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Computer Slower & Easily Overwhelmed; All Advised Steps Taken. What's Next?


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#1 kitkinnison

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 03:15 PM

Hello all.

I have two connected questions, and have tried to make my presentation as short as I can:
I’m having some issues with my computer (slowness and a few others, see Note 1 below). I did the steps recommended in the sticky (see Note 2 below). However, that hasn’t made a significant difference. The only next step I know of is cleaning the registry, which I’ve seen numerous recommendations against. My first question is, how can I see/share here the pieces of data that could help people assess my computer (i.e. show what runs at startup, see the error log, see what’s running when I open task manager, anything else that would help)? It seems like that’s a good step to further advice & thus improvement. Second, what further steps (or opinions) can you give me?



Thank you very much!



(note 0: I decided to do these notes so that the (quite necessary) data that follows wouldn’t hide/overwhelm my actual questions)

NOTE 1: I’m running a Dell Latitude D600, with Intel Pentium 1.6 gigahertz, 512 MB RAM, & a 40 gig hard drive; and if it matters I’m running Mobility Radeon 9000 as my display driver. In short, my computer is much slower than it used to be—it used to start up in something around 26 seconds, and now takes more like 2:20 (sometimes longer), and a bit more than another minute after that for me to be able to, say, open IM. It seems that my computer also gets overwhelmed (so to speak) far too easily—if I am running a browser and 1-2 other programs, if I open (again, for example IM) another program, the others tend to freeze for a few seconds before returning to normal. I have to force-close programs that are not responding more often than is at all normal. Not as often but more often than it should, the computer as a whole freezes to the point that I need to do a force (power-button) shutdown. Finally (I think—I should have been writing things down as they happen), sometimes (rarely…probably 2-3 times in the last few months; though there was a period a while back that it was more often) when I shut the computer down, it proceeds partway and then stops at a blank blue screen, which again requires a force shutdown.


NOTE 2: I have fully updated Norton, Ad-Aware, and Spybot, all of which turn up basically no problems (Norton nothing; and the other two very very rarely anything other than tracking cookies—I literally don’t remember the last time they found anything else). The problems are ongoing/long-term, which rules out any recent installation as the source of the problem. My startup software is very controlled; it’s only 10 things: 7 needed for the system, IM, and the quicktime task & ituneshelper that seem impossible to actually remove (since they put themselves back when you use the program, I believe). I did do hard drive cleanup; though the compressing of old files was only a few minutes ago [all of these other steps were a week ago, though I re-did them tonight to check]—however, will be very surprised if compressing those files will make a large difference. I ran checkdisk (or scandisk, I forget which one) last week, and it found nothing to fix, if I recall correctly (the other option is that it was a tiny number & I had them fixed—again, without noticing improvement in the last week). I have not defragged my harddrive in a few months, but after analyzing the program said I didn’t need to.




P.S.—I do know that I somewhat have broken the “one problem, one post” rule…but this background is needed for any of the issues, and since they may well be caused by the same root problem (since it is, in essence, that my computer is slow & may have lessened capacity—simply with multiple symptoms), this seemed like a viable option.


Thank you again!

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#2 kitkinnison

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 04:30 PM

I saw that several people read this without responding and wanted to make sure it's clear--I'm definitely open to partial help (for example, how to view my error log, or how to copy my processes list so I can put it here).

And I'm not impatient, I know I just posted; but I think that's an important distinction [especially since those would presumably help subsequent people give further advice]

#3 hamluis

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 04:35 PM

IMO :thumbsup:, the first thing to do is run a program like Autoruns and see exactly what is loading at startup. It's important to realize that there are very few programs that need to run at start (firewall, AV, malware defenses, drivers, etc.) since most programs load on demand (you click the icon, the program loads).

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysintern...sutilities.mspx

Once you remove all the extra items running (which contribute to utilizing system resources) at startup, then you can look at the amount of RAM installed. 512MB should do the job for many apps, but for some apps (like MS Office or a graphics editor or a video-editor), more RAM may be needed for optimal functioning. Take a hard look at the applications which you have installed and utilize on your system, remove any that really aren't used or are used very sparingly.

Learn to use Event Viewer to check the status of various things on your system.

Microsoft Windows XP - Using Event Viewer - http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documen...r.mspx?mfr=true

Run chkdsk as needed on the system.

How To Run CHKDSK In XP - http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?...b;en-us;Q315265

Chkdsk Explained, Understanding What Chkdsk Does - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314835/EN-US/

Defrag the system after running chkdsk.

Using Windows Defrag - http://www.geekgirls.com/windows_defrag.htm

Allow XP to manage the pagefile.

Make sure that you have adequate software installed to prevent/minimize malware. Malware is one of the largest contributors to systems running slow, IMO.

Louis

#4 garmanma

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 04:36 PM

I'm eating dinner at my desk dammit Be patient
Mark
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#5 hamluis

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 04:38 PM

What's for dessert, Mark :thumbsup:?

Louis

#6 garmanma

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 04:42 PM

What's for dessert, Mark :thumbsup:?

Louis

Certainly, not a Browns victory. Opps, I just mushed mac and cheese into my keyboard
Mark
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#7 kitkinnison

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 04:54 PM

The results of Autorun:

(I didn’t know how to copy it directly, so I copied each line into Word, and tried to keep space between each entry)
The items are: Autorun Entry Description Publisher Image Path

…and I hope it’s formatted usably & helpfully.


1) rdpclip RDP Clip Monitor Microsoft Corporation c:\windows\system32\rdpclip.exe
2) C:\WINDOWS\system32\userinit.exe Userinit Logon Application Microsoft Corporation c:\windows\system32\userinit.exe
3) Explorer.exe Windows Explorer Microsoft Corporation c:\windows\explorer.exe
4) Apoint Alps Pointing-device Driver Alps Electric Co., Ltd. c:\program files\apoint\apoint.exe
5) ATIPTA ATI Desktop Control Panel ATI Technologies, Inc. c:\program files\ati technologies\ati control panel\atiptaxx.exe
6) ccApp Symantec User Session Symantec Corporation c:\program files\common files\symantec shared\ccapp.exe
7) iTunesHelper iTunesHelper Module Apple Inc. c:\program files\itunes\ituneshelper.exe
8) KernelFaultCheck Windows Error Reporting Dump Reporting Tool Microsoft Corporation c:\windows\system32\dumprep.exe
9) osCheck osCheck Symantec Corporation c:\program files\norton antivirus\oscheck.exe
10) QuickTime Task QuickTime Task Apple Inc. c:\program files\quicktime\qttask.exe
11) Microsoft Office.lnk Microsoft Office XP component Microsoft Corporation c:\program files\microsoft office\office10\osa.exe
12) PowerReg SchedulerV2.exe PRegScheduler MFC Application c:\documents and settings\daniel fitzpatrick\start menu\programs\dell & system\startup\powerreg schedulerv2.exe
13) Aim6 AIM AOL LLC c:\program files\aim6\aim6.exe
14) ctfmon.exe CTF Loader Microsoft Corporation c:\windows\system32\ctfmon.exe


The first 2, and #8 (KernelFaultCheck) are the only ones I haven’t checked as OK before.



I'm going to close everything & do chkdsk again (using the /r option to make sure it gets everything) & I'll be back.




...edited because there was no spacing in the list.

Edited by kitkinnison, 23 September 2007 - 04:56 PM.


#8 garmanma

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 04:57 PM

Norton is a well know resource hog. If it were me, I would get rid of it using the Norton removal tool 2 free alternatives are AVG anti-virus or Avast. I believe that will solve a lot of issues
Mark

If you decide to do this be sure to update after downloading

Edited by garmanma, 23 September 2007 - 05:25 PM.

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#9 kitkinnison

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 04:57 PM

Um. The first time there were tabs between them, & those didn't post successfully. Then I tried putting 7 spaces between each one, and that apparently didn't work either.


Is there a trick to having more than one space between words?

#10 garmanma

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 05:02 PM

Simply highlight copy and paste the text you want into the message body
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#11 kitkinnison

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 05:22 PM

After chkdsk finished it simply said "Disk Check Complete" rather than one of the # options that the linked-to webpage mentions. It did go through all 4 phases...so does that mean it didn't find anything?



Further responses to Hamluis' first post: I think my norton/adaware/spybot coverage takes care of the malware problem; and as I said, Windows (and I just re-checked this) says I do not need to defrag. I'll probably run it while I go to sleep (I'm abroad, so that will be soon) tonight.


I'll do the event viewer as you said...What information from there should I post?

#12 kitkinnison

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 05:29 PM

The minimal, initial data is that "application" has 1832 events & around 80 errors; the "security" is completely empty; and "system" has 2708 events, of which something like 330 are errors.
And that is in the last month-ish.

Uh...what does that tell me, and/or what should I post here?





Oh...and to clarify: I did cut & paste the first time & the formatting was lost; the second time I typed the spaces in the post in my browser...so neither seemed to work. And...I know that having difficulty with spaces makes me sound like a bit of an idiot. Oops.

Edited by kitkinnison, 23 September 2007 - 05:31 PM.


#13 garmanma

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 06:03 PM

Post the last 4 or 5 events
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#14 kitkinnison

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 06:12 PM

Sorry for so many shorter add-on posts. I forgot to include in my initial post: my CPU is ridiculously high quite often. Definitely any time a program is non-responsive, it's around 100%, and it is surprisingly often near there. Also, it is often very spiky--jumping from 50 to 90 to 70 to 80 to 90...on half-second (vaguely/approximately) intervals.


I also am almost done defragging...I'll post an update tomorrow as to whether there's any change.




The last few events in System are:

Error 9/24/2007 12:57:19 AM disk None 7 N/A DAN
Error 9/24/2007 12:57:14 AM disk None 7 N/A DAN
Error 9/24/2007 12:53:46 AM disk None 7 N/A DAN
Error 9/24/2007 12:08:28 AM MrxSmb None 8003 N/A DAN



and in Application:

Information 9/23/2007 8:44:23 PM LVCOMSer None 0 N/A DAN
Information 9/23/2007 8:44:20 PM ccSvcHst None 35 SYSTEM DAN
Information 9/23/2007 8:44:20 PM ccSvcHst None 34 SYSTEM DAN
Information 9/23/2007 8:44:20 PM Automatic LiveUpdate Scheduler Scheduler Events 101 SYSTEM DAN



But, there's tremendous variety in the problem/source/etc in the log--so I dunno if more data then that would be helpful.

#15 hamluis

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 07:03 PM

My view of your Autorun data:

1. I have no idea what this is or why it's in startup. I saw something about remote server...is your system a server? Just why is this installed?
2. OK.
3. OK.
4. Appears to be a device driver, but what is the device? OK if a keyboard or mouse, not OK if anything else.
5. Does not need to be enabled at boot.
6. OK, system protection.
7. iTunes, no. No need for it to start before you open the program and use it.
8. OK.
9. OK.
10. I must confess a hatred for QuickTime. There is no reason for QT to be a startup item.
11. No reason the Office toolbar starts at boot. Office is one of the real system hogs, but its components are useful when needed.
12. I would remove this from the system, http://www.neuber.com/taskmanager/process/...eduler.exe.html .
13. AIM? I hardly consider this necessary at boot, but it's a user call.
14. OK.

Louis




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