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can my computer sort of break????

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by theory4debate, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. I have 2 computers....a Sony and a Compaq. Both are Pentium 4 desktop
    computer with 512 megs of memory. The Sony processor is rated at 2.0
    megahertz, while the Compaq is rated at 1.7 megahertz. Therefore, the
    Sony should be faster, how the Compaq is about 4 to 6 times faster
    then the Sony. When I mean faster, I mean boot-up time, starting an
    application, and shut down.

    Both of these systems are running on Windows XP, with all the correct
    drivers and updates, and a fresh install of XP was just done on both
    computer last week. I thought for sure the fresh install of Windows
    XP was going to solve the problem.

    Is it possible the Sony computer is actually broken, but still works
    perfectly with the exception of the super slow speed?
     
    theory4debate, Aug 5, 2010
    #1
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  2. Regarding the speed of the computer. I meant Gigahertz, not megahertz.
     
    theory4debate, Aug 5, 2010
    #2
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  3. I'd suspect slower RAM and disks, possibly smaller RAM cache. Nowadays
    CPU clock is less important than RAM timing. Check the timing and cache
    specs, and the BIOS settings.

    DoDi
     
    Hans-Peter Diettrich, Aug 5, 2010
    #3
  4. ;-)

    You also can have a look at the true CPU speed, perhaps the clock
    multipliers are set wrong, or the CPU is throttled due to temparature
    problems (displaced or dusty cooler or fans?).

    DoDi
     
    Hans-Peter Diettrich, Aug 6, 2010
    #4
  5. theory4debate

    Arno Guest

    Yes. This may be a dying harddisk for example, that needs
    lots and lots of retries. To diagnose this, use a SMART tool
    and look at the stats. hdsentinel (free version) will give
    you a reasonable health estimate in addition. It is a pretty
    good product, both free and commercial version (reasonably priced).
    If you get a warning, replace the disk. You do have current
    backups of anything importtant, don't you?

    A second possibility is defective CPU cooling. P4s do not die
    when cooled badly (or not at all), they just get dog-slow. To
    diagnose this, the first step is to get a CPU temperature
    diagnistic, e.g. from speedfan. If CPU temperature is, say,
    opening the computer and visually looking for trouble
    (dust, broken bracket, etc.). If you decide to remove dust
    with a vaccuum cleaner, make sure to observe anti-ESD precautions,
    i.e. touch metal on the computer and vaccuum while doing it,
    unless you have an anti-static vaccuum.

    Apart from these two thinks, I don't know anything that
    can cause the described slowdown.

    Arno
     
    Arno, Aug 6, 2010
    #5
  6. theory4debate

    Bob Eager Guest

    And check BIOS settings in case the CPU cache has been disabled.
     
    Bob Eager, Aug 6, 2010
    #6
  7. theory4debate

    Anssi Saari Guest

    Yes. In addition to the other suggestions, it's possible you have a
    failing hard disk or cable which caused a few read errors and XP
    disabled DMA for the drive, which results in very slow disk access and
    hence boot and application startup take long too. Microsoft has a page
    about this at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/817472/
     
    Anssi Saari, Aug 6, 2010
    #7
  8. theory4debate

    Arno Guest

    Does XP disable DMA persistently? Linux will forget this setting
    after a reboot and try with DMA again. But it is indeed a
    possibility, and it will show up in the SMART log/stats as interface
    errors.

    Arno
     
    Arno, Aug 6, 2010
    #8
  9. After reading all the suggestions from everybody, I download a free
    program called Ultimate Boot CD. I ran the test for the memory and it
    passed. I ran the test for the processor and it rated the processor
    as 2.0 gighertz and still running at full speed of 2.0 gigahertz.
    Then I ran the Hard drive test and it actually passed.

    However, the program wasn't the Smart Tool. I then download the Smart
    Tool and ran that program. This program is very complicated and it
    took me about an hour before I understood what this program is. This
    program detects an error at power-on. So there is an error but it's
    not that obvious because the Hard drive test program in Ultimate Bood
    Cd didn't detect it.

    Here's the link for Smart Tool just in case somebody wants it....
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/smartmontools/

    Thanks everybody.
     
    theory4debate, Aug 6, 2010
    #9
  10. Since the Windows XP was a clean install, I figure the error has to be
    at the beginning of the hard drive. I figure I will partition the
    hard drive into a 2 drives. The first partition will be 10 gigs.
    This is where I think the error is. I will then install XP on the 2nd
    partition, which is about 50 gigs.

    Do you think this will work?
     
    theory4debate, Aug 6, 2010
    #10
  11. theory4debate

    Anssi Saari Guest

    Yes.
     
    Anssi Saari, Aug 8, 2010
    #11
  12. theory4debate

    Arno Guest

    Interesting. Linux does a re-test on next boot and keeps DMS if
    it woirks again.

    Arno
     
    Arno, Aug 9, 2010
    #12
  13. theory4debate

    Horst Franke Guest

    In
    Hi th*,
    about what *error* are You talking?
    A first 10 GB partition should be much enough for WinXP!
    Installing XP on the 2nd partition may cause a problem since the
    Boot-partition is no longer C:!

    Also the description of "Subject" is not understandable!
    Please be more precise on details about _Your_ problem!

    I don't really understand your problem?
    What do you mean by "sort of break"?

    Horst
     
    Horst Franke, Aug 17, 2010
    #13
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