Attention: The forums will be placed on read only mode this Saturday (Oct. 20, 2018)

During this outage (6:30 AM to 8 PM PDT) the forums will be placed on read only mode. We apologize for this inconvenience. Click here to read details

Computer Help forum

General discussion

PC unbearably slow... Scanners not helping.

by Honus_X / February 9, 2007 4:00 PM PST

I'm looking for some help getting my computer running a little better, well, ALOT better. I have about a 2 year old Dell 2400, with Windows XP. I didn't use the computer too often, but i recently got highspeed internet hooked up but couldn't even use it because it was so littered with spyware and viruses, that it barely would operate. Umm, most of the problem was that my virus scanner expired. So i looked around and found a free one called "PC Tools Antivirus" Used it and found 63 infections. That instantly cured my problems. Was like a brand new computer. That only lasted about a week. Im back to the same slowdown. Even typing this message the computer can't keep up to me typing. So i updated the virus scanner and scanned again. It found 7 things and removed them but didn't help. I also have a program called Ad-Aware SE. I scanned with that and found around 60 infections and removed them but still didn't help. Ive rebooted, done everything i could think of. I can't think of anything i have downloaded or anything that could be causing the problems. The only suspicious thing to me is if i open up task manager, and go to processes, there is 28 running processes going. And this is after a fresh start up, no programs running... Nothing.

Guess what im asking is if anyone knows of the latest and greatest sweepers (preferably free), or just if anyone knows whats gong on here.

Oh the other thing thats wierd is, if i open up task manager and go to performance, the CPU usuage goes drastically up and down, never constant. Like 6% to 100% to 14% to 100%. I just can't fathom what could me making the CPU run at 100% like that.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: PC unbearably slow... Scanners not helping.
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: PC unbearably slow... Scanners not helping.
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
While you are in task manager, click on the process tab
by lacsr / February 9, 2007 8:06 PM PST

Watch the list for awhile to see what processes are using the CPU and then start to "Google" for each one. You could also try HiJackThis and dump the logfile here:
or look around on the net if you like.

Collapse -
Also, I would......
by caktus / February 10, 2007 5:38 AM PST

Go to and download, update and run AVG Anti-Spyware Free. While you're there you might download, update and try AVG Anti-Virus Free. They are both excellent programs. No need to by the programs. After the trial period for AVG Anti-Virus Free
just update and run manually. BTW, it's not a good idea to run more than one Anti-virus program at a time.

Have you cleaned up the Temp files. Go to Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup. Click OK then select all check boxes except "Compress old files. Click on the "More Options" tab and under System Restore click on "Cleanup" > OK > then Yes. It may take a few minutes to complete.

You might also try the file link at

Hope this is helpful.


Collapse -
by Honus_X / February 10, 2007 9:29 PM PST
In reply to: Also, I would......

Ok guys, i got it running decent. Still have some work to do. I tried googling all the processes running but didn't really find anything, so i took a risk. I ended the one that was chewing up the most memory and it worked! Its still a little sluggish but at least its not taking literally 5 minutes to load a webpage. I did find one thing interesting in google. Was reading a little about a process called "svchost.exe" It said it is nesessary to have running, but it is somewhat dangerous? Well the suspicious one i ended was called "PCTAVhost.exe" And i still see other processes. One is simply "PCTAV.exe, and there are FOUR others all named "svchost.exe" So im gonna try to figure them out.

I'm gonna try your antivirus you suggested. I'll uninstall my freebie first. And i DID clean up the temp internet files... 208 MGBs worth lol.

I also downloaded a program from microsoft called Windows Defender. Thats about i guess. Thanks for all the help. If you have any suggestions about the svchost, let me know! Grin

Collapse -
Just an FYI
by eddie11013 / February 11, 2007 12:09 AM PST
In reply to: SVChost

Do "NOT" mess with "svchost", absolutely essential. Also, the "PC" ones that you found are part of the PC tools antivirus you have installed. If as you say, your going to uninstall that program, they will be gone. And again, as someone already mentioned, only have "one" active "antivirus" program running at a time. Although you can run as many as you like of any 'passive' scans. As an example, you could run any or all of the following free online scans and they would not interfere with the 'active' AVG antivirus program you plan to install: A-Squared On Line Trojan Scan --
BitDefender On Line Scan --
Ewido On Line Scan --
F-Secure On Line Scan --
House Call Anti-Virus
Good luck,

Collapse -
Hi Honus_X
by tomron / February 11, 2007 12:21 AM PST
In reply to: SVChost

I could not find any info on "PCTAVhost.exe

I found thisPCTAV.exe,and this is a valid program.

RE:svchost.exe.resides in C:\windows\system32

I have many svchost.exe processes running.Check for upper case and spelling,e.g,scvhost.exe,notice the difference.

Have you looked in msconfig>startup tab?


As Charlie suggested,try avg anti spyware,also install SPYWARE BLASTER,which is not a scanner,but a preventer.


Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Your favorite shows are back!

Don’t miss your dramas, sitcoms and reality shows. Find out when and where they’re airing!