Computer got S-L-O-W

Discussion in 'Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems' started by K9FV, Oct 23, 2007.

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  1. KC9ECI

    KC9ECI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Could be Windows Rot.
  2. K9FV

    K9FV Ham Member QRZ Page

    For an update on my S-L-O-W computer... I downloaded adware, deleted all temp files, scanned, defragged, etc. All to no real improvement. The fans were running. Sooo, today I did it. I deleted the patitions and did a full format - takes an hour? I think did a new install of WindowsXP home, did a phone registration and now have everything back up and running. Now it is back FAST as when I first built this box a few months ago.

    Not sure what the deal was - but now it works as it should. example, splitting a single 350 mb MP3 file to 70 files was taking almost 30 minutes or more - today it did it in just a couple of minutes.

    This is on a 240 gig HD. Before I had it patitioned to 2 drives, C and D. C was a 40 meg and D was the balance. The page file was set for D drive. The only things on C drive was the OS, with most of the program files installed to a "Program Files" folder on D drive... Folder - I'm learning - took me a while not to call it a "Directory" from the old DOS days.

    Thanks to all for their suggestions - all HD's need a reformat from time to time - I used to do it about twice a yr - now MUCH less.

    73 de Ken H.
  3. W7MDC

    W7MDC Ham Member QRZ Page

    The primary reason a computer slows down like this is because it's out of memory. When the computer runs out of physical memory, the OS pages memory out to the hard drive, which causes your processor use to spike, and your hard drive to run pretty much constantly. Usually, it's caused by a particularly poorly written program; sometimes it's a trojan or other piece of malicious software that just doesn't care about your performance.

    The way to determine if you're dealing with a memory leak (a fault in a program that causes it to use too much memory) is to hit ctrl-alt-delete and choose to run the Task manager. On the performance tab of the task manager, there's a Page File Usage graph. If that's way up at the top of the graph, you can bet that something's using too much memory, or you may just have too little memory in your machine. Considering that it used to run fast, I think it's fair to assume that you have a rogue program that's gobbling up more memory than it actually needs.

    You might be able to spot the culprit by looking at the processes tab in the task manager, and sorting by memory usage. For simple memory leaks, your culprit should be right up at the top, and will be using an inordinate amount of ram. Even if no process looks like it's using too much memory, if your page file use is up, then something is using the memory up, it's just not showing up in the process list. A lot of malicious software hides itself from the process list. I'd fix it by removing or disabling software that you've recently installed to see if that fixes the issue.

    I suppose that all of this is moot, because you've already re-installed, but if it happens again, you should check your task manager first.
  4. SV2BWM

    SV2BWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Or, you take out your hard disk, put in a 2nd pc as slave and remove ALL viruses PERMANENTLY, then put in on back. It has worked many times for me...
  5. K9FV

    K9FV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm not sure what you mean here??? Can you explain in detail a bit more?

    73 de Ken H>
  6. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Right click on My Computer, click on MANAGE, open SERVICES, and put EVERY one of them (there may be hundreds) on MANUAL start, and disabled. Reboot, and restart ONLY those that need to run. Your puter will scream again.

  7. K9FV

    K9FV Ham Member QRZ Page

    K1MDC: Using the ctrl-alt-del to bring up the task manager was the very first thing I did when looking for the problem. There were NO tasks that seemed to be using too much memory. The CPU usuage was usually in the 50% range and not near all of the 2 gig ram installed was being used. AVG & adware both gave the computer "safe" rating on scan.

    Not only was it slow on opening programs with LOTS of paging to HD, there were a couple of programs that were CPU intensive and those ran slow also... One was a MP3 splitter program. Before the slow down it would split a 300 meg file into 67 file of 4.5K size in a couple of minutes - as it does now. During the slow down, it might take 30 minutes for the same job.

    I "suspect" a rogue program was causing the problem - a real rogue that was able to keep itself from being listed in the task manager - that is the ONLY thing I can think of.

    Deleting the partition and doing a full reformat and new installation has the system working like it should.

    Is it possible for a rogue program to using ram and prevent itself from being listed in the task manager under Applications or Processes?

    73 de Ken
  8. W7MDC

    W7MDC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, it's possible for malware to hide from the process list and applications list. In light of the fact that you've got plenty of RAM, I'd have to concur that you had a trojan or some other crap. You're better off re-installing. I've never been able to scrub an infected machine to where it was working like pre-infection. You CAN use the Windows XP Roll-back feature, though. If you know about when your machine became infected, it is possible to roll your machine back to safe time. I had to do this once. You can roll your machine back to the initial install, if necessary.
  9. K9FV

    K9FV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have used the "roll back" feature a couple of times in the past, but it just seems simplier to just re-install. Now it works as it should.

    thanks for all the input,

    73 de ken H.
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