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Extremely slow XP laptop

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by Steve Smith, Sep 27, 2003.

  1. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Guest

    I have a Dell Inspiron 8100 laptop running Windows XP Home that has suddenly started working EXTREMELY SLOWLY. It's as if I'm running XP on an old 386 with 16MB memory. The computer has a 1Ghz CPU and 256MB memory. It takes it 10 to 15 minutes to open MS Word. Sometimes it takes 5 minutes for the menu to appear after I click on the Start button. It takes it almost 10 minutes to boot. What could be causing this?

    I've tried the following to no avail:
    Updated virus definitions and scanned for viruses and found none.
    Restored back to a Restore Point that was created during a time that the computer was running good.
    Downloaded all Windows Updates.
    Booted into Safe Mode. It didn't help and it appeared to run even slower.
    Ran Norton System Works. Found some problems and they were fixed but it didn't solve the "slow" problem.
    Removed unnecessary startup programs. Didn't help either
    Downloaded Dell's diagnostic program for this laptop and tested all the hardware overnight. Everything passed!
    Ran PC Certify(a third party hardware diagnostic program that is booted off of a DOS floppy) overnight and everything passed.
    Re-installed Windows Xp and selected the second Repair option so it would save my files and settings. It took several hours to install and when it was done, it was still just as slow.
    Downloaded the Hitachi hard drive diagnostics and tested the hard drive. Hard drive passed fine.

    Does anyone have any ideas? I guess the next step is to reformat and re-install Windows but I was hoping to avoid this.

    Thanks,
    Steve Smith
     
    Steve Smith, Sep 27, 2003
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  2. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Guest

    I've determined that the hard drive is bad. I made this determination by "Ghosting" to a different hard drive and then replacing the suspect drive with the Ghosted drive. It runs great with the new hard drive. For whatever reason the old hard drive passed Dell's diagnostic program for this laptop, PC Certify diagnostic software and the IBM's "Fitness Test" hard drive diagnostics. I even did a low level format and a clean install of Windows but that didn't help. A replacement hard drive worked like a charm. I guess you can't always trust hard drive diagnostic software.

    Perhaps it's possible for a hard drive to slow down because of mechanical reasons maybe due to bad bearings or something and maybe this doesn't get tested by drive diag software or "SMART" analysis. Has anyone seen this problem before?

    Steve Smith
     
    Steve Smith, Sep 28, 2003
    #2
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  3. Does anyone have any ideas? I guess the next step is to reformat and
    re-install >Windows but I was hoping to avoid this.

    Have you checked for adware/spyware? Download adaware from
    www.lavasoftusa.com and run it. Open task manager and see if a process is
    using all CPU time, then trace it on google and disable remove as required.

    Mike.
     
    Michael Hawes, Sep 28, 2003
    #3
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Guest

    Michael Hawes
    Thanks, but this problem was far worst than adware/spyware could cause and I did check for it and remove it. See my original post for details.

    Steve Smith
     
    Steve Smith, Sep 30, 2003
    #4
  5. Steve Smith

    martintern

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    (just now noticing that this thread ran 4 years ago: )
    i have a similar problem on my xp-home laptop, with the difference that this extreme slowness occurs approximately once every 10 reboots. after checking cpu and viruses i went on to format the harddisk and reinstall windows but the problem is still there. however your post didn't get you an answer 4 years ago, i think it's of good use to me now, expecting a full hard disk crash any day now.. thanks; )
     
    martintern, Jul 31, 2007
    #5
  6. Steve Smith

    alaskagoldman

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    I have the identical problem and was at a loss as to what the problem could be. I had checked everything just as you had and will now try putting a different hard drive in the unit and see what happens. Thanks for posting your problem and solution.
     
    alaskagoldman, Aug 14, 2008
    #6
  7. Steve Smith

    computer-bits

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    very slow NX7400

    Hi
    I have a HP nx7400 its runs like a bag of Sh*%E I have replaced the CPU, RAM, reinstalled windows XP twice after formatting twice, i thought the only thing that it could possibly be was that the HDD was about to pack up so replaced the HDD installed windows and the problem is still there.....
    I seriously dought that the WD HDD is a dodgy one so what else could be the problem?????
    I'm thinking of putting a new Motherboard as this can be the only thing that can be wrong after replacing everything else, I dont really want to do this as its a very expensive Motherboard. Some Please help!!!!!!
     
    computer-bits, Nov 11, 2009
    #7
  8. Steve Smith

    kristain

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    Hello,
    There a several reasons why your computer is freezing/slow. First question is when was the last time you cleaned your registry. Having a corrupted registry can cause a whole host of errors and problems. Freezing up is one of them. If you have a lot of unnecessary registry keys that are hogging up your computer resources. Your computer is bound to choke. Scan your registry with a good registry cleaner. If you pull up more than 20 errors or duplication, clean your registry.

    2. Depending on your RAM specs and your computer usage. This could also be a the issue. Having an insufficient amount of free space does not allow your RAM to function properly. If you are using a lot of RAM by net surfing or other activities without enough empty space your will get freezes. You don't need to buy new RAM but you should increase your free space by removing unnecessary data and perhaps increasing your virtual memory. The below link will show you how.

    3. Spyware could be the culprit, so do a scan and see if your computer is infected.

    4. That last area is a hardware drivers. This could be the problem if new hardware has been added to the system. So, the drivers should still be up to date. So try the first two suggestion and see if you can get your computer to stop freezing.
     
    kristain, Apr 22, 2010
    #8
  9. Steve Smith

    computer-bits

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    Thanks for the reply but your comment is not relevant as the HDD is brand new with fresh install, I have in-fact returned the HDD for replacement with Amazon and now the machine is working fine. The Brand new HDD was the problem.
     
    computer-bits, Apr 22, 2010
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