Computer has slowed tremendously

September 13, 2009 at 08:49:33
Specs: Windows XP Pro
Hello all,

I have a Dell Inspiron B120 laptop running XP Pro. over the last week and a half or so, ive noticed my computer is working waay too hard. The CPU usage is continuously very high, I cant play audio or video files because they skip and stutter.

Ive downloaded adware and malwarebytes to see if that was the problem...hasnt changed anything. theres a bunch of tasks running but I dont know which are ciritical and which arent. ive erased apps I dont use.

but nothing has really helped. im about to defrag my hard drive to see if thats it. Otherwise...i feel like just reformatting everything and starting from scratch...i really dont want to do that though.

so whats the deal? what should i try...?

oh one last thing. this morning, I start of my comp like i always do and it says it cant load my user profile! so I restore to an old restore point and was at least able to get back but that worried me...

thanks in advance. sorry for the longwindedness...just wanted to include all the facts.

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September 13, 2009 at 10:13:30
Just because MalwareBytes or Adaware didn't find anything doesn't mean your system isn't infected. The 1st thing you nned to do is reduce the startup apps. In reality, there are very few programs that absolutely need to run at startup...all the rest simply pre-load to make them start quicker when you actually do decide to run them. And all the apps that pre-load suck up system resources.

Increasing the amount of system RAM can make up for this somewhat. You didn't list your specs but I believe the Inspiron B120 originally had 256MB? That's a paltry amount in this day & age...512MB should be considered the minimum to run XP decently, more would be even better.

Back to the startup apps. Download, install & run CCleaner Slim:

You can also use it to tinker with your startup TOOLS, then STARTUP & run thru the list.

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September 13, 2009 at 16:44:48
Firstly, thank you for your prompt reply.

I downloaded CC Cleaner and ran everything it offered. I also disabled 4-5 startup apps using that tool.

In the meantime i've also defraged my HD. This laptop actually came with 512 of RAM.

Nothing has really changed. I dont have any antivirus software, and I cant afford to buy any. I guess that is the next step...but I dont know.

Mostly when I just play a song and attempt to start firefox to browse, my computer grinds to a halt and almost freezes.

I dont think i really need XP Pro, this laptop came with XP home and i dont see why that wouldnt suit my needs. I dont have the install disk anymore so Im gonna have to figure that out too. Not sure if that would make a difference.

The thing is that Ive had this laptop for 3 years and never have had a problem with it until just recently. I used to be able to do Multiple things involving multimedia type its gotta be something above and beyond just having an old comp and it being outdated.

Anyways, what do you think?

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September 13, 2009 at 17:35:31
How much free hard disk space do you have?
You can down load a free antivirus progam.

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Related Solutions

September 13, 2009 at 17:42:17
Wizzard has a good point. Over the years we really load up our machines with the programs etc. I don't know how big your HDD is, but maybe you should consider a larger drive and partition it off so the boot drive with the os remains as small as possible. That's another subject though. Go to and download their free antivirus program and run it. I'll bet you'll be surprised as to what you find.

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September 13, 2009 at 21:59:29
Thanks guys. Well I have a new Hard Drive which is 150GB. And currently There is 132GB of free space on it. So I dont suspect that to be the problem

My computer has basic applications, safari, office, limewire, turbotax...nothing especially crazy. No games...etc.

Im going to dl that virus software now and try that.

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September 14, 2009 at 07:21:56
Ive installed and run avast. Didnt find anything.

So the tally is:

Installed/Ran Adaware
Installed/Ran Malawarebytes
Erased Unused applications
Installed/Ran CCleaner
Disabled Startup Tasks with CCleaner
Defragged Hard Drive
Installed Ran Avast Anti Virus Software
Reverted to a Restore Point before Problems

Im convinced theres just nothing I can do. Computer just bogs. Its slower to start apps, I cant get play audio or video files without it skipping or stuttering. Even as we speak, the only apps Ive got running is firefox and windows media player and the song is skipping. I watch my CPU usage and whenever it spikes to above 20 % or so, it skips. I wont even be doing anything.

Im convinced that if I wipe my HD and start from scratch, Im not going to have this problem. Everytime in the past Ive started to have problems I couldnt fix, Id start over, reinstall windows and everything would be fine.

Is making a partition on your HD reversible? About how much space should I allocate to the OS? Is that the Only thing I should include on that drive? what about the various drivers? What exactly is the benefit of doing this?

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September 14, 2009 at 09:01:12
so you were not running any antivirus (or firewall?), and you are downloading crap, via limewire. I'd be suprised if you weren't infected.


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September 14, 2009 at 09:18:48
Well Larry, never the less, I have installed and run these antivirus softwares and anti ad/malware apps to no avail.

I try not to download "crap" as you say. Ive only ever downloaded songs, never executable files or vbs. Im pretty diligent about trying to watch all that stuff.

So, what would you SUGGEST i do to fix the problem?

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