Need educating a bit please...

Discussion in 'Computer Questions' started by motdaugrnds, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. motdaugrnds

    motdaugrnds II Corinthians 5:7 Supporter

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    My PC is quite old. I'm using Windows XP. It has worked fine, i.e. no real delays in pulling up what is wanted, all these years. I keep it cleaned, blown out (dust), defragged and have always had the same 3 protectors on it, i.e. Avast antivirus, Super Anti-spyware and Spybot. Last year this PC became quite slow to respond to my instructions and started freezing as well. The left-click of the mouse stopped working too. A friend changed the mouse and mentioned I needed ?? (Didn't understand this.) in order for the PC to deal with more ?? (different from memory RAMS), stating this would probably stop the freezing. Can anyone explain this to me? (I only use this PC for visiting this forum, one more forum, watching knitting youtube videos and sending/receiving emails. And the "memory" is never even half used.) The slow response to my instructions sure is frustrating...
    Thank you...
     
  2. tiffanysgallery

    tiffanysgallery Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm not sure exactly what your friend mentioned.

    Have you tried the Avg PC TuneUp or a pc tuneup like it?
     

  3. backwoodsman7

    backwoodsman7 Well-Known Member

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    It's not possible to diagnose something like that remotely. It's not even possible to make an educated guess without knowing what you mean by freezing, and if there's any pattern to when it happens. If you can give those details, someone can probably hazard a guess what the problem is.
     
  4. Nevada

    Nevada Voice of Reason Supporter

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    Being low on memory would certainly make your computer run slowly.

    Memory is different from disk storage space. When a program runs it has to be first transferred to memory. Memory marshalls data in and out of the processor. The more applications you have open at the same time, the more memory is used. XP has also evolved into an operating system that requires more memory for itself.

    You can check for free memory in the Task Manager. That will decide if you need more memory. Right-click on the task bar at the bottom and select Task Manager. Select the Performance tab. Look for how much memory is being used and how much is free.

    Depending on your computer model you may or may not be able to upgrade your memory. Some XP machines only accept a limited amount of memory.

    If you post back with what you found in the Task Manager and what computer model you have then I can make a recommendation.
     
  5. HDRider

    HDRider Well-Known Member

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    If nothing has changed, except it suddenly became slow, you are infected.
     
  6. MoonRiver

    MoonRiver SM Entrepreneuraholic Supporter

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    Check to see if the light on your disk drive is on almost solid when you are having the problem. That would be a good clue.
     
  7. backwoodsman7

    backwoodsman7 Well-Known Member

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    Somehow I focused on the freezing and missed the part about slowing down. If by "freezing" you mean "really slow", then HDRider is correct, that's almost always malware. Have you been running Avast's Boot-Time Scan regularly? If not, do it now, and start running it monthly. Also, download Malwarebytes and run its scan, and do that monthly as well. You can stay with the free version of both, unless you want to support them.
     
  8. mnn2501

    mnn2501 Dallas

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  9. motdaugrnds

    motdaugrnds II Corinthians 5:7 Supporter

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    Checking on all those things now...Will get back....

    Nevada, two questions:
    1. I cannot find "task manager". Where would it be on an XP?
    2. Where can I find what "computer model" I have?

    I looked under "system information" and found:
    OS Name = Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
    Version = 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3 Build 2600
    System Model = D845PESV
    Processor = x86 Family 15 Model 2 Stepping 9 GenuineIntel~2666 Mhz

    Does the above help understand what the "model" is?
    I couldn't find how much "memory" I have but I do know, when I purchased this PC, I had extra memory added; and when I defrag, not even half of this amount is used.

    MoonRiver, where can I find the "disk drive" so as to look for a light?

    Backwoodsman7, Yes, by "freezing" I mean REALLY SLOW. Yet I've constantly used the programs mentioned in my initial post to keep this PC clean of malware. (I'll be looking at that URL you gave for "malwarebytes".) https://www.malwarebytes.com/mwb-download/thankyou/

    Mnn2501 I've downloaded that program. Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
  10. Nevada

    Nevada Voice of Reason Supporter

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    1. You can reach the Task Manager the same way with XP, but right-clicking on an empty area of the task bar (at the bottom) and select Task Manager. Failing that, you can do a Ctrl-Alt-Del and select task manager.
    2. You computer brand and model is usually found on the outside of the computer.
     
  11. backwoodsman7

    backwoodsman7 Well-Known Member

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    Ctrl-shift-esc will start Task Manager.

    Clearly they're not working, which reminds me, you didn't answer my question:

    Have you been running Avast's Boot-Time Scan regularly?

    If not, do it RIGHT NOW, and then monthly.

    Then (after Avast Boot-Time Scan is done) download and run Malwarebytes, and then run it monthly.

    Those anti-spyware things aren't really that effective, as you've discovered.
     
  12. motdaugrnds

    motdaugrnds II Corinthians 5:7 Supporter

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    Image1.jpg Nevada, Here is a picture of the "task manager" . The other tabs on that little window didn't look relevant. As for the computer "brand and model", I could not find anything on the outside. The box part of this computer contains everything and the screen part is flat if that helps. I purchased it new back in the late 1990s. Hope this helps you to help me.

    Backwoodsman7, I didn't even know Avast had scans. When I brought it up I had the option for a "boot-time scan" and, when clicked on that, it suggested I "install additional definitions". I did that, re-booted and it did run the scan. Didn't see results because I was not at PC and it was gone by the time PC came back up.

    Installed Malwarebytes version 3.3.1.2183, which turned out to be a 14-day "trial" that reverts to the "free" edition thereafter. Still it did download its updates. Scanned PC immediately.

    Only been on the net now for about 15 minutes but cannot tell this PC is acting any differently. Now what?
     
  13. Nevada

    Nevada Voice of Reason Supporter

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    I see a Performance tab in your image. Just click on it to see memory usage & availability.

    Your computer must have a brand & model. There's usually a nomenclature sticker or plate on the back.
     
  14. backwoodsman7

    backwoodsman7 Well-Known Member

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    A couple things are very strange about that Task Manager screen grab. Is that really what the scroll bar looks like? Is that a single image that you just cut in half, or is it a composite of several images?

    Also, System Idle Process is at 99% (meaning the CPU is doing almost nothing), but psp.exe is using 71% of the CPU, which of course is impossible. I'd say, kill that psp.exe (click on it and click the End Process button) and see what happens. Whatever else is going on with your Task Manager, it looks like that's eating up most of your CPU, which would make it real sluggish.

    If you post any more screen grabs of Task Manager, check "Show processes from all users", then click the CPU column heading (twice, probably) to sort it in order of CPU usage.
     
  15. Nevada

    Nevada Voice of Reason Supporter

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    Yeah, there's a lot of junk running in the background on that machine. But we've got bigger fish to fry.
     
  16. NRA_guy

    NRA_guy Well-Known Member

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    Some things that I have found drag PCs down include upgrades to software such as the operating system, browser, and anti-virus software.

    New versions always seem to use more resources and that makes us buy new hardware, which then makes up buy new software, etc.

    By the way, anti-virus software is one of the greatest drags on my PC.

    I have also found lots of services that are automatically enabled dragging PCs down.

    OP probably should try booting into safe mode and seeing what effect it has. Then safe mode with networking.

    Or going into msconfig and selectively disabling crap that loads at boot time.
     
  17. motdaugrnds

    motdaugrnds II Corinthians 5:7 Supporter

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    Nevada, the only thing I see written on the back is a number, "DCS0001095". Here is a picture of the Task Manager when clicked on "performance" tab. tm.jpg

    Backwoodsman7 That picture of the "Task Manager" screen is a "composit". Had to take a screen shot of it 3 times with the scroll bar lowered each time; then I combined the 3. That would not load on the post so I had to cut that picture in half just to get my post to accept it. LOL So yes, after combining the screen shots, I cut the picture in half to post it.

    If that "psp.exe" (using 71% of the CPU) stands for Paint Shop Pro, I cannot "end the process" or I would destroy the program and that is the program I use to take/create/modify pictures. I had it open so as to take the picture of the Task Manager. I rarely use it and it does not stay on all the time but only when I pull it up to use. OK I've pulled up Task Manager again, clicked "processes" and checked "show processes from all users"; then I clicked the CPU and took another picture (as taken before with 3 put together to show everything). Here it is.
    users.jpg

    NRA_guy, I think I understand what you're saying. Just not sure. I have noticed when using "disc cleanup" that one part that is suppose to be cleared seems to keep getting larger...and has for several years now. I won't post a picture but can tell you what that disc cleanup window shows...and I've already ran that plus a defrag just last night. The little window shows all these checked to be cleaned up:
    Downloaded program files 0KB
    Temporary Internet files 1KB
    Recycle bin 0KB
    Temporary files 0KB
    Compress old files 234.251 K
    Catalog files for the content indexer 0KB

    This little window states "total amount of disk space you gain: 234,251 K" and I'm guessing that is true "after" I click yes to go ahead and do it.
     
  18. Nevada

    Nevada Voice of Reason Supporter

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    You have 1.3GB of memory available to the system, and you were already using 1.16GB when you captured the image. While I can't tell for sure by the Task Manager, you probably have 2GB of memory installed that's shared as video memory.

    You need more memory. That's your problem for sure. It wouldn't take much of a program to consume the rest of your available memory. Just opening a web browser or email client and you're completely out.

    The question now is whether you can install additional memory in your system. I'll need to know the brand and model of your computer to tell you that. Basically your options for that machine are:

    1) Add more memory, if possible.
    2) Migrate to an operating system that requires less memory.
     
  19. backwoodsman7

    backwoodsman7 Well-Known Member

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    On the screenshot of the Performance tab we can see that you have 1.25GB of RAM ("Physical Memory"). For best performance you want at least 2GB; but we can also see that there's a fair amount free at the moment, so that's not the immediate problem. You'll definitely want to upgrade that, but only if you're sure you're going to keep this machine for a while; when you do upgrade, the model name & number you need is most likely on the front panel of the machine.

    If/when you upgrade the memory, you need either a pro, or someone who really does know how to do it without destroying something. I've seen lots of people who are sure they can safely install memory because they managed to do it successfully once, but they end up destroying the new memory because they don't know to use precautions against static electricity damage. So, unless you know enough to determine if someone really can do it without killing the new memory, take it to a shop and pay them to do it.

    re: the Processes tab, what we need to see is what's using the CPU, so it doesn't help to see the low end of the list sorted by CPU usage. That's why I said click probably twice, but I could've been clearer and said make sure it's showing the processes that are using the CPU at the top of the list. All we need to see is the first screen showing the highest CPU users. From what you've posted, all we can really see is that there are a lot of things eating up your already limited memory.

    By far the biggest memory user on the list is Firefox. When it's sluggish, does it improve if you close Firefox? Chrome is much faster at some things than Firefox, which makes a huge difference on slow machines, so you might want to switch to it.
     
  20. backwoodsman7

    backwoodsman7 Well-Known Member

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    That's the page file usage, not memory. It's not directly related to amount or usage of physical memory.

    That would mean 750MB of video memory, which isn't going to happen on an early-XP-era machine. It shows 1309488 bytes of physical memory, which is 1.25GB installed. A machine of that era probably maxes out at 2GB.