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Sudden slowdown of PC and it's NOT the CPU

by melmill2 / March 20, 2008 6:25 AM PDT

Running Win XP sp2 on 4yr old Dell w 512MB RAM (yes, it could use some more memory) Two weeks ago, computer suddenly developed severe slowing. On surface, it looked like it was going to be a cpu resource issue, but checked it using task manager and nothing is using a lot. Has the proper availability numbers. Ran defrag, scanned for viruses, spyware, cleared the temp files, recycle bin, did disk cleanup. no recent downloads of anything, no new devices were added... checked the system logs, nothing going on there. Tried to Restore but that failed. User just does email, goes to the same two websites, does some Word docs. That's it. Nothing else. No games, no music, no surfing, no commerce, no nothing.

I've checked MSCONFIG and turned off all non-essential stuff, no difference. This was sudden change, symptopms:
when you click the mouse the button looks like it's 'stuck'.
Has taken up to 2 minutes (yes, it was timed) to open Outlook Express
Takes that long to load desktop,
No windows or menues open quickly though time varies.

I've worked with hundreds of computers, added memory to dozens and dozens and know that is where most of a user's perceptions of slowness comes from, but this is something totally different. Acts like some malware but can't find any.

Could this be a corruption of Win explorer (not IE, people!) ? I'm thinking since it's on the open that everything grinds to a halt...never seen this before.

Should I do an XP repair?

Running Norton 2006 Internet Security (yes, I know it's a hog, but this is sudden) and SpySweeper. Turned off spysweeper from running in the background. Not much difference. And like I said, been watching Task Manager like a hawk and the solution does not appear to rest there.

OK, can't think of anything else to tell you all.

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Tell me about it's recent cleaning.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 20, 2008 6:29 AM PDT
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About it's recent cleaning...
by melmill2 / March 20, 2008 6:34 AM PDT

Hi Bob,
It's got a ton of disk space and the hard drive is actually just a year old. I haven't blown the insides out with canned air but it really doesn't seem like hardware. Running quietly, no grinding, etc. And again, cleaned up everything (temp files, defragged, diskcleaned, etc. Have not run a registry cleaner though...

Thanks for the quick reply!


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This is a common problem.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 20, 2008 6:39 AM PDT

The age of the machine is why I ask. If you watch a rather famous video the CPU slows down as it gets too warm. I've fixed a few slugs with this.

-> Also, flip the DMA to PIO and back. How? Read

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Common problem...
by melmill2 / March 20, 2008 7:08 AM PDT

Read the article, thanks. I'll definitely try the DMA to PIO and back again and I'll clean out the insides just in case. We'll see...

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Could be any number of things...however...
by phlashman / March 20, 2008 11:20 PM PDT

XP has a plethora of programs that could be causing this, but, I've seen bad RAM and bad HD's cause this same problem. Think back to when this all started and do a system restore about a month prior to it. If its soft or a setting, chances are it will clear it up. If its hardware you won't see any difference. Obviously, hardware can be any number of this as well' but if you can get your hands on another RAM stick, switch them out and see if theres any with most things, its usually something simple, problem is a lot of techs (me included), have a bad habit if thinking the worst, when "most" of the time its something relatively simple to correct. (BTW, whens the last time you dusted the inside)? Good luck.

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Could be any number of things
by melmill2 / March 22, 2008 2:05 AM PDT

Thanks for taking the time to reply. However, if you read my post you'll know that I tried a System Restore and it failed. I realize that it could be any number of things... I thought my orginal post illustrated that understanding.

Meanwhile, I am cleaning out the insides today. You're right, we often neglect the simple for the complex.

Thanks again.

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That system restore failure. Got Norton?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 22, 2008 3:08 AM PDT
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That system restore failure...
by melmill2 / March 22, 2008 3:38 AM PDT

Fantastic! Yes, there is Norton and as it's grown over the years I am moving more people off and onto Nod32 but I didn't know that it was interfering with sys restore.


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