Computer Randomly Slows Down to a Crawl,

Dell Latitude d830 notebook
June 9, 2010 at 15:07:50
Specs: Windows XP
Hi there,

Im having trouble with my Dell Notebook. It's been randomly slowing down, jerky performance, unresponsive UI, etc, for long periods, then seemingly without warning will suddenly begin to work snappily. This is seemingly independent of how many and what types of program/processes are open.

Restarting does not fix the problem, if the computer was going slow, it continues to go slow, if it was snappy, it continues to be snappy.

It seems to be relate to CPU usage, as times when the computer are snappy, the CPU usage is typically very low, and vice versa. However, as Istated, it doesn't seem to be any particualr program which is hogging the cpu, its more OS dependent processes which seem to be using most of the CPU, normal like notepad can take up an incredible amount of CPU at these "slow" times as well.

I'm wondering about the possible problems that could cause this, how to diagnose which it is, and then how to go about fixing it.


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June 9, 2010 at 18:17:36
Do Disk Clean up, Do a defrag. Remove programs from starting with windows. What Antivirus program are you using? If Norton or McAfee, dump them for something leaner and meaner. Uninstall anything you no longer use. Download Process Explorer from Microsoft, it will show you much more information on what is running so you can make better decisions. Download Speedfan to check up on internal temperatures, if you are running HOT, windows or your BIOS may be setting back CPU speed (speedstep or similar).
Post back results.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.
If all else fails, read instructions.

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June 10, 2010 at 13:04:42
I regularly do disk cleanup, defrag, cleanup my startup, and uninstall unnecessary programs. What Virus program would you recommend?

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June 10, 2010 at 14:04:54
In addition to what's already been suggested, go to Black Vipers site and look for his service configuration pages. By default, there are a lot of services running that are not needed by the average PC user. These services are small programs/utilities that use resources. By disabling the unneeded services, you'll get a surprising performance gain.
Google "Black Viper" and you should find the site easily.

It might also be a good idea to set your page file (virtual memory) to "System Managed".

The free AVG anti-virus is still good value. It outperforms Norton and McAfee, and uses a lot less resources. Just be sure to keep it updated.

Please let us know if you found someone's advice to be helpful.

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