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Would like a little help re slow laptop/boot.

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Greetings and sorry about the vague title. I couldn't think of anything more appropriate. Here is my situation. I am a (somewhat) seasoned IT person but have been out of touch with desktops for a little while. I am primarily a server/networking person.

I do not (AFAIK) think I have any malware or other infection on my machine. I run AVG 8 and spybot with Teatimer. I do nightly scans. In the past few weeks AVG has found an infection or two and quickly dispensed with it. I have run clean since about 2 weeks ago.

My issue is that like most desktops, as time goes on, I have developed a very slow boot, and my machine appears to take longer to perform the same tasks that used to run reasonably fast. Nothing jumps out as being specifically slow or fast. And no one installation or update of any of my programs stands out as having been the culprit.

I have gone through add/remove programs and culled out what i *KNOW* I can safely remove, but it has had little effect on the machine. I have looked at task manager and CPU/MEM utilization, and nothing appears out of ordinary. I do find that I have a lot of processes running that appear to be OK, but there are just so many of them. some of them I recognize as related to applications, others I recognize as related to the OS. I would like to pare this down to what *I* need, and not what the *software application folks* want me to install. For example I have an app called "HP Customer participation ...." I researched it went to uninstall it, and it said if I want to use any of the following programs, I should not install it. Well, I DO want use some of those programs. Scanning, printing etc. I just don't want all the other junk that they make me install with it. This is just an example.

I will include a recent HiJackThis log. I also have the startup log if it would help. Per the FAQ I have not included it in this first post.

My ultimate goal is to get my laptop back to the speed it used to run at (make it faster) by deleting what I don't really need or use. Any help in identifying these unwanted/unneeded programs/processes would be much appreciated.


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The Skeptic

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There are two levels for the problem you describe. The first one is related to processes that were installed as soon as the operating system was installed. I never disable any of these. There are people that do but there is always a chance of failing the system. Besides, that wasn't what you looked for. You look to restore the system to a time in the past when those processes were active but the computer ran faster.

The other part is related to applications that were installed latter. Here it is up to you to decide what you need. Uninstall what you don't need. If you encounter a message like the one from HP think twice before uninstalling the component because this may affect the performance of desired parts of the program that run the device.

there are applications that are essential but can slow down a computer considerably. I am talking specifically about antimalware and firewall programs. If, for example, you used to run AVG 7.5 and upgraded to AVG 8.0, you will notice a slowdown. Disable TeaTimer and you will notice a speedup. Run microsoft's built-in firewall and the computer will run faster then with ZoneAlarm. There is an inverse relation between security level and performance (sometimes it's just imaginary. There are security programs that do not perform any better then free ones. For example, I regard AVAST free is the best antivirus that I know off, be it free or commercial)

What you can do is to decide how many programs you want to open and run in the background. Run msconfig, click selective mode and uncheck everything which is not essential. Leave only antimalware and items that are clearly related to the normal operation of the laptop.

Download and run CCLeaner (a link below). Run the Cleaner option on default setting adding only Old Prefetch Data. Run Registry option, choosing to backup when asked to do so. Run the two options few times until nothing is left to be cleaned.

Run disk defragmenter.

Check how much free space you have on your hard disk as percent of the total.
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