Slow Computer


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Slow Computer


Why is my computer running so slow, it used to be much faster?

There can be many causes for a general slowdown of your computer.  Some are not necessarily security or virus related.  You should check all these items to be sure.

1.  Run an updated virus scan.
Or Scan for Viruses online.
Sometimes it is a good idea to run more than one to ensure nothing is missed:
Kaspersky Online Virus Scanner
Panda ActiveScan
Trend Micro House Call
Symantec Security Check

2. Run the Microsoft® Windows® Malicious Software Removal Tool

3.  Run Ad-Aware (free version)
Update if you already have it.
Spybot (free version)
Update if you already have it.
You may want to use both of these tools to be sure all spyware is gone.

Make sure ALL above tools are updated within the last few days.  Do NOT assume recently downloaded/installed tools are up to date. 

If you still have issues and feel spyware may be involved, go to:
Download HijackThis and install it.
If you do not fully understand what HijackThis suggests to delete, post the log to the forum referenced on
An expert can analyze the log and give you specific recommendations to clean
your system.

4.  Perform Windows Memory Diagnostic

5. Reboot
Search for and delete all files "*.tmp"
Search for all files "temp" Delete the contents of them, do NOT delete the folder.
Go to Control Panel
Click Internet Options
Click "Delete Cookies", click OK, may take a few minutes
Click "Delete Files"
Check "Delete all offline content" click OK, may take a few minutes
Click "Clear History" click Yes, may also take a few minutes
Perform Disk Cleanup checking all boxes except "Compress old files"
Start/All Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Disk Clean-up

6.  If you have file sharing software such as Kazaa, disable it.

7.  Run Defrag.
Start/All Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Disk Defragmenter

If you have problems with any of these, reboot to Safe Mode and try them.
Reboot tapping F8 each second.
Select Safe Mode at the menu.
Not all cookies found by these utilities are bad.
However I always delete everything including cookies that are discovered unless I determine I want it to remain.

8.  This may apply if you recently installed Windows XP Service Pack 1:
Heap Algorithm Update for Atypically Large Heap Requests

9. Sometimes a weak CMOS battery can cause various issues including slow, locking as well as other unexplained performance issues.
This is fairly rare but the battery is relatively easy to replace, check your motherboard/computer manual for replacement details.
Usually the battery is a "CR2032" watch battery, about the size of a nickel.

10.  Check this link to identify the running processes and how to stop the unnecessary ones:
Pacman's Portal Start-up Processes
Full List is a good place to start.

Some will suggest to use MSCONFIG to disable running applications.
Type "msconfig" ENTER
Click "Startup" Tab
And uncheck the undesired processes.
While this can work, it is a poor first choice to disable an application.
A problem with this method is some applications will create another instance in the Startup tab, eventually you may have many, all but one unchecked.

Once an item is unchecked in the Startup tab, "Selective Startup" is marked in the General tab.
Ideally "Normal Startup" should be marked in the General tab..

The Start-up tab in MSCONFIG is intended for troubleshooting.
If an application should not be started during boot, the best place to accomplish that is the application itself.
Open the application.
Then look for something like "Settings" or "Options".
Then look for something similar to "Run at boot" or "Load at start-up"
You need to disable it.
If you have problems determining how to disable an application, you may need to contact the application manufacturer directly or at their web site.

11.  Go to the website of the hard drive manufacturer, download their hard drive diagnostics and use it to check the integrity of the hard drive.

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This site was last updated Thursday, 01 November 2007