Complete XP slowdown

April 5, 2009 at 02:22:24
Specs: Windows XP Home SP2
I have a Windows XP SP2. While using it a week ago, I suddenly experience a complete slowdown, with the mouse moving only in jumps. I restarted the computer, thinking it would solve the problem, but it didn't. Starting up now takes around 15 minutes, from about 3-4 minutes before. Running programs takes 10-20 times longer. I have a printer connected to my computer, and even printing takes much longer than usual. What surprised me was how sudden the change occurred- one minute it was running as usual, then suddenly it slowed and has never recovered.

I have ran Spybot S&D. It found a few things but my computer stills runs much, much slower. Running in safe-mode doesn't change anything. I've also tried System Restore, going back by about a week before the problem occurred, but that also had no effect.

I'm running out of ideas; help would be much appreciated.

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April 5, 2009 at 03:06:11
Magic Sesame, slowdown can be because of several things.. I'd first rule out a worm/trojan. Be aware that a virus and a Trojan are similar, but not the same. Many times, an AV detects one it can't clean, other times, it gets missed entirely.
If you need to clean one, Superantispyware can do the job and you can get it free @:
among other places. They have a Vista compatible version if needed.
If it turns out that you need to use it, be sure to update prior to running and disable 'restore' (restart after cleaning) so it doesn't get put back. They just released a new update recently and it changes all the time. Things are in a constant state of flux.
Next, I'd clear index.dat. 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 (not to worry, it gets rebuilt EMPTY on the next boot.).
If it's still slow after that, dunno.
Ed in Texas.

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April 5, 2009 at 05:46:32
Do these while in Safe-Mode ----
Description of the Disk Cleanup Tool in Windows XP
How to Defragment Your Disk Drive Volumes in Windows XP
Maybe harddrive slow,
Possible that the harddrive is not running at its normal speed,
freezing up or slowing down. Or has quit.
My computer took 20 min. to boot the other day.
I was watching the HDD activity indicator light,
and it would remain on, and not rapidly blinking.
Mechanical devices do have problems.

Harddrive manufacturers have software for download for testing HDD.

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April 5, 2009 at 06:15:19
A little more detail about your computer would help. How about a model number or hardware list?

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Related Solutions

April 5, 2009 at 06:44:34
I ran CCleaner, making sure to delete index.dat, then restarted. The computer is still running as slow as ever. I'll have a go at downloading superantispyware and running that.

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April 5, 2009 at 06:52:30
Try disconnecting the computer from the internet physically. If you have malware that is using your computer as a bot it should stop using CPU sycles if it has no pipe anymore. If the computer then speeds up that is a sure sign you have some sort of infection.

Still need details about your rig in order to provide more help.

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April 5, 2009 at 07:12:57
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition Version 2002 Service Pack 2.

AMD Athlon 64 Processor 3500+
2.2 GHz, 1.00GB of RAM

NVIDIA GeForce 6200

Have I missed anything?

Edit: Restarting with the wifi receiver physically pulled out changes nothing. I did notice, however, that the HDD indicator remained on throughout the boot sequence, and then blinks on and off very regularly until the computer is shut down. Could it be a mechanical error as Chuck 2 described?

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April 5, 2009 at 08:46:04
If your hard drive is running in a compatibility mode the computer will definitely run slower.

Go to Device Manager and expand IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers. Then Right click on the primary master. Select properties> advance settings. If your drive running in a DMA mode?

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April 5, 2009 at 12:49:54
Under IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers I have "ALi M5229 PCI Bus Master IDE Controller", "Primary IDE Channel", "Secondary IDE Channel".

Advanced settings in the "Primary IDE channel" shows Device 0 and Device 1. Both of these have transfer mode set to "DMA if available". Current transfer mode shows "Not Applicable".

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April 5, 2009 at 16:07:49
You may need to re-install the motherboard chipset drivers.

Your drives should be running in a DMA mode, unless you have SATA drives.

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