PC running slowly. Any suggestions please?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by CEB, Jul 1, 2008.

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  1. CEB

    CEB Mobile Deity

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    Hello my off-topic friends.

    I've been working on my Cousin's notebook for a week. It's running very slowly (90 seconds just to open MS Word). I noticed that its Kernal memory is lower than my two notebooks (one of which is 2 years old than his), but I don't really know much about Kernel Memory. I wonder if that can be the culprit as his CPU doesn't run at 100%. Here are typical stats:
    Totals: Handles 8898, Threads 462, Processes 47
    Commit Charge: Total 304036, Limit 510464, Peak 474576
    Pysical Memory: Ttoal 228844, Available 39300, System Cache 69,000
    Kenrel Memory (K): Total 25868, Paged 18776, Nonpaged 7148 (my notebooks have 4x and 6x this total)

    It's a Toshiba Equium, single core, 2.8Ghtz, only 512MB RAM. He uses it for MS Office tasks mainly, and web.

    I think he's going to have to reformat and start again. Does anyone have any other ideas/suggestions please?

    Here's the troubleshooting I've done so far:
    Turned off startup items not needed.
    Removed My Web Search
    Windows Defender - Spyware search - no problems found
    Removed Hard Disk, put it in external drive enclosure, and ran the following using another PC
    Trend Micro Antivirus/AntiSpyware - 3 trojans found, deleted - I think these were in restore points from My Web Search
    Lavasoft Ad-Aware adware remover - no problems found
    SpyBot Search & Destroy - no problems found
    Replaced hard disk - run a couple of test docs (word and excel) and opened outlook (no internet connection) - a little quicker, but still slow
    Connected to interenet - slow loading pages
    Run PandaScan - no problems found
    Run Knoppix Live CD - works fine and quickly
    Currently running System File Checker
     
  2. DragonHunter

    DragonHunter Bow, bow, bow, bow

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    How hot is it running?

    Any processes eating up cpu usage?
     
  3. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta General Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    hey, Colin! you don't mention what Windows flavor it is running, but on XP Home, SP2, I've found that SVCHOST.EXE is a sometimes hog/bottleneck. I don't really know what it is doing (at one time, I think it was running automatic updates, or at least trying to), there are usually more than one instance of it running, but if things are bad I will kill it and to the best of my knowledge, continue computing merrily.... :rolleyes:

    good luck
     
  4. Hook

    Hook Helga in Disguise!

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    Does it behave the same whether plugged in or off battery? Wondering if it had some kind of power management kicking in.

    Frankly, you can tweak a lot and not get much out of it. Your remove the hard disk test suggests the problem may be software.

    I'd add an additional 512 RAM and reformat. ;)
     
  5. avisitor

    avisitor Mobile Deity

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    Yeah, go to 1 or 2GB of ram.


    SVCHOST is the process that dll-based services/executables run under. Generally you should not kill it.
     
  6. CEB

    CEB Mobile Deity

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    Currently running Spinrite, so all I have is drive temp at 49C (120F). It runs slow right from a cold start though. CPU is not being maxed out (very odd), and there's no one service that's hogging CPU.

    It's Win XP Home, SP2 (maybe SP3 now), but fully patched.

    I thought it might be updates, but it's the same when connected to the net and not connected.

    The battery is quite old, and may not work. I have been running on mains power with the battery in. I'll try some alternatives after Spinrite, and check the power management settings.

    I think it might be software too. I might put an old drive in it and install Win XP to see what happens. If that runs okay then it's probably software and I'll recommend a reinstall.

    Regarding RAM, I've priced it up. He only has one slot, so he'd have to go to 512 total or max it out at 1GB (£30 and £50 respectively).

    Thanks very much for the help.
     
  7. CEB

    CEB Mobile Deity

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    PS. Why would the Kernel memory be so small? It's 1/4 of the size of my old laptop which is two years older. What dictates the Kernel size?

    Thanks.
     
  8. JRakes

    JRakes NOT your Average Joe

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    Hi, Colin!

    OK, my ver professional, highly experienced opinion is that it needs more coffee. Pop out that cup holder thingie and give it a big ol' mug. You know, that thing that slides out when you press the little button... :D

    Seriously, though: Have you cleared out temp and cache files? Have you defragged the HD? I didn't see anything specifically about those items mentioned above, but I need more coffee at the moment and may very well have missed it. :eek:

    Good luck with it! And visit more often - How's the fam?
     
  9. avisitor

    avisitor Mobile Deity

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    I believe Kernel memory is set on the Advanced tab of System Properties.

    My machine is as follows:

    Kernel: TOTAL: 66556 PAGED: 35550 NONPAGED: 31124
    PHYSICAL: TOTAL 2086956 AVAILABLE: 1559968 SYSTEM CACHE: 154536

    You can find out more information about your system: Start -> Run -> msinfo32

    I have a Intel Centrino Duo (at 1.6ghz/core), 2GB RAM (needs upgrading ;)), 250GB HD. Runs perfectly fine the way it is. I believe Kernel memory automatically adjusts as needed. I could be wrong though.
     
  10. CEB

    CEB Mobile Deity

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    I've got another hour before Spinrite finishes, then I'll look to see if I can change the Kernel Memory size. If not, it must be automatic.

    Meanwhile, I've put a big mug of latte in the cup holder. It hasn't made the PC run faster, but it's helping me. Hi Joe! Family is great thanks. You good?
     
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