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Noticing Slow Performance Recently...


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#1 recovered

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 11:06 PM

Hey guys... I wasn't sure were to post this issue as I'm not sure if it's a virus/malware issue. First I'd like to thank everyone for taking the opportunity to read this. I've been reading BC as a Guest for many months now, and finally decided I need some expertise on the problem I've been experiencing lately. Before I go anywhere further, I want to mention that I've tried every possible basic maneuver possible, whether it is using SDFix to a /sfc scannow ... to even a reformat. I have an AMD Athlon 64 Machine on an Asus k8v with 2gbs of ram, running on XP Home with two harddrives. Video card is Radeon X700 256mb with dual monitors.

I've recently received lots of cpu usage and really bad lag on my computer, checking Task Manager, all I can find using lots of CPU usage is the System Idle Process, but if I open Photoshop it uses about 99 CPU usage... I first thought this could be malware, such as that famous Vundo or whatever its called, and tried using Spybot/Hijack/Adaware/AVG, and even Malwarebytes.. everything you can possibly name to search for this virus/malware hidden on my PC, but my PC kept coming clean. At first my PC was really fast, I was able to run multiple tasks without lag, and recently playing MP3s on my PC, and even loading YouTube videos, it experiences major lag and skipping, including the sound! So I had no option left but to perform a reformat, I backed everything important to my secondary D:\ drive and started fresh.

Playing on the fresh computer for several months, not too long ago, about a week... I've been experiencing this problem YET AGAIN... and I have no idea what's causing it... and I hardly download anything! All I use my computer for is Photoshop and Counterstrike at most. The last few days when I started launching Photoshop, my PC lags very bad until I close the program. When I reboot my PC it takes about 5 minutes to reboot, and even displays a black screen sometimes before my desktop is displayed... I googled for everything I could possibly find and even tried reinstalling the drivers on my video card... still no fix...

I come to you BC, can you please point me in on an idea what's causing this major CPU usage lag? Sure I can deal with it, but it's gotten to the point where I'm starting to go crazy, because Photoshop is my life! Thanks so much, I will reply to any questions needed.

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#2 Guest_Jay-P VIP_*

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 01:37 AM

Hello and Welcome to Bleeping Computer! I am glad that you chose Bleeping Computer as your source for help.

Please, tell me why that you used SDFix?
IMO, It should be used only if you are sure of what the threat is. SDFix only removes certain types of malware.



Clean out all temporary files using CCleaner -- worth getting. Simply click Analyze at the bottom left, then Run Cleaner on the bottom right. Temporary files, especially in Photoshop, can slow down the hard disk because the program must load pre-organized cache.

Check for disk errors by running CHKDSK in Safe Mode or from the Recovery Console. In Check Disk box, select Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors then click "Start" and have it repair anything it finds. When using your hard drive, your hard drive can develop bad sectors that may slow down the hard
disk's performance and make data writing difficult. Check Disk searches the
hard drive and checks integrity of a file system by reading system errors, and bad
sectors. When encountering non-consistent file system data,
it performs necessary actions to repair file-system data.

Disable the Windows Indexing Service. The indexing service catalogs files on your computer by building and updating the Index catalog to enable faster file searches. However, it can also slow down the computer as the process typically uses a lot of CPU time.

Worthy read, IMO. Make sure to check out this on that page.

Go in to the task manager, and under process right click on Photoshop.exe, and mouse to set priority>Below Normal.

Get in to your device manager and right click on each hardware listed and click Update driver. Make sure you search Windows Update for it when you see such option in the dialog box that pops up.


Do at least some of this and see if performance gets better.

Also, what antivirus and antispyware program are you currently running? Some antivirus and antispyware run processes that enable realtime protection. Such processes need tamed because they like to use much CPU time. One example is Avira Antivir, which in the premium suite, enables sched.exe -- makes the CPU usage at 98-100%. I disabled that process, and the CPU usage went back down to 2%. :thumbsup:

Consider using Secunia Advisor to scan for vulnerabilities. It will check for updates for all of your programs, and it will also check to see if you have crapware and any other old insecurities.

Please reply back for any questions you might have or any results!

Edited by Jay-P VIP, 06 April 2009 - 01:38 AM.


#3 recovered

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 02:38 PM

Hey Jay,

thanks for the abrupt reply. From what it seems, it may be a hardware issue after all. I've done all of your requests and still no luck, the only thing waiting is a chkdisk, which will perform after a restart. However, along stumbling one of the sites you provided me with, I came across a site that referred me to a program called Process Explorer, this handy tool seems to "identify" the issue but I want to make sure I'm on the right track so I have attached an image below resulting in a hardware issue that only takes effect when Photoshop or any high CPU program is opened, do you agree? If so, what possible hardware could be causing this and how can I determine it? Thanks.

Posted Image

Edited by recovered, 06 April 2009 - 02:39 PM.


#4 Guest_Jay-P VIP_*

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 02:51 PM

Your processor cannot handle Photoshop very well. What AMD processor are you running? (I already know it is 64 bit)

Photoshop requires and Intel Pentium 4 processor or better. Intel Core 2 Duo is my recommendation, since the processor may multi-task. Since you have AMD, you may have to find the appropriate suited AMD for Photoshop.
I would recommend Amd Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core. I think the price on that is near $130. Not too sure. AMD 64 duals do just as well as Intel duals!

#5 Guest_Jay-P VIP_*

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 02:55 PM

Also, consider lowering the process priority to below normal on Spybot S&D (SpybotSD.exe).

#6 Romeo29

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 03:16 PM

Hardware interrupts are generated when some peropheral needs CPU attention.

According to SysInternals, high CPU consumption by interrupts and DPCs can indicate a hardware problem or device driver bug.

You may have a bad driver, or some malfunctioning peripheral like DVD drive.

Also check this MS article, describing a hard disk uses PIO mode rather than DMA mode:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?...kb;en-us;817472

PIO mode can increase interrupts.

Edited by Romeo29, 06 April 2009 - 03:19 PM.


#7 Guest_Jay-P VIP_*

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 03:29 PM

According to SysInternals, high CPU consumption by interrupts and DPCs can indicate a hardware problem or device driver bug.

Also check this MS article, describing a hard disk uses PIO mode rather than DMA mode:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?...kb;en-us;817472

PIO mode can increase interrupts.



64 bit processors don't have that problem. Resolute to interrupts, I/O requests almost never cease. Board speed is rapid with 64 bits. I think the processor is dealing with a multi-tasking issue. Mutli-tasking is what Photoshop does. By maintaining a temporary folder, separate windows/palettes, and DMA -- Photoshop is a big multi-tasker. I have saw Photoshop run on a 2-Quad-Core iMac Pro, paired with entire Adobe CS3 open all at the same time working at high speed. Multi-task is effortless for Photoshop.

PIO mode does not pertain to this, unless Event IDs show up in the event log stating their is a processor issue. You can check the event log, but the problem seems to be centered around Photoshop.

Edited by Jay-P VIP, 06 April 2009 - 03:30 PM.


#8 recovered

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 06:44 PM

Dear bleepingcomputer,

I FINALLY figured out the issue! I'd have to give thanks to Jay for helping.

For anyone else experiencing this issue, I checked my device manager after searching Google and found this thread:
http://forums.tweakguides.com/showthread.php?t=3774

It turned out my secondary harddrive was in PIO mode, causing my computer to lag badly, that explains why anything opened in the D:\ drive caused my CPU to spike, including Photoshop... the fix to this issue was simple:
http://neodon.blogspot.com/2006/07/little-...hard-drive.html

I also performed a CHKDISK afterwards, which took 3 hours... yes..... 4 hours.... (I watched practically a baseball game and a half at this rate and took a nap)

and upon booting up, it was back to new! No laggggg at all! My computer performs really well. I want to thank the community for assisting me, I guess all it took was patience and that Explorer Processor program REALLY helped!

Posted Image

#9 Guest_Jay-P VIP_*

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 06:57 PM

Very good. I am glad that we could be of assistance! :thumbsup:




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