Computer slow despite reformation!

December 27, 2010 at 09:36:11
Specs: Windows XP, 2.21 GHz, 2,00GB RAM
A while ago I was finding my computer was almost unusably slow and would frequently freeze and need to be restarted. I tried a lot of things to fix it with no more than a slight improvement, so I eventually bit the bullet and did a complete format reinstall. I didn't take any shortcuts like copying over old settings in case this brought junk with it, and instead customised everything manually, from scratch.

This provided a major improvement to speed, but I still find it is very slow, and it still occasionally freezes when it gets bogged down in an apparently memory intensive task. If not even a format reinstall could completely fix my problems, what else can I try to speed things up? Or is it time to start thinking about hardware upgrades?

Note: Currently my system is running Windows XP. The format reinstall was only recent, so everything should be very 'clean'. Only very few essential programs were installed, but this did include the firewall/virus checker, BitDefender. This I know will contribute to a decrease in speed, but is really unavoidable.

My PC: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual
Core Processor 4200+
2.21 GHz, 2,00GB RAM

Graphics: Geforce 8600 GT 512MB

HD: 300 Gb


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#1
December 27, 2010 at 09:52:09
You can't fix a hardware problem by formatting & reinstalling the OS. If your system is running hot due to dust accumulation inside the case, the system will automatically underclock in an attempt to lower the temp. If you don't clean your case regularly (or never have), I suggest you open it up & blow out the dust with compressed air. Do NOT use a vacuum!

After the reinstall of XP, did you install all the latest available drivers for the motherboard chipset, video, audio, LAN ,etc? New drivers are created all the time to improve performance or to fix bugs, so it's generally best to run the latest available.

Also, BitDefender is poorly rated. Try Micosoft's free Security Essentials instead.

http://www.hiprank.com/avast-vs-avg...

http://www.microsoft.com/security_e...

Lastly, there are plenty of tweaks that can improve the performance of XP. The one change that can make a HUGE difference is to turn off indexing.

http://lifehacker.com/031440/turn-o...


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#2
December 27, 2010 at 09:57:20
You could dump bit defender and use Microsoft Security Suite. It doesn't use a lot of resources and does the job just fine. The freezing could be an overheating problem. Have you removed the case sides and cleaned it out real well. If your Mobo can handle it, you could add another gig of ram. XP can use up to 3.5 gigs. You can also click Run and type MSCONFIG and click the Startup tab. Uncheck any unnecessary programs on startup.

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#3
December 27, 2010 at 10:14:07
Tell us the make and model of your brand name system, or if you have a generic desktop system, the make and model of the mboard.

The specific model of a brand name system is shown on a label on the outside of the case somewhere, or it can often be determined by going to the brand name's web site and loading a program they have available, if Windows is still working, on the subject computer.
For Dell computers, they have a Service Tag number - the specific model can be determined by using that on their site, or can often be determined there automatically by you downloading some software, if Windows is still working, on the subject computer. The Service Tag number should be on a label on the outside of the case, probably on the bottom on a laptop, on the back on a desktop, and is often also shown in the bios Setup.

The model, sometimes the make, of a mboard in a generic desktop system is usually printed on the mboard's surface in obvious larger characters, often between the slots.
.......

What is the manufacturer and part numbers of the ram module(s) ?
........

XP doesn't have the drivers built in for most things that first came out after XP was first released, circa 2001, and it doesn't have some of the drivers built in for things made before that.

If you haven't loaded the main chipset drivers for the mboard, your system is probably not running your hard drive(s) and optical drive(s) as fast as they are capable of running.

Whenever you load Windows from a regular Windows CD (or DVD) from scratch, after Setup is finished you must load the drivers for the mboard, particularly the main chipset drivers, in order for Windows to have the proper drivers for and information about your mboard hardware, including it's AGP or PCI-E, ACPI, USB 2.0 if it has it, and hard drive controller support. If you have a generic system and have the CD that came with the mboard, all the necessary drivers are on it. If you load drivers from the web, brand name system builders and mboard makers often DO NOT have the main chipset drivers listed in the downloads for your model - in that case you must go to the maker of the main chipset's web site, get the drivers, and load them.
.......

Lots of things can bog down and freeze Windows.
Usually that's caused by software problems, but sometimes that's caused by the overheating of the cpu. If the problems do not occur when the computer is relatively cool, such as after it has been started up after it has had a chance to cool to room temp, and only happen after the computer has warmed up, such as after it has been running for a half hour, then check the temp of the cpu in the bios Setup when you are having problems or right after the computer freezes.
The most common cause of the cpu overheating on a desktop computer is the cpu fan and the heat sink it cools have too much "mung" on them - accumulated dust, lint, etc. If you have that, clean it off, but DO NOT use a vacuum cleaner to do that.
E.g. Use a small brush, or canned air or gas meant for that purpose, or blow it off with compressed air if you can have access to an air compressor.

"Only very few essential programs were installed, but this did include the firewall/virus checker, BitDefender. This I know will contribute to a decrease in speed, but is really unavoidable."

All anti-malware software that has one or more resident module(s) - a part that runs all the time checking for suspicious activity - slows down Windows, but some has a lot less impact on performance than others.
E.g. the free version of AVG 2011 slows down Windows a lot less than many other anti-malware programs.
You DO NOT need to buy a "paid" version of anti-malware software these days, and no one anti-malware program protects you against everything.

If you connect to the internet through a router or a combo router / high speed modem, the router always has a built in "hardware" firewall that's protecting your connection, and most people DO NOT need to use a third party software firewall as well. The software firewall's resident module(s) also slows down Windows, more than the firewall that's built into Windows .


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#4
December 27, 2010 at 10:51:46
All my drivers is installed with the CD I got for the PC.
This drivers:
NVIDIA Chipsets
Audio
Network
Serial ATA

Thats it!


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#5
December 27, 2010 at 10:54:00
Also want to tell you, sometimes i´ve been running many games at the same time so many times it came up a window in the right corner i think. It said '' Too little memory left or Too much memory in use '' Something like that. And also few times my computer just shut down by it self, overheating. So I dont know if that made my computer worser? Because sometimes it just freezes and i just gotta turn it off with the Button! Damn it, it wasnt like that before!

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#6
December 27, 2010 at 11:56:49
If you installed the NVidia main chipset drivers, then that's good.

"....sometimes i´ve been running many games at the same time so many times it came up a window in the right corner i think. It said '' Too little memory left or Too much memory in use '' "

You have only 2gb of ram installed. You're likely to get messages like that when you have more than one game running that requires a significant amount of memory.

Why would you run more than one game at a time ?

Or - if you don't have enough free space left on the Windows partition, which is usually C, then you can get similar messages.
What is the size of the Windows partition, and how much free space is left on it ?

"And also few times my computer just shut down by it self, overheating."

If the computer shuts off and won't start up again until the computer has had a chance to cool down enough, the cpu is probably overheating.
If the computer re-starts, that can be caused by many things.

If you know it's overheating, why haven't you fixed what's causing that?
That's easy to fix if this is a desktop computer - clean off the cpu fan and cpu heat sink.
If this is a laptop, you may need to open up the case to clean out "mung", and/ or replace the fan.

If the cpu fan or laptop fan makes screeching or rattling noises when the computer is started up, most likely to be noticed after having had a chance to cool to room temp and has sat for a while, such as overnight, then it's bearings are in bad shape and you need to replace the cpu fan.

"So I dont know if that made my computer worser?"

Overheating the cpu CAN damage it, depending on how hot it got. If the problem does not occur when the computer is still relatively cool, then the cpu is probably still okay.

"sometimes it just freezes and i just gotta turn it off with the Button!"

That's very common when the cpu is too hot - it often mis-behaves before the mboard's bios automatically shuts down the mboard.


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#7
December 27, 2010 at 12:44:46
"All my drivers is installed with the CD I got for the PC"

That means they're outdated.


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#8
December 28, 2010 at 07:13:55
Ok thanks for all requests, appriciate it very much! Last question, can I buy any hardware to make my PC fresh and fast again? Its not a laptop. Also it makes much noise from the big FAN, do you think that computer works slower and freezes cause it gets hot? So i maybe need to buy a new FAN or something to make the PC good again ? So tell me can a new FAN be the solution-?

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#9
December 28, 2010 at 09:06:33
"...can I buy any hardware to make my PC fresh and fast again? Its not a laptop."

So far, you have not provided the make and model of the mboard, and have provided very little feedback regarding what we have suggested.

You may be able to install a much faster cpu and matching cpu heat sink for a reasonable amount of money, but that depends on which mboard you have.

Adding more ram will help some and it's relatively cheap - 1gb more will probably yield you a better result than 2gb more - but you need to stop trying to run more than one game that requires significantly more memory at the same time - you can only play one at a time anyway.

Regarding the stuff mentioned in response 3.....
What is the make and model of the mboard ?
Does the computer work fine when it's still relatively cool ?
Have you checked the cpu temp in the bios when you are having problems ? If so, what was it ?
Have you checked the cpu fan and cpu heat sink to see whether they have too much dust and lint on them ?

"Also it makes much noise from the big FAN"

Which fan ? The cpu fan ? At the very least you have a cpu fan and one power supply fan - you may also have another power supply fan, and one or more case fans.
If the fan, and the heat sink it cools if that applies, has too much dust and lint on it, merely cleaning that off may get rid of much or all of the noise.
Describe the noise. If it's making screeching or rattling noises, you must replace it if it's the cpu fan or a power supply fan; if it's a case fan, you probably don't actually need it, if the cpu fan is adequate - try just disconnecting it.

"....do you think that computer works slower and freezes cause it gets hot? "

Does the computer work fine when it's still relatively cool ?
If the cpu is getting too hot, yes, that can cause both problems, but many other things can cause the computer to run Windows slower too - e.g. not enough free space - what's the size of your C partition and how much free space is left on it ?



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#10
December 28, 2010 at 13:22:17
Ok first i want to say thank you very much to take your time to help me, and apologize that i can´t express or describe my computer with better english words, but im just studying english and live in Sweden. So alright this is my Motherboard I have.
I just read from the carton.

GIGABYTE S-Series Motherboards
Support AMD Socket AM2
AMD 64 Athlon X2

NVIDIA GeForce 6100, NVIDIA nForce 430
Dual-Ch DDR2 800, SATA 3Gb/s, IEEE 1394, RoHS Compliant, Gigabit LAN.

This is my motherbard as i understood.
And i i think its the power supply fan that makes noises, its like noise all the time but i know its not something to fix, its just working like that or maybe old, and even more sometimes like the propell touching in something, but just a little bit.


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#11
December 28, 2010 at 14:44:35
You still haven't answered most of my questions.
E.g.
Have you checked the cpu fan and cpu heat sink to see whether they have too much dust and lint on them ?

If you don't know enough English, there are free online translators that you and I can use that can translate the text here to Swedish, and translate your text in Swedish to English.
........

The box the mboard came in probably has a stuck on label on it that has the specific model of the mboard on it - GA-xxxxxxxx

Please tell us what that is .

E.g. GA-M55plus-S3G Rev. 1, or a higher Rev number.

It is a S series mboard model, and it has NVIDIA GeForce 6100 onboard graphics, and the NVIDIA nForce 430 main chipset.

If you don't see that,
The model, sometimes the make, of a mboard in a generic desktop system is usually printed on the mboard's surface in obvious larger characters, often between the slots. We need the Rev. number too - that's usually beside the model number.
.....

"....i think its the power supply fan that makes noises, its like noise all the time but i know its not something to fix, its just working like that or maybe old, and even more sometimes like the propell touching in something, but just a little bit."

If you have not opened up the case, whatever sound you're hearing will seem to be coming from the power supply at the back of the case, because that's the easiest place for the sound to get out of the case.

You have not described the noises, or told us whether you hear them when the computer is cool.
If you hear a screeching or rattling sound from a fan, if it's a cpu or power supply fan, you must replace it, if cleaning it off, or making sure it's not rubbing on something, does not help.

Your power supply fan(s) can have too much dust and lint on it (them) too.

I assume when you say "propell" you mean propeller - the fan's spinning blade. Yes, it's possible it's rubbing on wires, but in that case it would probably make the same sound all the time.


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