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Computer running SLOW - Spyware is gone (Read 7231 times)
cardinal23
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Computer running SLOW - Spyware is gone
Jan 13th, 2006 at 2:20am
 
A friend asked me to help them.
Their computer, a Compaq Presario, with just 256MB of RAM, running XP-Home, was running dog-slow.  I remote-connected to it, found gobs of Spyware - got rid of most, if not all of it.  I then upgraded them to SP2.

The darned things is still running SLOW.
So, I'm asking a very basic question: What do I check next?
(I am defragmenting it, as we speak).

I know tossing a 512 RAM chip in there will help big-time, but it shouldn't (I don't think) be running so slow.  (Their 50GB drive is ony half-full).

Ideas?  Thanks.
 
 
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sumrica
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Re: Computer running SLOW - Spyware is gone
Reply #1 - Jan 13th, 2006 at 3:34am
 
I'm such a rookie, I almost hate to respond in this room of informed power-thinkers.

Would the chipset this Presario has make it a candidate for Intel's Application Accelerator?  My ol' Dell was and it helped.
http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/iaa/sb/cs-009293.htm

I'm sure you've whittled down what runs at startup, huh?   Besides the spyware, of course.

Regarding the amount of memory you mentioned they're running,  seems like I've seen it written to not run XP unless you've got 512 Mb. of memory.  

Joe
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NightOwl-
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Re: Computer running SLOW - Spyware is gone
Reply #2 - Jan 13th, 2006 at 11:24am
 
cardinal23

I would echo *sumrica's* question--*I'm sure you've whittled down what runs at startup, huh?*

Use *Ctrl-Alt-Delete* and bring up *Windows Task Manager*, go to the *Processes* tab--and see what's there and consuming the most CPU usage.

I think some spyware and viruses can hide themselves from the *Task Manager*, but that gives you an idea of where/what to look at.
 

No question is stupid...but, possibly the answers are  Wink !
(This is an old *NightOwl* user account--not in current use.  Current account is NightOwl without a dash at the end.)
 
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Pleonasm
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Re: Computer running SLOW - Spyware is gone
Reply #3 - Jan 13th, 2006 at 11:54am
 
Try using the Autoruns utility to identify tasks that run at startup, and the Process Explorer utility to examine running processes (significantly better than the Windows Task Manager).  Both are free, and may be downloaded from:
   http://www.sysinternals.com/ProcessesAndThreadsUtilities.html

Registry cleaning might help, too.  I use RegistryFixer by VCOM, which is a component of the Fix-It Utilities suite (http://www.v-com.com/product/Fix-It_Utilities_Home.html).
 
 
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cardinal23
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Re: Computer running SLOW - Spyware is gone
Reply #4 - Jan 13th, 2006 at 4:05pm
 
Cardinal had not done his homework.  There were several things which the (
invaluable
) http://www.liutilities.com/products/wintaskspro/processlibrary/qttask/ (and my client) deemed unnecessary.  Since she only has 256 MB of RAM, getting rid of this junk may help.  Pheonasm: Autoruns is very, very valuable, although it's hard to muddle through the Services.  There are lots and lots of them. 

Bottom line: Cardinal23 thinks addng a RAM chip is the most efficient approach to speeding this PC up - although sludge should still be removed.
 
 
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Re: Computer running SLOW - Spyware is gone
Reply #5 - Jan 13th, 2006 at 4:22pm
 
Cardinal23, it may be wise to run a system monitoring utility (such as Norton System Doctor) to check which resources are being consumed under what conditions.
 
 
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John.
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Re: Computer running SLOW - Spyware is gone
Reply #6 - Jan 13th, 2006 at 11:05pm
 
Cardinal123 - for spyware experts, here is a list of a few well known websites that specialize in helping to identify, clean and protect from spyware.  There are others, but these are some I am familiar with:

http://www.spywareinfo.com/

http://forums.spywareinfo.com/

http://www.spywarewarrior.com/index.php

http://www.spywareguide.com/index.php

The 4 software programs that I personally use to initially fix troubled pc's are:

Spybot Search and Destroy
http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html

Lavasoft Adaware
http://www.lavasoftusa.com/

SpySweeper
http://www.webroot.com/

HijackThis (HijackThis requires some special knowledge before using)
http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/

There are lots of opinions but if you scan and remove all spyware identified by these four you're be way ahead.

 

Ghost4me  Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14, 15.  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
 
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Larrycleve
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Re: Computer running SLOW - Spyware is gone
Reply #7 - Jan 15th, 2006 at 9:45pm
 
Here's some things that worked for me when ghost 10 did very slow backups. I went to  pcpitstop.com and did a full scan. It said hard drive disk access was very slow. It said a corrupted disk controler file could cause that. It said the way to fix that was to uninstall the disk controler in device manager and reboot. Then windows will automatically install a fresh controler file. This worked for me. Then a few days ago ghost started backing up slow again. I reinstalled the controler but this time it didn't work. Rooting around in the bios I found that 32 bit access for the hard drive was unchecked. I checked it and everything is fast again. I thought a virus might have unchecked the box. Doing a scan with avg7 found 4 viruses. These are some things you might want to check. Good luck!  Smiley
 
 
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Re: Computer running SLOW - Spyware is gone
Reply #8 - Jan 15th, 2006 at 11:09pm
 
Hello,

Adding to all the above valuable suggestions, try to tweak XP Services.

Regards!

Ivanov Yezinki
 
 
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cardinal23
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Re: Computer running SLOW - Spyware is gone
Reply #9 - Jan 16th, 2006 at 12:05am
 
Some things are simple.
Very early on is this post, NIghtOwl and Sumrica said "Are you sure, Cardinal"...
Quote:
I would echo *sumrica's* question--*I'm sure you've whittled down what runs at startup, huh?*

Well, I used something called Autoruns (SysInternals.com) - also recommended in this post.  And guess what?  There were several pieces of crud still running.  Having wiped those, the system is rejuvinated.

I should also point out that I was doing this decrudding over a remote-connection (GoToMyPC).  The GTMP software, in itself, sucks up lots of resources, so I had my client turn off GTMP, and of course things got even better.

BTW:  We're ordered a 512-MB chip, to go from 256 to 768, and I will boldly predict that that will make the biggest difference at all.

Rad-Rules.  DF
 
 
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MrMagoo
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Re: Computer running SLOW - Spyware is gone
Reply #10 - Jan 17th, 2006 at 11:47am
 
There is a tool built into Windows to help manage what programs start at boot.  At a command prompt, type "msconfig".  The tool is self explanatory, but here is some info on it:

http://netsquirrel.com/msconfig/

Here is a site that lists everything you might see in your task manager.  They describe what the process is and if you need it.  You can use MSCONFIG instead of the tool they try to sell you.

http://www.answersthatwork.com/

Also, sometimes a system gets so infected with spyware that removing it all leaves it a little like swiss cheese.  The only option in this case is usually a reinstall of the OS.  Fortunatly, it doesn't sound like this is the case.

Finally, I'd like to plug my spyware guide, which echos the advice that most of you have already provided.

http://guides.radified.com/magoo/guides/spyware/remove_spyware_01.htm
 
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