Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

HELP! Constant lockups, Incredibly slow, loosing files, etc


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 StartingOver

StartingOver

  • Members
  • 69 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:About 70 miles from Galveston Bay wade fishing!
  • Local time:03:08 AM

Posted 31 July 2011 - 03:53 PM

Before I get started, I want to let everyone know that Broni was extremely helpful in the "Am I Infected" forum to determine that I am not infected. At least we didn't find anything. So, at Broni's suggestion, I am asking for help here. If I'm not infected, my only guess is that I am riddled with confliccts.

To begin with, here is my system:

Windows XP Home SP3. Fully updated as of about 7/4/2011
HP Pavilion a1100y CTO
Motherboard: ASUS PTGV-LA (HP/Compaq's name is Grafito GL8E)
Processor: Celeron 2.80 GHz
Front Side Bus: 533 GHz
Memory: 2 GB (2 x 1 GB sticks) DDR2
HDD #1: 40 GB (Original with system) Split 30 GB as C: drive and about 10GB as the recovery (D:) drive.
HDD #2: 160 GB Western Digital (Model #WD1600AAJS)
Both hard drives are SATA 7200 rpm.

My printer is a new HP Officejet 6500 (about 6 months old). Mouse & Keyboard are a Logitech wireless desktop system. My Monitor is an Acer 23 in. flat screen, about 6 months old.

My security suite came from recommendations from this site. I am running aVAST Free in combination with Comodo's Free firewall. I also have, and run manually on a pretty regular basis, Malwarebyte's AntiMalware, SuperAntiSpyware, CCleaner, among others.

My problems seem to be endless. The major problem is the utter lack of speed. Opening an internet browser can take up to a minute. Opening Outlook can be 10 seconds which is OK or 40 seconds. And the list goes on. My CPU usage spends an unbelievable amount of time at 100%. Programs will sometimes freeze, crash or simply not open. Sometimes I can restart the system and become somewhat operational again. Other times the only way to restart is to hard start the system with the power button. I cannot, for the life of me, find any pattern to this madness.

Most of the software I run is not that reswource intensive with one exception. I am running TurboCAD v17 using only the shared graphics of the motherboard. Yeah, I know I should have a separate graphics card but, I don't want to invest any more money in this wonderful 6+ year old BOAT ANCHOR! I do not have a choice except to limp through with this system until January. Then it will be time for a new system.

I could drone on and on about the various glitches and slowdowns but I don't want to waste anyone's time. I'm hoping someone can ask a few questions, help me run whatever tests you feel could help diagnose this system and go from there.

Thank everyone in advance for your help.

StartingOver



Just Remember "To Err Is Human" (To REALLY Foul Things Up Requires A Computer!)

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 56,435 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:02:08 AM

Posted 31 July 2011 - 06:09 PM

Hi :).

Well...you realize that Celeron processors are not intended to be system workhorses, which probably impacts performance somewhat.

Go to Task Manager, take a look at the processes running there...and take a look at your browser add-ons (unnecessary fluff).

How much free space on your C: partition right now?

Take a look at the detail for your errors (not warnings, not info items) reflected in Event Viewer (note that I did not say to post excerpts or logs here). You review the results.

How To Use Event Viewer - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic40108.html

Such a dramatic title :)...what files are you losing...and how did you determine such?

I have nothing against Comodo products...but the fact is that you don't need to run a 3d-party firewall...I would uninstall it and use the Windows/XP firewall.

Ditto for CCleaner and any similar applications you have installed...which do not add fucntionality, but only mimic functions within Windows.

"Constant lockups", can you provide some detail on when, error messages (if any), and such?

Lastly...have you run the appropriate diagnostics...on your two hard drives? MY 40GB drives have all proven that it was time for a newer drive, perhaps yours are sending you that message. The respective diagnostics will eliminate that from consideration.

Do you still have the original PSU supplied by HP...installed?

Louis

Edited by hamluis, 31 July 2011 - 06:12 PM.


#3 StartingOver

StartingOver
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 69 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:About 70 miles from Galveston Bay wade fishing!
  • Local time:03:08 AM

Posted 01 August 2011 - 02:22 PM

Hi Louis;

In case anyone is interested, here is the link to the assistance I received from Broni:
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic407684.html/page__p__2320619__fromsearch__1#entry2320619

Thanks for the quick reply. And, yes, I guess there is a bit of drama in the title, but it was generated by utter frustration. My problem is that I am very aware that I am having to limp along on an under-powered, under-resourced system until such time as I have the money to invest in a new CPU (tower, motherboard, processor, graphics card, the works). My recent calculations put that purchase at $750 to $1000. And, that price would exclude the peripherals I currently own; such as the monitor, printer, mouse and keyboard. Unfortunately, I have no choice at this time. Between being in the middle of a divorce (finally!) and recovering from a full career loss due to some serious injuries, I cannot invest ina new system at this time. So, I'm just hoping that, without wasting anyone's time, I can get some advice on maximizing what I currently have until I can build my new CPU. That should occur in January. I just need to get past the next six months.

As far as lost files go, I cannot give any specifics, other than to say that it appears that the "missing" files were files I attempted to Save As and issue a new name that simply never saved. I'm now assuming that those "lost" (unsaved) files occurred at an application hang.

As far as the 40GB hard drive (original to the machine) goes, it would not surprise me to learn that it is gasping its last breath. However, I am not experienced with running diagnostics on hard drives which you refer to. Could you expand on that, possibly with instructions? All I currently know is that Windows Hardware Manager says that both my 40GB and my 160GB hard drives are "working properly".

I did review the Event Manager for the Applications, Security and System sub-menus. The Applications and System sub-menus have numerous Error Events. The Security sub-menu has only "Successful Audits" (I'm asuming that is good). I did ignore the Information and Warning Events. Since the error events were quite numerous, I saved them as text files in the event someone would like to review them. The text files do not include the details that an individual "Properties" query does so, I either did it wrong or the text files simply do not contain enough information to be helpful to someone with my limited skills. All I can tell you is that under the Applications sub-menu, for example, "application hang" is a very common error. It occurs on Tcw17 (a.k.a - TurboCAD), Microsoft Office 11 (Outlook and Word are predominant). However, many Application Hang Errors will say, for example, Fault Bucket 1816055773. There are numerous "Fault Bucket" errors. I don't know what they are or what they mean. I'm not even sure how to explain any of the error events under the System sub-menu.

As far as error messages, I wish I did receive an error message occassionally! All I experience is an application in which I've requested an action and I stare at an hour glass icon for minutes. Many times I'll walk away and do something else for 10 minutes, 30 minutes, etc. When I return, I still have the hour glass. When I chelc the Task Manager, I will sometimes find that my CPU usage is apparently stuck at 100%. At other times the CPU usage is swinging from 4% to 100% to 35% to, well you get the picture. I do not receive error messages that I can snapshot and attach for someone else to see. If I were only that lucky.

By the way, yes. I do still have the original PSU.

Regarding the processes running on my system, I do not have any experience in that area. I know how to look at them using the Task Manager or a program such as Process Explorer. I could not tell you if I have any unnecessary processes running by simply reviewing the list in the Task Manager. I do not have any knowledge of which process is necessary and which one isn't. Nor do I have the knowledge or skill to stop any given process from running at start-up other than going into the msconfig command and refusing the processes from there.

I know there are varying opinions regarding the use of Comodo's free firewall (or ZoneAlarm's or others) versus Windows XP's built-in firewall. I prefer Comodo's firewall (or one of the other open-source firewalls which are recommended on BleepingComputer) because of the ability it gives me to see when my system is attempting to access an IP address or some IP address is attempting to access my system. Windows firewalls leave me feeling like I am operating in the blind. And, I am not very trusting when it comes to Microsoft telling me what is best for me. I've been burned too many times. Again, maybe it's my skill level but, I've never had a Windows firewall notify me that an inbound or outbound attempt was being made and give me the opportunity to accept it or refuse it. So, with all due respect to your advice on third-party firewalls like Comodo, I must respectfully decline to go back to MicroBloat's (I'm sorry, I mean Microsoft's) firewall. (Please do not take offense at that last comment. It was my feeble attempt at issuing a humorous jab at Microsoft! LOL)

The same goes for CCleaner, amog other peices of software I've found on BleepingComputer's site. I've had very good service from CCleaner. I find it to be very effective and extremely easy to use. And, although Windows may do the same job, I've never found a simple way in Windows to do what CCleaner does on one screen. Maybe I just never took the time to learn to use all of the features of Windows.

So, at the risk of being redundant or wasting anyone's time besides my own, without spending more money on a system I plan to scrap in less than six months, is there anything I can do to significantly speed this one up and reduce the hang-ups while I save money for my new system? Or, is this just a futile attempt to revive a dead horse?

Thanks!
Marty

Edited for content.

Edited by StartingOver, 01 August 2011 - 02:31 PM.

Just Remember "To Err Is Human" (To REALLY Foul Things Up Requires A Computer!)

#4 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 56,435 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:02:08 AM

Posted 01 August 2011 - 03:24 PM

Well...I only suggest.

When a user says "I don't want to" to such suggestions...that's user prerogative.

My apologies for not including rfeference material on the hard drive diagnostics, Free Hard Drive Testing Tools - Hard Drive Diagnostics - http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/tp/tophddiag.htm .

Each hard drive manufacturer (with some exceptions) has a diagnostic tool devised primarily so that customers can assess the functionality of a hard drive before asking the manufacturer to replace such. These utilities are capable of being used by any person with a computer, as long as he/she follows the directions for such (which are at the respective websites).

In case you are using the registry tool that is reflected in CCleaner, I submit the following:

Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers for several reasons:
  • Registry cleaners are extremely powerful applications that can damage the registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable.

    The Windows registry is a central repository (database) for storing configuration data, user settings and machine-dependent settings, and options for the operating system. It contains information and settings for all hardware, software, users, and preferences. Whenever a user makes changes to settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in this repository. The registry is a crucial component because it is where Windows "remembers" all this information, how it works together, how Windows boots the system and what files it uses when it does. The registry is also a vulnerable subsystem, in that relatively small changes done incorrectly can render the system inoperable. For a more detailed explanation, read Understanding The Registry.
  • Not all registry cleaners are created equal. There are a number of them available but they do not all work entirely the same way. Each vendor uses different criteria as to what constitutes a "bad entry". One cleaner may find entries on your system that will not cause problems when removed, another may not find the same entries, and still another may want to remove entries required for a program to work.
  • Not all registry cleaners create a backup of the registry before making changes. If the changes prevent the system from booting up, then there is no backup available to restore it in order to regain functionality. A backup of the registry is essential BEFORE making any changes to the registry.
  • Improperly removing registry entries can hamper malware disinfection and make the removal process more difficult if your computer becomes infected. For example, removing malware related registry entries before the infection is properly identified can contribute to system instability and even make the malware undetectable to removal tools.
  • The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous. In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in "unpredictable results".

Unless you have a particular problem that requires a registry edit to correct it, I would suggest you leave the registry alone. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.
Louis

#5 StartingOver

StartingOver
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 69 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:About 70 miles from Galveston Bay wade fishing!
  • Local time:03:08 AM

Posted 01 August 2011 - 03:54 PM

Hi Louis;

Yes I have been using the registry cleaner portion of CCleaner without anyone's advice. I most certainly will follow your advice on this. Thankfully, CCleaner always asked if I wanted to backup the registry before cleaning and I always do. I guess I've been fortunate in not having created any fatal errors by cleaning. However, that does NOT mean that I have not created errors which may be causing some of my problems. Thank you.

With regard to the drives, as I said the 40gb is original. The 160GB drive is only about one year old as far as usage goes. I bought it brand new from Fry's in the original manufacturer's packaging, not loose in an anti-static bag (aka - OEM style). It came with Western Digital's Data Lifeguard software on disc, not that that means anything.

As far as my OS goes, I ordered the original manufacturer's discs from HP that will reinstall the OS and, unfortunately, all of the bloat that HP likes to package with their off-the-shelf systems (games, etc). I have been considering removing the 40GB drive altogether and performing a clean Windows install on the 160GB Western Digital Drive (Caviar Blue) using the Windows discs I purchased from HP. Do you think starting from scratch in that manner would help in any appreciable manner? I would still have to reinstall all of my other software which includes, among others, the following:

Microsoft Office Professional 2003
TurboCAD Deluxe ver. 17
Quickbooks Pro 2009
PDFCreator (from Sourceforge)

Of course, I then face the hassle of all of the updates but, if I stood the chance of gaining an appreciable improvement in performance, it would be worth the risk.

By the way, I am trying to find an inexpensive graphics card for this system but, again, money is an issue. And, I really do not want to spend anything more on this system unless I have to. However, if you have any suggestions on graphics cards for this motherboard, I would appreciate your input.

Thanks again for all of your help.

Marty
Just Remember "To Err Is Human" (To REALLY Foul Things Up Requires A Computer!)

#6 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 56,435 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:02:08 AM

Posted 01 August 2011 - 04:21 PM

Hmmm...every one of those applications you listed...is a resource hog, IMO.

A clean install is normally an option for a faster system...but I've not had recovery/restore disks...which contain the typical manufacturer's bloat...so I don't really know if the difference would be noticeable.

You seem to be completely overlooking what I consider obvious...every component on this system...may be due for the trash pile, starting today. Which means that you will be buying outdated parts at higher-than-should-be prices.

I don't really have any optismistic suggestions for you, maybe someone else here has a better perspective on what could be done.

Louis




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users