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Continous HDD Activity


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#1
Strain Of Thought

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I am attempting to troubleshoot an Acer Aspire 3000 series laptop running WinXP which has been suffering from extreme slow-down. I've gone through many standard fixes such as AVG, Spybot S&D, CCleaner, Defrag, ensuring indexing is disabled, etcetera. Some marginal improvement may have occurred, but not much.

The computer's slow-downs occur most often when starting or closing programs, and are accompanied by continuous HDD activity. I just recently made the connection with the computer's Page File and found a website that explained how to read the Performance tab in Task Manager, and it appears that something is very wrong:

Posted Image

This is what the performance tab looks like while the computer is idling shortly after its protracted startup. No applications are running, and the computer is already using 110% of physical memory. When basic applications such as Firefox and Word are actually run, this climbs to over 200%. I understand that the total physical is low for XP, but the laptop definitely had adequate operation in its original configuration for two years. (It is about three years old) I have no idea what is using up so much of the computer's memory, but adding up the Mem Usage column in Task Manager's Processes tab only comes to about 25% of the total Commit Charge. I have downloaded and installed Process Explorer, but I haven't been able to make any sense out of the information it's giving me, and I don't know how much memory XP is typically supposed to require just to twiddle its thumbs.

I don't know how relevant this is, but the computer also has what seems a very peculiar partitioning arrangement: the physical drive is advertised on the case (the stickers have never been removed) as 40GB, but the computer instead has two partitions of 17 GB: one ACER (C:) that contains the operating system and all user data, and is very nearly full; and the other ACERDATA (D:) which contains nothing but 200MB of numbered files and appears to be dedicated to system recovery. I do not know if it is safe to put user data on the recovery partition, but even if it is the arrangement looks stupid.

Another concern is that the specifications sticker on the case states that the laptop is actually supposed to contain 256MB of memory, which it certainly doesn't appear to. Someone on another site has suggested that 64MB may be being taken up by something called "onboard memory", but I haven't been able to find out what that may be.

Any help with this issue will be very greatly appreciated.
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#2
rshaffer61

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Download Autoruns from the link in my signature below:

1: Extract the Autoruns Zip file contents to a folder.
2: Double-click the "Autoruns.exe".
3: Click on the "Everything" tab
4: Remove any entries that mention "File Not Found" by right-clicking the entry and select Delete.
5: Go to File then to Export As.
6: Save AutoRuns.txt file to know location.
7: Attach to your next reply.




Download and install EVEREST
Open it.
1: In left pane expand Computer folder.
2: Click once on Summary
3: In upper menu, go Report
4: And then to Quick Report-Summary
5: Save it in text file, and paste it in your next post.


DO NOT INCLUDE ANYTHING UNDER THE LINE THAT SAYS "DEBUG- PCI"
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#3
Neil Jones

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According to the total physical memory that laptop only has 192mb of user memory, plus 64Mb for the graphics.
Some more memory will realistically be the only solution. Running anything in 256Mb these days is pretty painful.
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#4
mpascal

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The hard drive is always running because XP is constantly accessing the page file on the hard drive, as the system is already using all the memory. The only way to really fix this is by adding memory so that your CPU doesn't have to access the hard drive as a source of more memory.

-mp
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#5
rshaffer61

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Go HERE and run the Crucial online scanner.
This will give you the exact memory configuration for your system. You do not have to buy the memory from there, but write down the information and if you need assistance in purchasing the upgrade memory GTG can assist with suggestions also.
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#6
Strain Of Thought

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rshaffer61 - I apologize for taking so long to follow your instructions. This is a friend's laptop I am troubleshooting and they decided they needed it back slowdowns or not; they've asked me to look at it again so I am picking up where I left off.

Just to be sure, I checked an online upgrade tutorial, opened up the laptop and visually verified that it contains one memory module labeled as 256mb, so I assume this means 64mb is either bad or being used by some system in some way I am not familiar with that prevents it from showing up in diagnostics.

I have looked at Crucial's site, identified compatible memory modules, and passed on numerous poster's recommendations for more memory to the owner of the laptop. I'm still trying to see what I can do with the existing configuration, because, as I have said before, the laptop did function adequately as sold for a long time.

I downloaded and installed Autorun and Everest, made the reports as requested and they are attached to this post. Thank you again for your time in helping me with this issue.

Attached File  AutoRuns_SOT_07_21_09.txt   75.75KB   38 downloads
Attached File  Report_SOT_07_21_09.txt   4.32KB   42 downloads
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#7
rshaffer61

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64 megs is shared with the video I'm sure about that already.




Open Autoruns, click on "Logon" tab, and UN-check:

+ SunJavaUpdateSched
+ SpybotSD TeaTimer

The next one needs to be disabled manually. it is not needed if you do not use multi language on the keyboard.....




To turn off just ctfmon.exe go to:


Control Panel then to Regional and Language Options

Click on the Languages Tab then click the Details button

Click on the Advanced tab

Check the box that says Turn off advanced text services option

Click A and then OK


When done restart computer and then:



Download Temp File Cleaner (TFC)
Double click on TFC.exe to run the program.
Click on Start button to begin cleaning process.
TFC will close all running programs, and it may ask you to restart computer.


Download Auslogics Defrag from the link in my signature below. Auslogics Defrag in my opinion is better because:

It does a more comprehensive job at Defragging
It will actually show you what it is doing
At the end of working it will show you how much speed you picked up
You can view a online log of the files that Auslogics defragged


I would suggest uninstalling spybot and all associated with it.
In it's place I suggest downloading SuperAntiSpyware from my signature below. It is less resource hungry and that will help speed up the system some also.


NOW FOR THE BIG ISSUE

C: (FAT32) 17476 MB (2041 MB free)

When you finish the above steps we will work on this.
XP wants 15% free space to operate correctly.
You are running at just a little over 10%
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