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[Solved] System Slowdown and I Have No Clue What's Wrong


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#1
Jjjakal

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I'm going to start this off with everything I know in what I think led up to an odd system slowdown. The error started about three days ago while playing left 4 dead. I was in the middle of a game, when the game went into a sound-loop freeze for about 4 minutes, and then came back. It was much slowed down and for some reason both the unpause and mouse wheel up keys were 'pressed down' according to the game. The game was too laggy to be playable, so I closed it. The 'stuck keys' stopped being pressed, but the system continued to run as a snail pace. I rebooted, only to have my computer act as if it were coming out of hibernation when I turned it back on. It then took a long time to log on, so I restarted again thinking I may have accidentally put it in hibernation mode or something of that sort that would keep the system running slow. The following symptoms occurred then and are still in effect.
-Computer takes a long time to start up
-Four minutes spent on the 'Windows XP' logo
-One minute before showing the log on screen
-Four minutes after logging on to load explorer.exe
-Approximately 15 minutes after that to fully load all other programs
-Error message 'Button Manager has encountered a problem and needs to close...' after logging on (inihid.exe)
-Horrible sound glitches, pauses, sounds like lag
-On every sound played from the log in melody to flash videos and games online
-Severe lag on more intensive games (TF2, L4D, Valve games really...)
-Video lag on games and videos (from any player)
-Long load times for programs and games

So far, I have tried the following things to find the problem:
-Virus & Spyware Scans (AVG Antivirus, Spybot S&D)
-Leaving the system turned off for an extended period of time
-Memory Test (Ran for two hours with no errors)
-TuneUp Utilities as suggested by a friend, which didn't help

The system is running just fine once it manages to boot up, internet browsing capabilities are fine(with the exception of videos being hard to watch without proper sound), and the only issue I have really come across is the utter destruction of my system's multimedia capabilities. I don't really have any idea where to begin in deciphering this problem.

And some last minute thoughts that may contribute to solving the problem:
-OS is XP Media Center Edition
-The right fan on my laptop has been nonfunctional for some time now. I try to prevent overheating by not leaving it on cushioned surfaces.
-I am worried that the issue may be a hardware problem thanks to the weak construction of my laptop by Dell. It always seems to have a couple screws that aren't in tight enough and are putting strain on one part of my system or another. I have no idea how I would go about determining if the error is hardware or software, and if hardware, what piece of hardware is broken.
-I recently bought a 1TB Simpletech external hard drive that has been giving me some pain, but I don't think those issues are of any relation. The drive wasn't even plugged in at the time of the first system crash.

I would really appreciate any and all input on this issue. It would really be a pain to have to build a new computer just to play games and use iTunes.
Thanks so much,

Jjjakal

Edited by Jjjakal, 20 February 2009 - 06:40 PM.

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#2
Anthony19

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There are many of reasons a computer will become slow...

I suggest you read this guidge written by artellos ( thank you artellos for the time taken to complete this guide )
Found here : http://www.geekstogo...ow-t210685.html

ALSO , i had a slow boot problem with my system not that long ago ( Window XP Home)

I managed to resolve the time significantly by just going through the start-up tab located in Msconfig , and disabling the programs i did not need at start-up

Start> run > type " Msconfig " ( press enter )

And i found what made the best improvement was selecting the BOOT.INI file , then tick the box " /NOGUIBOOT" ( great improvement just from that )

Another thing you may try is go to: Start menu, go to run> type in cmd> ( press enter ) Then type defrag C: /b (exactly as it's typed on here) into the command prompt ( press enter ) ,This will re-organise the boot files so the computer is able to boot up faster

BTW: do you know if page filing is enabled ???

Anthony19

PS: If you are unsure about pagefiling , you can check by Following the 7 steps listed below
1. Start the Control Panel System applet (go to Start, Settings, Control Panel, and click System).
2. Select the Advanced tab.
3. Under the Performance section, click Settings.
4. Select the Advanced tab.
5. Under the Virtual Memory section, click Change.
6. Ensure No Paging File , has NOT been SELECTED and click Set ( if required changing.. )
7. Click OK.

Best of luck!!!
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#3
Jjjakal

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My issue with all of those solutions is that they are all for a system that has slowed down over time and become weighted with age. My system suffered a sudden and unexplained crash from which it never recovered. Prior to that three minutes of lag while playing left4dead, my system ran perfectly.

Artellos' Guide:
* Low amount of memory (RAM)
-System ran fine before, RAM cannot be and issue. I already tested my memory for errors.
* Multiple protection systems installed
-Nope. If anything I'm a little under-protected.
* Many programs on startup
-No programs were installed prior to the slowdown, it just happened all at once.
* Full temp folders
-One of the first things I did was clear my system of temp files and other unused things.
* Fragmented hard drive
-Im going to try a defrag today. It just seems like that wouldnt cause a sudden problem like I had though.
* Forgotten programs
-See #3

I edited my boot.ini file a long time ago, and got improvement then, but my problem doesn't seem to be with any specific programs, instead a whole system problem somewhere deeper.

Pagefiling is enabled, and set to about 1500mb.

I'm going to try a defrag, but I'm not all too expectant of simple solvency.
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#4
Abydos

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Hi

Overall slow performance, could indicate a PIO/DMA problem.

To check this, open control-panel
System, then Hardware tab
Device manager,
Find the IDE ATA/ATAPI-Controllers
Expand entry with plus-sign, right-click primary controller(s)
Choose properties, then advanced
Check that transfer speed is set to DMA if available
If set to PIO mode, adjust accordingly

Regards Abydos
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#5
Jjjakal

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It is set to 'DMA if available', however it says the current transfer mode is PIO. Is that a problem?
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#6
Abydos

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Hi

It is set to 'DMA if available', however it says the current transfer mode is PIO. Is that a problem?


Yes it is. PIO is very slow opposed to DMA. So change it to DMA, and
I am positive your problem will be solved. Heres how to change it:

In the drop-down menu where it states DMA if available, change it
to PIO and click ok.

Now change it back to DMA if available, and click ok.

Regards Abydos
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#7
Jjjakal

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I did just as was stated in the last post, but the option is stuck on PIO still. I changed to PIO, accepted, changed back to DMA if available, accepted, and because the dialog still said PIO was being used, I restarted. Still PIO. Hardware error?
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#8
Abydos

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Hi

I did just as was stated in the last post, but the option is stuck on PIO still. I changed to PIO, accepted, changed back to DMA if available, accepted, and because the dialog still said PIO was being used, I restarted. Still PIO. Hardware error?


Did you check both channels?

Have you changed/added any CD/DvD or HD drive lately?
Have you updated any firmware on any of the above?
Have you altered or updated your BIOS lately? (Check that Device recognition is enabled)

The above are the most common reasons as to why a IDE channel won't revert
back to DMA.

Otherwise, remove the IDE channel, reboot and let windows re-install it. Hopefully
it will use DMA.

Regards Abydos

Edited by Abydos, 19 February 2009 - 09:29 PM.

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#9
Jjjakal

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Thanks so much for all your help. My problem is entirely solved. Uninstalling the Primary and Secondary IDE controllers worked like a charm.
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#10
Abydos

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Thanks so much for all your help. My problem is entirely solved. Uninstalling the Primary and Secondary IDE controllers worked like a charm.


No problem, glad it worked out :)

Regards
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