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Help with XP Slowdown

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Hello. My windows box has been slower than molasses for some time and I'm trying to figure out why and not getting to the bottom of it. The worse times are when I start doing work on it after it's been sitting idle for 10 minutes or so --> it's not in sleep mode or anything, but maximizing and minimized window can take literally 10 seconds or more. If I open Microsoft Word or Excel and choose FILE-->OPEN, and then change the drive or folder, it can take nearly 60 seconds to even give me the dropdown box to display the drives and folders. Once things are going after 2 or 3 minutes, it is faster (not as fast as it should be, but faster nonetheless).

While the computer is super slow like this, I have brought up the Task Manager and the performance of the Hard Drive and the Processor does not even get close to maxed ... in fact, it can be at a less than 5% utilization rate, yet it's still dog-slow for some reason. I thought it was just taking time to swap to hard drive, but I'm not so sure that is happening as that should show Page File use is at 100%, I think?

I've defragged (with the built-in degragger). I've ran a registry optimizer (that I'm not convinced does much more than remove bad links/paths to software). I have nothing in my startup folder. I have no toolbars loading, no browser helper objects. I run AVAST Antivirus (used to run AVG and it was even worse). The ONLY things running in my system tray is LogMeIn, nVidea settings and my antivirus.

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Hello ufonaut.... Welcome to GeeksToGo, :) :) :)

I'm sorry to hear about your issue. We will try to help you resolve this as soon as possible.
Please understand we are all volunteers and we are not here all the time. Sometimes it may be a extended amount of time to get back to you. If it has been more then 3 days please shoot me a PM and I will try to get back to you quickly then.
Please do the following in order....

Download and install Free Everest Home Edition
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.
Click the + by computer, click on Sensor. Get a screenshot and post it so I can check your temps and voltages...


First issue to tell you is:
A registry cleaner will not increase your system's speed or performance, and has the potential to break your registry to the point that your PC is no longer bootable. We strongly advise that people stay away from any of the registry cleaners out there. Go HERE to get more information about why registry cleaners aren't needed.

Second issue is to see what you have running on startup:
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.

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Thank you. I very much appreciate the help! I hope this information helps find my issue.

--------[ EVEREST Home Edition © 2003-2005 Lavalys, Inc. ]------------------------------------------------------------

Version EVEREST v2.20.405
Homepage http://www.lavalys.com/
Report Type Quick Report
Computer HOMEXP (John's PC)
Generator John
Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Professional 5.1.2600 (WinXP Retail)
Date 2009-10-11
Time 07:56

--------[ Summary ]-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Professional
OS Service Pack Service Pack 3
DirectX (DirectX 9.0c)
Computer Name HOMEXP (John's PC)
User Name John

CPU Type Intel Pentium 4, 2784 MHz (21 x 133)
Motherboard Name Dell Dimension 8250
Motherboard Chipset Intel Tehama i850(E)
System Memory 512 MB (PC1066 RDRAM)
BIOS Type Phoenix (10/22/02)
Communication Port Communications Port (COM1)
Communication Port ECP Printer Port (LPT1)

Video Adapter NVIDIA GeForce 6200 (256 MB)
3D Accelerator nVIDIA GeForce 6200 AGP
Monitor Dell 1702FP (Analog) [17" LCD] (8G1522BIDXT4)

Audio Adapter Turtle Beach Santa Cruz / VideoLogic SonicFury Audio Accelerator

IDE Controller Intel® 82801BA Bus Master IDE Controller
Floppy Drive Floppy disk drive
Disk Drive ST380021A (80 GB, 7200 RPM, Ultra-ATA/100)
Optical Drive CD-ROM Drive
Optical Drive SAMSUNG CD-ROM SC-148C (48x CD-ROM)
SMART Hard Disks Status OK

C: (NTFS) 76285 MB (12940 MB free)

Keyboard Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard
Mouse Logitech USB WheelMouse

Network Adapter Intel® PRO/100 M Network Connection (
Modem Conexant HSF V92 56K Data Fax PCI Modem

Printer Brother MFC-790CW Printer
Printer Microsoft XPS Document Writer
Printer PaperPort Image Printer
USB1 Controller VIA VT83C572 PCI-USB Controller
USB1 Controller VIA VT83C572 PCI-USB Controller
USB1 Controller VIA VT83C572 PCI-USB Controller
USB1 Controller VIA VT83C572 PCI-USB Controller
USB2 Controller VIA USB 2.0 Enhanced Host Controller
USB2 Controller VIA USB 2.0 Enhanced Host Controller
USB Device Logitech USB WheelMouse


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Issue one:
System Memory 512 MB
This is barely enough to run XP not counting the other programs. This may have worked in the past but the autoruns will use alot of this up also.
Go to 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.

Issue two:
C: (NTFS) 76285 MB (12940 MB free)
You are getting very close to the point of low space warnings on your hard drive.
We will handle this also with the Autoruns

Issue three:

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

+ "iTunesHelper"
+ "NvCplDaemon" (Not needed if you don't use the control panel from Nvidia)
+ "NvMediaCenter" (Same as above)
+ "nwiz" (Same as above)
+ "SunJavaUpdateSched"
+ "msnmsgr"

QuickTime Task - you can kill it, but the very next time QT is used, that sucker will reinstall itself as a startup again.
The only way...
Download, and run QuickTime Killer: http://www.softpedia...me-Killer.shtml
After downloading, double click on EnGraphQuickTimeKillerInstaller.msi file.
You may be asked to download, and install .NET Framework
QuickTime Killer will remove QuickTime from start up and kill any running QuickTime processes. This application runs silently at start up and closes itself as soon as it takes care of QuickTime. QuickTime itself won't be removed from your computer, and will be available whenever needed.
NOTE. QuickTime is not a threat, but unnecessary startup, which can't be disabled in any other way.

ctfmon.exe - same story
Download, and run CTFMON-Remover: http://www.gerhard-s.../ctfmonremover/
The CTFMON-Remover helps you removing the annoying CTFMON.EXE from your Windows operating system. The program is easy to use and displays whether the CTFMON.EXE is installed and running or not. If it was found then you can remove it within seconds. Just in case that you need the CTFMON sometime in the future there is also an option to restore the original one.
Note:The CTFMON.EXE is among other things responsible for changing the language schema of your keyboard (e.g. for switching between the German and English keyboard layout). So in case you are using this feature you shouldn't remove or disable the CTFMON.EXE!
NOTE. CTFMON.EXE is not a threat, but unnecessary startup, which can't be disabled in any other way.

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

How is everything working now?
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It did speed it up, thank you very much!
I still think there could be some sort of hardware problem, though. I have 40GB free now, and the system is totally defragged but there are most definitily hesitations that I dont' think should be. It almost acts as if during disk reads it does 4 or 5 retries to read data from the hard drive, although the data is always there and it never states that is what is happening.
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Ok the other thing you can do is removing any programs you do not need or use anymore.

What I would suggest is Uninstalling All Programs you don't need or don't want anymore through Add/Remove Programs

Do this by going to
Start and then to Control Panel
Click Add/Remove Programs
Carefully choose the program(s) you don't need
Click on each Program then click Change/Remove and Follow the Uninstall Instructions

You may be prompted to Restart your computer.
Restart once you have all the programs you don't need uninstalled.
Be careful not to remove anything needed by your computer, some of which you may be unfamiliar with the name,
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The main issue is the memory.
By doubling that to 1 gig you will see a greater performance boost because it will allow more programs to run at the same time and with only one program running it can allocate more memory to it which in turn will allow it to run better.
Think of it this way:
you have 512 megs of memory
XP needs 128 megs to itself just to run and this is barely enough
there is normally 64 megs of shared video memory
Now add in your autoruns that still need to run at say another 128 megs
That leaves a total of 152 megs open for anything else to run.
Now videos will eat that plus up.
By increasing to 1 gig that will guarantee 512 open for your memory hog programs like video and games.
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The Skeptic

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Download and install HD Tune. Run the program and in the Benchmark window click Start. Let the test run to the end and record Average transfer rate.

Run Checkdisk: click My computer, right click Properties > tools > Error checking > Check now. Check the two boxes, click start and allow the computer to reboot. Disk checking will start upon reboot. Let it run to completion.

Run HD Tune again and report the Average of the two tests (before and after checkdisk).
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