View Full Version : Very Slow XP Computer

03-09-2005, 09:58 PM
A mate’s dropped of this Compaq Presario computer running a AMD 1996 m/hz (does that sound right?) processor, 256mh/z Ram with XP home OS.

Now, the problem was that it hardly went at all. It’s a couple of years old and has had no maintenance what so ever.

So, I installed Ad-Aware, Spybot & ewido, brought them right up to date, and promptly removed 1700, yes 1700, ad-ware etc. infections. :horrified

Interestingly, AVG (updated) found nothing. :confused:

Then I installed System-Works and sorted out a couple of hundred crook registry entries etc.

Finally, I defragged, but the damn thing is still slower than my first 286.

If it were mine I’d format and start again, but it isn’t and it has a lot of business information on it, which I can’t afford to loose.

The question therefore is what more can I do? I’ve had very little experience with XP and wonder if has a repair programme or similar that I can run?

Any suggestions welcome. :)


Speedy Gonzales
03-09-2005, 10:08 PM
Put more ram in it. You'll be surprised what more ram can do, when using XP.

03-09-2005, 10:12 PM
In my experience, once it gets to that stage, it is too late. Back up everything you want to keep, then if you have room on one of your other computers, make a ghost image of the entire drive (just in case you think of something later that you wished you had got off it), wipe it clean & reinstall.

512mb of RAM would be good for it, but it won't make that much difference unless it has had a lot of extra bloated apps installed on it.

03-09-2005, 10:15 PM
I'm sure RAM would help Speedy but this machine has another problem somewhere.

My son has a similar machine running XP with 256 RAM and it’s 10 times faster than this one. :D

Speedy Gonzales
03-09-2005, 10:20 PM
The CPU might be faster. CPU speed makes a diff too with XP.

Or it maybe running more programs on startup, than your sons.

03-09-2005, 10:23 PM
Most the computers at SIT are like that - they try to put every program any class needs on every computer & it makes machines that should make good office machines almost useless.
All the computers in my class are 2ghz pIVs running windows 2000, with all the ones that are assigned to students having 512mb RAM & a few spares with 256mb RAM. We wiped one of the 256mb machines & did a fresh install of XP. It runs better than all the 512MB machines.

03-09-2005, 10:33 PM
check whats running at startup.

then check device manger and check the ide controllers, make sure the hardrive is not running in pio mode or anything stupid like that. take note of what drivers it has installed.

you can use system file checker, run sfc /scannow

clean out he temp files and the usual tidy up if you havn't done so yet.

04-09-2005, 08:35 PM
Thanks guys.

Sorry I’ve been so long getting back on this one but the story goes like this.

Tweaky’s on to it. :)

Running sfc /scannow produces errors for which I require the XP Home, installation CD, to remedy the problem.

You guessed it, they can’t remember what they did with it! There’s no doubt the whole computer is legit, they're just those people that don’t realise the importance of keeping secure the disks that accompanied the computer when purchased. No doubt those of you who are doing this work for a living encounter this problem all the time. :angry

So the question is, what now? :confused:

Another mate loaned me his XP Home edition CD to try but no luck there. Mr Gates seems to have made sure you can’t get round the problem like that. I have the key number for the existing installation (on a sticker attached to the case) but I was never asked for it. Just got a message “Wrong Disk”. (Yes I Know) :(

Now, what do you techies do in a case like this? Looks like there are 5 in all corrupted .dll files in the dilcache.

How do I trick Mr Gates? :help:

04-09-2005, 09:21 PM
you need the same type of disk that was used to install it ie XP home SP1 or XP home SP2 etc. borrowed disks work fine ;)

edit: you could boot useing the cd and do a repair install.

04-09-2005, 09:55 PM
As tweakee said, other discs work fine (we do it all the time).

Just make sure the O/Ss match (SP1 disc for SP1 machine and so on)

The five corrupt dlls could be anything (registry looking for missing dll esp Nortons after an uninstall).

04-09-2005, 10:09 PM
I have used sp2 discs on unpatched or sp1 machines in the past,likewise earlier versions on machines running newer software.

Works fine,Entering the key and activation are of no issue either.

Though if a machine is munted then a dirty install wont necessarily cure its ills....

04-09-2005, 10:16 PM
I'm a fan of Crap Cleaner ( www.ccleaner.com ) - it probably won't show up more than System - Works but might be worth a shot.
Check the virtual memory settings for the machine
Check there is enough free disk space
Uninstall any unwanted software
Update all the drivers
Run a full scandisk on the machine

04-09-2005, 10:29 PM
heh,seems the discussion was about SFC and using a compatible cd.

Ignore my previous comments....

05-09-2005, 01:06 AM
Thanks again guys, most interesting.

Firstly, the machine is SP2 and I suspect the disk I was loaned may be of earlier vintage.

Secondly, this machine has had NAV on it, as I found left-overs when using SystemWorks. I guess their subscription ran out and they converted to AVG.

One we question though. If the machine has been “updated” to SP2, can I use the SP2 upgrade disk that Microsoft put out? I have one of them. ;)

I’ll have a play and let you know. :)

06-09-2005, 09:45 AM

Well, I still haven’t found a disk that will appease sfs /scannow. The owners haven’t found their disk either, but they have found a lot of stuff they’d forgotten was lost. (Isn’t that always the way?) :waughh:

However, whilst battling the odds, I’ve discovered a FAT32 partition of 4.41gig’s (D drive) of which 3.48 gig’s is used.

Closer inspection reveals it contains a folder with a lock on it called RECOVERY. Double clicking advises this is the “Compaq Recovery Partition”…….(Don’t touch.) Properties show the folder to be just 447Kb created 29th January 2003.

This begs the question “what is occupying the remaining 3 gig’s of used space?” I’ve got “show hidden files” turned on but there is something I don’t understand here.

Could this be one of those computers I’ve read about that come without a disk? XP being on this partition? Well hidden that’s for sure if it is.

So, the question is: “Is this discovery of any significance?” :confused:

06-09-2005, 10:06 AM
The discovery is of significance as that is the XP system files.

But its likely to be a destructive recovery, so you need to get all the info off the PC that is critical.

You should ask them, that if the Hard Drive was to fail and all data was instantly lost, would their business survive? At a peak here I lost 4 hard drives in 4 years, over 3 PCs. It does happen and maybe a wakeup call is needed.

06-09-2005, 11:01 AM
Excellent GF. Shall I tell them to stop looking? :lol:

Back-up’s, hard disk failures, what are they? :rolleyes:

Unfortunatly, we are dealing with a business computer that the whole whanu play on. I can’t get any sense as to what’s important and what’s not as there’s about 100 bosses. Every bug-ridden programme known to mankind has been downloaded at some stage and then deleted. Noooo, not uninstalled, deleted! It amazes me the damn thing fired up at all given the state of the registry.

Anyway, it’s almost going properly, just slow, and if I can recover the files “sfu” is looking for, things may look up further.

This begs the questions:

Why is it asking for a disk when what it’s looking for is on the separate partition (“D Drive”)?

How do I “politely” advise it of this discovery? :cool:

06-09-2005, 01:49 PM
Wahoooo! All fixed. :D

I found this site on the Web Click Here (http://www.updatexp.com/scannow-sfc.html) Great Site. :thumbs:

Anyway, the damn thing is doing a Haka on my desk now so I'll pull the plug.

That'll fix! ;)

06-09-2005, 06:35 PM
Unfortunatly, we are dealing with a business computer that the whole whanu play on. I canít get any sense as to whatís important and whatís not as thereís about 100 bosses. Every bug-ridden programme known to mankind has been downloaded at some stage and then deleted. Noooo, not uninstalled, deleted! It amazes me the damn thing fired up at all given the state of the registry.What sort of business is it that it doesn't matter if they lose all their data? I would of told them the hard drive had died, and everything has been lost. Let that sink in for a bit, then tell them it isn't really dead but who knows next time ... If they got in a panic over the thought they had lost data, then that should be a good wake up call for future safe-guarding their business data which includes a backup plan. If they had viruses and other crap on that machine plus all their business email contacts, then that machine could very easily be spewing out viruses to their customers. Very unprofessional.

Sometimes people need a wake up call. At the very least, a separate computer should be used purely for the business use, with noone else permitted to use it for other reasons. Let them trash the family computer as much as they like.


06-09-2005, 07:11 PM
Arhhh Jen, it’s late in the day so I’ll forgive you for missing the subtleties of my post. :)

Without putting too finer point on it, I “suspect” the computer was provided (with our collective taxes) by the Te Wananga o Aotearoa and is run in accordance with their school of business studies manual. :rolleyes:

06-09-2005, 07:15 PM
Ah OK. Yeah that went right over my head. :p

Regardless, I do feel much better after that wee rant. :D