125 total posts
(Page 4 of 5)
More stuff runs on an older pc than a new one
When your PC is new, it's drive has no data and a minimum of programs and other software running, and the registry (a kind of database) is a minimum size and faster to search.
As you add programs and data, it uses up more and more drive space, which takes the processor time to search (the heads must wait for the addresses it is searching for to physically spin into position), and increases the registry size exponentially, which also has to be searched.
You could reload your OS and it will still be slower than a brand new PC because you have a larger registry to be searched due to having more data and applications loaded, and more drive space that needs to be searched.
Your RAM memory hasn't changed, either, so you're using the same size memory to help run many more applications and other functions than when it was new.
Hope this helps.
A lot of guessing by everyone about slow down
They are all somewhat right except not completely.
I have completely started from scratch to speed up my system. I reloaded the O/S, but then you have to run all the updates anyway. The same updates someone said would slow down the system over time. I then reloaded all my software, because that is the software that I use. I then reloaded all my data, because that is the data that I use. Then guess what, I get pretty much the same speed as when I first bought the system.
Oh and I had done all the other tricks that were mentioned (run programs to clean the registry, defrag, etc.) first before resorting to a "clean install". The Clean Install still makes it faster and useable again. So the answer is more elusive.
The one thing I did notice that helped is that I finally gave up on an old XP but it had a 1st generation quad processor so I did the January cheap upgrade to Windows 8 which after all is Windows 7 with a Metro/Start front end. Guess what, it seems more responsive with less memory than my 3rd Generation Quad Windows 7 with 8GB of memory. Both are now 64 bit systems and it starts up and shuts down faster. Oh, and I run about the same basic software on each.
Maintenance is Mandatory
My desktop has been running for almost 1 year. I built it Mar/01/12 and it's just as fast now as it was on day one.
I install a lot of different programs to try and test their functionality, most of which I end up uninstalling.
When trying different software, create Restore Points so you can revert back your system back to before installing programs that you may or may not keep.
Defrag your hard drives regularly, run chkdsk to test the integrity of the filesystem and master file table.
Run Disk cleanup to get rid of temp files.
Image your drives regularly in case of malware, trojans or ransomware.
Scan regularly for viruses malware etc.
If you do the above maintenance tasks regularly your PC (Windows System) won't slow down!
If you don't do any of the above maintenance tasks I can guarantee your Windows System will slow down to a crawl.
Those reasons are that the registry gets bloated with fragmented strings from changed/deleted programs, more tsr programs that use memory even when they are closed, and even fragmented hard drives. New faster systems compensate for a lot of these, especially with SSD's, but Windows will slow to some degree even with good maintenance. I am a power user, and I do clean re-installs every 1 1/2 to 2 years to keep things running peak.
It's the Windows "Registry File"
The eternal problem of all MS Windows OS is the forever unsolved problem of its Registry File system. Never given a solution by MS, this file "fattens" everytime you boot/reboot your PC/laptop by approx 60 MB ... so multiply those MB by the number of boot/reboots per day, and you end up without HDD capacity. MS cannot ever solve this ... not even with a medical diet nor bariatric surgery. All the rest mentioned in the forum, plus the updates of every software, are trivial ... the problem of Windows? ... Its Registry File!
Most of the responses are correct to a point
The truth is the computer programs that get installed and anti-virus programs play a part. Hardware and dust have their part. More RAM helps. Free hard disk space, fragmentation all play a part.
The real truth is: The biggest culprit to slowing down your computer is Microsoft! I have installed fresh clean Microsoft OS before loading ANY other programs. Played around for responsiveness, nice and fast. Once I downloaded all the patches, the OS felt sluggish after service packs and patches (this is still before any programs get installed).
I also tried this on a old slow laptop. I used the restore disk on the laptop. I was very surprised with the responsiveness of the laptop. It responded like it was a new computer...very fast. Then I ran all the service packs and patches, then it was back to the old sluggish computer. No other changes to the software.
100% Microsoft patches and service packs are slowing down your computer.
All the other stuff play a role in slowing down your computer, but Microsoft is the underling killer of your computer.
I blame the wedding registry
The Registry hive has always been a main point of contention since Win95 in August of 1995.
I acquired 15 copies of that wonderous boxed product
for the LAB I worked at, in that mid-October 1995 ,
and I recall that I asked myself the same thing within our IT context,
but found that installing 8 and 16bit programs in a mix also caused additional bloat.
Win98Special Edition was the first OS with noticible
quickened pace of bloat because that OS featured mixtures of drivers and automatic patching,
but would come to maddening slow downs with driver faults and errors.
As I have aged in these 17+ years, I too have "bloat". And I too, wonder, how did that happen?
In my case, I suspect a smarties addiction during my ENVOY100 sessions at 9600 baud
(a forerunner of Canadian Government electronic mail before PostOfficeProtocol).
I used to be faster with "the Ladies" (yes, I had an afro in the eighties, but those pictures were burned)
but Girlfriend 1.3 upgraded into Wife 2.0 and so forth, and then mini-me version 0.5,
and now I am so slow, I get lost travelling around in a circle listening to University Student 4.5
speak of her latest dot-net creation.
Curiously, you see the same effect to a lesser extent today, and for the same reasons;
mainly due to the default path length incrementing during application installations,
and regular security patches creating hive keys in the registry
that cause the processing to search incrementally longer execution paths.
The quality of drivers for hardware interfaces has not improved,
but our tolerance for incredibly bad assembly code has changed,
with our appetite for throw-away uneconomical-to-repair Technology.
There is a cascade effect to this bloat, so that the execution interval "wanders"
at an exponential rate over time.
In all seriousness, there is no single factor, and the issue is of compound growth
in the management layer of Windows due to multiple causes.
Unwanted Programs pile up
1) When you install Windows, you also in other third party s/w which may be needed to work further. This increase in s/w makes PC slower.
2) Running windows auto-update is another major reason to make PC slower. (disable them)
3) Installing anti-virus is also another reason. (I know its compulsory to use them.
Re: Unwanted Programs pile up
I own a 4 year old Dell Vostro 1510 laptop computer which has Windows Vista Premium as it's OS. For about the last 6 months it seems to be running slower. When I right click on a shortcut icon on my desktop screen the little blue wheel goes around and around; sometimes for as long as 2 minutes before the shortcut is finally opened up.
I have AT&T's Extreme 6.0 DSL which is AT&T's fastest DSL internet speed. I scan regularly with my Avast AV; SuperAntiSpyware and Malware Bytes. Should I be performing any other kind of maintenance on this Dell laptop with Windows Vista to help get rid of these slow page openings to stop?
I have an older Dell Dimension 3100 desktop PC with Windows Home XP and every few months I would defrag and scansisk that machine. Should I be doing that on this Dell laptop with Windows Vista Premium?
Re: Unwanted Programs pile up
According to me I found 3 reasons in your PC for running slow:
1) OS- Vista. This OS is not a successful OS in consumer market, because it "consumes lot RAM (speed) of your PC". You have 2 options- Go for XP or Switch to Windows 7 (Win 7- it is much faster than XP or any other OS from Microsoft). Maintenance work on Vista wont work.
2) Apart from antivirus you have installed anti-spyware/malware which created a LOAD on your PC.
Solution: Choose a single antivirus suite which can give a broad security from within single product.
3) Choose a light weight antivirus for your PC like AVG. Its free.
Repeated defrag/scan-disk is not needed. May be once/twice a yr is enough.
Windows updates are one of the biggest culprits in causing the computer to slow down, and they're not necessary.
Windows harbours junk and forgets where it put things...
Windows runs slower over time due to it's tendency to harbour junk files and totally forget exactly where it put things, or what is no longer required.
When windows is first installed, it's all nice and fresh, all it's drivers are fine, DLL's (libraries) are correct, etc.
Then you install a program.
That program adds it's own DLL's, it may even add it's own drivers if it's for a piece of hardware or something.
After a while you get bored with that program and uninstall it...
That program removes most of it's files, but it can leave behind some bits, the main junk items are the DLL's. DLL's are shared across multiple applications on the system and sometimes the program can't detect whether or not that DLL is needed any more, so instead of removing it, it just takes the safest option and leaves it there.
Then you also have temporary files that get lost in the system, just look at how much stuff you find left in the temporary folder after a reboot. It's surprising how much is left around, and some of these files don't even get left in the temporary folder, they can be left all over the computer.
These all add extra burdens onto the computer that slow it down.
Windows hoardes junk that's not needed and constantly forgets where it put things, when it comes to uninstalling them.
Thankfully though not all operating systems are like this.
Some of the best for not slowing down are the Linux Live CD's like Puppy Linux. This is because every time the computer is restarted all the old files are replaced with new ones, so it's like doing a new re-install every time you reboot. Of course it can write some files to hard drives, to allow you to install extra programs, but it's very easy to get back to the original and start from a fresh install on these.
My sister complains that her computer is running slow or not at all. When she says it is slow I find she means just online and the rest runs fine. I also find that she has downloaded and installed a bunch of "free games" all which came with a toolbar which slow you down online.
She eventually gets so many that I can't fix it and have to reinstall windows
I don't have to but it's the easiest way to fix it since she has nothing except pictures I need to backup. Sometimes I have to go in with a linux live disk to get those when her system won't boot at all even in safe mode.
Any time you download something to install for free make sure you check all the garbage they are trying to install with it such as toolbars
Check your antivirus to see how much resource it is using, Changing antivirus can speed your system up. Go in to task manager with nothing running and look at how much cpu is being used. It should be hovering between 0 and 2% for the most part. I found that with Norton 360 I was at 50% AVG was better but at boot up my PC was useless until it finished updating which took a few minutes. I now use the free avast I got here on Cnet and it seems to suit me just fine.
Windows is a Monster
Windows is a Monster.
(1) Everytime there is a new virus, one more gets added to the definitions. Take Norton 360 for example. Last time I used it, it checked for something like 80,000 viruses. When a new virus gets made, they add it to the list of updates which makes the program and files longer. Waiting 8 hours for it to scan your system is not an example of efficiency. The only way I could speed it up is to delete my temp folder.
(2) The updates. Windows had over 60 vulnerabilities one year. All of these patches take up space and processing power.
(3) Plug and Play. I plugged a new thumb drive in and windows has to find the driver for it even though thumb drives come in relative sizes like 512 Megs, 1 Gig, 2 Gig, 4 Gig, 8 Gig, 16 Gig, 32 Gig. You would think there would only need to be one driver that handles all of these sizes but then you have to worry about different companies that make them.
(4) Seek time on the platter. Your hard drive fills up over time making it take longer. Having to access data on the inside of the platter is faster than having to access data on the outside of the spinning platter. If you had a 45 record that was 3 minutes and 26 seconds long, it takes the needle that long to reach the outside. The same thing happens with the hard drive.
(5) Computer companies don't want to spend the money keeping Windows on one hard drive and your programs on a second hard drive. I think that would keep Windows operating more optimally because you could just electronically switch from one hard drive to the second because then you wouldn't have to wait for the head on the hard drive to find a new position.
(6) The number of drivers in a computer is probably a lot because there are different vendors of products. I don't know what the number is but some of my friends want to be inflammatory and say that there are 50 drivers for different monitors in Windows. If you have standard parts then you wouldn't have to worry about having to go to different foundries because one supplier could make all the necessary parts and you wouldn't have to have different programs to make the hardware operate differently.
(7) We're taught in school that quantity and not quality is what we have to output. The reason we have to output quantity is because we can't always expect inspiration to kick in so we're told to just output. The same thing happens with programs you buy. A customer wants a feature added to a program you buy and that adds to the bloat. Bloat is what makes your computer less efficient. SpeedScript was a free word processor for the Commodore 64 and it was only 5 Kilobytes in length. Compare that to the size of Microsoft Word or any of the other word processors out there. Everything is getting bigger because the customer demands more fonts, features, different printer drivers, etc.
(8) Your computer is designed to be obsolete. I remember when XP was coming out, Microsoft warned that you had to have fast enough specs to run it. I also bought a Sandisk thumbdrive with a program called "Secure Access". I was copying 2 GB to the vault and after 20-30 minutes, it wasn't finished encrypting so I didn't consider it very practical in keeping my files safe because it takes a lot of computational power.
(9) Look at the size of your iTunes download. That is all I have to say.
(10) Appreciate the Amiga computer. The Amiga's operating system fit on a floppy disk so instead of going through an operating system that is gigabytes long, the processor only had to go through an operating system the size of a floppy disk. If Microsoft went back to a smaller operating system, you wouldn't have to wait but they have too many peas in their pod doing too many things.
Why do all Window systems slow downn over time?
One reason can be, whenever you search for one thing or more, your computer brings hidden files into your cookies and slows down your computer, so what you have to do every day is clean out your cookie by going to control panel, then internet options, delete or look into setting(view files) and see what I am talking about, then go to edit, select all file and delete. I hope that helps.
My computer became so slow that I called my technician. He said I had a "corrupt" registry. After he corrected that it worked much faster.
My Solution - Tried and Proven
There are tons of answers as to why a Windows machine slows down, but we should really say a "Windows Install" because we can do a clean install, put back all the programs we had installed and we're flying again. This led me to a solution that you can implement in two ways: FIRST - Use an SSD as your "system" drive putting Users and ProgramData on a hard drive or SECOND - Partition your hard drive into a relatively small "system" partition (less than 80GB) and put Users and ProgramData on the partition that makes up the rest of your drive (or whatever you want to do). There are some really good instructions out there as how to do this.
Once you have everything installed the way you like it, download something that allows you save your partitions. I use Macrium Reflect (Personal = Free). You see, if you try to backup your "system" with Windows, it's going to include "Users" and "ProgramData" which means you have to constantly sort out where your latest copy is. With Reflect I back up my "system" partition and my "system reserved" (mbr) partition. This will take up about 50GB if you have a lot of programs installed. Make the recovery DVD with Reflect (it walks you through it very easily).
When your system feels like it's running slower, usually every couple of months for me at the longest, recover the saved "system" partition back. You will have to update any programs you have updated over the time since the backup, but that is minimal. Windows will also re-install all the updates again. When things stabilize, backup your "system" partiton anew. You can delete the old one. You now have your "clean install" back without having messed up your User AppData, ProgramData or your other data files.
How to choose amongst tons of Windows updates?
Many persons who have responded to the issue of gradual slowing down of PCs agree that Windows updates are one of the major source or burden that gets added to the hard disc and slow down the system. But, when we see windows updates, most are marked "important", and only a few marked "optional". Really, are so many updates that important? Is there some way to choose which 'important' update to accept and which one to reject. Others are not far behind, Adobe, Java and not to speak of anti-virus program updates. Our PCs should not become receptacle for lot of muck spewed out by MS and other vendors. How to control and choose Windows and other software updates?
Re: Why do all.......
I saw a lot of good replies either in total or parts of one post plus a part of another.
First off. Do you do a lot of install and then uninstall of programs??? Every program you install places information on your hard drive in various places; registry. directories, files, etc. When you then uninstall them, they "DO NOT REMOVE" themselves entirely! They might at best remove 95 to 97% of themselves! Therefore you need a good program to remove the traces of the uninstalled programs.
Secondly, even though the newer file system is much better than the "FAT" of years back, it still leaves something to be desired. Meaning as you yet again install then uninstall programs it leaves gaps on your hard drive where the program you uninstalled used to be. Then when you install your new program, it first fills the holes recently vacated, then completes your installation on the disk. So you have fragmented/ fractured programs. So you now need a "GOOD" defrag program.
Thirdly, when you update your programs, they up date their program BUT don't always remove the traces of their earlier version! So now you need a good file, actually non use file cleaning program to remove non used/ not addressed files. If you do quite a bit of install/ uninstall you will be amazed at the amount of garbage cluttering your drive!!!!!
Forth, not all programs recommend downloading, "then uninstalling" their previous version, before installing their newest version. The only one that comes to mind is Java. They highly recommend to remove their previous version before installing their new version!
Now having said all that, there are some really great programs that will do all that for you with the click of a button! CCleaner, not sure if it's CCCleaner or CCleaner. While I won't say it's bad, it does scare me just a little as it always finds heaps of stuff that could be removed. You have to be very careful with that one. Others, while maybe not as comprehensive, usually only cite the least likely to cause any problems to your system by removal.
Bottom line, get yourself some add-on programs to clean your system. I'm not saying using the MS supplied programs are useless but there are far better ones out there. I've tried to avoid recommending one program over the other. I have "my" favorites. You should get a "good" registry/ file cleaner and most of all a "GOOD" defrag program.
If you do, you'll be surprised just how much faster your computer will be!!!
You can only patch your roof so many times ...
...& then you just need to bite the bullet and buy a new roof. Let's look at software & hardware evolution. When you see a new release of a major component of your system-I.e., the operating system- IMHO it's ALMOST time. I usually hold off until the inevitable bugs in such massive coding projects have been identified and hopefully addressed. 2 or 3 months, maybe. This new 'roof' is theoretically now designed to accommodate and utilize all the major advances the software & hardware industries have come up with...up to the day of release! The very next day, the OS can be made out of date by any new development in either industry...or even by those who write viral code! Thus, their coders come up with item(s) to be included in the next 'Patch' for your roof. It is as inevitable as it is unending.
A little help with this... from Linux
One way to deal with this accumulated latency is to have a pristine image/backup of your system. When I install Windows, and get it all patched, running, etc., I immediately get a snapshot of the disk/partition. I do this from Linux (I dual boot my PC). If I boot to Linux, I can see the Windows partition. It's easy to use something like 'dd' to get a snap shot:
# dd if=/dev/sda1 conv=sync,noerror bs=64K | gzip -c > /home/jems/windows.img.gz
This will create a 'file' which represents your entire Windows installation. You'll need to make sure you have enought room to store it.
Then, in a few months or however long it takes, when Windows starts slowing down, I can boot over to Linux and re-image the Windows partition:
# gunzip -c /home/jems/windows.img.gz | dd of=/dev/sda1 conv=sync,noerror bs=64K
After you do the restore, you'll have to patch Windows since it will be the same as the day you installed.
If you're not fortunate enough to have Linux, you can do this with a bootable thumb drive with a tiny linux distro installed on it. I recommend PlopLinux:
Then use an external USB drive to store the image.
If the thumb drive is large enough (8G+) you can probably even store your windows image on the thumbdrive itself.
re: above post with linux
If anyone would like more specifics on how this is done, particularly with the thumb drive, let me know.
It gets a little complicated if you're not familiar with UNIX/Linux filesystems.
Also, when formatting the thumbdrive with Plop Linux, it will want to use FAT32 for the primary partition. There is a 2G file size limit on FAT32, so I always make a 100M partition for the main PlopLinux/boot, and the rest I format as EXT3. Then I can store huge files/disk images on that 2nd partition with no trouble at all.
This whole thing is also a great way to back up your system, for disaster recovery purposes.
If your system dies, you can simply boot the thumb drive and restore it with a new disk.
I have a 4 pc's and 1 Mac over a 10 year period. The pc's always becomes unbearably slow after 2 years. The mac has always kept the same speed. I love apple a lot better because of that and because you don't have to worry about viruses. I'm reallly would like a new mac, but I'm skeptical because of the switch to intel architecture. Does anyone know if intel based mac's performance decreases like pc's. I can't see myself spending so much extra money on a mac if it's going to perform like a pc.
One word Robert - Bloat
Robert, there is nothing wrong with your computer, well, at least not as the other readers have suggested. I'm sure you take care of your machine, as do most CNET readers. The problem lies deeper. Look up the word "software bloat" in a wiki. The problem is that the 80's & 90's produced a plethora of programmers and as computers got faster, there was no longer the need for programmers to produce fast, elegantly written programs due to RAM and Hard Drive storage limitations. Remember the promises of "Zero Wait State"? HAH!
Programmers became lazy and write solutions for form over function. In addition, the belief is that as hardward got faster, there would finally be a state of acceptance that leans more toward mediocrity than superiority. Here is a fact, albeit a sad one. Microsoft Office 2000, specifically Outlook, was faster in 2000, than any version since, with ANY computer. There are other interesting tidbits as well in this lookup thread. One is, 80% of users don't use 90% of the functions in 100% of programs.
This is a joke
Electrons do not slow down over time, nor does wave propagation. The timing oscillator which controls the system is locked to a fixed frequency, which doesn't change either, unless the user intervenes. The registry size will increase as applications are added and removed, but since it uses hashing and no a linear search (including binary searching) size has very little effect on registry access time. About number of tasks running, as an example on one of my systems I have 182 processes running, the system has been running for 20 days and about 16 hours. In that time 66 processes have accumulated less than one second of CPU time each. On my other PC there are 123 processes, up time is about three days and 73, processes have accumulates less than one second CPU time each. So unless you are "pinging the needle" on either CPU usage or memory usage the extra tasks cause no problem except for a delay in startup. Both on my systems were loaded from Windows 7 or Windows Server X64 retail disks more than two years ago performance is the same as it was. One of my system is three years old and the other is approaching its sixth birthday. The systems are used for C++ and Database development.
Although I am retired now, I did work as a software developer. The last years were on Windows NT 3.51 and 4.0. System were no reimaged generally, except when it ware reassigned to another user.
"(4) Seek time on the platter. Your hard drive fills up over time making it take longer. Having to access data on the inside of the platter is faster than having to access data on the outside of the spinning platter. If you had a 45 record that was 3 minutes and 26 seconds long, it takes the needle that long to reach the outside. The same thing happens with the hard drive."
This is wrong on so many levels. 78, 45, and 33 1/3 RPM records, start on at the outside edge and ended near the center. Records had a single spiral grove which you had to follow, (with one exception) that you had to follow to get one point to another. Hard disk data is placed in concentric circles and the read head can move between tacks and skip the intervening data. The one exception is that you can skip tracks on LPs. PS CDs and DVDs are recorded on a spiral from the inside to the outside.
Its not a joke. It is real.
The seek time is longer because the outside tracks are longer because the outside of a circle is longer than the inside of a circle. If you've ever done hard drive defragging, the outside tracks take longer than the inside tracks. It is not an RPM record because it is an analogy. The outside tracks are longer than the inside track. When you start with your computer, the information generally first fills up the inside and then it fills up the outside.
I got some great answers. Thank you all.
Thanks for all the help that you 111 people submitted.
The use of MSCONFIG and CCleaner were especially helpful.
I did find another tool that helped me. That is Toolbar Cleaner.
In the good old days software vendors would ask you if you wanted
another toolbar or download another application. Now they just
dump it on your system. One toolbar that has popped up its ugly
head is mixi.dj. I tried everything to remove it and it would always
come back. Toolbar Cleaner works to get rid of it.
I think I have a more global answer
I have monitored this discussion since it started. No one has had a definitive answer or a good fix except to start from scratch and do a "clean re-install".
I have found an answer that seems to work. If you have an XP or Vista system - Upgrade to Windows 8. Contrary to what most people say - it is Windows 7 with a "live tile" optional front end that is just faster and more responsive all around. If you, like I do, load a little Sticky Note app or another Desktop app at Startup, then you bypass the "live tile" front end completely and end up on Desktop which looks like Window 7.
Unfortunately, you missed the $40 upgrade offer that I took advantage of that ended January 31st.
I have upgraded a old intel Core Duo XP system and made it very responsive. I am running a first gen intel quad with Windows 8 and a second gen intel quad with Windows 7 with all the same software and Windows 8 is faster and more responsive than the Windows 7.
Ok so, you don't click on the Start Menu to Shut Down (did that ever make sense anyway). You just go to the corner and click on settings or if you have trouble finding the corner, then just do CTL, ALT, DEL on either the Desktop or the Start/Metro front end and select shut down or restart.
For all you Techies out there. You can use the front end to automatically give you all your techie system choices in Live Tiles (I forgot what I clicked on but just google it) and you can find the equivalent of my Computer in the little Library folder on the desktop.
Back to Computer Help forum
(Page 4 of 5)