Slow/no start, no sound, no gameplay.

July 22, 2011 at 20:31:08
Specs: Windows XP
I've been unable to use my computer to the capacity I was before. I wasn't sure if it was a lack in virtual memory or if i'm just hoping for too much out of an old system. I made the mistake of ending processes i.e.(explorer.exe) and the result has made my computer worse off than it was before I started. Any help for both probelms would be awesome, thanks!

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July 22, 2011 at 21:29:00
Open "New Task" in Task Manager, then do explorer.exe

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July 22, 2011 at 21:54:27
devondunmire, if you're able to get explorer running again (even if slow), you can do a number of things. What are the specs for your system? Slowness is one of the more common complaints heard and it can have a number of causes. I'll enumerate a few of the more common and we'll hope that hits you.

Cable access? The number of folks trying to access the net at once can slow things down. Get up in the middle of the night and see if it's faster. If so, learn to love it (the slowness), it's them not you. That usually affects only site access (online) speed, not boot up speed.

Speed depends on memory and a lot of machines are right on the borderline when it comes to meeting required minimums (especially older machines) so any added 'memory hog' has an adverse effect. Any more, 512M is about the minimum RAM needed by XP for smooth, speedy operation and 1G is better although it'll run on considerably less. Add memory?
Sorta along those same lines is your start up menu. Lots of software writers think there's no possible way we could exist without their masterpiece so they put it in the start up menu. That usually only causes slow booting, but ... Take a look at what you have running in the background and be sure there aren't extras. Things you MUST have in order for Windows to be happy are listed @:

An overzealous firewall reading each item over and over can significantly slow things. Kinda along those same lines are temporary files. Search for *.tmp,*.chk,~*.*, .chk (c/p so there’re no errors) You should only have 1 file containing your currently active files. Delete any others found (tip: select all and delete. It’ll tell you which is active and can’t be deleted.).

A common ailment is a file called 'index.dat'. It gets read every time and can take quite a while if it’s too bloated. It's like a log file and keeps a record of every site you visit on the web. Empty, it's 32K, but it can grow HUGE. It's a protected file and can't be deleted by normal methods. CCleaner (free @: can get rid of it when it’s ticked (not to worry, it gets rebuilt EMPTY on the next boot.). May not be your deal at all, but won’t cause any harm to try. I run it often.
There're others, but those are some of the more common. Suggested further reading: http://speedupslowcomputer-shelly.b...
Ed in Texas

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July 24, 2011 at 20:54:45
I got the explorer.exe started backup before I posted my question, I thought maybe there were some other lasting adverse effects I was unaware of. I've left out alot of crucial information; maybe I can clear up a couple of things. The computer that Im trying to fix doesn't have access to the internet and hasn't for more than a year, im having more of a problem with using games previously installed. I know theres a number of useless things that force themselves into function at startup but Im not sure how to keep them from initializing like they do everytime I turn on the computer. Also, heres a report for the last time I ran a defrag:
Volume Boltech de Machina (C:)
Volume size = 57.26 GB
Cluster size = 4 KB
Used space = 30.84 GB
Free space = 26.42 GB
Percent free space = 46 %

Volume fragmentation
Total fragmentation = 11 %
File fragmentation = 23 %
Free space fragmentation = 0 %

File fragmentation
Total files = 65,637
Average file size = 654 KB
Total fragmented files = 194
Total excess fragments = 2,691
Average fragments per file = 1.04

Pagefile fragmentation
Pagefile size = 1.47 GB
Total fragments = 2

Folder fragmentation
Total folders = 7,885
Fragmented folders = 2
Excess folder fragments = 7

Master File Table (MFT) fragmentation
Total MFT size = 87 MB
MFT record count = 74,059
Percent MFT in use = 83 %
Total MFT fragments = 3

Fragments File Size Files that cannot be defragmented
2 1 KB \Documents and Settings\Skadoo\Local Settings\temp
3 105 MB \Program Files\Adobe\Reader 9.0\Setup Files\{AC76BA86-7AD7-1033-7B44-A93000000001}\
776 703 MB \Documents and Settings\Frost Music\The Book of Eli [leaked screening] [new movie torrent.avi] (2010).avi
52 1.39 GB \Documents and Settings\Frost Music\Star Trek Movie (2009).mp4
326 3.40 GB \Program Files\UBISOFT\Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2\Bundles\quick.bundle

How can I get rid of these fragments?
Now that avi and mp4 listed up there have been stuck in it since I got it, That Ghost Recon fragment was from me trying to install the game from a disk before the system copped out halfway through installation and now prompts me to INSTALL when I go through the uninstall/remove programs in windows. It won't allow me to delete it because (from what I can recall) the file cannot be found.

As far as RAM goes I think I have two 512MB sticks but will re-post with those and other specs in a day or so. I'll run the ccleaner until then if I can get it extracted onto the system with my flashdrive.

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July 25, 2011 at 01:19:07
devondunmire, sounds to me like you're confusing RAM memory and disk space. Two completely different critters. Disk space is just storage space. RAM is the active computer memory.
Recommend you run CCleaner (which can delete hidden files, you may have to set it -can't recall) also pay close attention to index.dat, it can be a real RAM hog.

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