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Old 01-05-06, 09:39 PM   #1
AndyGrow
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Computer people - I need some help!

My computer has been running like crap lately.

For example, I click on the Internet Explorer icon in the Quick Launch taskbar...and the computer just sits there for about 10-20 seconds. Same thing when I try and launch Outlook Express. Even worse, when I try and close an application - it just freezes up for anywhere from 5 seconds to 2 minutes..forcing me to do Ctrl-Alt-Del and "End Program" from there...which brings up another problem. "Ending the Program" doesn't end it...it just locks things up for a bit...then suddenly BAM everything I'm trying to close will close.

I've run everything McAfee has...I have no spyware, no viruses. One thing I have noticed is there are a lot of processes running...44 of them to be exact. Is that what's causing the probs?

Running Windows XP Home, 512MB.

Thanks!
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Old 01-05-06, 09:57 PM   #2
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On your Task Manager click on the Performance tab and see what the Commit Charge shows. What's the Total Commit Charge (K)? If it's above 500000, you've maxed out your installed RAM.

Also, under the Processes tab, is there any process(es) that seems to be running all the time? With nothing running, your System Idle Process should be around 95-99% CPU.
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Old 01-08-06, 12:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyGrow
My computer has been running like crap lately.

For example, I click on the Internet Explorer icon in the Quick Launch taskbar...and the computer just sits there for about 10-20 seconds. Same thing when I try and launch Outlook Express. Even worse, when I try and close an application - it just freezes up for anywhere from 5 seconds to 2 minutes..forcing me to do Ctrl-Alt-Del and "End Program" from there...which brings up another problem. "Ending the Program" doesn't end it...it just locks things up for a bit...then suddenly BAM everything I'm trying to close will close.

I've run everything McAfee has...I have no spyware, no viruses. One thing I have noticed is there are a lot of processes running...44 of them to be exact. Is that what's causing the probs?

Running Windows XP Home, 512MB.

Thanks!
1) what version of McAfee do you have, and what "engine" and "DAT" is it using? You can find this by right-clicking your McAfee icon and poking around in the popup menu for "About VirusScan."

2) run HijackThis and post the log output in this thread.

3) run F-Secure's BlackLight beta to see if it picks up any of the common rootkits that are used to hide spyware/adware from antivirus scanners.

4) what Service Pack level is your Windows XP Home?

5) do you have a software firewall

6) do you have a hardware firewall (typically this would be a "router" that sits between your computer and your modem, like the one shown on this page)? If you do, what brand and model is it.
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Old 01-08-06, 05:18 AM   #4
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It's WinXP talking to the mothership... the more stuff you've got installed on your computer, especially 3rd-party non-Microsft stuff... the more info needs to be transmitted... thus taking longer...
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Old 01-08-06, 06:29 AM   #5
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With most computing architectures, you have three basic areas of hardware bottlenecks.
  • Processor
  • Memory
  • I/O

These can be effected at the OS and application level by one or many of the following:
  • Scheduling/Thread locking -> processor
  • Network blocking -> I/O
  • Filesystem blocking -> I/O
  • Memory allocation -> I/O, memory
  • Inter-process Communications (IPC) -> I/O, memory, processor

Now what causes the above depends on what's running and the tuning/optimisation of the OS. Things you might want to check are abnormal processes sucking up CPU cycles and doing lame things like spinning in deadlock. Or something continually grabbing memory thus forcing the system to go into memory starvation as well as hammer the drive by causing lots of swapping. This will also swamp I/O as well as force the OS to spend a lot of time allocating resources (scheduling) the memory management. Other things you can do include re-optimising your drive (defragmenting) so that when you need to go to disk either to swap or to load a certain segment of code, you don't spend unnecessary spins getting at that portion of the striped data.

Windows is notorious for blocking on threads for no apparent reason. The sudden jump in activity is caused by your window manager/display renderer being held in blocked state (process-suspended) and then suddenly released once whatever was being scheduled and deadlocked finally finished or went away. Solving this problem requires some deep investigation and may eventually lead you down some very advanced systems engineering topics.
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Old 01-08-06, 08:38 AM   #6
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get linux and be done with it period
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Old 01-11-06, 09:32 AM   #7
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I'd google your running processes to get an idea of what they are. Once you know it's okay to kill them, do so. Some are probably malicious in nature and are causing the slowdowns.

I'd also get Spysweeper, Adaware, etc. and run them. No one program catches all those critters. It's important to run them while in safe mode because some things "hide" in your memory then reinstall themselves.

At work I use Firefox because it seems to prevent malware from downloading itself better than IE.

At home I use a Mac and have no problems whatsoever.
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Old 01-11-06, 09:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbattle
At home I use a Mac and have no problems whatsoever.
Yeah...I used to be a Mac guy...made the move to Windows some time ago, and have regretted it ever since. If Mac's weren't so d$%n expensive...I'd have one now!!
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Old 01-11-06, 09:52 AM   #9
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A:\ format C: /s


Usually speeds things up for me.
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Old 01-11-06, 10:01 AM   #10
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At home, I have Windows XP Pro and have no problems whatsoever Same story at work. It can be a very stable and secure platform, given some user education and behavior modification (or alternately, given a proper lockdown treatment by the sysadmin, in lieu of cooperative users).

Are you interested in troubleshooting help, AndyGrow? If so, my questions a few posts up would help, plus the HJT log.
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Old 01-11-06, 11:53 AM   #11
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If you have a modem, disable it in the DeviceManager.
Delete any dialers that use the modem for internet connections.
Explicitly set a default-gateway to your router.
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Old 01-11-06, 12:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mechBgon
At home, I have Windows XP Pro and have no problems whatsoever Same story at work. It can be a very stable and secure platform, given some user education and behavior modification (or alternately, given a proper lockdown treatment by the sysadmin, in lieu of cooperative users).

Are you interested in troubleshooting help, AndyGrow? If so, my questions a few posts up would help, plus the HJT log.
Same here. I've got a good firewall, fully cusomizable proxy, virus protection and a couple of spy-ware programs etc.

For the Linux users, it's not quite as easy as you make it seem. I'm relatively computer savvy and spent many hours trying to learn that system to a level of proficiency that I could feel comfortable with. For a non-savvy computer user Linux is essentially impossible and useless.

Macs? Pay extra money just to be "different" and have less options? Nah.... You guys can keep 'em. I'm not even going to pay extra now that they use Intel chips.

Last edited by skiahh; 01-12-06 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 01-11-06, 08:49 PM   #13
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/me prods the OP with a stick, you wanted help, so let's have that info now
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