Dimension 4300S slow & using 100% CPU after HDD upgrade

August 25, 2012 at 19:49:58
Specs: Windows XP SP3, 512MB
My sister bought new PC & I'm trying to fix her old one so she can use it to check email & light tasks. 20GB hdd was almost full, so got an 80GB one, copied all info using ddrescue, resized the partition & all works fine, EXCEPT it is still very slow. It has 512MB RAM. I've also put in a PCI wireless card to allow her to set the pc up without worrying about wires & that works fine. Have scanned with Malwarebytes, Microsoft Safety Scanner, GMER, TDSS Rootkit killer and maybe others and found a couple of infected files (which were removed), but nothing serious. Used msconfig to stop all unnecessary startup items. Used ccleaner to clear temp & unneeded files. System runs Avast anti-virus which is up to date. Ran chkdsk and sfc. System is still very slow and CPU usage is running consistently near 100%. Further suggestions????

Almost forgot... I checked the fragmentation of the hdd and it showed almost 30% fragmented, so it is now defragging which will probably take several hours. I'm hoping that helps, but I'm not confident that it will fix the issue.

I've thought of increased temps causing this, but haven't checked that yet. Or, could there be some driver that needs updating? Or, could it still be infected and I just haven't found it yet?


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#1
August 25, 2012 at 20:34:38
512 MB of RAM is still pretty low for XP. 1 GB would be better. What is the processor inside that computer?

You've been helped by a 14 year old.


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#2
August 25, 2012 at 20:49:56
Per the config part of the Dell website (since the pc is at my sister's house & I don't have access right now), it shows "Processor, 80531, 1.4GHz, 0K, 400FSB, Socket N" as the processor. Does this tell you anything?

The pc came with 256MB RAM in 2001 (I think). I upgraded to 512MB for her about 3 or 4 years ago. I'll see if I can get a 1GB stick, but I think that is all the mobo supports.

I don't want to spend much more. I really thought it should work for checking email and playing non-graphic-intensive games, but it is sooooo slow right now.


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#3
August 25, 2012 at 20:52:24
1.4 GHz is a bit slow for a desktop. Maybe just upgrading to a better computer would be better. I mean for $50 you could just get an Optiplex GX280 that supports PCI-Express and a Socket 775 processor on eBay.

EDIT: Just checked on eBay and found one for $30.

You've been helped by a 14 year old.


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Related Solutions

#4
August 25, 2012 at 21:07:40
"The pc came with 256MB RAM in 2001 (I think)."
so you using xp that was installed 11 years ago and, its been copied from one drive to another. that computer came with cds that restore the os, use them before you give up.

larry


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#5
August 25, 2012 at 21:11:47
Thanks. I realize that it's really old and could be replaced inexpensively, but I've already put a little $$$ in this machine and it worked fine (somewhat slow, but my sis is OK with somewhat slow) until the wireless card & hdd changes. Could they be causing the problem? The HDD passed smart checks.

I'd like to figure this out as much for my knowledge as for her getting to use it. When I say it is slow, I mean click start > shutdown and wait like 2 minutes for the screen to pop up where you make the choice to either shutdown or restart. Excrutiatingly slow and she's been using it like that! I would have thrown it out the window already. Just seems odd...


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#6
August 25, 2012 at 21:14:36
do you have the os and driver cds that came with the computer???

larry


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#7
August 25, 2012 at 21:14:51
Thanks larryf215. I was so hoping I wouldn't have to do that.... It's so old that the gazillion Windows updates will take forever, but you're probably right. Anybody still think it could be infected? I did run the system file checker and it passed.

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#8
August 25, 2012 at 21:16:04
Yes, she has all the disks.

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#9
August 25, 2012 at 21:24:03
you could try cleaning it up,
http://www.filehippo.com/download_c...

dont let it install any toolbars ect....

"gazillion Windows updates will take forever"
I agree 100%

"so she can use it to check email & light tasks"
other os's can do this, create a live cd:
http://distrowatch.com/?newsid=07153

if the sound and wireless work, you could save some time by installing it

larry


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#10
August 25, 2012 at 22:23:25
Ddrescue is more for data recovery and not drive cloning. I suggest you download the copying/cloning software from either the 20 or 80 gig drive manufacturer and do it again.

The 512 ram isn't much but it's not what's causing the problem.

Also, you may want to temporarily disable Avast! and see if that is a factor.


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#11
August 26, 2012 at 05:07:52
I would also recommend the clean install directly to the new hard drive and eliminate all of those many small errors that build up over time on an older system. Yes, all of the service packs and other updates will take quite a bu=it of time, but it will be worth it. Then again, replacing it would be easier. The machine probably will support two 512 sticks of memory for a full GB of RAM (1024MB) and if she plans of really using it, it will make it significantly a better experience overall.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#12
August 26, 2012 at 07:00:44
That is a VERY old machine that uses PC133 SDR-SDRAM.

https://support.dell.com/support/ed...

It's not worth investing any money in. For the price of the HDD you installed, you could have bought a more modern refurbed system.

Rather than reinstalling a 10 yr old version of Windows using the crappy Dell disks with all the bloatware, why not install a modern OS such as Puppy Linux or one of the other Linux distros designed to run on outdated hardware? You wouldn't have even needed to replace the 20GB HDD. In fact, why did you?

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?di...

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?di...

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?di...


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#13
August 26, 2012 at 10:29:21
Thanks for all the input. I paid very little for a drive I bought off Ebay. My sister has the computer, is familiar with the OS, and just wanted to continue to use it until it dies. I KNOW the best would have been replacement, but this has also been a learning experience for me to improve my tech skills.

I doubt that a Linux OS will make her happy. That'd be fine for me, but she won't want to learn anything new.

The defrag finished. She said it did improve the response time, but it is still pretty slow. She'll use it though as is. I wouldn't/couldn't! I might run Speedfan and check temps just in case that's a factor. I'd like to get her machine more usable as is, but may not spend much more time on it since it's pretty well ancient hardware. Just wanted others' opinions of what else I could check. Thanks.


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#14
August 26, 2012 at 10:38:08
One other quick question... I looked at the specs in the link riider posted (Thank you) and it shows max memory of 512MB under the memory section. Does that mean that is the biggest module that can be put into the two slots (total of 1GB) or is that total for the mobo, meaning I already have as much memory on it that it can take?

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#15
August 26, 2012 at 11:51:24
http://support.dell.com/support/edo...

according to this 512 is the max, I do not see where you tried ccleaner. I'll bet on an xp install that 11 years old, it finds more that a gig of junk. if you run it , take note of the amount it cleans, I would be interested to hear it, could be a record

http://www.netsquirrel.com/msconfig...

larry


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#16
August 26, 2012 at 12:32:17
looks like you do have an agp slot.
http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?in...

with $3.30 shipping (US), this is under $20. Make sure your monitor doesn't need an adaptor. Then again maybe it not worth even another $20.

larry


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