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IE8 "not responding" & loads pages slowly

A few months ago I saw a pop-up alert saying my virtual memory was low and was being increased automatically. Concurrent with my trying to set the paging file to a larger min/max size, IE8 started giving me instances of "not responding" (seen in Task Manager), & most web pages and online e-mail pages now load very slowly. At the time of the first alert, I tried using both a custom paging file size and a system managed file size. Neither approach seemed to solve the problem. And I couldn't seem to locate any instruction saying what the optimum sizes were for my total memory & hard drive size combinations. Often it will take 30 seconds or more on a 1.5 mbps DSL connection for a simple e-mail message to load, the progress bar at the bottom showing attempts to load all kinds of superfluous garbage seemingly unrelated to the message. Here are the specifics on my system:

Windows XP, SP3 fully updated through last week; older custom-built PC with D850MVSE Intel motherboard, 1GB Rambus memory (at full capacity of mobo), 2 160 GB drives--both less than a third full; current paging file size: min=2048, max=2048. Security software installed is ZoneAlarm free firewall, Sypbot S&D w/o TeaTimer active, & AVG 2012 anti-virus. Some toolbars have been added to IE8 as some of this software was installed. I'd like to limit those addons to only those absolutely necessary for security.

I've resorted to always loading Task Manager to monitor what applications are "not responding," & I frequently have to shut some or all down to unfreeze current operations. Not only web pages but other programs, such as Word, Excel, & other software often shows as "not responding" until sufficient memory is available. I have had this problem occur when I have many web pages open, but also when I have only my e-mail and perhaps one other web page open, with Task Manager showing over 300,000K of physical memory available. However, I've been running Windows XP on this PC for about 18 months, & the "not responding" issue only arose a few months ago, practically concurrent with the first virtual memory pop-up alert.

I believe this problem has to do with IE8 and/or the addons that are active, but it might also be related to the operating system & possibly the paging file size. If someone could help me resolve this by suggesting what to look for in a few exchanges of messages, I'd appreciate it.

I've thought about uninstalling IE8 & reinstalling it, but I get a message that many other programs wouldn't function without it. I have the ability to clone the boot drive in a backup if it becomes necessary to uninstall IE8 & reinstall it.

Thanks for your help.

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All Answers

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First steps

In reply to: IE8 "not responding" & loads pages slowly

Uninstall Spybot. It's "Tea-Timer" component needs to be disabled first. Tea-Timer may be a problem nowadays with the latest anti-virus scanners because it can conflict as it fights the AV to scan files.

The next step is to test IE to see if any add-ons/toolbars are causing the problems. In Start > Accessories > System Tools is "Internet Explorer (No Add-ons)" option. This loads IE with all add-ons and toolbars disabled, so see how that performs.

If you get no freezes or other problems with IE in this mode, you then know that one or more add-on or toolbar is causing the problem and you can start an elimination process to find the culprit.


Collapse -
IE8 testing

In reply to: First steps

In my post I indicated "Spybot S&D w/o TeaTimer active," the w/o meaning without. I've had problems with its interference before. Under the Resident link in the program, the TeatTimer checkbox has been unchecked since Spybot was installed. I do believe that Spybot also prevents a coupon printer from installing & working properly, & I occasionally use coupons from a couple of sites that require the printer--haven't been able to get it to work yet.

I started IE8 without add-ons & it seems to work fine. But I'm weak on knowing how to add one at a time to test its effect. When I go to the Manage Add-ons utility when IE8 is started with add-ons, I find there are some present I didn't ask to be installed and others already disabled. I'd like to uninstall any I don't want active, rather than just disable them. How do I do that? Would it better to uninstall IE8 & start over, slowly adding those related to my security software that might be adviseable to keep? Could I prepare a list of add-ons & ask for suggestions on each?

You put me on the right track. Hope you'll stay with me till I solve this for good.

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You're right

In reply to: IE8 testing

I missed that. My error and my apology, and I see now that Spybot's TeaTimer is disabled.

So IE without add-ons works without problems and that's good. It shows we are moving forward.

You now have two options to try and solve this;

1] The easy way

RESET IE. Open IE8 and goto Tools > Internet Options. (With IE8 you may not have the normal menu toolbar displayed so look for the 'gear' icon top right of the browser and click that).

In the window that displays, head over to the Advanced tab and you will see a Reset button. If you click that and read the warnings you can then choose to click the Reset option in the warning window. This will return IE8 back to its default settings and in effect you start again.

Any add-ons you need should not be a problem because the web sites you visit will tell you when they require add-ons and you can download and install them as and when they are needed.

2] The Hard way

Open IE8 and click Tools, (The gear icon), then "Manage Add-ons".

You get a new window open which lists add-ons and toolbars, and has various options. One of the most important options is under the "Show" option, to show "All Add-ons", so make sure you click that.

Then it is a question of deciding how to start. This is an elimination procedure so you can either disable one add-on at a time and test, or perhaps the preferred way is to go through them all and disable them all, test, then add them back in, one at a time. That would be my way.

But overall I would choose the first option. Reset IE and start again.

Good luck.


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