Slow Computer

Electronics Computer Programming Q&A
Robert Reed
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Slow Computer

Post by Robert Reed » Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:11 pm

My computer has been acting up again. In the first 20-30 minutes after turn on, it takes forever to operate its various functions. For instance E-Mail takes 6-7 minutes to load and browser is similar. Anything on the desktop takes forever to open. After about a half hour, it is once again a happy camper and humming along in rapid fashion. I suspect initially it is loading a program or file (one time or maybe over and over?) that is taking up most of its resources. Is there a way to disable programs (without uninstalling) or certain files from loading so that I may be able to systematically determine the culprit? My first inclination is to one at a time send a suspected file to the trash bin and then restore it if no change on startup is seen.This cares me due to the fact that if something goes wrong, it may be lost for good. But programs- I have no idea what to do, I cannot even seem to locate them just for starters. I have tried the control panel and the only option I see is to uninstall. I use Windows XP for the OS.

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Janitor Tzap
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Re: Slow Computer

Post by Janitor Tzap » Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:20 pm

Hmm......
What are the spec's on this computer?
What Firewall, Anti-Virus/Spy wear scanner software are you using?

You can do the Ctrl+Alt+Del opening up the Task Manager.
Click on the "Processes Tab" and see what is running in the back ground.
{Just be careful about shutting off things}

You can type msconfig in the run window.
After you have the System Configuration Utility up.
Click on the Startup Tab and view the number of programs that are loading while booting up.
Also, check under the Services Tab and check the listings of programs that are loading.
You can go a disable junk like "Themes", "UPS", or other features that you don't use.
There is also the "System INI" and "WIN INI" settings Tabs.

Note: Before you make any changes, write down the settings in case you may need to turn that item back on. :wink:

Run "Disk Cleanup" to clear out your web cache, and temporary web/cache files.
Defragment your hard drive.

Also run your spyware/anti-virus scanner.
{Best to do this in Windows Safe Mode.}


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MrAl
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Re: Slow Computer

Post by MrAl » Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:03 am

Hi Robert,


A little more advice i can offer is that there is a program called "Autoruns.exe"
that allows you to turn off drivers and almost anything you need to like .sys
files or anything that become effective on the very next reboot.
Im not sure what happens though if you 'turn off' a file that is truely needed,
if you can get it back in safe mode or what.
The program is very well organized with checkboxes to turn stuff on or off.
I've used it to hunt down what was slowing up my hard drive file copies
using a particular DOS command and i was able to find the files that were
causing that.
You may wish to read up on it a bit more than i did before using and there
is also a web site where they list all the drivers required for working and
mention those that are not truely necessary for operation. Unfortunately
i cant remember the name of the site (something to do with drivers) but
i'll find it if you are interested.
The autoruns program should quickly turn up in a search on Google.
It's nicer than MSConfig is. You can even turn off (or just inspect) stuff
that is in the registry in case it is hiding there.
Oh yeah, it is free download and free operation indefinitely.
LEDs vs Bulbs, LEDs are winning.

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Re: Slow Computer

Post by dobrien » Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:39 am

Microsoft Technet has a utility called autoruns and other utilities
the link is http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysi ... 63902.aspx

Good Luck

Robert Reed
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Re: Slow Computer

Post by Robert Reed » Fri Jan 01, 2010 8:21 am

Thanks for the tips. First chance I get I will try all your suggestions. Hope one of them discovers the culprit.

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jwax
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Re: Slow Computer

Post by jwax » Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:18 am

You may run "SCANDISK" also, it can clean up disk errors.
Under "My Computer", left-click on "Local Disk-C Drive".
Click, "Properties".
Click, "Tools" tab.
Under "Error-Checking", click "Check Now".
Under "Check Disk Options", check "on" both boxes.
When you click "Start", you'll probably get a message that asks if you want SCANDISK to run upon your next startup, and say, "Yes".
Then just reboot your computer and leave it alone. It takes over complete control so you do not have access to anything while SCANDISK is running.
If never ran, it may take half an hour to complete. Less time if it's run occassionally.


Robert Reed
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Re: Slow Computer

Post by Robert Reed » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:50 am

I have tried all the suggestions here and some I always do as regular maintenance. When looking at programs running, nothing really jumps out as being detrimental, although I don't have a good understanding of some so am reluctant to mess with them. However there is one thing I don't think is right here and that is the icon "My Computer" on the desktop.
Now upon opening that icon, I see icons for all the disc drives which in my case is CD-RW (D), DVD (E), Floppy disc (A) and the main disc(C), all that I would expect to see. However My scanner shows an icon here too and I didn't think external hardware would show up in this location (the printer doesn't). But that isn't of main concern at this point and what does concern me is two folders that show up here - SHARED (empty) & Roberts documents (1.41 GB). Since these folders are nested in the C drive, they should not show up until I open that C drive icon- Right? This is the first oddity encountered.
A property check of the C drive icon shows 11.3 GB. For reasons I won't go into at the moment, I don't believe this should be over 7 GB. Opening that icon and then adding up all the various file icon contents I arrive at 7.15 GB - not the 11.3 GB as shown prior.There is more oddity's happening as I go further into these paths, but for now I would like to only dwell on what I see so far. What are your thoughts on this at this point?

PS MrAl, can you give that jerk above me the boot?

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Janitor Tzap
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Re: Slow Computer

Post by Janitor Tzap » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:13 pm

Hey Robert,

The folders: "SHARED Documents", and "Roberts documents" are normally put there by windows.
So, that shouldn't be a problem.

Go to the "System Restore".
It is under the "System Tools".
You may find that you have several weeks, or months worth of backup points.
You can go and wipe out all the old "Restore Points", Except the most recent.
Then check it again.

Thou.....
Windows still uses a Swap File for memory management on the hard drive.
Check and see what it is set at.
In the "Control Panel".
Click on the "Performance and Maintenance".
Click on the "System".
Click on the "Advanced" Tab.
Under "Performance" click on the "Settings" Button.
Click on the "Advanced" Tab.
Look at the "Virtual Memory".
It will show how much Hard Disk space is being put a side by windows for its own use.
Note: Windows will automatically expand or contract the "Swap file", depending on the usage of some programs.
You can click on the "Change" button, and adjust the settings for the "Swap File".
It will also show the maximum the "Swap File" is allowed to expand.


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Robert Reed
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Re: Slow Computer

Post by Robert Reed » Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:23 pm

Scratch

Robert Reed
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Re: Slow Computer

Post by Robert Reed » Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:25 pm

Hi Jan
Did what you suggested and the swap memory is at maximum size of 2048 GB. They also refer to it as a paging file or memory. Also have done system restore several times in the past months and seems to reduced the used space on the C drive somewhat each time, but I have a long ways to go I think. I have to disagree with you that those folders should have their icons under "my Computer". Their location is in the C Drive and thats where they should be nested until opened.
(at least they always were).They should only show when the C Drive icon is opened .There is more to tell about these folders but I did not want to get that far into it before clearing up these initial issues. What were your thoughts about the 11.3 GBytes versus the 7.15 Gbytes. That has to mean something isn't kosher, right?

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Janitor Tzap
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Re: Slow Computer

Post by Janitor Tzap » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:39 pm

Hi Robert,

When you click on your "My Computer" on the desktop.
Does a it open a window with "System Tasks", "Other Places", and "Details" on the left side of the screen?
Towards the middle/top you should have....
"Files Stored on This Computer" which has those two folders "Shared Documents", and "Roberts documents" right under it.
Then directly under it is the "Hard Disk Drives"
And right under that is "Devices with Removable Storage".

If your not seeing that.
Go to "Tools".
Click on the "Folder Options".
Click on the "View" Tab.
Now look in the "Advanced Settings" Window.
Make sure the "Show Hidden Files and Folders" is checked.
Also un-check the "Hide Protected Operating System files".

Now you should be able to see everything that is on the hard drive.


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Robert Reed
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Re: Slow Computer

Post by Robert Reed » Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:27 am

OK Jan
Did what you suggested and things are adding up better now but I still seem to be coming in high on the 11.3 GB thing. At least its closer now with a sum total showing nearly 9 GB. I guess at this point I should explain a little more that prompted me to make this post in the first place. My C drive had been showing about 6-7GB used space on it for several years. About a year ago I contracted a bitch'n virus that would not even accept the original OS disc (Windows XP) after a complete disc wipe. I had a pro do this and he apparently used a different disc to reinstall OS. machine worked well after that but I noticed the C drive Space was now at 12 GB. further investigation showed all kinds of games and huge program,files that I would never use. So in the interests of cleaning house, I deleted much of that crap. The C Drive now showed 7-8 GB used space. I had some programs and info on a flash drive that I loaded in later (about 1.5 GB) and have been adding some programs since then so I would expect about 9 GB max used space at present. My computer started slowing down (especially right after boot up) and Scans, clean discs, defrags & restores only offered minimal help. So I was thinking the only thing left was that was that some how I had double loaded in files or programs in the past without knowing it. As I follow the paths down thru C Drive , I have come across folders that contain the same data as folders that preceded that. These rather large files are tucked into folders with different names. Does this sound like an area to explore further? Also one last question - the Windows operating folder is using 2.5 GB of disc space- does this sound reasonable? I thought it would have consumed much less space, but being the computer idiot that I am, most my assumptions are just guesswork at best.

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Janitor Tzap
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Re: Slow Computer

Post by Janitor Tzap » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:53 am

Hmmm..........

You never said what sort of computer you have?

For the heck of it I checked what is the total used disk space being used on my 1TB drive.

First I used the "Local Disk Properties" when you right click on the "Local Drive C:",
after you click on the "My Computer" Icon on the desktop.
It showed 14.9GB being used.

I then used CHKDSK in the DOS "Command Prompt" Box too check and compare.
It is normally found in the "Accessories" area.
It reported 14.8GB being used.

It maybe that you have another account on your computer that is taking up about 2Gigs?

Or there is a Hidden Partition on the Drive.
Dell, Gateway, and several other computer manufacturers place a Hidden Partition on the drive of the computer.
This stores the Original OS, Application Software, and Diagnostic Utilities that came with the computer.
When you first get one of these types of computer.
It will ask you to burn a "Backup/Restore CD" Before you start using it.
Once done, the owner then has the option to wipe out that Partition if they want too.

To find out, you can open up the "Disk Management Tool".
Click on the "Run".
Then type into the box: diskmgmt.msc .
Then click "OK" button.
It will show you the all the drives.
And all Partitions that are on the hard drive.
Note: This is a powerful tool.
It can be used to delete partitions, as well as create new ones or expand the size of existing ones.
Unfortunately it will not decrease size of existing partitions.

For something like that you'll need a program like Partition Magic.
Thus, for now just look and see what is there. :wink:


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sofaspud
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Re: Slow Computer

Post by sofaspud » Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:22 pm

"System Restore" gets stored on the hard drive, so that may well be the discrepancy between the 7G and 14G usage stats. I know
my scanner software does regular searches for the hardware. If I'm not scanning I close the program because it gets annoying; maybe
your's is getting hung up doing something similar. And it may get a bit tedious, but processlibrary.com should tell you what all those
programs are that you find in the Task Manager. You can disable programs without uninstalling by simply changing *.exe to *.ex_. Then
just change the extension back after it's been given your go-ahead.

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