Slow Computer

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Robert Reed
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Re: Slow Computer

Post by Robert Reed » Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:31 pm

Hello again Jan
OK followed your last instructions. First I did DSKCHK and all ran well but as soon as it completed check, it dissapeared. Tried again same thing. Next test- DISKMGMT.MSC. This bought up a window that I don't know what to do with. Among other things, under the heading LAYOUT - it shows Partition and under STATUS it shows Healthy. It shows three drives, the C Drive being the only one that isn't empty.This had a dark blue bar all the way across the screen and I guess indicates the size of its partition. The bar size equals the disk size which they calculate at 74.5GB.So if I read this right, it looks like there aren't any partitions, just one big one that is the whole C drive?
My computer is a 4 year old Dell 3000 something. I guess it name implies clock speed which is in fact 3000 GB. The side memory ( I hope I got that right) is 512 MB. The OS is MS XP service pack three. The computer came with a ton of program discs for backup so there was no need to have that info in the C drives partitions. I hope this info helps. Shortly I am going to do a restore and go way back at least 6 mos. if I still can and then recheck C properties for volume.
Sofaspud
That is so weird about your scanner as I frequently have the same problem. My scanner is a Visioneer and I had to replace the power pack awhile back due to sagging voltage that made the computer hard to find it on boot up. Here lately, the problem has been reappearing due to I think sagging line voltage. I have to unplug it and replug it in after boot up when that happens and then the 'puter finds it- a real pain in the a**. Downloaded your program and will try it out later.

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Janitor Tzap
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Re: Slow Computer

Post by Janitor Tzap » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:37 pm

Ok Robert,
Now things are starting to make sense to me. :P

This Dell computer came with the software already loaded onto the Hard Drive right from the factory.
Thus,
I'm willing to bet that it has a hidden partition with the Diagnostic & Repair Utilities on it.
I forget how you get access to this Partition.
And it seems strange Disk Manager can't see the Partition.

Look in your users manual for the instructions on how you access it.
Here's Dell's support site.
http://support.dell.com/support/topics/ ... ~ck=anavml
If you don't still have your manual.
You can look it up, and maybe get a copy for your computer.

The Software CD's are simply a courtesy they now are offering the customers.
Because people were having far too many issues with the burning of backups CD's.
Dell decided to just include the Software CD's with the systems when shipped to the customer.

Sorry about not being clearer on CHKDSK.
Here I'll walk you through it.
Click on start.
Goto Programs - Accessories
Under Accessories find Command Prompt, click on it.
A window will open showing:
Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
(C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.
C:\Documents and Settings\Robert\
{Flashing cursor}
Type CHKDSK, then press enter.
It will then go and check the hard drive and give you a report.
The C:\Documents and Settings\Robert\{Flashing cursor} Prompt will return.
You can type Exit, and then press enter.
The window will close.
Or you can just click on the X on the upper right hand corner of the window to close it when done.
That is so weird about your scanner as I frequently have the same problem. My scanner is a Visioneer and I had to replace the power pack awhile back due to sagging voltage that made the computer hard to find it on boot up. Here lately, the problem has been reappearing due to I think sagging line voltage. I have to unplug it and replug it in after boot up when that happens and then the 'puter finds it- a real pain in the a**. Downloaded your program and will try it out later.
Are you certain that voltage sags are the problem here?
Do you have a way to monitor the AC line, and log the voltage sag event?
Or monitor the computer power supply voltages?

I've replaced the power supply on a few Dell's that were going bad.
And it cleared up most of the problems.
Thou, if your really seeing sagging AC line voltages.
The power supply could be getting pounded by these,
and it maybe damaged as well. :sad:

How about putting it, and everything connected to it on an AC Line Smoother,
or AC Isolation Transformer to test if it really is a Voltage Sag problem?


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Re: Slow Computer

Post by Robert Reed » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:54 pm

Sofasud
Tried your program and shows memory consumed during startup and operation. Everything looked OK here.

JanitorTzap
Ran CHKDSK again and here are results:
Disk Space 78.1 GB
Files (41000) 11 GB
Indexes 18 MB
Bad Sectors 0
System Use 181 MB
Log File 65 MB
Available Space 66.9 GB
Total Allocation 19.5 GB
Allocation Available 16.7
Problem --- File System - Correct problem with /F ( not sure what it wants me to do here)

Cannot locate any thing about Partitions in my manual, but it does say that when approaching a full memory, a warning will pop up - this has never occurred.
Power supply (250 watt) is rated for 100-120 vac input.I don't know what good putting n isolation transformer on it would do. I do have a high powered variac though. The sags I was reffering to go down to 111 vac occasionally. The sag issue I mentioned was strictly concerning the new power pack for the scanner as it is a little borderline in operation so at boot up. With low line level it may not supply the needed power (maybe). I don't think the power line is a problem with the computer though due to the fact that after its been running for 20-30 minutes, the operation seems to be OK. Also has diagnostic lights to inform me of problems there.
One thing that concerns me about the disc test is the file size of 41000. Beyond a year or so, the files were always in the 18000-20000 size. I have probably added some since the but it seems it should not be double in size. I hope this info helps! BTW, how do I do a fix with that /F thing.

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Janitor Tzap
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Re: Slow Computer

Post by Janitor Tzap » Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:06 pm

Robert Reed wrote:Cannot locate any thing about Partitions in my manual, but it does say that when approaching a full memory, a warning will pop up - this has never occurred.
It maybe under Dell Diagnostic Utilities in your manual.
I think if you press F8 during boot up.
You will get the Option Screen, asking to run the Diagnostic Tools, or boot up windows
in Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking, Windows Diagnostic Mode, or Normal Mode.
Power supply (250 watt) is rated for 100-120 vac input.I don't know what good putting n isolation transformer on it would do. I do have a high powered variac though. The sags I was reffering to go down to 111 vac occasionally. The sag issue I mentioned was strictly concerning the new power pack for the scanner as it is a little borderline in operation so at boot up. With low line level it may not supply the needed power (maybe). I don't think the power line is a problem with the computer though due to the fact that after its been running for 20-30 minutes, the operation seems to be OK. Also has diagnostic lights to inform me of problems there.
I don't know.
I've had ATX Power Supplies that were flaky.
When you first turned them on the voltages and current would be low.
And until the Power Supply warmed up, and stabilized.
The computer might not boot up, but more often the devices connected to the computer vie the USB Ports don't get detected correctly.
Thus, I'd have to force windows to re-detect them, and re-install the drivers for it.:mad:
One thing that concerns me about the disc test is the file size of 41000. Beyond a year or so, the files were always in the 18000-20000 size. I have probably added some since the but it seems it should not be double in size. I hope this info helps!
Hmmm.....
I don't think it is anything to worry about.
But it would be nice to find out if you have duplicate files lay around on the drive.
There are second party Disk Utility Clean Up programs that will do this.
But Xp doesn't have such a utility that will find duplicate files easily. :sad:
BTW, how do I do a fix with that /F thing.
Do as I instructed you in running CHKDSK.
But include the /F switch.
Like this: C:\Documents and Settings\Robert\CHKDSK /F
Windows will bawk, and you'll get this message.
The type of the file system is NTFS.
Cannot lock current drive.

Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process.
Would you like to schedule this volume to be checked the next
time the system restarts? (Y/N)
Type Y.
You'll then get confirmation message.
That will say it will run at the next startup.
Now close the window.
Restart the computer.
A blue screen will pop up during the restart.
A counter will give you 10 seconds to opt out of the CHKDSK.
Let it count down, and then start checking and fixing.
Note: this may take awhile. (1 to 2 hours, depending on the condition of the hard disk.)
When it finishes, it will boot windows up normally.


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Re: Slow Computer

Post by Robert Reed » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:53 am

Hello JanitorTzap
OK, I ran CHKDSK/F and everything went as you described. When 'puter' rebooted it ran its check,etc. for about 10 minutes to completion, so I stayed with it. At end of test it immediately turned itself off and the rebooted. Unfortunately, there was no time to view results. I then prompted CHKDSK again and got exactly the same results as my previous post showed (file system needs fix). Alright so I repeated the whole fix procedure again and then ran CHKDSK after rebooting - same thing. Apparently I am doing something wrong or the /F isn't doing its job.

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MrAl
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Re: Slow Computer

Post by MrAl » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:11 am

Hi,

Did you try running Scandisk?
That fixes file systems.

On XP you can get this by
right click on the drive letter, choose 'tools', then "This option will check the volumn for errors".
LEDs vs Bulbs, LEDs are winning.

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Janitor Tzap
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Re: Slow Computer

Post by Janitor Tzap » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:18 am

MrAl wrote:Hi,

Did you try running Scandisk?
That fixes file systems.

On XP you can get this by
right click on the drive letter, choose 'tools', then "This option will check the volumn for errors".
Yes, he can run this as well.
But you left out a few steps MrAl.
Click on "My Computer".
Then right Click on the C: Drive.
Go down to "Properties" and click on it.
"The Local Disk (C:) Properties" box will now be opened.
Click on the "Tools" tab.
Go to the "Error Checking" and click on the "Check Now" Button.
Another box will open with "Check Disk Options".
Check the box that is "Automatically fix file system errors".
Also you can check the "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors".
{This one is only used if your hard drive's format is getting corrupted.}
Which maybe the case here with your drive.
:wink:
Now click on the "Start" button and kick back, and wait while it goes and scans and does repairs.

Note: Chkdsk also has these features.
Chkdsk /F Automatically Fix file system errors.
Chkdsk /R Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors.

There is also the /X switch, that forces the drive volume to dismount before the scanning.
This is normally used in conjunction with the /F switch.
Thus, it is able to check the drive, without having the OS or other programs interfere with its operation.
Chkdsk /X /F


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Re: Slow Computer

Post by Robert Reed » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:28 pm

I run maintenance regularly such as Defrag, Disc cleanup and Scan for Errors etc., which appears to be the same as the prompting of CHKDSK. So those things have been done quite a bit. I also tried restore but with no apparent change.
One thing still concerns me and that has to do with file locations. I still don't think I should see files that are located within C drive when I open up the My Computer Icon. It should only show internal drives and hard ware -yet there it is amongst these-one very large file. Now when I open up C Drive and work my way down folder packs, I see that same huge file in a folder under a different name. What do you think, this doesn't look right to me. Is it possible that I have double loaded a huge file(s) under two different names and the computer recognizes them as two different files and slows down when loading them on startup?

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MrAl
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Re: Slow Computer

Post by MrAl » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:46 pm

Hi again,


If you can tell us the name of those files we might be able to recognize them as something.

Another way to handle this since it seems to be very hard to figure out is to reinstall the
operating system. Yes, it takes a while to do and you will have to reinstall some of your
programs, but once done the system will run better than ever. I had to talk someone
else into doing this too and they were very hesitant of course but after it was installed
they were happier than ever because many things that didnt work right were working
again. This is what i call life with Windows.
LEDs vs Bulbs, LEDs are winning.

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Janitor Tzap
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Re: Slow Computer

Post by Janitor Tzap » Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:00 am

MrAl wrote:Hi again,


If you can tell us the name of those files we might be able to recognize them as something.

Another way to handle this since it seems to be very hard to figure out is to reinstall the
operating system. Yes, it takes a while to do and you will have to reinstall some of your
programs, but once done the system will run better than ever. I had to talk someone
else into doing this too and they were very hesitant of course but after it was installed
they were happier than ever because many things that didnt work right were working
again. This is what i call life with Windows.
I agree. :smile:
Can you tell us the names of these files?

Also,
Doing a "Fresh Reinstall" will clear out a lot of junk.
As well as restore system files to there original condition.
I can understand why many are hesitant doing this.
Since it took awhile too get XP setup and running the way they want.
But sometimes it is the only way to resolve the problem.
Note: Several Computer IT Technical Services, as well as Microsoft themselves.
Have stated that users of XP should do a "Fresh Reinstall" about once a year.
This is too refresh the drives format, and replace damaged or corrupted files.


One thing I use a lot to repair drive formats and some damaged files is "SpinRite".
Here's the site.
http://www.grc.com/intro.htm
The utility isn't free.
But it has saved me, and a lot of my customers a lot of headaches. :grin:
I normally use "SpinRite" on a drive first, that is having issues.
If this solves the problem, then a "Fresh Reinstall" isn't needed.

But, before you go and do anything.
Backup the files you want to save.
Write down settings, and passwords that you use.
So, if it comes down too doing a "Fresh Reinstall".
You can put them back in after reloading the OS and application programs. :wink:


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Re: Slow Computer

Post by Robert Reed » Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:00 pm

Scatch (dammit-it did it again)

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Re: Slow Computer

Post by Robert Reed » Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:02 pm

Jan, MrAl
Opened up all hidden programs and rechecked and heres results.
Under My Computer Icon:
The usual standard hardware items
Folder named Robert
Opened this Folder - Electronics & Roberts Documents
Size 1.7 GB 2750 files & 280 folders

Opened up the C Drive icon and the results:
Various folders, etc.
Folder named Robert
Opened up Robert and the results
Folder named Electronics & Roberts Documents
2750 files & 280 folders

All folders reside in the same C Drive location and with the same name. So maybe they are one and the same after all. But one thing I know for sure- Never has a folder of any kind been displayed under the "My computer " icon, so this is something new and of course the exaggerated (I think) properties size of C spaced used.
I would like to send one of these folders to the trash bin just to see results, but the one under the "my computer" icon appears to have no option for that. As a matter of fact I cannot seem to do anything with it -it just wont budge!

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Janitor Tzap
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Re: Slow Computer

Post by Janitor Tzap » Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:22 pm

Robert Reed wrote:Jan, MrAl
Opened up all hidden programs and rechecked and heres results.
Under My Computer Icon:
The usual standard hardware items
Folder named Robert
Opened this Folder - Electronics & Roberts Documents
Size 1.7 GB 2750 files & 280 folders

Opened up the C Drive icon and the results:
Various folders, etc.
Folder named Robert
Opened up Robert and the results
Folder named Electronics & Roberts Documents
2750 files & 280 folders
Yup,
They are the same.
I'd like to brain the idiot who came up with this.
Because it just confuses the end user.

Curse You Microsoft!
:mad:
All folders reside in the same C Drive location and with the same name. So maybe they are one and the same after all. But one thing I know for sure- Never has a folder of any kind been displayed under the "My computer " icon, so this is something new and of course the exaggerated (I think) properties size of C spaced used.
I would like to send one of these folders to the trash bin just to see results, but the one under the "my computer" icon appears to have no option for that. As a matter of fact I cannot seem to do anything with it -it just wont budge!
Ok,
Let me see if I can explain how this works.

When you go to "Electronics & Roberts Documents".
This is a kind of short cut to where it really is on the C: Drive.
C:\Documents and Settings\Roberts\My Documents\Electronics & Roberts Documents

You can find this out by using "Windows Explorer".
Just click Start - Programs - Accessories.
Then go down to "Windows Explorer", and click on it.
A window will open showing on the left of the screen the "Folders".
And on the right of the screen will show any "Folders" and Files that are in the "Folder" that is highlighted on the left screen.
Note: Make sure the "Folder Options" in "Windows Explorer" are set for "Show hidden files and folders".
They can be found under the "Tools" Tab.
Click on "Tools", go down to "Folder Options", Click on it.
Box will open.
Then click on "View" Tab.
In the "Advanced Settings" find "Show hidden files and folders", and make sure it is checked.
If not, check it, and click on the "Apply" button, then click the "Ok" button.
In the Folder Side of the screen.
Click on the [+] My Computer.
This will show you the sub folders.
Well......
I'll let you have fun digging around on your hard drive.


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Re: Slow Computer

Post by Robert Reed » Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:06 am

Jan
Yea this is pretty much what I did in tracing file paths, so nothing new to report here. It looks like we are at a dead end on this and maybe a disc wipe is in order. But I sure would like to know what the culprit is as its only an annoyance in the first 20-30 minutes after boot up. I am sure if you guys ( having the knowledge that you do) were sitting where I am, you might come up with something useful. But probably a lot gets lost in the translation especially when "playing your music to a listener with tin ears". As for now the computer is at least doable so I think I will wait for a slow period here and then attempt a wipe. Did this a year ago and was a pain in the A**.

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Re: Slow Computer

Post by CeaSaR » Sat Feb 20, 2010 10:00 am

One possibility that hasn't been mentioned yet: A scanner software (antivirus, spy/mal/adware) that runs at
startup and checks for problems that may occur at that time. That would significantly slow things down if it
is set to take precedence over all other actions/processes. I know that I had started to have problems with
my older XP machine in that Spybot S&D's TeaTimer was making the machine a real slug. I have to go in at
each startup through Sysinternal's Process Explorer (you can find it at Microsoft's website) and turn it off at
startup. Work's a heck of a lot better after that.

Yeah, my install of XP is over 5 years old and buggered by my oldest who wouldn't heed his parent's warning
against downloads and installs, but it works okay. One of these days I'll do a reinstall and fix it correctly.

CeaSaR
Hey, what do I know?

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