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Xp Machine Running Slow, Hardware Related?


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#1 RTW DC2

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 04:23 PM

Basically, I have an XP machine that was acting up. For some reason, WIN98 was loaded onto the machine by someone else (XP was originally what came on the PC). A new harddrive was also installed at the time WIN98 was loaded. So brand new hard drive, with bare bones WIN98, running unbelieveably slow. Did some basic troubleshooting, didnt seem to have any viruses or spy problems. Everything worked but it was ridiculously slow loading programs, opening windows, even just responding to mouse clicks. Long story short, formatted the drive, and tried to install XP.

The XP install also ran extremely slow, you could watch it copy each individual file! Machine is an HP Pavilion XT938 desktop, has 128MB memory, 80G hard drive, 1.3AMD Athlon processor. Should be plenty to run WINXP with no problems. I let the install run all night. After finally making it through the setup/configuration, it wouldnt boot past the welcome screen. I let it sit all night again just to see if it would go past, but it did not.

Tried another hard drive, tried other memory, same results. I am NOT very good with hardware related issues, but Im convinced this is hardware related. Where should I start troubleshooting from this point? Possible motherboard issue?

Thanks for any help.

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#2 franktiii

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 07:04 PM

Has it always had 128 meg of ram? That is way low for Win XP, it will run, but at a crawl. 256 is good, 512 is better. RAM is very cheap these days, I would try that and then go from there.

But, if the computer has always had this small an amount of ram, and has gotten slower, there may be other problems.

You could go to pcpitstop.com and try their diagnostic program, it will give you some hardware information.

If you hadn't changed the hard drive I would also suspect virus or spyware and unless you are 100% certain the second drive was clean I would run and post a Hijack This Log. Especially do this if you go to pc pitstop and they say there are problems in this area.

For information on how to prepare for and post a Hijack This Log go to: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/34773/preparation-guide-for-use-before-using-malware-removal-tools-and-requesting-help/

If there is any possibility of virus or spyware problems, post the Hijack This Log and do nothing until someone has reviewed your post and gotten back to you.

#3 RTW DC2

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 01:30 PM

yes, it came with 128MB RAM, all the specs are listed on the sticker on the front of the machine. and Im sure thats plenty to run the system. I have a P3 laptop with only 128MB and it runs great. Its definitely not a lack of memory issue, and I tried other memory as well and problem persisted.

I have since formatted the drive, so there is no HJT log to show. Im almost positive this is not a virus/spyware related problem.

Thanks for the links, I will take a look at them.

#4 acklan

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 02:59 PM

Check and make sure the new drive is not on the same IDE channel as the CDrom. 128mb of RAM may have appeared to be eufficent but be assured it's not. When I did a clean install of XP It would require minimun of 160mb of RAM. That was before I load all the security software antivirus, antispyware, and firewall. Once I load them it jumps to about 320mb of RAM. Your virtural memory also may be set low.
Start>Control Panel>System>Advanced>Preformance>Settings>Advanced>Vritual Memory>Change (tab). Virtual Memory should 1 times the amount of the RAM. In your case 192 mb of Virtual Memory.
Download and run [url=http://www.majorgeeks.com/download4181.html]Everest[\url], to see what kind of resources XP is consuming.
Pleae for give me if I appear pushy, but I am running several Dell GX1 P-III 500mhz with 1.4ghz upgrade processors and the reliablity and preformance did not become apparent till I install 512mb of RAM. The big improvement was windows was more stable.
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#5 franktiii

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 05:06 PM

Ram does make a big difference with xp and while the computer may have come with 128 meg, it also probably lacked service pack 2 at the time which has increased the load so to speak.

Not to beat a dead horse, but the computer suddenly slowing down and everything still working, just slower, is more often than not sign of malware of some form. But, if you are certain the system is clean, then that just leaves hardware.

Did you try PC Pitstop and did they reveal any hardware issues?

There are four broad areas to look at:

Hard drive, you've replaced it and still have the problem, if there is not a conflict with the cd drive or other drive, you can probably ignore this.

Video card is another possibility, but that usually manifests different problems than slowing the computer.

Motherboard/processor is the big one, but again more often if there is a problem there you will either not be able to boot or you will get frequent crashes, but it could also result in the computer slowing down. Unfortunately if that is the problem then it is usually not worth it to replace.

The fourth area is ram and ram sticks can fail and if that happened you went from 128 meg to 64 meg. Which will definitely slow windows to a sloooow crawl.




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