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Slow Computer - Herky / Jerky Streaming Audio Video


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#1 MikeyFl

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 09:16 PM

Hello there members :),

I'm working on my mom's computer again. Last time I was here it had a bunch of viruses, and the good folks here helped a lot to get it functional again. It does not have a virus now, nor malware, but it is extremely slow. Trying to play music from Internet stations or watch youtube videos online is impossible, and overall it feels sluggish.

The Windows Task Manager shows CPU usage pretty low at 4% or so. 71 processes running which doesn't seem high to me. I see System Idle Process, CPU at 99? Not sure that's it though. There's probably about 55% or so available on the C disk drive. I'm about to defrag it and see if that fixes anything, but I'm pretty doubtful.

I've run all the usual anti-spyware (Spybot + Malware bytes), and anti-virus (Avira) but that hasn't helped a thing. What are some things I can do to troubleshoot?

BTW it's Windows XP on this machine. Any assistance is most appreciated :)

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#2 Nanobyte

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 01:23 AM

Did you used to have the problem before your malware issues? Playing audio and video online could simply be an issue with your Internet connection. When you say playing is impossible, what does that mean, nothing comes out, stuttering.... Have you measured your upload and download speed? Speedtest is fine, if you avoid hitting the ads.

What sort of things are sluggish? Page changes, mouse movements, programs starting up.........

The System Idle process being 99 means it's not very busy! 71 processes does seem a bit high but these days every man and his dog wants to run a service on your PC. Mine are currently 54. I would have thought that during your malware removal exercise, others in this forum would have indicated what programs and services do not need to be running.

#3 hamluis

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:08 AM

FWIW: Slow Computer-browser Check Here First; It May Not Be Malware - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic87058.html

Louis

#4 MikeyFl

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 12:58 PM

Thanks for the replies guys.

Did you used to have the problem before your malware issues? Playing audio and video online could simply be an issue with your Internet connection. When you say playing is impossible, what does that mean, nothing comes out, stuttering.... Have you measured your upload and download speed? Speedtest is fine, if you avoid hitting the ads.


The problem was nonexistent before the malware issues. The Malware issues were resolved over a year ago.

Playing is impossible = audio seems to be jumbled / stuttering.

Download speeds are good. Other wireless computers on the network allow for multi-media streaming no issues. This computer is directly connected. I receive 21 Mbps x 4 Mbps.

What sort of things are sluggish? Page changes, mouse movements, programs starting up.........


Opening multiple browsers is one thing I noticed when I watched the Task Manager. It would jump up to 60% - 70% when doing that then go back down to 5%ish when it was all loaded. TBH I don't really know ALL of the symptoms on this machine because I don't use it. I'll ask my family when they're around what some of the other symptoms are and will report more. From my limited testing, I would say multiple programs running bogs it down. But even on a fresh reboot the audio issue is still present.


The System Idle process being 99 means it's not very busy! 71 processes does seem a bit high but these days every man and his dog wants to run a service on your PC. Mine are currently 54. I would have thought that during your malware removal exercise, others in this forum would have indicated what programs and services do not need to be running.


Thanks for the input on System Idle processes. It was quite a while ago we did the malware removal, but I remember posting some logs and IIRC it looked good to other members.


After about 15 hours - the defrag finally complete. Wow! Never seen that take so long haha! Guess there was a lot to do..or maybe this computer is just really slow?

Hamluis, I'm going to read more of what you posted in that link thoroughly. I was thinking maybe it was a browser issue too, so I installed a clean version of Chrome yesterday (Firefox is what's normally used on this computer), and I still noticed the jerky audio :(.

#5 hamluis

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 01:45 PM

<<After about 15 hours - the defrag finally complete. Wow! Never seen that take so long haha!>>

A defrag should never take that long...length suggests hard drive problems, IMO. I would run the appropriate long diagnostic test for your particular hard drive (manufacturer's utility)...just to assure myself that it is not the problem.

Free Hard Drive Testing Tools - Hard Drive Diagnostics - http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/tp/tophddiag.htm

Louis

#6 Nanobyte

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 01:57 PM

I notice the danger word in your post "family"! A year ago is a long time with a bunch of people doing their thing. The time for defrag can be reduced hugely if it is done regularly. If you used the crappy XP defragmenter, that needs quite a bit of free space to work so perhaps free HDD space is not an issue. Whenever I come across that sort of time, it's clear that the PC is not maintained in good order. As a matter of interest, did the PC seem perkier after the defrag - changing windows, speed of apps opening etc?

Browser could be an issue as noted by others. I'll skip helping you technically on that issue as I have little interest in streaming. Videos I download fully and play. I find Chrome is quite good online but that is because flash in Firefox is iffy on my PC. I have not fixed it because I detest flash and Firefox is my personal flash killer. I only run Chrome when I need to visit a flash site and need to see everything. As I type I'm listening to a radio station coming from South Africa via tunein.com. Chrome is running at 83% but I find CPU usage is station-dependent. I swopped to another station in the same part of the world and Chrome is using almost nothing. I generally find that reception is greatly affected by other activities on the PC.

If I have an issue like this the first thing I do is check if any other devices are communicating online but given your bandwidth I can't see that being an issue. Getting it through the firewall and AV and may be relevant. I assume that the incoming media gets scanned as it comes in.

That's my lot for now. Hopefully others can give suggestions on browser issues.




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