Dell Dimension E520 -- Vista Home Premium 32bit
Configured for multiple users.
McAfee protection suite
Have been suffering a number of problems recently, but in the past day or so the PC has become almost unusable.
In the past day or so the PC has been:
a -- taking an age to go through startup (ie log-in to an individual account)
b -- becoming increasingly sluggish the longer it stays on (even if you're not doing anything), and
c -- taking an age to shutdown or reboot. We're talking multiple minutes rather than the previous tens of seconds -- sometimes the power button is the only thing that works.
Now, things have got even worse. Whereas yesterday I could log in and eventually use it, today, while composing this, it has been working less and less. Earlier today I downloaded and ran Malwarebytes, and a quick scan found nothing wrong. Originally I was going to post this from the poorly PC, but everything froze and I had to restart it. Login appeared to work, albeit very slowly, but the freezing happened earlier. A Start->restart took 5-10 mins to respond.
Most recently I tried booting it in safe mode, and this has taken 10-20 mins. It is still responding to some commands (just) but is taking minutes to respond to each mouse click. (Fortunately I have a laptop I can use to send this!)
The other known problems and the recent history are outlined below.
PC is about 3 years old. It used to be connected to a wireless ADSL router via a USB dongle. A few weeks ago we changed to cable broadband: PC now connected direct to router by Ethernet cable. Since then we have had problems with the internet connection being dropped -- most often while in standby, but sometimes while being used. Only solution is to reset the network adaptor.
In trying to resolve this issue (at another forum
, before I had discovered bleepingComputer!) I discovered a number of other problems, which I have yet to tackle, but in the past day it has become too slow to use.
(i) Windows Update had stopped working some time ago -- now resolved (hopefully) with the help of MS tech support. I tried tackling this first in case the internet-connection problem was fixed by a Windows Update I didn't have (it wasn't)
(ii) Tooltray Network Connection icon permanently showing red cross, and reporting 'No Connection', despite Internet connection being established OK
(iii) Occasional halts in Firefox, ignoring user input and reporting '(not responding)' -- doesn't happen on several other computers running the same version / add-ons but different OS (XP or Win2K). After a short delay, recovers and continues normally (this was happening before the change to cable broadband)
(iv) Dell Support reports certain driver updates available -- but hadn't alerted to say they are available. I hadn't downloaded any of these as I have been trying to fix one problem at a time.