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Why is nothing with computers simple?! Help please!

rickpee Avatar
9y, 6m agoPosted 9 years, 6 months ago
Hi, I am wondering if anyone can offer any advice re a computer issue I'm having. In the last week, my computer has slowed right down big time. For example, it takes around 7 minutes to completely boot up... but it also appear that I can do no more than 1 task at a time... if I have media player running, which it doesnt do smoothy anymore, and try and say, open MyComputer, the sounds stutters big time, and slows rights down

As you can imaging this is major annoying. I had happened previously (couple of months back) and I reinstalled windows which seemed to resolve it. But is has reared its ugly head again... Inbetween the last time and this time, I have upgraded my ram from 512 (1x 256 and 2x 128 ), using crucial, and upped it to 896 (1x512, 1x256, 1x128 )... I should point out that this combo worked fine for a few weeks after making these changes so I doubt it is this.

I am running xp, on quite an old machine but its normally fine. I have run windows defrag and scan disk, and now a more powerful defragmentor but still no joy...

Anythoughts or suggestions would be massively appreciated as at the moment this is almost useless! I cant even play music without havin an issue!

Cheers in advance to anyone!
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rickpee Avatar
9y, 6m agoPosted 9 years, 6 months ago
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#1
Hold down ctrl, shift and escape or righ click the task bar and choose task manager - if you look at the processes tab and click the cpu column you might find something eating up all your processor time. Also check the third tab to see how much memory is being used, if it's more than the ram you have your machine will slow down as it has to use the much slower hard drive instead.

John
#2
Hey john, Im currently at work... but i have had a mess with this a few times... I often find svc host eating up a fair amount. Do u know what this is? Even after turning off all my avg etc nothing seems to improve.

Also, would this looking at task manager explain why it takes so long to boot up?
1 Like #3
a free tool called BOOTVIS will help sort out the slow loading time

try LAVASOFT ADAWARE to see if any spyware etc is on there too

svc host could be a few thing. are you connected to the interenet by a usb modem?

last of all press start - run - and type MSCONFIG, press enter.
click the startup tab, untick anything that doesnt REALLY need to come on at startup. quicktime, printer apps etc etc.

last idea, a new pc. or install ubuntu linux and use that :thumbsup:
#4
thanks for the suggestions rob tho Im not keen on that last one !

Yeah i do have a usb modem for my broadband...

I have run msconfig previously, usually i uncheck most things that dont have C:\windows... in their location

The wierd thing is that when I reinstalled windows, it sorted the problem out, but i dun want to have to keep doin that every month. Could this relate to the registry maybe?

thanks
#5
Sounds like a possible Virus/Worm/Trojan to me, I assume you have an anti-virus installed? Do you still get the problem if not connected to the internet? That said it could easily be some dodgy device drivers or something similar, is everything up to date?

Any particular reason why you don't like Robs Ubuntu suggestion? Doesn't sound like you'll be playing any games on that system and that's pretty much the only advantage Windows has these days. It's free, easy and you don't have to worry about viruses, de-fragmenting etc.

I'd suggest downloading the CD from http://www.ubuntu.com/ and trying it out, see how you get on. It will run direct from CD (although it wont be all that quick running from CD for obvious reasons) so it wont hurt your current system set-up at all and you can install it later if you like it.
#6
Installing another OS (linux) is a bit over the top.
#7
BTW how many icons are on your desktop ?
1 Like #8
Going to defend rob's & mega's ubuntu suggestion - don't really see why it is over the top. If the computer is mainly for web-browsing and email you'll find Ubuntu quicker and far less bloated than Windows, and its free so whats the harm in trying?
#9
Maybe U Have A Virus Or Major Spyware!
#10
Simple. Linux is not the answer.
#11
I have maybe 8 icons on the desktop...
#12
rickpee
I have maybe 8 icons on the desktop...



Cheers. I've seen some user with loads on their Desktop and this can slow windows down.

Have you looked at CCleaner it's free and will get rid of a lot of junk from your PC.

Have you got plenty of space left on your C: drive.
1 Like #13
stora
Simple. Linux is not the answer.


Assuming it's a software problem Ubuntu is an answer, it would solve a software issue, would tell you straight away if it was a hardware problem as Ubuntu would suffer in the same way. With very little hassle he could be running Ubuntu within 30 mins after downloading the CD image, but could still be trying to fix Windows in 30 days (a Windows reinstall could fix it but wouldn't tell you what the problem was so it may re-occur). I'm not sure what you have against Linux but I don't really want to get deep into a Linux Vs Windows discussion as they tend to get messy and that wont really help Rick.

Rick, post a list of all your running processes and one of us should be able to tell you if there's anything suss in there. Also monitor your network activity and let us know if there's much of that, if you have a trojan or similar it could show up as above normal network utilisation.

What anti-virus do you have installed?

Do you have a firewall installed?

Do you have any anti spyware measures?

How much space to you have left on your C drive?

When you run the analyser in the defrag program what does it say?

Are you running XP home or Pro?

What programs run on startup?

If you list that lot someone should be able to narrow down what it might be.
#14
yeah i use CCleaner a few times, its great for getting rid of stuff that isnt normally found.

I have 16% of C left - about 3 of 20 gig, only a small one but usually works ok!
1 Like #15
I will post all the requested details in a few hours, currently at work. Thanks for help so far. Will get it up asap

Cheers

im running xp home, using AVG free, not got any firewalls assuming avg doesnt do that (!) not too sure...
#16
stora
Cheers. I've seen some user with loads on their Desktop and this can slow windows down.


:o You are kidding.....right???

The desktop is just a folder like any other and it's contents are simply links to things stored on the hard drive, which will take up about 4k each maximum. You'd need 100's of them before you even hit 1Mb's worth, which is a drop in the ocean by today's standards.

I'm sorry but that's right up there with the suggestion I once heard from an IT contractor that you should defrag to cure a virus :roll:.

Lots of icons in the system tray on the other hand indicates lots of running programs and could be a problem...
#17
No I'm not kidding.

Notice I said icons and not just shortcuts. these can be anything from folders to very large .iso files.
These will be saved there by default.

All the icons, files and programs stored on your desktop are loaded into memory via your windows ‘user profile’. A messy desktop equals a slow PC.

Desktop shortcuts are not much of a problem because of their small size.

Files, downloads, and programs should be stored in a folder on your hard drive or a network drive, not your desktop.
#18
i dont agree

if they are not stored on desktop they are still stored on the hard disk so the difference wouldnt be anything its just on desktop for easy access

i had iso's up to the point my hard drive was about to run outta space still ran fine
#19
to be honest I had heard that lots of desktop icons can slow your comp down, but only for starting up... but also that quicklaunch is usually the killer
#20
muffin247
i dont agree

if they are not stored on desktop they are still stored on the hard disk so the difference wouldnt be anything its just on desktop for easy access

i had iso's up to the point my hard drive was about to run outta space still ran fine



The desktop is still a folder on your hard disk. :whistling:

It's the way Windows handles files that are on your desktop folder that can slow the system down.
#21
Desktop icons, huge ISO's or otherwise will not slow down your computer noticeably!

The most windows will hold resident in memory is a pointer to the files, whole files are never loaded into memory unless requested directly. However, Windows does cache recently accessed files, but this cache only ever occupies unused memory so low memory = no file cache in main memory.

To do otherwise would be monumentally stupid as every time you opened up a directory with lots of large files in you'd have to sit around twiddling your thumbs while windows loaded them all into memory and Windows would be paging out the the hard disk virtually non stop, even with GB's of RAM.....it takes long enough for Windows to figure out file types and sizes never mind pre-fetching files unnecessarily.

Windows does however pre-fetch applications during boot-up, so lots of start-up applications = slow boot.
1 Like #22
If you've get a desktop full of icons and files it probably will take longer to load than a desktop with a couple of shortcuts. It won't cause a computer to take 7 minutes to boot though...

There have been a lot of problems recently with the SVCHost process following some updates microsoft sent out. In the company I work for we only saw it affecting our newest laptops strangely...

Microsoft have now deleted all articles relating to this as they have released a new set of updates that should resolve the issue.

The first thing I would do is go to update.microsoft.com and make sure you have these updates.

Let us know how you get on.
#23
You'll probably also find that a messy desktop with lots of shortcuts and files can be associated with a computer that isn't being looked after and will take a long time to boot.

Anyway, I'm sure the OP will appreciate if we keep this thread on topic...
#24
well we can end the messy desktop discussion coz mine's ok! just the usual, Mycomp, docs, internet explorer, recycle bin, few folder links, thats it
#25
megalomaniac
Desktop icons, huge ISO's or otherwise will not slow down your computer noticeably!

The most windows will hold resident in memory is a pointer to the files, whole files are never loaded into memory unless requested directly. However, Windows does cache recently accessed files, but this cache only ever occupies unused memory so low memory = no file cache in main memory.

To do otherwise would be monumentally stupid as every time you opened up a directory with lots of large files in you'd have to sit around twiddling your thumbs while windows loaded them all into memory and Windows would be paging out the the hard disk virtually non stop, even with GB's of RAM.....it takes long enough for Windows to figure out file types and sizes never mind pre-fetching files unnecessarily.

Windows does however pre-fetch applications during boot-up, so lots of start-up applications = slow boot.


I understand exactly what your saying and I can't find any reason why desktop icons can slow your PC down other than Clients having to pull these files of the server when the user logs on.

Looks like I was wrong in assuming that they slowed the system down just because another engineer told be this a while back.

Sorry to hijack the thread but I wanted to get this right in my head before I gave any further advise.
:)
#26
rickpee
well we can end the messy desktop discussion coz mine's ok! just the usual, Mycomp, docs, internet explorer, recycle bin, few folder links, thats it


Have you tried the Microsoft updates?
#27
stora
I understand exactly what your saying and I can't find any reason why desktop icons can slow your PC down other than Clients having to pull these files of the server when the user logs on.

Looks like I was wrong in assuming that they slowed the system down just because another engineer told be this a while back.

Sorry to hijack the thread but I wanted to get this right in my head before I gave any further advise.
:)


No problemo, I'm far too :geek: for my own good mind :giggle:

You're spot on about the network, that really would be slow pulling down a roaming profile full of large files. That's why most networks that use roaming profiles have strict profile size limits set.

So, Rick, back to your problem mate :thumbsup:

While I think about it another useful bit of info would be what programs are running in the taskbar, so we can tie that together with running processes to make sure everything's as it should be - assuming Greg's stunningly simple yet potentially massively effective solution doesn't pay off of course.
#28
I found the articles. I thought they had been deleted: -

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/932494
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/916089/
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927891/

Have you seen this at all Rick?

The Svchost.exe process produces an access violation during update detection or update installation. Additionally, you receive the following error message:
SVCHOST.exe Application Error The instruction at 0x0745F2780 referenced memory at 0x000000000 the memory could not be read.



Resolution


All versions of Microsoft Windows XP (this includes all versions of Windows XP Media Center)

loadTOCNode(2, 'resolution');Update information

loadTOCNode(3, 'resolution');The following files are available for download from the Microsoft Download Center:

http://support.microsoft.com/library/images/support/kbgraphics/public/EN-US/Download.gif[COLOR=#0000ff]Download the Update for Windows XP (927891) package now.[/COLOR] (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=7A81B0CD-A0B9-497E-8A89-404327772E5A)

http://support.microsoft.com/library/images/support/kbgraphics/public/EN-US/Download.gif[COLOR=#0000ff]Download the Update for Windows XP x64 Edition (927891) package now.[/COLOR] (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=ECF96769-BEB6-4F7F-AC92-5BAEFB5632A3)

Release Date: May 7, 2007

For more information about how to download Microsoft support files, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
[COLOR=#0000ff]119591[/COLOR] (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/119591/) How to obtain Microsoft support files from online services
Microsoft scanned this file for viruses. Microsoft used the most current virus-detection software that was available on the date that the file was posted. The file is stored on security-enhanced servers that help prevent any unauthorized changes to the file.
Prerequisites

loadTOCNode(4, 'resolution');You must have Windows XP SP2 installed before you apply this update.
Restart requirement

loadTOCNode(4, 'resolution');You must restart your computer after you apply this update.
Update replacement information

loadTOCNode(4, 'resolution');This update replaces update the following update:
[COLOR=#800080]916089[/COLOR] (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/916089/) FIX: When you run Windows Update to scan for updates that use Windows Installer, including Office updates, you may experience a memory leak, or you may receive an error message for the Svchost process


Even if you haven't seen the error message, installing the hotfix will do no harm. It would be the first thing I would try.
#29
It sounds to me like a virus problem. svchost is a windows component that runs applications as a service. Many viruses do use svchost to run, I can think of at least one virus that creates a file called svchost.exe but saves it in a different location from the standard one in an attempt to hide itself.

I would suggest using the online virus scanner here:
http://uk.trendmicro-europe.com/consumer/housecall/housecall_launch.php

and see if that finds anything.

A free virus scanner like AVG may sound like a good idea but it really is a case of "you get what you pay for", which in this case is nothing. You are much better off spending 40 quid on something like Trend or Norton than relying on software where there is a financial incentive for AVG not to have the free one as up to date as their paid for version.
#30
Greg
I found the articles. I thought they had been deleted: -

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/932494
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/916089/
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927891/

Have you seen this at all Rick?



Resolution



Even if you haven't seen the error message, installing the hotfix will do no harm. It would be the first thing I would try.



thanks for this, i will give it a try. i think i might have had that issue a while back...

i have automatic updates turned on so I thought it would download these things itself. currently running O&O defrag to try and sort anything there... will put up some screen shots of my task manager and startup as soon as thats done... maybe tomorrow as its reading 7 hours!
#31
http://img529.imageshack.us/img529/4881/untitledcr0.th.jpg
#32
crss.exe is a virus apparently. Have you got any virus software installed?
#33
Greg
crss.exe is a virus apparently. Have you got any virus software installed?


It looks like AVG is installed judging by the task manager, Could be wrong though.

Couple of things that could be suspicious there, I'd run a full virus scan (Updated) Aswell as spyware/adaware scans.
#34
Iom-RF
It looks like AVG is installed judging by the task manager, Could be wrong though.

Couple of things that could be suspicious there, I'd run a full virus scan (Updated) Aswell as spyware/adaware scans.


yes i have avg... but as my system is running so slow it takes an eternity to run a full scan!
#35
when i try to end csrss.exe - im told its a critical system process so cant end
#36
You really need to do a full system scan, Have you got antispyware/Adware software installed?
#37
yes i have the anti-spyware 7.5 - running it aswe speak!
#38
when i start up - recently i keep getting told that there is no firewall installed but when i go to the security centre it says on! Whats up with all this! Doin my head in
#39
Are you using Microsoft security SP2 firewall?
#40
rickpee
when i try to end csrss.exe - im told its a critical system process so cant end

if you got that message when trying to end csrss.exe then it's legitimate Microsoft executable and not a virus. The virus named csrss.exe doesn't have the same protection and can be ended without any warning.

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