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

slow xp


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 cweb

cweb

  • Members
  • 1 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:04:52 PM

Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:01 PM

I have an older pentium 4 machine running xp media center that I use at my office for business. The machine is very slow making work very tedious. It used to be very fast, but over time his gotten slower and slower. The slowness is especially noted when a program is initially opened and whenever a new window is launched in internet explorer. Generally, once the program or window is finally opened, it will seem to run as it should.

I run McAfee Security Center which seems to make a big drain on memory resources especially when running a scheduled scan. During the scan, the computer is almost useless. However, I have always been using McAfee security and have not always had this issue. McAfee has not found any viruses or any other issues.

I have run Malwarebytes and it has found no issues.

I have used Windows Disk Cleanup. I have defragged the hard drive. I have run chkdsk /r upon computer startup and no errors were found. The drive is about 50% full.

I have used WinUtilities to scan and defrag the registry.

I have cleaned the inside of the computer thoroughly. All fans operate correctly including the one on the processor heatsink. The temperature is around 55c.

What else should I do before I wipe the hard drive and start all over?

Thank you for your help?

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 mark1956

mark1956

  • Security Colleague
  • 271 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Spain
  • Local time:10:52 PM

Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:14 PM

Click on Start then Run and type cmd into the search box and hit Enter. Type sfc /scannow at the prompt and hit Enter, if asked to insert the XP disc, please do so. If it tells you the disc does not match the installed version you will need to slipstream it with SP3.
Slipstream XP with SP3 and SATA drivers you can simply miss the section concerning SATA drivers if you do not need them.

You could also try uninstalling McAfee and replacing it with Microsoft Security Essentials which should not use so many system resources. You must use this tool `McAfee Removal Tool to completely remove McAfee after you have uninstalled it using Add/Remove from the Control Panel.

I would suggest you avoid using any kind of Registry cleaner as they can do more harm than good, frequent use of this kind of software might be the reason for your systems poor performance.

If none of the above helps to speed things up then a full format and a clean install may be the best way to go, but I would suggest you run the manufacturer's diagnostics on the hard drive before doing so as a failing hard drive could also be the reason for the slowness.

Identify the make of your hard drive and then use one of the links below to get the manufacturer's diagnostics for ISO (CD) not the one for Windows.

When the download is complete right click the file and select Extract Here and burn the image to a CD.

In Windows 7 right click the extracted file, select Open With, then select Windows Disc Image Burning Tool then follow the prompts. For all other versions of windows (if you do not have an ISO burner) download this free software. ImgBurn
Install the program and start the application. Select the top left hand option to burn image file to disk and then on the next window click on the small yellow folder icon and browse to the file you have downloaded from the links below. Then click on the two grey discs with the arrow in between (bottom left) and leave it to complete the operation.

Boot the PC into the Bios setup and set the CD/DVD drive to 1st in the boot sequence. Insert the disk in the drive then reboot and the disc will load into dos.

Excelstore Use EStest CD image
Hitachi/IBM Use the Drive Fitness Test - CD Image.
Seagate, Samsung, Maxtor & Quantum Follow links for SeaTools (For DOS ISO image)
Western Digital

Toshiba/Fujitsu
If you have a Toshiba/Fujitsu hard drive I would suggest the use of the diagnostics from the Seagate link as this will work on all makes of drive and on any OS.

Edited by mark1956, 24 February 2012 - 12:15 PM.


#3 technomutt

technomutt

  • Members
  • 12 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:04:52 PM

Posted 07 March 2012 - 06:35 PM

IMHO, your machine has reached the end of it's useful life. The Pentium 4 was first released in 2000.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Pentium_4_microprocessors

Having said that, if it only has 256 Megs of RAM, then of course a memory upgrade is in order. XP with SP3 really needs a gig of RAM minimum. But I personally wouldn't waste any money on such an old machine.

If you want a non-technical answer, the "dirty little secret" about Windows is that every Service Pack slows your machine 50%. XP is up to SP3 now... so you went from 100% performance with no service packs, to 50% of original performance with SP1, 25% of original performance with SP2, and now only 12.5% of original performance with SP3. There is nothing you can do to change this. If you want original performance, you can only load original software. Since original software is no longer supported........

Oh, and the other "dirty little secret" about McAfee and others is that they only run well on machines no more than 3 years older than the date of the software you just bought. Just because it says it will run on XP doesn't mean it will run well.

Again, this is just my opinion... take it for what it is.

#4 technomutt

technomutt

  • Members
  • 12 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:04:52 PM

Posted 07 March 2012 - 06:41 PM

Here's an even less technical view:

Dogs age 7 years for every "people year".

Computers age 20 YEARS for every "people year".

Don't take my word for it... Moore's Law says computing power doubles every 18 months. Consider such a doubling a "generation". Now consider human generations are generally accepted as 30 years. Do the math.

#5 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 55,398 posts
  • ONLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:04:52 PM

Posted 07 March 2012 - 07:28 PM

<<...the "dirty little secret" about Windows is that every Service Pack slows your machine 50%. XP is up to SP3 now... so you went from 100% performance with no service packs, to 50% of original performance with SP1, 25% of original performance with SP2, and now only 12.5% of original performance with SP3. There is nothing you can do to change this. If you want original performance, you can only load original software. Since original software is no longer supported........>>

IMO, that's a gross oversimplification and an inaccurate statement.

The key items slowing a system down...tend to be programs installed, malware, and improper/no maintenance by user. The SPs are critical updates that are integrated as part of the O/S, while programs are not integrated...they merely utilize the resources provided by the system. Think of it this way...every program added to Windows...adds to what Windows has to do in order to function. Some programs demand more, some demand less...but each program places a load upon Windows in order to do whatever said program is designed to do. As a rule, suites of any sort tend to place a greater load on a system than a simple standalone program (MS Office is a good example), while a simple word processor or text editor does not come near to placing the same burden on a system.

I don't feel a need to explain how malware and lack of proper maintenance...can each adversely operational efficiency of any system.

To the OP: Take a look at Slow Computer-browser Check Here First; It May Not Be Malware - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic87058.html for some ideas of items which you can check/change.

Louis

#6 technomutt

technomutt

  • Members
  • 12 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:04:52 PM

Posted 08 March 2012 - 10:50 AM

Yes, I wholeheartedly agree, my previous posts were a gross oversimplification in technical terms... I thought I had given sufficient warning to that end. Perhaps not?

The original poster's description makes it clear that they have performed above-average maintenance (compared to the average end user) to this machine for it's entire life. Indeed I commend the original poster for their thoroughness.

Folks tend to forget XP is over 10 years old now. Trying to run current internet security suites on decade old machines just isn't practical. However, if you want my opinion as to how to salvage such an old machine, here ya go:

1. Lose McAfee in it's entirety. you can never again run a full internet security suite. (see #5 for more)

2. Assuming you keep SP3, run Microsoft Security Essentials for anti-virus (it's free). Although it is surprisingly lightweight for a Microsoft product, even this will cause 100% CPU usage from time to time.

3. If you wipe and limit service packs (not really recommended for internet use) run Avast anti-virus for older systems.

4. In Control Panel, System, Advanced, Performance (Settings), click the option "Adjust for best Performance" which will clear all the listed checks... then click on "Custom" and scroll all the way to the bottom of the list and restore the two checks for "use drop shadows" and "use visual styles". This will maximize performance yet retain the look and feel of XP. Otherwise it will look like older versions of Windows.

5. Switch to Google Chrome for browsing. I know I will catch a TON of flack for this. IMHO, using Internet Explorer to surf the web REQUIRES the use of powerful security software as IE is such a horrid browser. While I personally prefer Firefox, it's slow compared to Chrome.

6. Be sure you have enough RAM. Open Task Manager and look at the performance tab. The lower graph on the left side is PF usage in Megabytes. On the right side the first thing under the graphs is Physical Memory in Kilobytes. Remember that 1 MB = 1000 KB. Your PF usage should ALWAYS be less than your Total Physical Memory. If it isn't the system has to start swapping virtual memory to the hard drive... at which point your machine will slow to a crawl. If this is the case, you may consider adding RAM. BUT!! If you already have more Physical Memory than is ever used for PF usage, then adding more RAM to the system WILL HAVE NO EFFECT WHATSOEVER.

And again, these are just my opinions... as one who has provided computer support for over 2 decades... The machine in question is due for retirement. But if it has at least 512 MB of RAM, it might make a nice Linux test box.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users