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Slow and unstable: XP user looking for help...

by dcdjin / January 4, 2004 6:47 AM PST

I have a 2001 Dell desktop with a pentium 4, with 1.5 Ghz and 128 MB RAM.

I bought it with windows ME but upgraded to XP 6 months ago.
I thought my problems were due to ME, but the problems have continued since my upgrade.


1. Very slow start up, sometimes up to 10 minutes!

2. Very frequent blue screen and crash at start up and other times. Perhaps one out of every five times I use my computer. The error at crash seems to be, "Kernel inpage error" - but it varies.

3. Online speed is inconsistently slow even though I have a cable modem.

4. My computer is unable to handle multi tasking, such as listening to music while surfing the web, or opening more than one application.

5. In general, performance is very slow and unstable.

Any feedback or suggestions for improving my computer will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks. David

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Re:Slow and unstable: XP user looking for help...
by Alan Copeland / January 4, 2004 6:56 AM PST

Don't know what the problem is but once it is resolved I would upgrade to 256 min and better yet 512 RAM.

Did you upgrade or do a fresh install?

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Re:Re:Slow and unstable: XP user looking for help...
by Michael Geist / January 4, 2004 7:02 AM PST

When you do an upgrade install, any problems from the previous OS will migrate to the new OS. This is why a backup of files then a clean install with partitioning and formatting is preferable.

Now to the problems:

1) Motherboard drivers need to be updated for XP
2) Device drivers for all installed hardware needs to be XP capable
3) Viral and pestware scans need to be run>>

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Re:Re:Re:Slow and unstable: XP user looking for help...
by dcdjin / January 4, 2004 7:50 AM PST

Hi Michael, I believe I did an 'upgrade' not a fresh install. But honestly I'm not sure. I remember saving all of my files to disks so they wouldn't be lost.

I took your advice and ran two of the scans you suggested, Adware and Stinger. Adware deleted a bunch of "junk", and stinger said my files were clean.

How do I update my motherboard as you suggested?

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Re:Re:Re:Re:Slow and unstable: XP user looking for help...
by Michael Geist / January 4, 2004 7:56 AM PST

You have to give the specs on the system, before we can look for that info.

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Re:Re:Slow and unstable: XP user looking for help...
by dcdjin / January 4, 2004 7:27 AM PST

Hi Alan,

I am pretty sure I did an 'upgrade'.


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The lamentation.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 4, 2004 8:24 AM PST

If you have read my Anti-Parasite Suite post, I lamented that not all the pests are found with just 4 out of 5 of the tools. Cool Web Hijackings continue to increase and it's not considered a virus or trojan, but it has IMPACT on systems.

Take the time to find and run CWSHREDDER to be sure it's gone.

Be sure that you pass all 5 tools so you know it's not the usual.


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Re:Re:Slow and unstable: XP user looking for help...
by Quaint Data / January 10, 2004 8:33 AM PST

Hi, as you maybe aware our systems can become clogged with old data old regestrations, old hystory records lost file fragments from programs uninstalled etc,
a clean install is higly recomended as this will clean out any and all old data from previous windows platform, it will also ensure that any old drivers will not effect the running of programs xp will now use.
Windowsxp is like an automatic car from a manually driven car.
Do you you know how to format the current HDD from the bootup?
Also cheak from the start button type in msconfig, go to startup, uncheak programs that you donot need to startup, when you do this in xp you will get a message when you reboot just tick the box never tell me this again lol. Hope this sheds some light.
Slow bootups can be caused by old programs running at start up or old programs interferring with the new xp
Regards quaint data

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Re:Slow and unstable: XP user looking for help...
by DavidPJ / January 5, 2004 4:25 AM PST

I recently upgraded my Dell P3 863MHZ to XP and had complete success. Also at this time I increased my DRAM from 383MB to 512MB, which is the system maximum. I did a clean install. I also replaced my system hard drive with a larger one and added a hard disk controller to support a third hard drive.

I suggest you go to the Dell support forum and checkout user comments regarding your system and XP. It's very important to have the latest BIOS from Dell for your system. And if you're unsure if you've done a clean install, start over and do it. Many people have issues with just upgrading from their current OS to XP and keeping the old files around.

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Re:Slow and unstable: XP user looking for help...
by sevenupdude23 / January 5, 2004 9:03 AM PST

Slow startup can also slow your computer down all the time because all the programs starting up at startup are still running. Perform the steps below and then go to and do a scan

Removing Startup Items

Go to Start then Run, then type in MSconfig and press enter.

This should open the System Configuration Utility.

If you haven't used this before "Normal Startup" should be selected. If it isn't, that means someone has been in here before you and made everything the way they wanted which is probably the way it should be so I reccomend that you get out of that now.

If Normal Startup is selected change it to Selective Startup and uncheck "Load Startup Items".

Go to the "Startup" tab at the top and make sure that there are no programs in that list that you need running ALL the time. If there is, just check those.

Go back to the General tab at the top. press "Apply" then "close".

You should be prompted to restart. It's your choice now or later, but the changes won't take effect until you do.

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Re:Slow and unstable: XP user looking for help...
by JenDScot / February 9, 2004 7:54 AM PST

Any time an upgrade to an operating system is to be considered, you should make certain there are no problems with the current operating system. If it is problematic, you will not repair it by upgrading it, (most end users seem to have that fantasy), as well as a clean installation of any operating system, usually produces satisfactory results. You should consider these things prior to upgrading your system.

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Re:Re:Slow and unstable: XP user looking for help...
by Myo2 / February 16, 2004 6:35 AM PST

I am upgrading from ME which is having some problems. I purchased an XP Home UPGRADE. Can I do a fresh install with this or do I need to by the full version? Will the upgrade prompt me to choose a clean install?

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Re:Slow and unstable: XP user looking for help...
by RALERAY / February 16, 2004 8:04 AM PST

I am surprised that no one has suggested more memory. At work, I recently upgraded a Gateway with a 1.1 MHz chip and 128 MB ram from W2k to XP. The computer went from okay, to dead slow including startups. I removed a 128 MB ram chip from another computer and added it to the Gateway and it starting operating ?okay? again. I discovered that XP does not run well on 128 MB on any computer. You need at least 256 MB with a recommended 512 MB. Try increasing your ram and you will probably see better results.

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Re:Slow and unstable: XP user looking for help...
by dstockton / February 16, 2004 9:33 AM PST

All of the suggestions you have received are good. Windows XP is a memory hog, 128 MB is usually not enough. I run 1GB in all four of my XP Pro PCs and at least 512 MB in my family's XP Home PCs.
A clean install on a formatted drive is the preferable way of installing a new OS. Everyone else has enumerated the reasons.
One thing I learned about laptops in my previous career (I supported 150+ wireless laptops installed in the companies service trucks) is that the manufacturer usually builds them to run a certain OS. The predominent issue can be the bios, but may also be the embedded hardware such as the chipset and the video adapter.
If Dell does not support upgrading that particular model of laptop to Windows XP then doing the upgrade could be quite a chore.
You should check on the Dell web site to verify that the laptop is upgradable and that Dell provides XP drivers for the hardware in the laptop.

Daryl Stockton

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Re:Slow and unstable: XP user looking for help...
by koenigseggCC / February 22, 2004 11:16 AM PST

You need more RAM.
right now with windows XP which i upgraded from ME i have a 768mghz intel celeron ( i know its crap) but i have 384 SDRAM PC100.
other instances could be your running to many programs on start up you can change that by running MSCONFIG, and some of your programs are clashing with windows XP, such as i have a scanner and the software it used always gave me the blue crash screen, but theres certain patches to solve most of these problems.

If you have a big harddrive use some of it for pagefile usage (acts as ram).
and as for the internet, its never stable. depends where you live and the type of modem you have, OR if you have a router that can unstablize things too.

Or just go through your unused programs and just delte the junk. I had the same problems but im still running this old PC with XP home and it runs like it was a 2 gig pentium 4 (unfortunatly its not)

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