XP slower than molassas in January

Dell / XPS M140
March 25, 2009 at 16:47:35
Specs: Windows XP Media Center Edition SP3, 1.73 Ghz, 504 mb RAM

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and reply.

Everything I do on the computer--from startup to running programs to moving the mouse--happens incredibly slowly. It feels like a virus or malware is dogging down the system. I updated and ran Malwarebytes twice, but it found nothing. I also ran ATF-Cleaner. I've minimized programs and restarted, all to no avail. It seems like every program I open is slow to start and run. Recently, I tried to install a printer driver, but the installation failed because the installer determined I was only running at 200 mhz, when my processor should operate at eight times that speed. Please help me get my pace back!


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March 25, 2009 at 17:51:13
if you are using McAfee or norton symantec, that will be one of your biggest problems. They are known resource hogs.
You can try using Ccleaner slim to clean out unnecesary files and then install Avast Free and allow it to do a bootscan on reboot. Move all it finds to the chest.

If that doesn't speed things up, there are other cleaners that I can put you on to.
Good Luck

Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions Cheers

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March 25, 2009 at 20:37:47
if you have checked for software issues, then look at the hardware.... i have encountered clean systems that were running real sluggish, and found that the capacitors were blowing on the main board.

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March 26, 2009 at 23:18:08
Hi XpUser4Real,

I don't use Norton or McAfee, I run AVS free, so I'm sure that's not the problem. I installed and ran Avast on reboot, but it didn't find any problems. However, once the reboot finished, the computer ran at a much better speed. Maybe something about the way Windows starts up causes the sluggishness? When I next restarted, however, the startup and operations were slow again. I also ran Ccleaner slim, and regained about 200 MB of hard drive space, but I have about 6Gb free, so I'm not sure that's the problem, either.

I also ran a Dell-specific startup diagnostic on the hardware. It found some issues with several "blocks" in the optical drive, and also that the processor fan was running at about 2000 RPM instead of 4000. I know overheating can slow things down, but the laptop doesn't feel overly warm.

2WiseGuys, how would I be able to check if blown capacitors were the problem? I'd love to be able to do some diagnostic work to isolate the issue, rather than installing and running software with a shot-in-the-dark approach. Thank you both for your help and suggestions.


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