-340US Notebook that is running Windows 7 Home Premium. It runs so slow it is pretty useless and I have been told that it is not possible to add more RAM memory. I suspect that the Norton antivirus is using more of the CPU than I would like. I have ordered a new laptop and I would like to restrict the use of this old one to be used by my 1st grade daughter to access her school account to get homework assignments, etc. This leads to three questions:

    1. Is there an antivirus that I can change to that would use less CPU than Norton is using? I am planning to remove the email client on this laptop so it will not be able to get viruses through that route.

    2. Is there any way to restrict this old laptop to accessing only the school web site?

    3. If I can restrict this laptop to accessing only the school web site and there is no email capability, how bad would it be to just eliminate the antivirus completely?

    I appreciate anyones comments and suggestions.

    Bill

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    There are several freebie and pay-for choices: Windows Defender, Microsoft Security Essentials, free Avast AntiVrius, free AVG Antivirus, and many more. Add free Spybot S&D and free Malwarebytes Anti-Malware -- that would all you would need. Vrii and malware and unWantedWare can also come into via free download&installs, not just email.
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    Thanks for the reply RolandJS. Are you suggesting that all the programs you mentioned use less CPU that Norton? That is the kind of info I'm hoping to receive.

    Thanks,
    Bill

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    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Actually, the Windows 7 AV application with the lowest overhead is Microsoft Security Essentials:
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/w...tials-download

    Its not quite as effective as most apps but it does provide basic protection for free. If you are using a Norton Suite, you could try disabling everything except real time AV protection. Disable the Firewall, ID Protection, Email protection, etc.

    There may be other reasons the laptop is running slow. Download and run
    Malwarebytes Free (www.malwarebytes.org) - uncheck the free trial box on the last step of the install

    Adwcleaner - (http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/adwcleaner/)

    Both of these will only run on demand, not in the background.

    If the laptop is still running slow after using these programs, try running MSConfig, click on the startup tab and uncheck all boxes. Reboot and see if the laptop is still running slow.

    Jerry

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    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillWilson View Post
    ...Are you suggesting that all the programs you mentioned use less CPU that Norton?...Thanks, Bill
    Well, if these are conservatively-set, not assertively-set, then they would take up less CPU than the full-blown, full-assertively-set Norton 360. You would have to add their average daily usage somehow and compare that to the Norton 360 average daily usage. How to do that, ask the techs here [I don't know how].
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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillWilson View Post
    I have a HP G62-340US Notebook that is running Windows 7 Home Premium. It runs so slow it is pretty useless and I have been told that it is not possible to add more RAM memory. I suspect that the Norton antivirus is using more of the CPU than I would like. I have ordered a new laptop and I would like to restrict the use of this old one to be used by my 1st grade daughter to access her school account to get homework assignments, etc. This leads to three questions:

    1. Is there an antivirus that I can change to that would use less CPU than Norton is using? I am planning to remove the email client on this laptop so it will not be able to get viruses through that route.

    2. Is there any way to restrict this old laptop to accessing only the school web site?

    3. If I can restrict this laptop to accessing only the school web site and there is no email capability, how bad would it be to just eliminate the antivirus completely?

    I appreciate anyones comments and suggestions.

    Bill

    First of all if you are going to downgrade this laptop and give it to your child you will need to look into several things:

    1. Perform a clean install or factory reset if possible.
    This should take the laptop back to it's state when you first purchased it and therefore remove all
    programs in question, many of which your dtr will have no use for.
    It will also give you a chance to install proper imaging based backup solutions on in which to use when she
    will inevitably crash the machine.

    But most importantly, it'll cure all the current ills you are now experiencing and provide a fresh start.

    2. Use W7 default AV/AM (MSE) with the addition of another light weight tool, like MBAM. (free or paid)
    This will be more than sufficient PROVIDED you periodically check up on her.

    3. Set your dtr up with a limited account only and restrict her access to admin related affairs.
    This should force her to come to you for settings advice and install permissions.

    4. After the laptop has been set up you may look into blocking websites, either with software, or via browser settings.
    (You'll likely need some form of paid solution that will block access to all but a few select websites).
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2015-01-03 at 13:47.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillWilson View Post
    I have a HP G62-340US Notebook that is running Windows 7 Home Premium. It runs so slow it is pretty useless ...

    I appreciate anyones comments and suggestions.

    Bill
    Most laptops, even older ones with anti-virus programs like Norton running, are still not so slow as to be useless.

    First start up the Windows Task Manager, and click on the Performance Tab. Check CPU Usage, and Memory. If either of these is 100%, that's your problem.

    Then click on the Processes Tab. If your CPU Usage was 100%, then click on the column header "CPU", Kill whatever process is at the top of the list, and see if you get better performance. If Memory was 100% then click on the column header "Memory", and kill stuff until Memory Usage is less than 100%.

    I would look for other stuff running, particularly another anti-virus. When you get two anti-virus programs running, each one will try to be the program that is in control of all the other programs. They can bog things down to where you have the kind of performance you are describing. I would definitely get rid of the Norton, but I would also go through the Processes on the Windows task manager, to see if you can find another anti-virus program running.

    Whatever is using too much CPU or memory, should be uninstalled if you never use it, or removed from the Services or Startup Tabs of msconfig if you do occasionally use it.

  8. #8
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    I use Norton 360 and it shows two entries in Task Manager/Processes - one will be for the AV and the other will be for the Firewall.

    One is using 6504k and the other is using 5132k of memory - so much for Norton being resource hungry.

    However AV programs can become buggy and using Norton's Remove and Reinstall will usually resolve, but I would look to your Startup items in msconfig as Prescott has advised and running a clean boot to see it remains sluggish.

    You could also run Disk Cleanup as an admin to see how much that will free up and then do a Disk Defrag, but Clint's suggestion of a factory reset is the ultimate solution, although there will be some bloatware to dump and all of the Windows Updates to reinstall.

    You could run Decrapifier for the bloatware and select what you want to keep - or you could even run that now.

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