Log in

View Full Version : Slow system, Memory gone bad?

17-01-2008, 09:42 AM
Recently my pc has been taking 5+ minutes to startup and im finding it hard to pin point the problem, usually if i restart the computer after the initial cold boot while its taking 15 years to load. it finally works but using programmes tend to be laggy for some time after untill my computer settles.. i decided to open the performance window today as soon as the system started and noticed that the memory and Physical disk were at 100% for most of the time, I have my system set to performance which means the computer looks like windows 2k, but im acctually running XP Home, and also on 1gig of ram and 2.25GHz AMD Athlon CPU..... I only have 2 programmes on startup which is my zone alarm firewall and AVG anti virus and have disabled quite a few services which isn't needed, Here is a SS of the performance window.


I would appreciate if anyone can help, Since ive ran out of ideas what it can be and is really really annoying waiting like 5 mins for the computer to load, and even needing to keep restarting the pc untill it does.... usually it gets to the desktop and then takes for even, the background loads but no taskbar and no desktop icons and just sits there loading as if it has 200 programmes to start up. :/

17-01-2008, 10:25 AM
Well, sounds like you're swapping lots of stuff in and out of memory; if it were just the firewall and antivirus I wouldn't think you'd be having that much trouble, since my parents' machine gets by on 256MB. (I'll be upgrading that later this month, but it does at least *start* cleanly).

So I'd go and check what's actually being started upon boot: http://vlaurie.com/computers2/Articles/startup.htm contains some information about finding out what's going on.

Unfortunately, I don't know of a windows equivalent to bootchart, which is excellent at tracking down things going wrong at boot time: http://www.bootchart.org/images/bootchart.png

17-01-2008, 11:53 AM
If it's startup, I would also check MSconfig (start > run > msconfig), then check your startup to see what unwanted or unnecessary programs start up, by unticking, they wont when you reboot. Might help.

17-01-2008, 12:27 PM
If it's startup, I would also check MSconfig (start > run > msconfig), then check your startup to see what unwanted or unnecessary programs start up, by unticking, they wont when you reboot. Might help.

like i allready said in my OP, the only startup items are my firewall and anti virus and i have even disabled quite alot of un-needed services.

unless zone alarm or avg is causing this but ive not heard of anyone else have problems, i gues ill have to scan my RAM for any errors, although i doubt that will be the cause.

17-01-2008, 12:28 PM
the support tech in me says wipe it and start again.

For 1 i would automatically do several things, Windows update, do it, just get 100% up to date, check your AV and make sure thats up to date and your system is clean.
DO a boot. let it boot completely then check how many processes you are running. Chances are you may have a load of crap opening on startup.

and on a personal note i would add, get another gig of ram. 2 gig makes such a huge difference. And always try to keep your pagefile to 1.5 times the size of your ram

17-01-2008, 02:00 PM
I believe the pagefile will automatically resize itself as needed; but changing its size won't affect disk thrashing at all anyway, it'll just avoid crashes.

Adding more memory tends to make things better, but it sounds like there's something wrong if only 2 registered startup items are causing this.

17-01-2008, 02:08 PM
It wont resize if You change settings (and set size manually). Which should be one of first things to do after install.

17-01-2008, 03:08 PM
My bad, didnt see that bit lol

Erm, I have AVG, the only thing with that is that it does seem to slow down any other apps while it updates.

17-01-2008, 06:34 PM
the support tech in me says wipe it and start again.

I'd do what he says. Unless you don't do this regularly and keep lots of crap on the PC.

17-01-2008, 10:06 PM
I'd say do a HDD and RAM diagnostic if I were you before you wipe and reinstall. If your machine is as clean to boot as you say, I'd immagine it's more likley a hardware problem. If you know the brand of HDD, you can download a HDD check from the manufacturers website. for a RAM, check, there is various ones, but start with the microsoft memory checker. (just google it, should be first result from oca.microsoft.com/somethingorother )

18-01-2008, 12:01 AM
MemTest is so much better.

18-01-2008, 11:16 AM
ive allways used this one in the past for scanning my memory and found it works very good

18-01-2008, 12:22 PM
I don't remember seeing RAM problems giving slowdowns... either system crashes or won't boot at all if (severe) RAM problems.

Have you checked your CPU is booting at correct speed? On older systems it can reset sometimes and it could revert back to BIOS failsafe values which is usually a lot slower. (BIOS battery might have died and it won't keep settings anymore when lose power).

Cleaning up dust to avoid heat buildups (overheating) always good thing to do on older systems (and even on newer ones when start getting symptoms of overheating or crashes). Buy a can of air to blow the dust away. Watch out for smaller fans thought, they might break so keep finger on them while you blow the dust.

edit: or it could just be you got some malware. (run e.g. Spybot: Search & Destroy)

18-01-2008, 04:57 PM
I think it's more likley a HDD problem than a RAM problem, but just something else to check without 0-ing the unit. wont do any harm.