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XP running painfully slow

by WhiplashChick / March 14, 2004 9:33 PM PST

And yes, I've seen the link with all the progs to clean up your machine- great idea to put them in one place. Ran all of them, still no dice.

Here's the problem. Everything is running slow- games, IE, etc.- and when I check task manager I range from 10% to 20+% CPU usage (not sure if that's normal or not) when nothing but the essentials are running.

update: i've defraged all drives, cut my memory back to 512MB (out of 1.5GB) and killed all unnecessary background/startup progs.

Operating System: Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 1 (2600.xpsp2.030422-1633)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: n/a
System Model: n/a
BIOS: Award Medallion BIOS v6.0
Processor: AMD Athlon(TM) XP2100+, MMX, 3DNow, ~1.3GHz
Memory: 1536MB RAM
Page File: 105MB used, 2820MB available
Windows Dir: C:\WINDOWS
DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0b (4.09.0000.0902)
DX Setup Parameters: /PackageInstall
DxDiag Version: 5.03.0001.0902 32bit Unicode

Sound Card: USB Sound Blaster Audigy 2 NX
Driver Version: 5.12.0001.0060 (English)

GFX: NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4600
Driver Version: 6.14.0010.4523 (English)

What other info do you guys need? You've helped me a few times before, and it's usually something bone-headed I've done, but I'm also bull-headed and that's the only way I seem to learn.

yes you may have seen this post before, but it's 7 or 8 pages back now. and since there's no search option here, stuff tends to get left behind.

i've come at this from every angle and i think i'm just missing something obvious. i can't see a reason this PC should be acting up. the ram is new and everything else got a clean bill of health from a tech buddy of mine.

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Re:XP running painfully slow
by rulerpaw / March 14, 2004 9:45 PM PST

Have you checked your computer for spyware? I have found Spybot (free version) to be a great help. Spyware will drastically slow your machine. And, you may be surprised how many spyware references may be on your machine.

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Re:Re:XP running painfully slow
by WhiplashChick / March 14, 2004 9:51 PM PST

yea, ran spybot and ad-aware. she's nice and clean.

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Re:Re:XP running painfully slow
by BoMan47 / November 28, 2004 12:13 AM PST

Spyware is insidious and sometimes difficult to detect. Had Huntbar, detected and cleaned by Norton's AV '05, cleaned some more out with spybot; then ran Symantec's Huntbar removal tool--3 more files and four running processes were detected and removed! Moral: spyware is getting smarter.

I repair and service computers; have seen machines brought to their knees to the extent that control panel takes 25 seconds to load! But with patience, it would always load. Solution was to eliminate the search bar/spyware programs that had been installed innocently. That machine works like new now. Don't under-estimate the powers of spyware. It is just as invasive as many viruses. Good luck.

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Re:Re:XP running painfully slow
by mcmollyrun / March 29, 2004 12:00 PM PST

I happened to read this posting because of having similar problems. Thank you for the tip! I appreciate it.

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Re:Re:XP running painfully slow
by Mike1971 / November 26, 2004 1:55 AM PST

You mentioned that your cpu usage is always at 10 to 20 %. Start here, pull up your task manager and look under the processes tab, look under cpu category and find what process has a higher cpu usage (don't run any programs when you do this) you'll be able to tell right away what's using that much. Usually it is spy ware that's hogging cpu usuage.

I'd suggest loading task manager often and familarize yourself with what processes should be running on your system and what shouldn't be there.

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Re:Re:XP running painfully slow
by jjbbl2 / December 1, 2004 10:29 PM PST

I fought this problem for several months and tried everything I could think of. I knew there was something "taking" over my computer because it would take at least 30-60 minutes to boot up from a cold start. I tried to get into Task Manager and close programs one at a time, but nothing seemed to make a difference. I finally was having, what seemed like, a problem with Norton AV Systemworks 2002. I noticed e-mail being sent, would hang up when the AV was checking it outgoing. MY SOLUTION: Uninstalled Norton's AV and then reinstalled. My computer flies now like new. Such a simple solution, but I just overlooked a complete program uninstall (could have been any program I was running I suppose), and reinstall. MY CPU was maxing out at 100% before. Now it's normal at around 4-6% with lots of stuff running in the background. BTW, I installed Spybot and Adaware early on thinking I had spyware problems. They do seem to help.

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Norton AntiVirus
by Bob2mol / October 20, 2008 8:12 AM PDT

I was going to the same rigors trying to find my problem for slow running. My CPU indicated 100% use most of the time. I had upgraded to Norton 2009 last week, and in retrospect, that is when the trouble began. Thanks to your tip, I went back to the original program and the computer is running great.

Thanks mucho!

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Re:XP running painfully slow
by Papa Echo / March 14, 2004 9:58 PM PST

Try the "eliminate-test" game:
For each unreconized* item at the "Services" and "Start up" tab, uncheck the item, reboot and test to see if performance improves. If not, recheck and move on to the next item. If it does, you then have found the culprit. Continue to find other culprits. This is going to take a long time.

*some items are obviously not to be unchecked. If mistakes are made, they can always be rechecked. To further help others to help you, can you give us a link to your former post for reference ?

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Re:Re:XP running painfully slow
by cokebottle308 / March 17, 2004 8:03 PM PST

Great Idea! Worked for me, and yes, it did take hours. Thankx.

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Re:XP running painfully slow
by chriscrob / November 26, 2004 2:37 AM PST

DON'T USE MSCONFIG TO EDIT STARTUP SERVICES. Click run on the start menu or press winkey+R. At the run menu type "services.msc" use this to edit the services you want to load. Msconfig will let you turn of stuff you need to start your computer. Unless you know what you are doing use services.msc.

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by jeremy128 / April 18, 2005 6:57 AM PDT

It is safe(est?) to un-chack all start-up programs in msconfig. Win xp does not need any to start. I don't have any checked myself, xp works fine.

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Excellent advise
by Maridifer2000 / May 7, 2006 7:42 AM PDT

after struggling for days trying to fix a very slow Windows XP, I went to msconfig and in the start programs I found that the culprit was "Webroot Spy Sweeper", after I unchecked it, the computer is running as new. Just to see if there is a problem there, in msconf. en "general" check "use original boot INI, and if this works, its because it is one of the start programs. (if you run Spy Sweeper, uncheck this one first, it is done in the "start up" tab.

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''The extent is huge''?
by Cursorcowboy / March 14, 2004 10:12 PM PST
killed all unnecessary background/startup progs.

1. "System Services for the Windows Server 2003 Family and Windows XP Operating Systems." Read the topic "Workstations" specifically, and if it is not needed, then disable.

2. "Black Viper's Windows XP Services Configurations."

3. "Windows XP Tweaking Guide - VIA/Arena."

4. Please note, that if a service runs for catalog indexing such as Cidaemon.exe that is discussed in the Win2k article [Q156756], further discussed in [Q308202] for both Win2k and WinXP, it is suggested that some testing be conducted to perhaps check whether certain services are necessary and used -- after reading the article, "HOW TO: Use Computer Management in Windows XP (Q308423)."

5. Remember Find Fast which everybody has been turning off because it's simply a system drain? Indexing for Windows XP is about the same and can be turned off. The Indexing service however speeds up and improves file searches by maintaining an index of the files that are on the hard drive but can be safely deleted.
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Re:''The extent is huge''? Please Explain..
by Rick Beach / March 16, 2004 3:40 AM PST

I have looked through the links you provided.You say (disable workstation) if it is not needed. Black Viper's site states to leave it running, in automatic mode. Who is right? If I understand everthing I have read, (most single PC home users could "disable " this unneeded service,and still have access to the internet and there e-mail,etc. Am I correct? If so I will shut down another useless M$ process that I don't need running and wasting memory..

Thanks, Rick

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''Good question'' and one with many answers no doubt.
by Cursorcowboy / March 17, 2004 11:03 PM PST

The way I read this article, it would appear that if none of the listed items under the Workstation heading is necessary, why not deactivate? However, there is no way for anybody else to know just what is installed on somebody else's computer and whether a service should or should not be used -- it's anybody's guess. If you or anyone is concerned regarding the RPC Service and the RPC Locator (initiated on the client (the computer that is trying to locate the domain controller) as a remote procedure call (RPC) to the local Netlogon service which implements the Locator DsGetDcName API call), the two simply cannot be used in the same breath. One sure way to find out is to know what you've turned off and when you get the first sign of a malfunction, reactivate and see if that was the area expected.

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Re:XP running painfully slow
by the q--2008 / March 14, 2004 10:45 PM PST

try cutting the virtual memory in half or even less, too much virtual memory could result slow performance

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Re:Re:XP running painfully slow
by WhiplashChick / March 15, 2004 12:05 PM PST

there's the old thread.

i went through most of the things on and still running slow.

so then i thought maybe the external sound card had bad drivers, so i went to an internal one. also, the laggy problem started after i got the external card. nope.

wierd thing is, it'll work when it's at the technician (where i work), but when i get it home, laggy!

i've taken all the newer usb things. all that's left is stuff that was hooked up when it worked fine.

could logitech drivers be doing this? what about the drivers for my Nostromo n52?
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Re:Re:Re:XP running painfully slow
by ken smith / March 15, 2004 10:59 PM PST

I have the same problem, ie running slow. I thought it was my computer brand (Dell), but may be an "XP" (xtra problems) entity...I bought an on line spy ware nuker and it help some, but still am not happy with this slow running machine...I do a LOT of photo related projects and it takes a lot of memory and sometimes get the msg low on virtual memory, but never got that with my Hewlett older HP with win 98 is faster, it seems than this one. I hate it and have thought about blowint it up. It makes me that mad! Let me know if you have any success, Ken

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Re:Re:Re:XP running painfully slow
by James_Cook / November 26, 2004 9:02 AM PST

Dell just put out a patch for their 1150 that really speads up the system after WinXP SP2 is installed. Runs like a new machine with the patch. They highlighted it on the support icon in the System Tray.

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XP running painfully slow
by dawillie / March 20, 2004 5:02 AM PST
wierd thing is, it'll work when it's at the technician (where i work), but when i get it home, laggy!

you have not stated what type of Internet connection you have.

i have read this entire thread and noted that you definitely know what you are doing.

if the CPU is using betweeen 10-20% then it could be the signal strength from the modem. I am assuming you are on some kind of high speed connection.

why not eliminate that aspect of it by going to

registering, if you are not already a member and doing their speed test?

also noted your comment about the re-boot for no apparent reason. i too have the NVidia card and at one point the original card became somewhat defective and my PC was doing the same thing.

changed video card and it is fine now.

david williams
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Re:Re:Re:XP running painfully slow
by Rogge / March 22, 2004 6:17 AM PST

Then I would guess you have an electrical current problem in that at the technicians the voltage/amps are what they are supposed to be, but at home you have some sort of step-down process slowing things up and that is affecting computer speed even though your washing machine may appear to be working ok.


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Re:Re:XP running painfully slow
by FM-USA / March 28, 2004 10:08 PM PST

I have the same thing. Every time I load XP it runs fine. That is untill I connect to the Net. XP then automaticly contacts MS, files are automaticly updated & POOF!!! slow IE & Outlook. I've done this numerous times & the same thing happens. I do believe MS is in control of it's software & there's no way around it. I've disconnected from the Net for one hour & XP automaticly does into convulsions, it wants its updates or it slows down also untill it gets what it wants. LINUX here I come. I got rid of AOL 6 years ago for the same thing. (PP&M tune) "When will they ever learn." ________ IF anyone has a fix, PLEASE send me info fvm(at)

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Re:Re:Re:XP running painfully slow
by carbonspark / March 29, 2004 11:20 AM PST

To turn off automatic MS Windows updates step through these menus. Start\Control panel\Performance and maintenance\System\Automatic updates. Unselect the check box for Automatic Updates. After that is done watch out for that !#@!%$ message that pops up asking if you wish to use automatic updates (it is going to come with almost every startup)and just close it or ignore it. Once you turn off the automatic updates you will need to check for updates by looking at the program listing at the start menu, near the top of the popup program listing should be "Windows Update". If you use this selection it will take you to MS for updates but it allows you to preview any updates before installing them. Only install a few at a time starting with the critical security patches. After each batch of updates verify your computer is still working okay and if so create a restore set point. Sooner or later you sould find the update or new driver that is the poison pill. You will now need to remember to check for updates yourself.

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(NT) Message has been deleted.
by stephensac2000 / June 6, 2004 1:30 AM PDT
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same problem
by bristolman / January 17, 2006 1:50 AM PST

A couple of weeks ago, windows xp had a security problem and sent out an update. I downloaded and installed it. My Dell slowed down some after that. My daughter also did the same - she has an older Dell with less RAM, etc and her windows xp slowed down to a crawl about the same time. I am now wondering if what you say is true - seems like after a windows download for security fix - the machine runs slower. I recall this happenening to me about 3 years ago and I thought I had an old machine and windows 2000 and that was the problem. It slowed so much that I uninstalled the windows update and it then ran fine. I wonder what's up with that and if there is another way around it as I still want the security patch.

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Re:Re:XP running painfully slow
by FM-USA / March 28, 2004 10:23 PM PST

I have the same thing. I loaded XP 6 times now and it runs fine... that is untill I connect to the Net. XP then automaticly contacts MS, files are automaticly updated & POOF!!! slow to load IE & Outlook. I do believe MS is in control of it's software & there's no way around it. I've even stayed disconnected from the Net and XP automaticly goes into convulsions, it wants its updates or it slows down also untill it gets what it wants. LINUX here I come. I got rid of AOL 6 years ago for the same thing. (PP&M tune) "When will they ever learn." ooo---ooo IF anyone has a fix, PLEASE send me info fvm(at)

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Re:XP running painfully slow
by emhodew / March 29, 2004 3:04 AM PST

Set your Internet Explore Cache to 20 Megs.
Setting a higher value will actually cause everthing to run slower.
Also be sure you do not store anything but links to files on your desktop. The desktop is a system folder, and everthing on it is pre-loaded into memory. It will not show up in your tasks, as they are not 'running', but they take up memory.

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Did you turn off DMA...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 15, 2004 11:25 PM PST

And then turn it back on?

Much like a cranky light switch (Windows), the setting may show it's in DMA, but it's not... Here's the procedure.

After that, you can run HIJACKTHIS (after you reboot and don't have ANYTHING extra running) and share the log file.


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Re:Did you turn off DMA...
by WhiplashChick / March 16, 2004 6:03 AM PST

ok, that's too simple. it seems to work ok now. FOR NOW...

i've got another problem that's making me nervous.

it's rebooting randomly (ok, prolly not random, but seems that way). the fans keep running and it just pops off and reboots. shouldn't be the PS becuase it's fairly new and has more than enough juice- 520W.

trying to get HIJACKTHIS, when the pc stays on.

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Re:Re:Did you turn off DMA...
by phattdaddy / March 16, 2004 11:54 AM PST

This may seem silly but! have you tried a System Restore to a time when your Pc was running OK!
The rebooting appears synonymous with a deep seated worm or bug in the system.

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