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OT: My PC is running really slow


FridgeFreezer
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For some time now my PC has been getting slower and slower, most noticeable is that WinAmp slows down when I load a program or open something up, which it never did in the past.

I'm pretty sure I don't have a virus as I don't us Outlook, Express, or IE and have AVG, Spybod S&D and ZoneAlarm running and up to date, although ZoneAlarm's VSMon.exe does seem to use huge amounts (80mb) of RAM <_<

I've tried a few tricks as recommended via the intyweb - shutting down un-needed windows services, uninstalling unused programs, but nothing seems to make much difference. On peeking at the registry, it's chocked full of stuff I don't recognise / even remember installing that surely can be cleaned out, but I'm no expert so wouldn't trust myself to do it and Windows "regclean" seemed to make no dent whatsoever.

I suppose the easy solution would be to format & reinstall windows, but then I would lose a lot of programs and such that would all have to be reinstalled and quite frankly it's a PITFA.

Can anyone offer some tips, or perhaps a link to some system-tidying software that's not full of spyware? <_<

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ctrl-alt-del

click on processes and sort them by memory useage and CPU useage. there will be lots that you don't recognise, but take the time to search for them on google- you will find a load that you don't need.

Find administrative tools and use the services button to disbale any processes you don't need.

in the startup folder (under start- all programs- startup) have a look in whats in their and remove whatever isn't needed.

If you have an external Adsl Router with NAT enabled then you don't need a fire wall such as zonealarm (well i don't think you do anyway). you will also fnid that constant virus protection will seriosuly slow your PC down.

when was the last time you defragged your drive as that can make a substantial difference!

Are your hard drives making any funny noises- have you noticed any clicking or graunching? if so then your HDD are on their way out and you will need to change them PDQ.

often finding out what is making a PC run slowly can be very very very hard, and usually i just re-install the OS and any progs i actually want.

AVAST is a good, lite anti virus software whicih is free and effective. t's much better than symantec/nortno as it doesn't hog system settings.

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Assuming Windows XP here :unsure:

Disable unnecessary stuff running on startup - Do Start > Run, type "msconfig" without quotes, go into the Startup tab and untick unneeded stuff (if unsure, best to search the web to find out what each process does first)

Hard disk may be running in PIO mode (slow) instead of DMA (fast) See this: http://winhlp.com/?q=node/10

In fact, Winamp stuttering on playback would be a sign of this as PIO mode puts more load on the CPU to access the hard disk than DMA mode.

Try Windows Defender (by Microsoft) to see if it picks up anything spybot has missed.

As Pugwash says, check the memory usage in Task manager, do this immediately after starting XP best to get this value as low as possible and under normal usage it should ideally not exceed the amount of memory (RAM) you have installed in your computer (if it does you may want to look at fitting more memory)

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If you have an external Adsl Router with NAT enabled then you don't need a fire wall such as zonealarm (well i don't think you do anyway). you will also fnid that constant virus protection will seriosuly slow your PC down.

Good advice, Zonealarm is a bit bloaty so could be uninstalled if you're running a NAT router with firewall, however this will only protect against inbound attacks.

If viruses, spyware, etc. are running on your PC, they can attempt to record and leak personal information out to the Internet.

They often work by silently logging keystrokes e.g. credit card numbers, login details for: online banking, ebay, paypal, your email address book, etc. An application-level firewall running on your PC should ask you for permission to allow new or unknown applications to connect to the Internet whereas a firewall running on a router would be none the wiser.

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Zonealarm is a bit bloaty so could be uninstalled

On my previous XP machine, I had ZoneAlarm, and it behaved in a rather viral fashon, taking up tonnes of memory and killing the machine. I had the same problem as you and never managed resolve it (and I'm a programmer)

Problem with your v8, get a diesel.

Problem with windows, install linux - which is what I did. That was 4 years ago - haven't had a hitch since.

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Guest dew110CSW

I run AVG for Anti-Virus, and Spybot for Spyware and find it's a good combination, doesn't take much memory or Processor and keeps me safe. Better than the Norton I ran for 2 years!

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As mentioned above, give avast a look. I switched from AVG about 6 months ago. It really is miles better to live with and doesn't hog resources.

I also switched from ZA to another free firewall from sygate, again, this is so much better than ZA.

Aside from that, how much RAM are you running? I'd recommend at least 1gb to run XP well.

Stu.

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Fridge, I am having the same issue and noticed that it seemed to be related to browsing with IE (which I appreciate you don't have) that locked everything up. Installed Firefox last week and bingo, the machine, although not perfect, has speeded up considerably.

One word of caution if you decide to uninstall Zonealarm. It is like AOL and runs really dirty with its claws in everything and can completely stuff the machine when you uninstall, so proceed with caution.

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Thankyou MJG.

Tony, I accept the subject of MJG's thread was OT, however, I found the information coming in to be useful to me. It may not concern big wheels or winches but useful all the same. I feel you were a little premature closing the BB thread.

I do seem to remember a couple of previous threads with no LR connection which probably were the longest running threads ever, if you need a precedent. :unsure:

jw

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Thankyou MJG.

Tony, I accept the subject of MJG's thread was OT, however, I found the information coming in to be useful to me. It may not concern big wheels or winches but useful all the same. I feel you were a little premature closing the BB thread.

I do seem to remember a couple of previous threads with no LR connection which probably were the longest running threads ever, if you need a precedent. :unsure:

jw

I think we all bend the rules from time to time, and the mods go a great job of keeping us all in check. While the 2 threads do concern pretty much all users of the forum, this forum is here for one purpose and one purpose only - LRs.

The occasional OT thread is ok, and I think that the mods do let the occasional one fly, but setting a precedent, I don't that is, or should be the case.

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