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Thread: Slow PC

  1. #1
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    Slow PC

    Typical of a PC, it keeps getting slower and slower after 5 years. Opened up Task Manager this morning and even after a reboot, I am running 114 "processes". Crazy. Remember early DOS when you could only run one thing at a time? All I have open is Outlook for email and Google Chrome. Only a few of the processes are even recognizable by name. Can't just start deleting them as I have no idea how they interact with needed processes. And even when I tried that, they just pop up again. Is there a trustworthy program that will sift out the chaff? And please excuse me if I have asked this in a previous life...
    NOW you tell me...

  2. #2
    I've noticed that the trend now is that I need to keep a small part of my program/app running so the user won't forget that I'm there, which clutters up memory and operating speed. I know that the paid version of Avast will help eliminate non-essential programs running in the background. A limited time trial version is available that showed me that Adobe PDF reader was always running just to make it faster for me to see a pdf document should I chose to open one. Phone apps are all trying to stay running to some degree in the background.
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 01-24-2019 at 10:05 AM.
    Lee Schierer
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  3. #3
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    I will run Ccleaner now and again to clean up old registry files. I use Revo Uninstaller for installing and removing programs to get a more thorough removal. there are many 'habits' and tools we can use to keep a Windows, Mac or Linux machine running well. For Windows, when it reaches some subjective point, I just reinstall Windows, formatting the drive and push all my files and apps back on. We all make regular backups, right? It flies like the wind for quite awhile before the baggage that slows things down starts to collect again.
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”


  4. #4
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    You are experiencing what is called "WinRot". A common affliction for Microsoft Windows owners where a trail of background processes, overstressed registry database and general mass of software competing for attention results in a slow system.

    The laundry list of cleanup programs may help, but in the end, only a reinstall is the only absolute solution.
    “Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity”

  5. #5
    You may want to try a SSD. When I was running Win XP on an older computer it was taking about 7 1/2 minutes to boot up. When I switched to a SSD the boot time went down to about 1 1/2 minutes.....and it was also much quicker at opening programs..

  6. #6
    Ole Andersen,

    There are three categories of factors that affect computer performance: Hardware, software, and configuration.

    Dealing with software and configuration problems is the least expensive, can have remarkably good results, and also indicate as to whether any hardware changes are in order.

    0. Before making actual changes, create a system restore point:

    _________________________________________________

    1. As others have mentioned, consider installing and, as glenn Bradley mentioned, running the free version the free version of CCleaner, which will clean obsolete and temporary files, unused programs, unused extensions, and broken registry entries. Watch that it doesn't delete any programs that are just not used often but that you want to keep.

    2. Then, go to Windows Explorer, click on the C:\ OS partition and right click >Properties > This will show a graphic of the Didk use. Make a note of the amount of free space in that partition. At the bottom cliock on the Disk Cleanup, which will get rid of further temp files, empty the recycle bin and internet cache files- this can be a surprisingly large quantity.

    3. Press the Window button on the LL keyboard > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter. Run the Defragrmenter which will reassemble files that have been split apart over time and also consolidate- compact the files on the drive so the access time is shorter. This may take a long time and don't use the computer while it's running.

    When the defrag is done, restart the computer and hopefully, the startup will be noticeably faster.

    5. At this point create another system restore point in case something goes wrong. Do a search in YouTube for:

    windows 7 create system restore point

    4. This next step has to be done very carefully. This is to edit the programs that start when the system is booted. In general, this involves : Windows button and in the "Search programs and files" box at the bottom, type in "msconfig" click on msconfig at the top and there will be a dialog box with selective for Selective Startup. the on the Startup tab, you go through and select programs that will or won't be run at startup. The rule is not to stop any programs from Microsoft, but almost everything listed is worth considering- especially auto updating. I have a quite fast computer and run almost no startup items and zero scheduled items. I suggest not fussing with the "services list, this is dangerous. Before doing the startup editing, consider watching a couple of YouTube be entering the search:

    windows 7 msconfig startup cleanup

    5. Download and install the latest graphics card driver. There are billions of You Tube videos on this.

    6. Run the defragmenter again and restart.

    7. If the computer is still very slow, there's a possibility, if the system is 5 or more years old, that the hardware even in good form is not up to being as responsive as you like.

    8. If the performance is not acceptable; download, install, and run the free trial of Passmark Performance Test 9. This will will display benchmarks for each major sub-system: Overall System Rating / CPU / 2D / 3D / Memory / Disk and weak spots can become apparent by an Advanced search by make and model of computer and comparing the top few overall system ratings for that system.

    If you do this step, post the system specs- the processor, graphics card, amount of memory, drives etc. and test results here and we can talk about what makes sense and how much it might help. Very often a new graphics card and, as Barry McFadden mentioned, changing the OS drive to an SSD will see programs open much faster. If your Windows is 32-bit, that is slowing things down some as well.

    Alan

    HP z620_ Xeon E5-1680 v2 (8-core @ 4.3GHz) / 64GB DDR3-1866 ECC / Quadro P2000 + GTX 1070Ti / HP Z Turbo Drive M.2 256GB + Samsung 970 EVO M.2 NVMe 500GB + HGST 7K6000 4TB > Windows 7 Pro'l 64-bit.

  7. #7
    I used to be pretty fussy about what processes I let run & keeping the registry lean & clean, but I just don't bother anymore. Computers are so fast that it doesn't make any noticeable difference anymore. My current desktop has an M2 PCIe drive & it will go from the end of POST to the desktop in 5 - 6 seconds. Just a few years ago it was about a couple of minutes to do the same.

  8. #8
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    If your PC is Windows 10, a separate defragging is not necessary. By default, "Optimize Drives", previously called Disk Defragmenter, runs automatically on a weekly schedule at the time set in automatic maintenance. But you can also optimize drives on your PC manually if you are really concerned.

    Furthermore, it is suggested to NOT defrag SSD drives. Not only is it unnecessary due to the direct access method they use, but causes excessive writes that could, technically, shorten the devices lifespan (this is under debate, but no reason to risk it )
    “Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity”

  9. #9
    re: Is there a trustworthy program that will sift out the chaff?

    You betcha. I got 3 of em--

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sys...loads/autoruns
    ^^ this is a program called Autoruns, it will show you EVERYthing that's doing anything on your computer. Read the page, it explains better than me-- Neat thing about it is you can temp. disable things without shutting them down, helps with diagnosing--


    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sys...ocess-explorer
    ^^ this is called 'process explorer', it's just like the process viewer in task manager, but on steroids - Process explorer goes into great detail about running processes, and like with Autoruns, you can disable processes without terminating them...


    https://www.nirsoft.net/utils/shexview.html
    ^^ this is called 'Shellexview', it shows all the 'shell extensions' running, which control context menus (typically right-click items) -- it too allows you to disable items for diagnosing...

    I use these all the time, however I haven't upgraded mine in years, but they all still work fine- and as far as I know, all free still


  10. We pay for a higher speed with Comcast and lately the internet has been getting crazy slow at odd times. Mrs. was taking a quiz for her on-line college course this afternoon and the darn internet froze for a good two minutes, driving her crazy during a ten minute times quiz. Unfortunately the local satellite net providers and phone have abysmal service that goes out during every weather hiccup.

    Comcast has been caught playing games with net speeds over some lines, and was fined for it. The expressly restricted speeds for services of competing programs like Netflix to steer customers toward the comcast pay movie services.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry McFadden View Post
    You may want to try a SSD. When I was running Win XP on an older computer it was taking about 7 1/2 minutes to boot up. When I switched to a SSD the boot time went down to about 1 1/2 minutes.....and it was also much quicker at opening programs..
    An SSD drive will speed your computer up a lot, as mentioned by Barry, and the prices have come down so they are not expensive. Adding some more RAM to your computer can help, but IMHO, i would avoid playing in the registry or using CCleaner as it can cause more problems than it solves. (based on my own experience )

  12. #12
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    Thanks for all of the suggestions. I have a Dell Inspiron 5558 laptop with an i3 chipset, 4 Gb ram. Win 7 pro, service pack 1. Not sure about adding an SSD to a laptop. Possible, easy? I added one to a brand new new Dell XPS at church for video streaming and it is wicked fast.
    NOW you tell me...

  13. #13
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    You have about a year before Windows 7 fades into history: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/wind...dows-7-support and that laptop isn't getting any younger, either.

    Unless you're running some special software that needs Windows (and I don't mean Outlook) I'd suggest you start looking for an alternative to Windows. That would be get a Mac or get Linux.

    Linux comes in many many versions but all of the popular ones are free, more bulletproof than Windows and boot faster and run more happily on a range of computers. I've been using OpenSuse for 10-15 years and my wife switched from Windows a couple of years ago, relatively painlessly. No more pain than it will take to move up from 7 to current Windows.

    Microsoft has, or had, some great products and I've made money using them but we've reached the point that an unsophisticated computer user is at serious risk from all the evil things out there that exist because of the vulnerabilities in Microsoft software. Few Linux users even bother to use anti-virus programs because they don't need to. I wouldn't be surprised if much of your problem is malware running on your computer.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole Anderson View Post
    Thanks for all of the suggestions. I have a Dell Inspiron 5558 laptop with an i3 chipset, 4 Gb ram. Win 7 pro, service pack 1. Not sure about adding an SSD to a laptop. Possible, easy? I added one to a brand new new Dell XPS at church for video streaming and it is wicked fast.
    adding an SSD is not really that hard...there is software available to help migrate it from the HDD to the SSD. I was able to do it and it worked out great.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Rutherford View Post
    You have about a year before Windows 7 fades into history: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/wind...dows-7-support and that laptop isn't getting any younger, either.

    Unless you're running some special software that needs Windows (and I don't mean Outlook) I'd suggest you start looking for an alternative to Windows. That would be get a Mac or get Linux.

    Linux comes in many many versions but all of the popular ones are free, more bulletproof than Windows and boot faster and run more happily on a range of computers. I've been using OpenSuse for 10-15 years and my wife switched from Windows a couple of years ago, relatively painlessly. No more pain than it will take to move up from 7 to current Windows.

    Microsoft has, or had, some great products and I've made money using them but we've reached the point that an unsophisticated computer user is at serious risk from all the evil things out there that exist because of the vulnerabilities in Microsoft software. Few Linux users even bother to use anti-virus programs because they don't need to. I wouldn't be surprised if much of your problem is malware running on your computer.
    My only beef to using Linux is the amount of programs that run in Windows and I have many of them. Otherwise Linux is a good OS with many different one available, some better than others.

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