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Real slow machine. How to fix it?

by kahakura / March 26, 2013 9:23 AM PDT

My computer is slow. Real slow and getting slower.
Can you help me work out what is wrong with it?

About my machine:
XP Service Pack 3.
AMD Sempron 2400
1.67 Ghz
992 MB Ram

What I have done so far:
1. I checked Hard Drive for errors
2. I cleaned out unneeded files
3. i ran SpyBot S&D with latest updates.
4. I tried to run Avira antivius but it took 18 hours and had only done 10% of the scan. I stopped the scan.
5. I removed unused programs using RevoUninstaller.
6. I ran Glary Utilities.
7. I tried to defrag the drive. After 3 hours it said it will take 61 more hours to Defrag it. I stopped the defrag.

8. I have downloaded the Windows updates. When I attempt to install updates it fails to install.

Error Message:
The following updates were not installed:
Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Service Pack 1 Security Update for Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP (KB953300)

It is still really slow. Much slower than the normal speed it runs at. What can I do next?

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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by kahakura

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Run chkdsk & check for bad sectors
by wpgwpg / March 26, 2013 9:39 AM PDT

It sounds like you could have some sectors on your hard drive to go bad, as they can do over time. Run chkdsk and let it check for and attempt repair of any bad sectors it finds. Of course I have to say a 1.67 Semptron processor is a pretty slow one by today's standards. When you get a chance, you ought to invest a few hundred bucks in a new computer.

Good luck.

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I like to use my old computer until there is a problem that
by kahakura / March 27, 2013 7:17 AM PDT

Now that the chkdsk has fixed the problem I am most happy to continue to use my current computer. It is not too slow for what I do. I like to use my old computer until there is a problem that cannot be fixed.

You people who offer solutions on this forum are a great service to us all. You make it possible for people to fix their computers when they do not have $12 to spend on their computer.

Many people do not have money. That you offer advice so I can fix my computer without going to the repair guy is a huge service to me. Thank you all for all you do. I see that you give your time and talents to help people like me. It is appreciated.

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About .NET
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 26, 2013 10:07 AM PDT

Since that one is so well discussed I'll just summarize.

-> Uninstall .NET 2.0.

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Uninstall .NET 2.0
by kahakura / March 27, 2013 7:08 AM PDT
In reply to: About .NET

I run Revo Uninstaller to uninstall .NET 2.0 but I cannot see it listed.
How do I uninstall it?

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Usually in add/remove. If missing
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 27, 2013 7:19 AM PDT
In reply to: Uninstall .NET 2.0


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XP Bug: DMA to PIO
by mchainmchain / March 26, 2013 8:25 PM PDT

Possible the hard drive data transfer setting was changed by XP from Ultra DMA Mode 5 to PIO. XP will do this when it sees 6 consecutive CRC errors coming from the hard drive. PIO data transfer is much slower than DMA.

To check for this: Right-click My Computer>select Properties in the drop-down list>Hardware Tab>Device Manager>click the plus sign by IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers>highlight Primary IDE channel>right-click and select Properties. Next, select Advanced Settings Tab.

Look at Transfer Mode:
It should say: DMA if available

Look at Current Transfer Mode:
It should say Ultra DMA Mode 5

If it says PIO instead of DMA if available, choose the drop-down and change it back to DMA if available and reboot.

If the above says PIO, then that is one of your problems. Check the DMA setting again after you reboot. covers the reasons why XP will revert to PIO data transfer and how to fix it.

Stay away from Glary Utilities, snake oil at best, operating system damage at worst.

Start>Run>enter the word cmd in the Run box>hit enter

Once in the cmd window use the following run command: chkdsk C: /R/V >press Enter You can copy/paste this command into the cmd window if you like.

chkdsk is a built-in Windows repair utility made just for repairing hard drive errors and file system repair.

Windows will say it cannot lock the drive and will run chkdsk the next time you restart. Reboot and (you must) allow chkdsk to run to completion. Failure to allow chkdsk to complete will result in corrupted system and other files; the likely result of not being patient and allowing completion of chkdsk is that your computer will not boot to Windows anymore. If it takes 12 hours to run, so be it. Once you start, let it finish. Your computer will reboot automatically when it is done.

Maintenance: When was the last time your system was cleaned of accumulated dust?

IMPORTANT: Do not use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust inside. Use compressed air used for computers to blow all the dust out, preferably outside the house and use a static wrist strap to ground yourself to the computer when you are cleaning it out. Reason for this is because static electricity is dangerous to computer hardware and the vacuum cleaner will generate more than the 30 volts required to damage sensitive electronic parts inside.

If you really do not want to do all of the above, then it is time to back up all your important personal files and think about getting a new computer. You then can transfer your files to the new system.

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About Backing Up Your Files...
by mchainmchain / March 26, 2013 8:37 PM PDT
In reply to: XP Bug: DMA to PIO

That should be the first thing you do. If disaster strikes at any point in the above, you will at least have your files in a safe place. You cannot lose what you back up.

You will lose what you don't.

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Some more options
by 3rdalbum / March 27, 2013 6:27 PM PDT

Another couple of things you could do (especially useful for other people who have the same complaint as you):

1. Reinstall Windows. It's well-known that Windows XP will just keep getting slower over time.
2. Remove anti-virus software - they use a lot of system resources, and ironically viruses don't!
3. Open your computer and have a look at the fans, and make sure they're not clogged with dust. There should be one on the motherboard hiding the CPU, at least one in the frame of the case, and if you have a graphics card there will usually be one there too.

I've seen a graphics card fan packed full of dust, so much that it looked like some kind of fabric. I was wondering "Why is there fabric in this graphics card?" and then I realised it was dust when I rubbed my fingers harder on it.

4. Check your BIOS settings and make sure the CPU isn't being underclocked. I've seen this too. Same computer as above!

5. Your system is able to run a lightweight Linux, such as Puppy Linux or even Lubuntu. The former will be a lot faster than XP, and the latter may be a little faster but a lot more modern than XP. Both Puppy and Lubuntu are totally free, as they are made by people who believe software should be free.

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Puppy Linux
by kahakura / March 28, 2013 3:39 AM PDT
In reply to: Some more options

I wanted to change to Ubuntu or similar but I believe that many XP programs will not run under Linux. Is this true?
I run about 60 different apps during any month. I wouldn't want to install linux only to find that it will not run one of the software programs.

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I've been playing with
by itsdigger / March 28, 2013 4:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Puppy Linux
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