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B.M.
05-06-2009, 03:30 PM
Another curly one. :rolleyes:

The Sister in Lawís computer has virtually ground to a halt and despite my best efforts I canít find the problem so I need Help. :) (It used to run very well)

To show how bad it is, it takes seconds to scroll a page using the side scroll bar.

So here are the specs and what Iíve done so far.

CPU Celeron 2GHz
RAM 512MB
OS XP sp3
AVG 8

Ok, Iíve run CCleaner and removed a bit of rubbish, nothing I could see as abnormal.
No improvement.

Ran CCleaner Registry Cleaner and found two errors relating to AVG8, fixed them but no improvement.

Ran Malwarebytes, nothing found.

Ran Hijack This, nothing found.

Ran AVG again, nothing found. (I ran it last because it runs on a weekly schedule and it had only just run.)

Start-Up is set to selective and only starts 3 items: AVG Tray Ė cftmon Ė GoogleUpdate.

Taskmanager shows the CPU idling at 3% but touch the mouse and it shoots to 100% and remains there for seconds. The Page File Usage is 246MB and whilst the CPU is sitting on 100% the Memory shows 148000k available.

Iím told that this has happened over a number of weeks and has brought the computer to its knees.

Soooooo, what have I overlooked this time? :rolleyes:

wainuitech
05-06-2009, 03:37 PM
Try starting it up in safe mode, see if it makes any difference - if it does, then it could be a driver problem someplace - if its the same, could be a HDD playing up, or simply windows Bloat over time - reinstall the OS/Programs.

Hit ctrl+ Alt+ Del -- bring up task manager - see whats hogging the CPU.

linw
05-06-2009, 03:40 PM
In task mgr you should be able to see which process is taking up all the clock cycles. Sort on 'CPU' and watch the first (or last) item.

If it does it with mouse activation perhaps try re-loading the mouse driver?

sroby
05-06-2009, 03:51 PM
Try-

Run msconfig & disable ALL non_MS services & disable ALL startup items
Restart, then re-enable one by one (its a looooong process)
Uninstall any mouse software or programs that 'dont look right'- check with the owner, if they kick up a fuss about what you are removing then walk away from
the job.

disconnect from internet, reboot & check speed
Check for HD space, set pagefile to 'system managed size'
Uninstall AV (corrupt AV can screw things up)-disconnect from internet 1st
In Control panel-internet-reset web settings (& delete temp int files in there as well)
Check system log files for red's (control panel-administ. tools)
chkdsk /r C:

sammo450
05-06-2009, 04:12 PM
How long have you had SP3 installed? I found it caused problems, and was better off without it.

Speedy Gonzales
05-06-2009, 04:13 PM
I would change the celeron its not exactly fast. And put more ram in it. Nothing wrong with SP3. Ive had it on 3 PC's and it was fine

sammo450
05-06-2009, 04:16 PM
2GHz is plenty for XP. My Athlon 1100 was fine(until I cracked it).

B.M.
05-06-2009, 04:43 PM
Ahhh, update,

System still impossibly slow even in Safe Mode but whilst clicking on System Information in Safe Mode I got a message ďSystem Information cannot open this NFO File. It might be corrupt or an unrecognised versionĒ

However, it gives the option to click OK and when you do this up comes the information.

Also the mouse doesnít seem to be hogging the resources in Safe Mode but the speed is awful.

As for upgrading CPU and RAM. I donít think that would fix things at all. Iíve got a 1 GHz P3 running XP which is at least 20 times faster than this thing.

I think I might go for SFC Scannow and see what it comes up with.

Oh, in safe mode there is nothing hogging the CPU. 15,000K for explorer is pretty much it.

This is becoming a challenge. :lol:

Blam
05-06-2009, 04:59 PM
Defragged yet?

beeswax34
05-06-2009, 05:33 PM
Have you checked what process is using all that capacity when you move the mouse? It should be in the CPU column in task manager and usually the highest one should be System Idle Process. If its not that one, then you'll see what is pulling the computer down.

Also, have you tried uninstalling AVG and putting something like Avast or NOD32 on it and running a scan? AVG isn't exactly the best...

kahawai chaser
05-06-2009, 05:37 PM
If there's nothing hogging the CPU in safe mode, but runs slow, as noted above by Wainuitech -could be a driver problem. You might want to read this (http://blogs.technet.com/markrussinovich/archive/2008/04/07/3031251.aspx) about using process explorer (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx) to digg into driver issues, since you have done many of the standard procedures...

zqwerty
05-06-2009, 06:24 PM
Maybe IDE ATA in device manager in PIO mode rather than DMA, look in properties.

Look at this:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/817472/en-us

pctek
05-06-2009, 06:26 PM
If there's nothing hogging the CPU in safe mode, but runs slow, as noted above by Wainuitech -could be a driver problem.

But then again a lot of drivers aren't running in safe mode.

How old is the Windows install? 3 years+?
Probably bloat then in which case a fresh install might be the answer.
As for not reading NFO files, you have to associate that with something like Notepad first.

B.M.
06-06-2009, 07:31 PM
Thanks everyone for your input. :thumbs:

Without dealing with every post individually I can advise I have followed all the suggestions and links but have failed to remedy the situation. :(

On the driver front there are no noted conflicts and device manager says everything is working fine.

I hadnít Defragged, but I have read somewhere that defragging a NTFS file system is unlikely to make any noticeable difference. However, I did do it even though the Defragg Report said it was unnecessary. Unfortunately, no improvement. :(

I ran sfc /scannow and it found a dozen or so files that it replaced but to no avail.
As a matter of interest can anyone explain how a XP SP1 Disk can successfully replace files that have been updated to SP3? :confused:

However, I have stumbled across a strange phenomenon in that the FSB is set to 100MHz. Iíve tracked this back to the BIOS but CMOS Setup wonít allow me to change it. This is despite the CPU having a FSB speed of 400 MHz and the Motherboard being capable of 533MHz and the RAM having a DDR 333MHz clock speed.

So, thatís where Iím up to and any further suggestions would be appreciated. (Especially about the BIOS being locked to 100MHz Bus speed.
:thanks

pctek
06-06-2009, 07:51 PM
I hadnít Defragged, but I have read somewhere that defragging a NTFS file system is unlikely to make any noticeable difference.


As a matter of interest can anyone explain how a XP SP1 Disk can successfully replace files that have been updated to SP3? :confused:

However, I have stumbled across a strange phenomenon in that the FSB is set to 100MHz.

It won't touch the MFT in an NTFS system.

It removes and replaces them. So they're not SP3 files anymore.
Because its 100 x 4, making 400mhz.

B.M.
08-06-2009, 11:45 AM
Well this has got me licked. :confused:

Having given up on the Software approach, I decided to check the Hardware (Bulging, leaking Capacitors etc). They looked fine.

Anyway, I pulled out the RAM to see if there might be a mismatch or something (clutching at straws) and there are two sticks. Thatís fine, they will be two 256 Meg sticks to make up the 512 Meg registering. Not so, one turns out to be 256 and the other 512. What the???? Naturally by this stage they were lying on the table so I couldnít check to see what was registering in what slot. Therefore I cleaned up their terminals and reinstalled them and now I have 768 Meg of Memory and the problem solved. The Computer runs good as gold again.

There is still one thing that concerns me though and that is I get the traditional one beep before the initial Splash Screen and another single beep after the Splash Screen, before Windows starts loading. Canít say Iíve struck this before.

Whoíd be a Computer Technician? How the devil would you ever charge your time out for an event of this nature?

However, I still canít fathom why the BIOS didnít pick up the 256 stick that wasnít registering, or the half of the 512 stick that wasnít registering, which ever it was. I suppose it did struggle on without complaint.

Anyway, :thanks everyone for your input. :thumbs:

TechProX
15-06-2009, 09:34 PM
I imagine there are so many programs that you need that there is not enough RAM to supply.Try upgrading or buying new RAM, if that dosent do use a external HDD(hard drive) and move some programs on to it.or else, it could be the very well knowen virius or worm in your PC........

pctek
15-06-2009, 09:42 PM
Who’d be a Computer Technician? How the devil would you ever charge your time out for an event of this nature?
However, I still can’t fathom why the BIOS didn’t pick up the 256 stick that wasn’t registering

Me.
Well that's what makes it fun, sometimes you pick it quick and sometimes you stuff around for ages, of course stuffing around can't really be entirely charged for.

Thats also why sometimes it's better to come back to the workshop and have a look.

The BIOS did, it just didn't like it for whatever reason.
If its not seated right then you should get BIOS beeps but not if it is seated OK, but RAM can be funny, sometimes swapping the order round fixes weirdness like that.


I had one of those nasty little HPs today - 10 years old with a dead PSU.
Had a little 400w handy but of course this thing had one of those small 150ws. But aha, there was room. I just had to dismantle the entire PC and insert it and then put everything else back.

WHile that took ages longer than it should to swap out a PSU, I just charged the usual PSU price.
AFter all it was fun making it accept a proper PSU.