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  • My computer is slow as molasses

    Actually, I would normally use a much more vulgar term to describe my computer, but I'm not sure that's allowed, so let's just stick with the word molasses. I have a Toshiba Satellite A15-S129. It's at least 5 years old. I'm running Windows XP on it. Unfortunately, when I start the computer it usually takes at least 40 minutes just for Firefox to open. My computer usually gets a little faster after it's been running a while, but it's still pretty annoying to wait that long to start using my computer. Another possibly related problem is that if I'm watching movies or TV shows on streaming video, after about 20 minutes or so my computer starts to get really hot and it just shuts off on its own. There's no warning message before it shuts off or anything, it just turns off immediately. I suspect that the problem may be caused by programs running in the background as when I turn my computer off I get a lot of "end program" messages. I downloaded Desktop Maestro and disabled a lot of programs that were running on start up and that seemed to speed up the computer a little bit temporarily, but now it's back to being just as slow again, if not slower. If I go into task manager and click on processes I see the following processes running:

    WISPTIS
    firefox
    plugin-container
    ccsvchst
    taskmgr
    00tHotkey
    WinPatrol
    opwareSE2
    RPDFLchr
    TPWRTRAY
    TFNF5
    TouchED
    sprtsvc
    igfxtray
    SMAgent
    explorer
    spoolsv
    Ivpsvmgr
    SeaPort
    svchost
    svchost
    svchost
    svchost
    svchost
    RoboSourceContr
    lsass
    services
    winlogon
    csrss
    smss
    ccsvchst
    MDM
    DVDRAMSV
    svchost
    svchost
    acrotray
    ctfmon
    System
    System Idle Process

    Could any of these processes be causing the problem?

  • #2
    Re: My computer is slow as molasses

    Yes, all of them together...

    Its a 5 year old laptop, 5 years ago laptops where not made to be fast, and trying to run todays apps on a 1ghz single core will take half a hour. Remember, Windows XP has been getting service packs that make it do more and more, these packs also means it eats more resoruces.

    If there is no chance of you upgrading your laptop, then the best program I can recommend is MSconfig, and EnditAll.

    Use MS config to stop anything running on start up that is not a MS service.
    End it all will close any application or service that is not needed for the running of the system, so it will clear up as much ram and processor time as possible.

    Do you run Maleware scans and AV, as well as defrag and checkdsk? If not, do all of them, now.

    As for the Heat problem, I would say that the small tubes or holes left for the air to flow though have become blocked with hair/dust/dirt/grim and no longer allowing good airflow. The laptop would reach a set temp, and shut down for safty. The only way to fix this is to open the laptop up and clean it out. I recommend great care when doing this.

    If you have a compressior, you can try to just blow it out, but if the blockage does not come lose, you can damage the laptop.

    My Recommendations, in order are
    A) Get a new laptop, you will save money in the long run as your data will be safe (safer), and think how much a extra 40mins to a hour each day is worth to you.
    B) Upgrade that laptop. This depends on what the laptop is, if its just lacking Ram, I would drop some ram in, but Really, I would move stright onto...
    C) backup your data and reinstall windows.

    Wofen
    Good to be back....

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: My computer is slow as molasses

      Originally posted by Wofen View Post
      Yes, all of them together...

      Its a 5 year old laptop, 5 years ago laptops where not made to be fast, and trying to run todays apps on a 1ghz single core will take half a hour. Remember, Windows XP has been getting service packs that make it do more and more, these packs also means it eats more resoruces.
      Actually, it's a 2.40 GHz laptop.

      Originally posted by Wofen View Post
      If there is no chance of you upgrading your laptop, then the best program I can recommend is MSconfig, and EnditAll.

      Use MS config to stop anything running on start up that is not a MS service.
      End it all will close any application or service that is not needed for the running of the system, so it will clear up as much ram and processor time as possible.
      Do those programs work better than Desktop Maestro?

      Originally posted by Wofen View Post
      Do you run Maleware scans and AV, as well as defrag and checkdsk? If not, do all of them, now.
      Yes, I have Norton Security Suite from Comcast, so I'm pretty sure I don't have any viruses or malware.

      Originally posted by Wofen View Post
      As for the Heat problem, I would say that the small tubes or holes left for the air to flow though have become blocked with hair/dust/dirt/grim and no longer allowing good airflow. The laptop would reach a set temp, and shut down for safty. The only way to fix this is to open the laptop up and clean it out. I recommend great care when doing this.
      Well, there's only a small vent on the left side of the laptop and I really don't see much dust there. Is there some other place that the dust could gather?

      Originally posted by Wofen View Post
      My Recommendations, in order are
      A) Get a new laptop, you will save money in the long run as your data will be safe (safer), and think how much a extra 40mins to a hour each day is worth to you.
      B) Upgrade that laptop. This depends on what the laptop is, if its just lacking Ram, I would drop some ram in, but Really, I would move stright onto...
      C) backup your data and reinstall windows.

      Wofen
      Why a laptop? Aren't most desktops more powerful?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: My computer is slow as molasses

        Actually, it's a 2.40 GHz laptop.
        Fine a single 2.4 Ghz low power CPU

        Do those programs work better than Desktop Maestro?
        No idea, no idea what this software is, but would of been nice if mentioned at the start. If you are already using some software to try and speed your PC up, can you please tell us, so that we can offer advice on them, rather then guessing.

        Yes, I have Norton Security Suite from Comcast, so I'm pretty sure I don't have any viruses or malware.
        As far as I am concerned norton is just barley better then no AV at all, and I am not sure if that will even scan for Malware, even if it does, it takes 30 seconds to download, 25 seconds to install and 5 seconds to run. Spend the min and run it to make sure.

        Well, there's only a small vent on the left side of the laptop and I really don't see much dust there. Is there some other place that the dust could gather?
        Have you opened it up and checked inside it? That little vent will feed a network of tunnels that pipe air over all the important parts.

        Why a laptop? Aren't most desktops more powerful?
        Well, becuse you already have a laptop, you have not said that you wanted to change to a desktop, so based on the infomation provided, I will recommend a laptop.

        Also, if you come to a forum to ask for help, please provide as much infomation as you can, as your asking a very open ended question, but do not provide any details to really narrow the options. I provided you with some tests, and you went though my post, and picked out all my smart comments, but ignored the tests that could of told us where your system has lost its power.

        Can you please:

        A) Run MSConfig, stop all Non-Microsoft services, see if that will increase your speed.
        B) Defrag and Chkdsk your Hard drive.
        C) Get some software to check the health of your Ram, and also one to clear it.
        D) Get some software to close all un-needed applications.
        E) Use a 2nd Virus scanner and anti-malware.

        Once you have completed these, if you could post the results, we might be able to recommend something.

        Also, how long has it been since you formatted and reinstalled windows?

        Wofen
        Good to be back....

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: My computer is slow as molasses

          Check your processor power settings and actual speed -- Toshibas have been known to go to slow speed even when on mains power.

          Also have a look at processor and RAM utilisation for "all users"

          I didn't see the RAM mentioned anywhere above? Also, how is your swapfile configured?

          Have you defragged your HDD recently?
          Tom Jones
          MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
          PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
          IT Trainer / Consultant
          Ossian Ltd
          Scotland

          ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: My computer is slow as molasses

            How much memory do you have? What speed HDD do you have?

            Try opening up FF in SAFE MODE. Any faster?
            ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: My computer is slow as molasses

              Is the Windows installation 5 years old? Windows succumbs to installation rot within about 30 seconds I'd suggest that now might be a good time to backup your data and reinstall the OS. And to get an antivirus package that's not from Symantec
              Gareth Howells

              BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

              Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

              Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

              "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

              "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: My computer is slow as molasses

                Originally posted by Wofen View Post
                Fine a single 2.4 Ghz low power CPU



                No idea, no idea what this software is, but would of been nice if mentioned at the start. If you are already using some software to try and speed your PC up, can you please tell us, so that we can offer advice on them, rather then guessing.
                I did. But, actually, I was getting my programs confused. Desktop Maestro finds registry errors. The program that I was using to disable programs is called WinPatrol.

                Originally posted by Wofen View Post
                As far as I am concerned norton is just barley better then no AV at all, and I am not sure if that will even scan for Malware, even if it does, it takes 30 seconds to download, 25 seconds to install and 5 seconds to run. Spend the min and run it to make sure.
                Well, I used to have Avast, Super Anti Spyware, Malware Bytes, Spyware Blaster, and Zone Alarm, and I figured if I uninstalled all of those and just used Norton it would make my computer faster, but no such luck.



                Originally posted by Wofen View Post
                Have you opened it up and checked inside it? That little vent will feed a network of tunnels that pipe air over all the important parts.
                Not yet. Do I just unscrew the screws on the bottom?

                Originally posted by Wofen View Post
                Can you please:

                A) Run MSConfig, stop all Non-Microsoft services, see if that will increase your speed.
                B) Defrag and Chkdsk your Hard drive.
                C) Get some software to check the health of your Ram, and also one to clear it.
                D) Get some software to close all un-needed applications.
                E) Use a 2nd Virus scanner and anti-malware.

                Once you have completed these, if you could post the results, we might be able to recommend something.

                Also, how long has it been since you formatted and reinstalled windows?

                Wofen
                Well, I checked to see if my computer needs to be defragmented, but there are very few fragmented files.

                How do I check the health of my ram?

                You say I should use MSConfig and also get some software to close all un-needed applications, but I thought the whole point of MSConfig was to close un-needed applications? Are you saying I need two separate programs? Anyway, do I stop the Toshiba services that are running, too?

                I've never reinstalled Windows.

                Originally posted by Ossian View Post
                Check your processor power settings and actual speed -- Toshibas have been known to go to slow speed even when on mains power.

                Also have a look at processor and RAM utilisation for "all users"

                I didn't see the RAM mentioned anywhere above? Also, how is your swapfile configured?

                Have you defragged your HDD recently?
                Well, let's see. When I go into Performance in Task Manager it shows the Total Physical Memory being 244,528K. About 23,000K is Available. About 81,000K is System Cache. I don't know what a swapfile is.
                Last edited by Master Moron; 17th July 2010, 17:15.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: My computer is slow as molasses

                  256Mb RAM is a bit on the low side these days!
                  To check your swapfile:
                  Right click My Computer -- select PROPERTIES -- ADVANCED -- PERFORMANCE -- PAGING FILE
                  Tom Jones
                  MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
                  PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
                  IT Trainer / Consultant
                  Ossian Ltd
                  Scotland

                  ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: My computer is slow as molasses

                    I think it's time to look for an upgrade...
                    Marcel
                    Technical Consultant
                    Netherlands
                    http://www.phetios.com
                    http://blog.nessus.nl

                    MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
                    "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

                    "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
                    "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: My computer is slow as molasses

                      Originally posted by Ossian View Post
                      256Mb RAM is a bit on the low side these days!
                      To check your swapfile:
                      Right click My Computer -- select PROPERTIES -- ADVANCED -- PERFORMANCE -- PAGING FILE
                      I'm not seeing any ADVANCED option under PROPERTIES.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: My computer is slow as molasses

                        Screenshot please?
                        What version of Windows (Home or Pro) and what SP?
                        Tom Jones
                        MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
                        PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
                        IT Trainer / Consultant
                        Ossian Ltd
                        Scotland

                        ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: My computer is slow as molasses

                          I bet he is not logged with an Administrator account.
                          1 1 was a racehorse.
                          2 2 was 1 2.
                          1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                          2 2 1 1 2

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: My computer is slow as molasses

                            Originally posted by Ossian View Post
                            256Mb RAM is a bit on the low side these days!
                            To check your swapfile:
                            Right click My Computer -- select PROPERTIES -- ADVANCED -- PERFORMANCE -- PAGING FILE
                            Oh, I found it. The problem was I was right clicking on the shortcut rather than the icon in the start menu. It says the total paging file size for all drives is 358 MB.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: My computer is slow as molasses

                              OK
                              2 suggestions:
                              1) Upgrade your RAM to at least 1 GB (or the maximum your laptop supports if less)
                              2) Change your paging file as follows:
                              If you only have a C drive: Min = Max = 2048
                              If you have C and D drives:
                              C: Min = Max = 16
                              D: Min = Max = 2048
                              In eaither case, run defrag on your drives a couple of times first
                              Tom Jones
                              MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
                              PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
                              IT Trainer / Consultant
                              Ossian Ltd
                              Scotland

                              ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

                              Comment

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