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Memory/CPU/Performance problems - Help!

by sebomix / July 29, 2006 5:10 AM PDT

I'm desperately in need of fellow c|net members help! My PC started to act up and I don't know what to do at this point.

First of all, brief system info:
Dell Dimension 4600
Windows XP Home Edition
Pentium 4 2.66 MHz
RAM 512 MB (non-parity DDR PC2700)
Bus Speed 533 MHz
Max. mem. capacity 4096 MB
Avail. mem. slots 2 (total 4)
HDD 80GB

For a few days available memory resources go down like crazy (in 10 minutes can drop to 30-40 MB), CPU usage go to 100% every 8-9 secs. (CPU usage curve in Task Manager looks like sinusoid with equal space between 100% usage spikes), all programs open and work SLOW, occasional problems with shutting down Windows... Looked like possible virus infestation to me, so I did virus boot time scan (few times) with Avast - no viruses found. Scanned with Ad-Aware, SpyBot, Pest Patrol and Spy Sweeper, cleaned up few things, but computer still acts up. At somebody's advice disabled all items in Startup folder of System Configuration Utility and disabled System Restore function. After doing this, got rid of CPU 100% usage spikes, but memory still drains like crazy in about 10 minutes!

Let me mention one thing. All this started after I tried to make a copy of my (legally purchased!) DVD. Used DVD Shrink to do copying. Is it a coinsidence?

At this point I don't know what to think. What can it be? Do those troubles sound familiar? Can those symptoms be tied with certain problem? My PC turned from reasonably smoothly working machine into slow and disappointing joke.

Praying for some kind of solution Sad

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Some of those programs carried a trojan.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 29, 2006 5:14 AM PDT

I'd take care to only get it from a trusted source and scan the machine with EWIDO and HOUSECALL to toss what they find.

Another issue is that DVD work is extremely challanging for some machines. The required disk space is often from 4 to 20GB depending on the operation and the encoding is going to task the CPU. All that may surprise a casual user.

Bob

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Prayer answered
by hawker505 / July 29, 2006 5:31 AM PDT

Ur Pc might still contain some spywares after ur last scan.Try scanning with spyware doctor.Scan it till u a zero threats found in ur last scan status and use a registry cleaner to clean all ur unwanted registry files such as Registry Mechanic from PC Tools. some malware and adwares can change ur registry too. Also run a virus scan using a Norton Antivirus v10 with the latest updates installed or a better version.Norton is best known to clean a system from viruses.

I c u ahve a good a RAM too. Xp pro is always recomeneded even for Home users. also chk if u have the latest updates from microsoft.

Reduce the amount of process that run in ur back ground. Tpe MSCONFIG in run from the start menu and click startup tab, there untick those unnecessary programmes.Check ur PF size too which shud be more than ur installed RAM.

If non of the above helps u might wanna re-install ur OS with a fresh copy of Microsoft Windows Xp Pro SP2.

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Turn off system restore
by jnbhoward / July 29, 2006 6:44 AM PDT

Plenty of malware is able to "hide" inside the system restore data, that is otherwise inaccessible to malware scanners. So, upon rebooting, the malware reasserts itself, and the problem starts anew.

This is why you should always switch off system restore, reboot into safe mode, and THEN run the scans. After you're done with that, here are a few helpful guidelines for keeping your system free of such stuff.

1: Do NOT use Internet Explorer or any browser based on Internet Explorer
2: Do NOT use ANY file sharing programs
3: Do NOT use ANY pirated programs
4: Do NOT use Outlook or Outlook Express (more to do with spam reduction)
5: DO install ALL of the latest Windows security updates
5a: The ONLY valid exception to guideline #1
5b: Windows Genuine Advantage "updates" can, and should, be excluded

If you want to keep using IE, just remember to switch off system restore, reboot to safe mode, THEN do the malware scans. You'll be put in a position where that info will come in handy probably sooner rather than later.

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CONFLICTS
by Scrotes4Life / July 29, 2006 9:10 AM PDT

You have conflicting antispyware. It's sucking out all of your RAM.
Leave Norton alone. Norton let Trojans into my system and I had: FAT 32 PARTITION FAILURE.............
Install AVG Free. Offload all current asp and scan.
After you have successfully diagnosed your problem, correct it, and reinstall one antispy. Ad Aware sounds good. I've heard good reports. Personally, I use Microsmarts Spyware Begone.
Try this and let us know the result.

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