Compaq Computer Running Super Slow

March 23, 2005 at 16:08:50
Specs: Windows XP SP2, 1.8Ghz/512mb

Been trying to figure out whats slowing my nephews computer..

He is running XP updated SP2 on a Compaq Computer.

Other System Specs
Computer Manufacturer
Computer Model
Presario 5000 Series Model 5430US.
CPU Manufacturer
CPU Family
Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 1.80GHz
CPU Speed
1794 MHz
Front-Side Bus Speed
400 MHz
Currently Installed Memory
Maximum Memory Capacity
Total Number Of Memory Slots
2 (2 banks of 1)
Available Memory Slots

A format of the Hard Drive was done and the OEM Manufacture CD was used to restore the system back to its original state. All Windows UPdates are in place, Added Norton 2005 System Works.. and Microsoft AntiSpryWare Software Beta 1. but ever since the restore of the OEM Software on a clean drive.. the system Processor always seems to be slow in processing anything. Startup long delay.. Tried running all diagnostics with Norton Utilites. Even ran the online test at did mention the processor was below the normal for that type of computer.

Noticed this computer has a C: Drive and a D:SAVE drive.. Any suggestion would be appreciated. Normally good at this type of work since I did it for along time.. But this one has me stumped.. Don't have a clue whats making it slow. and no hardware conficts shown in device manager.

See More: Compaq Computer Running Super Slow

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March 23, 2005 at 16:22:40

One important piece of info is missing. I'd like to know what happened that caused you to do the restore the system back to its original state.


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March 23, 2005 at 17:11:22

The answer is XPuser.. It was running slow super slow so even with using Anti-Virus Software and Spryware software and getting a clean bill of health by the diagnostic software and a clean registry it was till slow. So said lets restore it to its OEM state and it worked fast for like a few hours then it got slow again after the SP2 update from Windows Update.

I am stummped as to whats causing it..

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March 23, 2005 at 17:14:17

Possible that the harddrive is not running at its normal speed, freezing up or slowing down.
My computer took 20 min. to boot the other day.
Mechanical devices do have there problems.

My original Compaq HDD, one year after new computer purchase, warned me of pending failure.

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Related Solutions

March 23, 2005 at 17:21:43

Possible to forget my last.
Also to say, some Windows Updates can cause other problems to happen in XP. For example:
If I install the IE 6 Security Update Q832894, I then find that all the Help Topics were gone in Windows HELP Index. All came back when I removed
"Internet Explorer Q832894"
from Add/Remove Programs list.

SP2 has that update also.

Microsoft issues warning on Spyware:

The basics of the article is to detect and remove Spyware
from your computer before installing SP2.
...Spyware could cause computers
to freeze up upon installation of the update...
What to do after installing Service Pack 2 (SP2)

MS No charge Support for XP Service Pack 2

This article may get bigger as more
problems are found with SP2.
Release notes for Windows XP Service Pack 2

How to remove SP2

Tidying up after installing SP2
(Only Once you are sure you are happy with it)

Programs that may experience a change in behavior after you install Windows XP Service Pack 2

Programs that are known to experience a loss of functionality when they run on a Windows XP Service Pack 2-based computer

All of that will keep you busy for awhile :)

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March 23, 2005 at 17:22:01

Compaq PCs used to be my favorite until 1998. One year after I purchased the last model, it began to have HD problems. The way HP TS treated my problem as user-inducted was the turning point in what I like and don't like. I think Chuck 2 figured it out right.


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March 23, 2005 at 17:28:48

I've had my compaq HD for over 3 years. I'm not computer expert, but it is getting a little slower over time, nothing i can't put up with however I think its time to change it in the future.

Well I been doing alot of research today and the past few days because I have had the same problems as you. Tried everything, the only thing I haven't done is reformat. However I just now finished taking off all my start-up programs and my computer usage went from 45% to about 5%.

To do this go to run, type in "msconfig" and take off the startup programs except for the commons if you have any. Works much better now for me personally, hopefully this helps you.

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March 23, 2005 at 17:37:32

Another thing came to mind ... how much free space does your HD have? Done any defrag lately?


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March 23, 2005 at 17:41:23

Defrag works better in Windows
Safe-Mode. This option uses a minimal
set of device drivers and services to
start Windows. Hold down F8 during boot.
Logon as Administrator.
A Description of the Safe Mode Boot Options in Windows XP

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March 23, 2005 at 17:50:30

Now that I think of it, I remember a Post where the person had a slow computer even after format, and a Defrag fixed it.

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March 23, 2005 at 17:53:13

Well been reviewing all the answers so far and keep checking back to see if one works.

As for last suggestion. the hard drive is plenty of space since the format and reinstall of OEM. Have a clean system according to Norton Utilties and Norton System Works 2005. No virus detected. Have The New Microsoft Spryware Beta Installed available at and it did not detect anything.. It did on my computer, not my nephews and I used Adwatch by Lavasoft and Microsoft found something they didn't.. beleive it or not my older computer runs alot faster than my nephews and its a shame. The Hard Drive failure sounds interesting. Been doing diagnostics with the CheckIt Sotware that comes with Norton Utilties and seemed to pass. I am stumpped what could be it. I am thinking its the SP2 update but no way to be sure.. or that HDD failure that somebody mentioned so far the best answers.. Any other suggestions?

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March 23, 2005 at 17:56:17

I read somewhere that defrag is highly recommended after you updated to SP2. The reason is that SP2 literally re-coded the whole OS.


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March 23, 2005 at 18:37:32

Well attempting to boot nephews computer in SafeMode and run Defrag.. Its taking forever to get to safemode still waiting..

Just glad I purchased the XP with SP2 already on it when I upgraded from WindowsME. Have not had a problem. I have a feeling this has got to be it.. Will let you know what happens after I run defrag on the system..

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March 23, 2005 at 18:41:15

It depends on the HDD. If its a cheap one of coarse it'll fail. Ive had a 8GB quantum fireball in my system for 4-7 years and works pretty good. Now im taking it out, but Maxtor hasnt failed me yet but Western Digital has failed me 2 times. So it might be that or its running too hot and troteling, so clean it out (take the heatsync out too)

Mod it till it bleeds

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April 17, 2005 at 15:49:32

Hi Darrel,

I have been experiencing the same thing for the last week but for Windows 2K Pro (hence stumbling in to this post since I am stumped and when on a search for answers). I should add that I am a certified technician (working for an IT company for 5 years where performance is my specially) and there are no viruses or spyware on my system and it's always tweaked for optimal performance. I should add that the slowness began after I defragmented (for the first time since the install of the OS) even through it didn't need it (at least that's what the analyzer said). But at the same time my CPU fan is having troubles (noisy and when I was manipulating a blade broke off, so it's louder and it has less CFM. a new one arriving tomorrow). I have tried everything you have tried and more. Even booted into safe mode where the lag is still very bad and defragged again, no help. This excludes being a regular loaded software issue and perhaps even being a registry issue (I have also optimized that as well). What I have left do is change the CPU fan (perhaps the CPU is working hotter than it should) and if it still acting up, I will do a general benchmark test (perhaps with Sandra). If after I am finished with all this and the problem persist then I would guess it's a HD issue that was exposed after a defrag (check disk log is ok). Also I should add that monitoring the system and there are no files that use CPU or memory more than it should but when it lags the HD access lights up for the remainder of the lag and yes I have tweaked the swap file and nothing. Thought I would add my two cents and see if anyone else has any more ideas.

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April 19, 2005 at 11:07:46

Hello Darrel,

I have some good news, I resolved the issue. However I tried three things at once and now it's fixed so it could be any of the three. I installed Sandra Lite and did a drive bench mark which came back negative (drive was to fragmented) even though every defrag tool said the drive was ok (only 1% fragmented). However I decided to try other defrag tools and I ended up using O&O defrag. I selected their "defrag by most accessed" mode and left it running at night. I couldn't tell you what it did since I woke up in the morning to find my computer restarted and with an error in post screen with Primary drive showing crazy characters, I was thinking uh-oh I toasted the drive. But then I re-added it to bios and started again, however still slow as molasses and worse than before. It was taking over ten minutes to load and I didn't let it finished because it wasn't halfway done (the task bar only loaded) and the HD light was going and going.

At this time I am thinking my drive is toast so I better start setting up a new OS install on a second drive I have on the system and move the files over just in case the current one decides to go. I did the install of Windows 2K and it was working great but when I wanted to access the C drive it was slow getting still. At this time I am thinking I am in trouble because I might not even be able to transfers files out from this ridiculously slow drive but I continued with all the windows updates (at least SP4) of the new OS install. After I restarted my system from SP4 on the second drive and tried to transfer file again, this time C drive was working much faster to transfer files out and I thought this is ok for now and transferred some financial software directories. At that time my CPU fan arrived and I shut the system off to change the dreaded thing. Once this was done I decided to boot up into C (the original install) and see if it loaded properly and to my surprise it did. I should add that when troubleshooting I changed the swap file to drive D but when I did the new install on that one and tried to boot into C again I receive the error by Windows about setting up a swap file but the first time it when it was working extremely slow. However on this second boot I received the same message but the system loaded like it used to, fast! I created a swap file and everything has been working well since.

Why did it do it to begin with? I am not sure. But I do know that changing the CPU fan, doing one final defrag, and deleting and recreating the swap file did the trick. In your case I would lean more towards it being a cpu fan issue and a physical HD issue, since CD restore usually repartitions and formats a HD which would wipe out it being a defrag, swap file or any other software issue. In summary I would suggest trying Sandra Lite (google it) test your the system and examine the possibilities of being a hardware issue.

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