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Strange Computer Slowness + Odd Errors


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#1 GameRocker

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 01:36 PM

I started experiencing problems with my Windows XP SP3 PC about a week ago. Prior to the problem, my computer booted up like lightning-fast because I cleaned up my services and startup progress in msconfig. I had no registry problems, no weirdness of any kind -- until one week ago.

Here are the specs:

Operating System: Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 3 (2600.xpsp_sp3_gdr.100427-1636)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: System manufacturer [Custom built PC]
System Model: System Product Name
BIOS: BIOS Date: 10/26/06 20:34:04 Ver: 08.00.12
Processor: Intel® Core™2 CPU 6600 @ 2.40GHz (2 CPUs)
Memory: 2048MB RAM
Page File: 586MB used, 3456MB available
Windows Dir: C:\WINDOWS
DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
DxDiag Version: 5.03.2600.5512 32bit Unicode
Card name: ATI Radeon HD 5600 Series
Manufacturer: ATI Technologies Inc.

After updating the November 30 patch update of the game, City of Heroes, I noticed my computer started experiencing slowness at startup, and even before the Windows XP UI appeared (there would be a black screen for five minutes, then it would go to the "Loading personal settings..." screen), which I assumed was a driver issue at first.

After it took approximately 20 minutes to fully start up so I can load applications without significant delay, I would open high-performance applications and they would receive "memory read" errors and "disk I/O" errors. I noticed there were twice as many svchost.exe processes running in task manager, and there were unexplainable memory usage spikes, despite the fact that the processes consumed very little memory. Some of the errors were 0x0000009c-based. After doing some extensive Google research, I discovered that usually those errors are triggered by viruses, malware, or spyware on the system.

I did a full scan of my two internal HD partitions and one of my external, and there were no viruses, according to the latest up-to-date Microsoft Security Essentials. Then I ran a full scan using my latest up-to-date Spybot Search & Destroy. No spyware. Then I ran the latest Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and did a full scan, which also yielded no results.

Then I proceeded to do a CHKDSK on all partitions. One partition, C:, which contains all the vital system files, passed with flying colors. So did the F: (external HD) partition. On the other hand, the D: partition, which contains all the "recreational" stuff (including games like City of Heroes and Steam) had some bad sector errors and CHKDSK managed to fix the files that were problematic. The files it found to be problematic were the City of Heroes *.pigg files, which are resource files (textures, graphics, sound etc.) for the game as well as the entire Steam directory. I figured that since CoH and Steam were trouble-makers on the system, I uninstalled them both, but startup was still slow nonetheless.

My next step was to update all the drivers on my system, so I went though the drivers to see if they required updating. With the exception of my Logitech mouse, nothing required updates. Then I went to my Device Manager to see if my hardware was healthy and if there were any problems with any of the drivers. Everything was in working order. I rebooted in Safe Mode to double-check and see if there were any issues, and there weren't any when I was in safe mode.

Then I went ahead and attempted to defrag all my partitions, which actually had very little fragmentation and lots of free space. After the defragmentation was done, I restarted my PC, and the startup was still slow.

The only possible scenario I have considered is that my internal HD is failing, but I just got this PC back from the repair shop right before Thanksgiving, and my HD was determined to be in great shape.

What do I do now?

EDIT: My computer actually runs fine about I let it work out its kinks for 20-25 minutes. I can load smaller applications, like e-mail, browser and stuff like that, but it still chokes on high-performance applications.

EDIT 2: Will provide HijackThis log on request.

Edited by GameRocker, 19 December 2010 - 01:39 PM.


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#2 David-WI

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 04:40 PM

I have a couple of questions & thoughts for you.

1. Does it now run slow in Safe Mode with Networking?

2. Once you get to your Desktop in any mode...have you opened up Task Manager to see what is running at that time?

3. Have you tried any of those applications with you Task Manager open to see if something is conflicting with them?

I have XP Pro and IE8...and recently the MS Update exe (wuauclt.exe) would start running several times a day...versus just at startup in the morning. So I turned it off through the Control Panel...but it would still come on....which I couldn't understand. For some reason it finally now doesn't come on.

I also had at one point 6 different svchosts.exe's running. I've discovered 2 of them in Task Manager without the system shutting down...but I still get noise from mouose movement.

Some other things I've noticed is that if I don't make changes going into Safe Mode / Administrator...things don't want to change or work right....even though my separate User Profile is set as Administrator.

Another thing I've noticed is that it seems over the last couple of months..mine to has slowed down...and it seems that every little mouse movement causes noise from my hard drive...which never used to happen. I done several scans my self and only found a couple of minor things that I fixed.

I'm assuming that both Microsoft and my ISP have ramped up data collection for marketing purposes. I DO know that MS, Yahoo, Ebay and MANY other companies came to a "collection / sharing" agreement back around Feb / March.

I did a Google search for this... "Intel Core 2 CPU 6600" + slowness and got a LOT of hits (check it out)...

http://www.google.com/search?q=%22Intel+Core+2+CPU+6600%22+%2B+slowness&hl=en&num=10&lr=&ft=i&cr=&safe=images&tbs=

Edited by David-WI, 19 December 2010 - 04:50 PM.


#3 GameRocker

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 05:05 PM

Hi David,

1. Does it now run slow in Safe Mode with Networking?


Yes, it does run a little slow in Safe Mode with Networking, but not as slow as regular boot. Safe Mode bootup takes about 5 minutes.

2. Once you get to your Desktop in any mode...have you opened up Task Manager to see what is running at that time?


Yes, and I know all the processes that are running. Nothing unusual, just a TON of svchost.exe files now.

3. Have you tried any of those applications with you Task Manager open to see if something is conflicting with them?


Yes, and I didn't find any conflicts. Nothing unusual.

I have XP Pro and IE8...and recently the MS Update exe (wuauclt.exe) would start running several times a day...versus just at startup in the morning. So I turned it off through the Control Panel...but it would still come on....which I couldn't understand. For some reason it finally now doesn't come on.


wuauclt.exe is just a process that regulates Windows' Automatic Updates. I removed it just now because I can manually download the updates. I don't need that process to linger on my computer, but I don't know how that's going to do any good with my PC's slowness.

I did a Google search for this... "Intel Core 2 CPU 6600" + slowness and got a LOT of hits (check it out)...

http://www.google.com/search?q=%22Intel+Core+2+CPU+6600%22+%2B+slowness&hl=en&num=10&lr=&ft=i&cr=&safe=images&tbs=


I've never had any problems with my processor. None. The problems I had with this PC is that I had to have my power supply and video card replaced after a recent power surge fried both of those. When I got my PC back from the shop, it worked fine -- and then this happens.

#4 coxchris

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 01:09 AM

How does your CPU look like when you run high-performance applications? Is it at 100% all the time.

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#5 GameRocker

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 02:08 AM

It gets to around 55-60%, actually, when their shortcut is clicked on. But the high-performance games like City of Heroes and Steam experience issues when they try to update. Other times, applications like Microsoft Word and Quark appear in the Task Manager as an active process, but it takes about 40-50 seconds longer than usual for the UI to appear. It's become a general nuisance.

#6 Dom Fr

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 06:50 AM

I have a couple of questions & thoughts for you.

1. Does it now run slow in Safe Mode with Networking?

2. Once you get to your Desktop in any mode...have you opened up Task Manager to see what is running at that time?

3. Have you tried any of those applications with you Task Manager open to see if something is conflicting with them?

4.Duplicate Files are also created?

I have XP Pro and IE8...and recently the MS Update exe (wuauclt.exe) would start running several times a day...versus just at startup in the morning. So I turned it off through the Control Panel...but it would still come on....which I couldn't understand. For some reason it finally now doesn't come on.

I also had at one point 6 different svchosts.exe's running. I've discovered 2 of them in Task Manager without the system shutting down...but I still get noise from mouose movement.

Some other things I've noticed is that if I don't make changes going into Safe Mode / Administrator...things don't want to change or work right....even though my separate User Profile is set as Administrator.

Another thing I've noticed is that it seems over the last couple of months..mine to has slowed down...and it seems that every little mouse movement causes noise from my hard drive...which never used to happen. I done several scans my self and only found a couple of minor things that I fixed.

I'm assuming that both Microsoft and my ISP have ramped up data collection for marketing purposes. I DO know that MS, Yahoo, Ebay and MANY other companies came to a "collection / sharing" agreement back around Feb / March.

I did a Google search for this... "Intel Core 2 CPU 6600" + slowness and got a LOT of hits (check it out)...

www.google.com/search?q=%22Intel+Core+2+CPU+6600%22+%2B+slowness&hl=en&num=10&lr=&ft=i&cr=&safe=images&tbs=


Me too going through the same problem reply with ease...Thanks In Advance..

#7 GameRocker

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 01:22 PM

I went ahead and performed a ComboFix, which seemed to have helped me deal with the slow startup. Apparently, one of the Windows Update files was infected, and the ComboFix report said everything else looked fine. Startup isn't as fast as it used to be, but since the nuisance has been reduced quite a bit, I'll take it. The only "slowness" now comes from Microsoft Security Essentials doing real-time protection scanning of everything I open, so there's a tiny bit of "lag."

As far the games go, I have not attempted to push my luck and reinstall them.




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