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xp still very slow

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,985
Thanks: 5
Fixes: 3
Registered: 01-08-2007

xp still very slow

I have previously posted about my fathers xp system, and I thought that putting a bigger hdd in would cure it. Well it did for a bit but its now worse than ever. I went to have a look at it today and the hdd light is on continuously. It stops occasionally. When hdd light flashing system is pretty much unresponsive. Last time I stopped all unnecessary programs from starting up, and this hasnt changed. Opening task manager shows that when this is happening cpu useage is always below 10%, and memory useage is at approximately 850ish mb. System has 1gb of ram. Also noticed that wuauclt.exe is taking alot of memory and also a version of svchost is also. I do remember that there was a fix for wuauclt issues and windows update, but cant find it. Could this be the issue, or am I looking at a reinstall.
28 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,030
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: xp still very slow

why not just add another gig of ram
TORPC
Grafter
Posts: 5,163
Registered: 08-12-2013

Re: xp still very slow

I have 1 here with same issue
Added extra 1 Gig ram & made very little diference
What I have done so far
Cleaned all dust / debris
Cleared all junk software & as much crud as is possible
Updated malwarebytes (found nothing)
Installed & ran S&D found Sweet IM, & browser Hijackers
Running a tad quicker but not much
Ran TDSSkiller (found nothing)
Going to install Avast & run a BootTime scan will wait the results
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,985
Thanks: 5
Fixes: 3
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: xp still very slow

I am considering another stick of ram, but I'm not really sure if it would cure the issue.
TORPC
Grafter
Posts: 5,163
Registered: 08-12-2013

Re: xp still very slow

It is pretty much 97% of the time worth upgrading the RAM
It cant hurt either way Wink
Make sure it is like for like for the existing RAM
If unsure check out http://www.crucial.com/uk/ for guidance only Wink
It will also tell you if you have any spare banks for extra RAM Smiley
Moderator
Moderator
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: xp still very slow

Something else that helped when I had an XP machine running a little slower than I would have liked was deleting the Page file (making a note before-hand of the settings) then defragmenting the drive then re-enabling the Page file.
Often the Page file can get pretty fragmented especially on a machine with 1GB.

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

Moderator
Moderator
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Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: xp still very slow

and here's what Microsoft would have you do...

Customer / Moderator / If it helped click the thumb / If it fixed it click 'This fixed my problem'

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,985
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: xp still very slow

Thanks for the thoughts. I have already done the page file thing and it did get a little faster albeit transiently. It takes a max of 2gb ram so thats probably the first port of call. Its this thing with svchost an wuauclt.exe hogging resources that's bugging me. Ive googled around and there is a Microsoft guide for fixing updates involving renaming the software distribution folder and re registered dll files.
@dvorak.  Yeah typical m$
Ps also been down the linux route with him he's not keen. ........
TORPC
Grafter
Posts: 5,163
Registered: 08-12-2013

Re: xp still very slow

Wondering if M/S has done something in an update to cause slowdowns, to force people to upgrade, buy a new PC etc
As they fear a repeat of the IE6 that was trying to be like John McClain Roll eyes
Use CCleaner to look at any scheduled tasks that can be Disabled / Deleted
If not sure look in
Tools > Startup
You will see several tabs
Windows > Internet Explorer > 3rd party Web Bbrowsers > Scheduled Tasks > Context Menu
Check under each tab for any that can be Disabled / Deleted
If you are in any doubt on which to Disable / Delete post them here then we may be able to advise if safe to do so or not Wink
Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-06-2010

Re: xp still very slow

Quote from: Mav
Often the Page file can get pretty fragmented especially on a machine with 1GB.

You could alternatively try PageDefrag: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/sysinternals/bb897426 - it is still necessary to defragment the drive first.
gtowen
Rising Star
Posts: 354
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Registered: 05-05-2013

Re: xp still very slow

When I used Xp I found this site very useful,
http://www.blackviper.com/
Quite often MS has services running that are not really needed but just hog the memory and cpu. There is a list on that site to disable certain services which does help make XP run faster.
Anyway the site has some good info there Smiley
TLE
Grafter
Posts: 109
Registered: 01-12-2009

Re: xp still very slow

Run MSCONFIG and have a look to see what software is being started when you turn your PC on.
Start > Run > type "MSCONFIG" and hit enter.
Select the "Startup" tab and see how many items are ticked. (The fewer the better) If you are unsure you can always post a screenshot here.
Then do the same for the "Services" tab but tick "Hide all Microsoft Services" as this is the safest option.
Make sure you don't disable your security.
wuauclt.exe is part of the windows update process, and svchost is used by various windows services so you should see multiple instances of this. There are tools\processes around to what processes are using svchost.
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/list-services-running-under-svchostexe-process/
TLE

Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: xp still very slow

Go to the performance tab in task manager. If the commit charge* is larger than the physical memory adding more memory will definitely make a significant difference.
*Look at both Total (the current commit charge) and the peak.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Thunderclap
Grafter
Posts: 673
Registered: 08-09-2008

Re: xp still very slow

That's a difficult one... It could be something as mundane as the anti-virus is running a scheduled but full system scan - can take around two hours. I don't do full scans on my laptop as it kills the disc - even though the CPU is less than 20%.
In your case I would want to know what that svchost process is and why it's eating your resources?
There's a very cool utility called Process Explorer from SysInternals (part of MS) which lets you probe the system nieghbourhood.
Check this out - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx
Community Veteran
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Registered: 23-09-2010

Re: xp still very slow

I've never updated my xp pro sp2 pc's as they run well and do everything I want them to.
Apart from shutting down unwanted processes years ago I did find one recent thing which did speed up the startup, by a fair bit, on my desktop.
I used an option in "MiniTool Partition Wizard" called "Align All Partitions". Which rewrote the hard disk so that each partition was in one place on the hard disk instead of being scattered in a few parts. A sort of large scale disk defragmenter.