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PC running really slow all of a sudden?


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Old 16-02-2013, 09:05
badweather
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So I've had my desktop PC for a few years and now all of a sudden it's running very slow (sometimes it works quite fast and then sometimes it will take 10 seconds+ just to open a web browser!).

I've not changed anything at all so I'm guessing it's either the harddrive or memory? I have no spares to test it out but is there any tests I can do to find out what the problem is? Thanks for your time
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Old 16-02-2013, 09:14
Mustabuster
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Open up your task manager and have a look at the processes to see if there is anything there which looks like it's hogging all the resources. If you're not sure if a process should be there or not you can put it into google to see if it's ok.
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Old 16-02-2013, 09:15
mred2000
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Or do some basic stuff like run CCleaner to clear away any temp files that might've built up, slowing things like browsers down. Malwarebytes could be used to do a full scan to see if anything malicious is lurking in the background, hogging resources...
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Old 16-02-2013, 12:34
badweather
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Thanks for the advice guys. I've checked task manager and nothing hogging resources. And I've run ccleaner a few times. I think it's a physical problem but not sure if harddrive or memory. A similar thing happened once before so I replaced the harddrive and that fixed it.
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Old 16-02-2013, 12:43
killjoy
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Check how much empty space you have left on your HDD
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Old 16-02-2013, 12:50
flagpole
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the resource monitor is better. or the third party process explorer.

you want to look at hardisk activity too.

also, obviously check for malware.
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Old 16-02-2013, 13:01
DJW13
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I have had slow running issues so I have a CPU meter gadget open all the time. This shows me if the CPU goes up and if it reaches 100% I know I'm in trouble. I open Task Manager and usually find that there are multiple iexplore.exe files and sometimes the CPU is 49% for more than one. I close one of the files and that gives me more space.

The problem has usually been because I've been browsing and a site has for some reason not closed completely. There may be a way of finding out why this is happening, but I have not found it yet!
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Old 16-02-2013, 13:21
flagpole
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I have had slow running issues so I have a CPU meter gadget open all the time. This shows me if the CPU goes up and if it reaches 100% I know I'm in trouble. I open Task Manager and usually find that there are multiple iexplore.exe files and sometimes the CPU is 49% for more than one. I close one of the files and that gives me more space.

The problem has usually been because I've been browsing and a site has for some reason not closed completely. There may be a way of finding out why this is happening, but I have not found it yet!
just a note. there is a lot of malware that uses the executable name iexplore.exe or similar like iexplorer.exe
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Old 16-02-2013, 14:24
badweather
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I've checked the CPU meter and it's never more than 10%, yet the pc is very slow sometimes, and fairly normal speed other times.
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Old 16-02-2013, 14:29
Stig
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So I've had my desktop PC for a few years and now all of a sudden it's running very slow
In all those years, have you ever done a reinstall of Windows?

You might find that is runs like a dream if you do.
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Old 16-02-2013, 14:34
badweather
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In all those years, have you ever done a reinstall of Windows?

You might find that is runs like a dream if you do.
Hi, yes I have a few times (I'm using Windows Vista if that makes a difference).
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Old 16-02-2013, 14:48
flagpole
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Hi, yes I have a few times (I'm using Windows Vista if that makes a difference).
i disagree with the notion that you should have to reinstall windows from time to time.

forget the cpu. it is more likely to be the hard disk. also how much ram do you have?
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Old 16-02-2013, 14:59
Stig
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i disagree with the notion that you should have to reinstall windows from time to time.
So how come performance improves on the same hardware after a reinstall? QED
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Old 16-02-2013, 15:14
cp2
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To test the hard drive you can download Seatools for Windows. It doesn't have to be a Seagate drive. The 'long generic' test is useful.
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Old 16-02-2013, 19:37
Smiley433
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Could it be running some virus database updates in the background just at the same time you're asking to open the browser? Or doing a file index update? Or Windows update?
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Old 16-02-2013, 20:49
flagpole
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So how come performance improves on the same hardware after a reinstall? QED
Because you don't know how to maintain your computer properly I guess. I don't know you are more likely to know what you are going wrong than me. I mean what are you proposing happens to a computer over time?
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Old 16-02-2013, 21:02
badweather
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To test the hard drive you can download Seatools for Windows. It doesn't have to be a Seagate drive. The 'long generic' test is useful.
Thanks for the info. I installed this software but it came up with an error message when trying to run it. When searching this error in google it went to the seagate forum where people said the software doesn't work with some harddrives

Anything else I can try?
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Old 16-02-2013, 21:37
Maxatoria
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Have you defragmented the drive recently? as once browsers get their cache files fragmented it can really add to the lag opening them

best thing i would do as first task is ccleaner any crap away and the defrag the drive (good excuse to goto the pub for a sunday lunch )
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Old 16-02-2013, 21:39
Lawro2
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TDSSKiller might be worth a shot.
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Old 16-02-2013, 22:23
Stig
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Because you don't know how to maintain your computer properly I guess. I don't know you are more likely to know what you are going wrong than me. I mean what are you proposing happens to a computer over time?
I'm not going to debate who knows more about PCs.

However, if you know your stuff you will know about 'Windows bloat' where the OS install grows over time due to cached updates etc. Also, even you are really careful you add/remove program's over time, and it often leaves system files on the disk and keys in the registry.

I've seen Windows PCs that were crawling transformed back to their fast factory fresh state by a Windows reinstall. OK, it applies more to XP and less so to Vista and 7, but I still feel it's worthwhile. MS have even included this 'refresh' option in Windows 8.

Are those enough reasons for you?
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Old 16-02-2013, 22:52
flagpole
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I'm not going to debate who knows more about PCs.

However, if you know your stuff you will know about 'Windows bloat' where the OS install grows over time due to cached updates etc. Also, even you are really careful you add/remove program's over time, and it often leaves system files on the disk and keys in the registry.

I've seen Windows PCs that were crawling transformed back to their fast factory fresh state by a Windows reinstall. OK, it applies more to XP and less so to Vista and 7, but I still feel it's worthwhile. MS have even included this 'refresh' option in Windows 8.

Are those enough reasons for you?
Not really cos it doesn't make any sense. I'm not sure what you mean by cached updates. That is not a real thing. How would adding and removing programs leave system files. The two are unrelated. And even if it did why would more files mean a slower computer? Does having a larger registry slow your computer down? And is it trivial to remove then anyway.

I'm not disputing that if your installation is broken and slowed to a crawl then reinstalling windows will fix it. If you have a leaking tap knocking your house down and having it rebuilt will fix it. But it should not be part of the normal maintenance and should not be necessary. If a computer has showed to a crawl you should be able to work out what is actually causing it.
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Old 16-02-2013, 23:48
REDBUS
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Hi, yes I have a few times (I'm using Windows Vista if that makes a difference).

click open 'computer' , click each drive (ie C the D) till turns blue ,click propeties >tool's >error checking> and tick both box's for both drives (start with C) ,it will shedule 'automaticly fix file system errors' and 'scan and attemt recovery of bad sectior's' if you havent already done so ,can take a while ,better doing it last thing tonight ,over time uninstaling programme's and every day use can deteriorate system files ,worth a go and sometimes work's wonders ,cetainly won't do any harm ,that way you can rule out software if you've done all usuall security scans ,good luck .
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Old 17-02-2013, 11:43
Smiley433
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over time uninstaling programme's and every day use can deteriorate system files
What do you mean by "deteriorate"?
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Old 17-02-2013, 13:28
Desolate one
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Hi badweather i suggest to do the following:

1. Open a cmd prompt by right clicking and choosing run as administrator and type:

sfc /scannow press enter(if using xp insert your MS windows disc into optical drive before running the command).

Let it repair anything it finds and re-boot computer if prompted to do so.

2. Open a cmd prompt and schedule a scandisk to run by typing:

chkdsk /r and answer y to schedule scandisk upon restart of computer. This will take some time be prepared.

3. Run disc defragmenter from start>programs>accessories>system tools.

4. Update your virus definitons to the latest and run a full scan.

5. Download Malwarebytes free from the link below and run a full scan it will capture any nasties the anti-virus scanner may have missed.
http://www.malwarebytes.org/
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Old 18-02-2013, 09:48
badweather
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Hi badweather i suggest to do the following:

1. Open a cmd prompt by right clicking and choosing run as administrator and type:

sfc /scannow press enter(if using xp insert your MS windows disc into optical drive before running the command).

Let it repair anything it finds and re-boot computer if prompted to do so.

2. Open a cmd prompt and schedule a scandisk to run by typing:

chkdsk /r and answer y to schedule scandisk upon restart of computer. This will take some time be prepared.

3. Run disc defragmenter from start>programs>accessories>system tools.

4. Update your virus definitons to the latest and run a full scan.

5. Download Malwarebytes free from the link below and run a full scan it will capture any nasties the anti-virus scanner may have missed.
http://www.malwarebytes.org/
Thanks for the advice. I tried all of these, ran ccleaner too and defrag, etc, still the same. Sometimes it runs normal-ish speed, sometimes deadly slow.

My main reason for thinking it might be the harddrive is this. When I first bought the PC it had two 160GB internal harddrives (C: and D. Then about a year ago the PC was seriously slow, I tried to reinstall Vista and it took something like 10 hours. So I took out the C: harddrive and put the other one in it's place (the D: one which was almost completely empty). Vista then installed in about 45min-1hour and the PC was fine up until now.

It's not quite as crazily slow as last time but I'm thinking it's slow for the same reasons maybe? I just wanted to see if there's any test I can run to make sure before going through the hassle of buying another internal harddrive and reinstalling everything.
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