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windows xp too slow - but 99% idle

i have a mean machine already - 3GB of ram and a quad core running @ 2.6.

why does my program load so slow? For instance, it takes forever for my yahoo messenger to load up. My computer boot is so slow too.

Though not all apps are slow - for instance, google chrome is fast.

Though once my app are all already loaded, then things are picking up. I can have more than 15 applications running on my task bar and my machine would still be in very good performance.

But what's with the slow startup when 99% of my cpu time is idle?

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Too many startup files

In reply to: windows xp too slow - but 99% idle

The usual problem with a slow boot, (aside from malware, but you don't seem to be asking about that), is too many applications loading at startup.

Whether you have sufficient RAM or quad-core or whatever, if you have too many apps loading at startup the system is going to bog down. Everything is trying to load into RAM at once, besides the normal OS files, services and processes that are essential at startup, and the cpu is swapping in and out of too many things.

I would ask myself the question. Do I really need all these apps loaded immediately I start the computer? eg, I can start my browser myself. I can start any IM when I want. I don't need any Real Player software started, nor any other media players. They will start automatically whenever I want to play some file or other.

Keep the Startup file list to a minimum, ie, any Microsoft files, the firewall, the anti-virus and anti-spyware background scanners.


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A few things you leave out...

In reply to: windows xp too slow - but 99% idle

How fast is the bus on your PC? How fast is the hard drive on your PC? These could well be bottlenecks on your machine.

While Google Chrome may be fast, it may also be a cached app that can load quickly because it is already in memory unlike other applications.

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Formatting Hard Disk

In reply to: windows xp too slow - but 99% idle

Did you 'Quick' formatted your hard disk .? If yes, reinstall OS and remember to format the machine in normal way and do not quick format. I had faced this issue couple of laptops and formatting the hard disk in normal way resolve the issue.

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Windows XP very slow after idle -CPU 99% idle but still slow

In reply to: windows xp too slow - but 99% idle

It took ages to solve idle issue, but finally cracked it for my XP.

for my issue:

Windows XP very slow after idle appears to be issue with pagefile system cache (PF Usage) taking up exessive I/O activity on the disk (writing to harddrives) due to highly fragmented pagefile.sys file. Hence no real CPU usage showing, and changing PF Usage levels may not have much effect as it is not the size of PF, it is the fragmentation of the PF (normal defragment tools do not touch this file).

There is no more slowdown after I did a defragment of pagefile.sys with a tool that can actually access it (PageDefrag v2.32 By Mark Russinovich). An even simpler solution may be to set computer to clear pagefile on shutdown (I didn't try this but probably works too - see below).

The high I/O was not from a rogue program or virus. It was slow buildup in pagefile.sys file fragmentation, the disk area storing current virtual memory blocks. My pagefile.sys had something like 264,000 fragments. Virtual memory is stored in 4KB blocks, but the fragmented block pattern was taking up excessive I/O for the drive to read after computer had been in idle.

During idle lots of application data is sent to pagefile rather than kept in RAM. Then when you start using applications again the computer is getting it back out of pagefile.sys: but if the pagefile.sys is highly fragmented then it can be painfully slow disk read speed. i.e. I sit there with almost nothing happening for 30 seconds, or watching webpages load almost one pixel line at a time.

I defragmented pagefile.sys, but maybe it is simpler to clear the file, something like:

Click Start >

Click Control Panel >

Click Administrative Tools >

Click Local Security Policy >

Click the "+" next to Local Policies >

Click Security Options >

Doubleclick "Shutdown: Clear Virtual Memory


Start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe). >

Change the data value of the ClearPageFileAtShutdown value in the following registry key to a value of 1: >

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management >

If the value does not exist, add the following value:

Value Name: ClearPageFileAtShutdown >
Value Type: REG_DWORD >
Value: 1 >

Good luck!


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