Why my PC runs slow sometimes?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Tru_Snoop, Mar 22, 2005.

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  1. Tru_Snoop

    Tru_Snoop Registered Member

    Joined:
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    Posts:
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    hey guys;

    My PC specs:

    Windows XP Proffesional
    Case: NETLINK 18IN 350W ATX 3688 CASE /W FRONT USB PORT P4 READY
    CPU: AMD ATHLON XP 2100+ 256K 266FSB SOCKET A RETAIL BOX
    Memory: 512MB PC2700 DDR333 SAMSUNG RAM
    Video Card: ABITR9550-128CDT RADEON 9550 128MB DDR AGP8X
    2 Hard Drives of same kind: WD 80GB 7200rpm hard drive
    Motherboard: SOLTEK KT400-A4 ATX SOCKET A DDR400 AGP4X 5PCI ATA133 USB2.0 W/SOUND
    Internet Security & Antivirus: Zone Alarm Pro 5.5 and Kaspersky Personal

    I have Spybot and Adware to check for spywares, and everything is up-to-date. I have also defragmented my hard drive and checked errors.

    Now the problem.............My computer runs slow sometimes. For example, when I try to play movie in windows media player or other player it takes long time to load. Also, Sometimes I can't open my Task Manager. Sometimes, when I start my computer it takes long time to load the programs and I can't open many files like Control panel and my computer and so on. Manytimes my computer just doesn't load anything it just stays frozen or something. I freshly installed Windows XP Professional on my computer because I bought a new hard drive...........I have 2 hard drives of same brand as I mentioned before. Another problem occurs many times is that my games crash (freeze). Mostly DRIV3R, which I just bought, freezes when I try to play the 3rd level. I have updated my display drivers and everything I can think of. sometimes NHL 2005 and Battlefield 1942 also freeze.

    I just checked in "Windows Task Manager" that "explorer.exe" on my computer is using 99% of my CPU and 150, 900 K of my computer's memory................Do you think thats causing it to slow down...........If so how to fix it.


    What do you guys think is wrong with my computer? What can I do to fix these problems?


    Please help guys;
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2005
  2. Close_Hauled

    Close_Hauled Registered Member

    Joined:
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    Tru_Snoop,

    The first thing that you need to do is go to Sysinternals and download Process Explorer. Process Explorer is a replacement for the Task Manager. It is much more powerful than Task Manager and will help you to find out what is wrong.

    Put a shortcut to Process Explorer in your Startup folder for a few days, that way it will be running all the time during your troubleshooting. Also put a shortcut to it in your Quick Launch bar. When you run Process Explorer for the first time, go to the Options menu and select Replace Task Manager. Process Explorer will now come up every time you press CTRL-ALT-DEL.

    While Process Explorer is running, it displays a little graph in your task bar. That graph is a real time display of your CPU Usage. I have it running right now, and it shows 10% with just Firefox running. When your CPU Usage is high, that graph will be red. When that happens, press CTRL-ALT-DEL to bring up Process Explorer. You should now be able to find the nasty process that is pestering you.

    Process Explorer also keeps a running chart of your CPU usage. If Process Explorer does not come up right away when you press CTRL-ALT-DEL, don't worry. It still has what you need. There is a button called System Information. Click it and it will bring up a running chart. Move your mouse anywhere over that chart and you will notice that it shows the process names and PIDs of the process that were running and their CPU usage.

    Here is another thing that you can do. I saw this once on a system that had a new version of a piece of spyware that Spybot missed. When the system is slow, go to the DOS prompt and enter NETSTAT -ao. It will show a list of processes that are communicating, or trying to communicate, on the network. If one of those processes is in a SYN_SENT state, write down its PID and use Process Explorer to find it.

    Good luck,

    Close
     
  3. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    You can also get TCPView from the SysInternal's site while you're there :) TCPView will show you a list of the programs currently connected to the internet, much like PortExplorer from DiamondCS, but with fewer options (and free)
     
  4. mikel05

    mikel05 Guest

    Close_hauled

    I just put Process Explorer on my computer. Im running Win98. I can't find the option "Replace Task Manager"

    I've put the program in a folder, and put a shortcut in the startup folder.
     
  5. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    It's the second option from the top under "Options"

    The next thing you should do is download and install the Windows Debugging tools from here: http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/devtools/debugging/symbolpkg.mspx

    Then go into the options menu again, click "Configure Symbols..." and put in the following..
    • In "Dbghelp.dll Path" put in: "C:\Program Files\Debugging Tools for Windows\dbghelp.dll"
    • In "Symbols Path" put in: "srv*c:\Symbols*http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols"
    (without the quotes, of course)

    What this will do is give you something readable when you double click on a process and go to the "Threads" tab, which will show you what threads the process is running and how much CPU each is using. This may show you what explorer is doing that is making it take up so much CPU time. Once you've done this, double click on explorer.exe, go to the threads tab, and click the first column header (CPU) so that you see a down-arrow. This will put the threads at the top that are using the most CPU. If what you see doesn't make sense to you, post a screenshot here and we'll see if we can't figure it out together :)

    Please note that putting the above in the Symbols Path will make it connect to the Microsoft website to check the latest version of the symbols (because they change frequently), so don't be alarmed when your firewall alerts you to an outgoing connection.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2005
  6. Mikel05

    Mikel05 Guest

    In my options menu. I have: (IN ORDER)

    -Always on top
    -Hide when minimized
    -Allow only one instance
    -Confirm Kill
    -Highlight relocated DLLs
    -Search Engine
    ---
    -Difference highlight duration
    -Font

    (END)

    I don't see any "replace task manager"
     
  7. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    I just noticed that you said earlier that you're using Win98.. this may simply not be an option in Win98, the last thing that I posted would not apply either.
     
  8. mikel05

    mikel05 Guest

    That is so not cool...
     
  9. slim30097

    slim30097 Registered Member

    Joined:
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    Posts:
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    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Tru_Snoop,

    A frequent cause of computer slowdown or freezeup is unnecessary running processes placing a strain on system resources. The comment regarding freezeup when opening Win Media Player might be caused by a demand on system resources exceeding the available supply. In addition to the previous advice. you might consider a review of your startup configuration. There are far too many programs that will default to this config with no recognizable benefit & a considerable downside (MS Office for example). These programs will start running upon system boot & continue to run until system shutdown. Any process that can be safely removed from the startup config will free up resources for other uses. You can modify this config using MSCONFIG but I prefer using a startup manager.

    Check out Mike Lin's web site & consider installing Startup Control Panel. Also, take a look at Startup Monitor, a utility that will monitor your startup config & allow you to control any changes detected. Startup Monitor uses very little resources (maybe 250 kb memory) & provides a very useful function. It also adds to your overall security since many forms of parasatic scumbag-ware will attempt to configure its slime into your startup config.

    For advice on the processes found in your startup config, go to Pacman's web site - pacs-portal - an excellent source of reference. There are several hundred processes listed with yes, no or user's choice options. I would recommend treating user's choice same as no - you can always change it back if desired. CastleCops.com also maintains a startup listing. An excellent reference source on system services is blackviper.com. I recommend disabling Messenger & Error Reporting for now - these services consume resources & provide zero benefit. Also, disable the Internet Connection Sharing Service/Windows Firewall & make sure the Win XP firewall is not being used. This could create conflicts with your ZA Pro firewall. You must reboot for any changes to take effect.

    Bear in mind that you are running ZA firewall & KAV, both of which are top-notch security products & absolutely necessary, but require considerable resources to function. Add in a 128 MB graphics card, required services & Explorer - not much left of your 512 MB physical memory. Another 512 MB card or at least 256 MB would certainly improve your situation. One last suggestion, check your virtual memory paging file size - post back if you have any questions - my lunch hour is up.

    Good luck - hope this helps your situation,

    Slim
     
  10. Shrek

    Shrek Guest

    Chances are you are experiencing background task conflicts. Usually, setting an automatic start up of certain tasks to manual resolves the conflict. Try downloading an evaluation copy of the Ultimate Trouble Shooter to determine the background tasks that may be causing your problem...
     
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