System still lagging, but...(unexpected finding)

Emachines T5088 desktop
December 19, 2011 at 22:09:12
Specs: Windows XP Pro SP3, Pentium 4 3.2GHz / 4 GB Ram
My eMachines running Windows XP Pro has had big lagging problems that I have posted about & can't seem to solve, but something I didn't expect happened. On the recommendation of another trusted site, I ran a free scan (I believe it was called PC Pitstop) that performed a bunch of diagnostic tests in hope of pinpointing the problem. It tested hardware, drivers, graphics, drives, internet connections, ect. and the result was that overall it was in pretty good shape.

Here's the part I didn't expect - after the tests, which did not actually change any settings (as far as I know), the system started running much better. I shut it down and restarted it later and it was back to lagging - I ran the scan and again and noticed it improved significantly. I did note that during the test, it runs a bunch of high-res 2D and 3D graphics sequences, and after this, the improvement seems to start - pure intuition tells me it's graphics related - & I did make sure my graphics drivers were up to date.

I know it seems strange, but it's almost as if it needs to do some "stretching exercises" before it starts running well again. Admittedly, the performance is still not stellar, but it goes from almost useless to tolerable. Can anyone explain this? Does this possibly give a clue to what's wrong with the it? Thank you!


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#1
December 20, 2011 at 01:10:45
At any time did you uninstall old graphics drivers prior to applying the most recent update? If not that would be worth considering. Uninstall the graphics drivers, re-boot and install the drivers afresh.

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)


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#2
December 20, 2011 at 04:51:37
The P4 Prescott is notorious for running hot & throttling - that will slow the CPU speed down significantly. I mentioned that in your other thread. The hotter it gets, the slower it will go. Have you checked the CPU temp both at idle & under load?

Your system should fly with a P4 @ 3.2GHz & 4GB RAM. If overheating isn't the problem, you have some sort of garbage software installed. Which anti-virus are you using? What other programs do you have loading at startup?


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#3
December 20, 2011 at 05:05:56
Look for programs running in the background that maybe this test disabled as a side effect without mentioning it. Open Run box (Start>Run) and type msconfig.exe and start it. Then go to the Start tab (these are what is running when Windows first starts), uncheck everything except Microsoft and your antivirus (any can be added back later if you find you need them), Apply, and restart the machine.

Let us know the results.

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


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#4
December 20, 2011 at 05:26:03
it also could be a full hard disk, if the hard disk is full it will surely lag ur system, make sure at least 30 % is free and that the cpu is not overheating, or that no viruses are present

computers are a second home
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#5
December 20, 2011 at 10:10:06
I probably should have mentioned in my post, which was a follow-up to a previous post, that I just performed a clean install of XP Pro on this machine so it shouldn't have any junkware on it - the system had been throttling a lot - I cleaned out the dust and the CPU fan as was recommended and the throttling went away, but the lagging remained.

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#6
December 20, 2011 at 19:48:36
What antivirus program are you running? If you are running a BIG suite like Norton or McAfee, they are draining the life out of your single core processor, switch to Avast, MS Security Essentials, or Webroot's new program (very fast and very easy on system resources).

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


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#7
December 20, 2011 at 20:09:58
I am running MS Security Essentials, but it was doing this even before I installed. Is it possible that during the throttling that was happening before, some permanent damage was done to my CPU?

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#8
December 23, 2011 at 15:36:45
When it starts to lag, what are the numbers on RAM & CPU usage in task manager ? I know that doesn't necessarily explain what effect PC Pittstop may have had.

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#9
December 23, 2011 at 17:45:03
CPU goes up to almost max and RAM just goes up a little bit

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#10
December 23, 2011 at 18:42:18
What processes are using the highest % for the cpu ?

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#11
December 23, 2011 at 19:24:39
That clean install, was that from a retail XP disk or a recovery disk from a system manufacturer? If it was a retail disk then it is a true clean install, but if it is a factory recovery disk set then it will be including some bloatware and possibly a trial version of Norton or McAfee which will need to be removed in order to install MSE and not have problems.

If your CPU usage is spiking, then you do have something running that you do not know about.

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


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