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My computer is crippled by slow memory

March 10, 2011 at 11:13:23
Specs: Windows 7, 3GB/600MB Ram
I have tried a $30 program to fix svchost.exe problems but that did not resolve the issue. It seems like the computer works after being shut off for several hours, but after working for even 30 minutes my mouse starts to slow. Some of the main processes that iexplore.exe and various svchost.exe

I have also noticed that when I have a section of text highlighted in word (to copy for instance) the problem is magnified. Also when prompt windows are open. This is very frustrating for me. I need to jump between windows frequently with multiple programs (including up to 3 different email programs, iexplorer, AdobeReader, Word, and a highpowered text indexing program I use for reasearch all at the same time) It seems though that it is only the above mentioned executables that cause the problem. when the mouse slows I can accomplish nothing

I am defragmenting C: as we speak, but don't think that is the answer.
In the advanced attributes of the process properties I unchecked 'allow this file to have contents indexed in addition to file properties' and checked 'compress contents to save disk space'. When I tried to do this it gave me an error message that it was not authorized to do so (error applying attributes) so I was unable to change the properties in this way.

My gut feeling is that this is some kind of conflict between Apple and Microsoft that I am subject to becuase I have itunes selected as my default player for audio files, but I have no idea.

Can anyone help me with this debilitating problem?

One other detail is I do have my laptop connected via a homegroup network, and when I unchecked multimedia sharing I thought this might have fixed things but it didn't.

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March 10, 2011 at 11:25:09
I'm not really clear as to your problem (slowness yes, but...) or more importantly how/when it started. For example, did the machine run at what you consider proper speed in the past? If so, when did this change - and what hardware/software did you change around this time.

Assuming machine fit for purpose (and you have 3GB RAM, presumably a dual core at least processor - graphics?) in terms of hardware, slowness is usually caused by:-

Too many items starting up when windows starts (list can be pruned with msconfig or download autoruns)

Rogue app hogging processor and/or available memory (use task manager and/or resource monitor to check this out). This includes noted internet security hogs, eg some versions of Norton & McAfee.

Hardware issues. Failing hardware item can cause this - particulaly hard drive which has 'bad blocks' - check event log (run eventvwr.msc) to see if this applies.

Defragging (and registry tweaks) are IMO a complete waste of time - and possibly cause more problems.

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March 10, 2011 at 12:00:44
It sounds to me as if you are simply asking too much of the computer. There is a limit to how much multi-tasking that can be performed, even with a state of the art desktop.

Why do you need 3 email programs open at once, for instance?

Make a note of how many processes are running when you first start and then when you notice the slow down check again. How many running processes does task manager show now?

Are you running the 64 bit version of Windows 7?

I assume the 600MB of RAM actually means 6GB?

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March 10, 2011 at 15:29:38
Those are all helpful solutions, but with my limited knowledge here is why I think something is up. Computer has worked fine until about 3 weeks ago when I had to allow a Microsoft Silverlight and Adobe Flash update to occur so that I could freefile my taxes. I have since done a system restore and removed both programs. I had to use a Beta version of Flash because I am running in 64bit. The mulitple email programs have never been a problem in the past, and like I said everything was working fine less than a month ago.

Norton does slow things down when it runs background procedures, but they are very small interuptions. This problem I am describing will literally bog down the mouse pointer for 30 seconds with memory spikes. I can close all applications once this starts happening and the processes will still hog memory.

Like I said in my first post this problem seems to accumulate while the computer is on. My internet provider is Qwest if that matters. Right now there is no problem. I did do a C: defrag this morning and eliminated some of the visual options (scrolling menus, pointer shaddow, etc.) also but I did this in the past also and it did not seem to be a lasting fix.

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March 10, 2011 at 16:14:57
Next time the mouse lags bring up task manager and check the following;

Processes tab: what is hogging the CPU?
Performance tab go to resource monitor. Hard page faults?

It is a internet myth you don't need to defrag. If you don't defrag a ntfs volume can become so fragmented the OS will not load. I have seen this personally.

Answers are only as good as the information you provide.
How to properly post a question:
Sorry no tech support via PM's

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March 10, 2011 at 19:10:04
I asked how many processes are running. Did you try my suggestion?

If you want help you need to respond to all queries. Reread #2.

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March 10, 2011 at 19:40:48
Download Process Explorer from Microsoft, it will show you more of what is going on than Task Manager can and will identify the processes more clearly for you.
Use msconfig (type in after opening 'start' orb and choose program) and go to the start tab, uncheck most items except MS, Windows, and antivirus.
Download Malwarebytes (free version) and run it, it will pick up on infections that your antivirus program could have missed (especially with Norton). An excess of iexplore items in task manager can be malware masquerading as internet explorer so you ignore them (I had this a few years ago, in fact it was just before I dumped Norton for good (McAfee is no better).
Run disk clean up, especially before doing a defrag, but you should run it monthly at least.
Consider dumping the system hog known as Norton and get something leaner and meaner (Avast - the free version stays free if you register it, Webroot (they may have a trial for 30 days still, or others).

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

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March 17, 2011 at 11:05:41
In response to your question OtheHill, it seems that the problem has returned and there are about 48-50 processes running when the mouse lag occurs. I am not sure why so many, but it appears the problem is most frequent after I have accessed to check my qwest email. This is a flash heavy site and I have recently been forced to install Adobe Flash player for another site. The main process hogging meomory seems to be iexplore.exe, when I check the properties it is a new file related to explorer 9.0. I tried to reduce some of the authorities under the advanced options in the process properties, but it always reverts back. This particular process is listed under a folder called SIGNUP if that helps at all.

It is interesting that if I don't use this computer for several days it works without the error for a few days until the processes start to pile up. I wish I could determine how to resolve this.

I haven't tried all Fingers suggestions above yet. That is my next step. I am a graduate student so I have somewhat limited time to dedicate to resolving this problem, but i greatly appreciate all of the help I have thus far received from everyone.

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March 17, 2011 at 11:20:44
Through msconfig I unchecked 'Windows media network services sharing', windows error reporting service, distributed link tracking client, remote desktop services, Superfetch, Windows Image Acquisition, peer networking grouping, Media center extender service, human interface device access, bonjour service (Apple), and Windows Update. There are many other processes both running and stopped that I was not bold enough to change. We will see what this does after a restart.

thanks again fingers

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