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  1. #1
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    very, very slow computer

    Hi All,
    (I can't determine if this belongs here or in Windows XP, so I'll leave it up to the Admins to choose)
    A couple of days ago I <img src=/S/sarcasm.gif border=0 alt=sarcasm width=15 height=15> "very generously" offered to look at a friend's daughter's Dell Inspiron 1150 laptop running Windows XP Home. It was excruciatingly slow. In fact it took almost a minute to display Windows Explorer after opening it.
    So I.......

    <UL><LI>updated Symantec AV
    <LI>loaded Spybot
    <LI>loaded AdAware
    <LI>loaded Spyware Blaster
    <LI>loaded HijackThis
    <LI>loaded ZoneAlarm
    <LI>updated and ran all of the above[/list]All installed and ran very, very slowly. In fact it took Spybot over an hour and a half to go through her C-drive (~8 GB used on a 30 GB harddrive - no other partitions), AdAware, did not do any better. But run they did and allowed me to fix/delete 4 Browser Helper Objects (BHO), a ton of adware garbage, no viruses were found and repeated until ALL returned "nothing found". I could identify all the entries from HijackThis and ZoneAlarm showed nothing out of the ordinary was trying to access the internet. I shut down System Restore after the initial SAV scan showed a trojan in her Restore files. However, this did little or nothing to speed-up the computer. So I decided to run all of the above again, this time in safe mode. Spybot then took only 9 and a half minutes to complete, with very similar results using AdAware. Just for s&g's I re-booted again, "out of" Safe mode, and the previous slow results returned.
    So, my question is: <img src=/S/scratch.gif border=0 alt=scratch width=25 height=29> where do I go and what do I do next? If all her software disks are found, my "normal" next step, in this situation (since the system restore was useless), would be to format C and reload from scratch, but.........she hasn't found any of her disks yet. I'm not really a "hardware" or an "OS" guy (I'm not entirely helpless, but I'm not over-"exuberant" over my skills either), so please be gentle. <img src=/S/anigrin.gif border=0 alt=anigrin width=19 height=19>

    Thank you.
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/gdrezek_sig.jpg>
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  2. #2
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    Re: very, very slow computer

    Have you used Task Manager to see what processes are running? You can also use Sysinternals Freeware - Autoruns to see what is started when you boot and Sysinternals Freeware - Process Explorer which is like task manager on steroids.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: very, very slow computer

    Hi Joe,
    I've run Task Manager during pretty much all of this and unless something is hiding behind a legitimate filename, I haven't seen anything out of the ordinary. However, on boot-up, the cpu usage is pegged at 100%, but it is not any 1 process, but normally 4-6 running processes together which add up to the 100%.
    Thanks for the links, I *now* remember their existance, but haven't needed them so I haven't loaded them. I'm still at work so I'll give them a whirl after supper tonight and get back with their results.
    Thank you.
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/gdrezek_sig.jpg>
    "Those who dance are considered insane by those who can't hear the music" - George Carlin

  4. #4
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: very, very slow computer

    If the computer is connected to a network, try starting up with the cable unplugged. If the ruckus starts after connecting, then "something" is trying to communicate. (For quite a while I had a problem with Windows Update (or an imposter using the same file name) using 99% CPU. It didn't create this problem if it didn't immediately find the network.)

  5. #5
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: very, very slow computer

    If she can at least find the WIndows XP CD, then you could do a Repair Install without losing any of her apps.

    Read the MS article to do this at: REPAIR XP
    BOB
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    Re: very, very slow computer

    I have found that using Norton's 2006 will almost trash a machine.
    Have you tried removing it and see what happens. Most of the Norton's installs is the full security package which is one of those "ALL in One" wonders that will kill ones machine. I do NOT have much to say about McAfee either. <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: very, very slow computer

    This was happening to me and it turn out to be my backup hard drive. When I upplugged the drive, everything went to normal. The drive died about two days later....
    (Oh BTW, don't forget to make backups....)
    Michael

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    Re: very, very slow computer

    Hi Jefferson,
    I've had it connected to my home network while I've been dealing with this. I bounced the laptop 3 times each way, with and without the network cable and with about 5 or so minutes between power down then up. There was no discernable difference to me or my rough timing methods. From the time the WinXP logo is displayed, until the laptop is ready to use, took, on average, seven and a half minutes. The cpu usage was pegged most of the time with services.exe doing most of the usage, most of the time. It bounced around quite a bit, but was always near or at the top of the usage list. Plug and Play, was one of the services running under it as listed using Process Explorer and I can't remember the other one (I'm at work now so I can't check), but it was something that didn't seem out of the ordinary.
    Thanks.
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    "Those who dance are considered insane by those who can't hear the music" - George Carlin

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    Re: very, very slow computer

    We use SAV corporate (v. 10.0.1.1000), here on campus, and this version is quite a bit better than the 9.xx versions were. I forget exactly which version it was, but it caused both my laptop and my desktop at work, to peg cpu usage for a good 10 or so minutes, occurring quite randomly, doing real-time scanning. The fix was too uninstall and re-install until a "good-load" was achieved. Elegant I know. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    Her version is 9.0.0.338. She was a student here before transferring to some campus in Denver, and is still using the SAV copy she was given while living in the dorms. I'll give this a try tonight.
    Thanks.
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    "Those who dance are considered insane by those who can't hear the music" - George Carlin

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    Re: very, very slow computer

    Thanks.
    I'll check on Dell's site and the harddrive manufacturer's site (need to find that out) and see if they have some kind of harddisk check utility. I've already got all her data and "stuff" copied over onto my desktop at home (THAT took almost forever) <img src=/S/yawn.gif border=0 alt=yawn width=15 height=15>
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    "Those who dance are considered insane by those who can't hear the music" - George Carlin

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    Re: very, very slow computer

    Hi Bob,
    Yup, it's seeming more and more that it is going to have to be the way I can do this. <img src=/S/tongue.gif border=0 alt=tongue width=15 height=15>
    <img src=/S/crossfingers.gif border=0 alt=crossfingers width=17 height=16> Here's hoping she can find the disks for me.
    Thanks for the link in case I do get lucky.
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    "Those who dance are considered insane by those who can't hear the music" - George Carlin

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    Re: very, very slow computer

    Another thing to check, is the partition size. I was working on a machine while back that ran so slow "paint drying" came in first.

    It turned out that the partition was less that 15 Gigs, and was full. I resized the partition, and all is running just fine. The owners of the machine did NOT know anything about the partition and I had to install SW to do the resizing. This machine had been to several people for repair and the owners had been putting up with the slow speed for about a year.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  13. #13
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    Re: very, very slow computer

    Check to make sure that in Windows Explorer | Tool | Folder Options | View that "Automatically search for network folders and printers" is not checked. This can cause a significant slow down when booting if the network resources are not available.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: very, very slow computer

    Hi Joe,
    That was not checked.
    I want to thank you and all who helped me on this. I just got a phone call with good news.......she found all the disks and I'll get them tonight!!!! <img src=/S/groovin.gif border=0 alt=groovin width=21 height=21>
    After this, format C looks pretty good.
    Thanks again.
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    "Those who dance are considered insane by those who can't hear the music" - George Carlin

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    Re: very, very slow computer

    Hi Joe,
    Just before I was going to blow the OS away and reload, I thought I'd get a little more knowledgeable using the "backup OS on a hidden partition" trick ( I found this out after I received the disks from my friend's daughter - I did say I wasn't that big of a hardware or an OS person - <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> ) in addition to the link that Bob referred, I did a google search; reload dell os inspiron 1150.
    The 1st link following, listed second in the results, was to the Windows support forum at Windowsbbs.com which in turn led me to Dell support.
    It seems these Dell laptops have/had a problem with WinXP SP2, in that applying SP2 would cut the Inspiron Celeron processor speed by as much as 90%. Well that was it for this laptop as well. Speeded it up quite nicely.
    Thanks again to you and the others.
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    "Those who dance are considered insane by those who can't hear the music" - George Carlin

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