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View Full Version : Not sure where to put this(seemed like the best place)-MAJOR PROBLEM



Ajmukon
03-27-2007, 12:31 PM
symptoms:
CPU:0-20%, rarely hitting 20% (rarely going above 5%)
Fast startup, but computer slows down after
usually slows down after 2 hours, but can become
immediately slow
MFT:97-99% usage- hard drive constinatly(sp?) on
Windows repeatably stops responding
Can take up to 5-10 MIN to open any folder, even small ones
Programs can take 10 or more min. to launch/ execute
Also, the RAM usage is MUCH higher than it should be, and there is a
HUGE number of page faults

Already posted a hijackthis! log, said there were no problems

Solutions:
Disk scan of C: computer works fine for one day- non-repeatable
Defrag C: Computer works fine for 3-5 days, but then reverts back to
the slow state, computer slower than normal still, but it is
repeatable

PLEASE HELP!!!
the computer is a DELL XPS 400 Pentium D 2.79 GHZ with a Radeon X1950 GPU

I do not know whether this is a windows problem or a hardware problem- DELL thought that it could be either- they are going to replace my HDD soon (to see if that is the problem)

Ajmukon
03-28-2007, 02:11 PM
Didn't feel like editing original thread

Replacing the HDD did NOT have an effect (well. it kinda did, but not a complete fix)

I now believe this to be a WINDOWS problem, so i posted in the correct thread
Any ideas on how to solve this??????

PLEASE HELP!!! (i already tried uninstalling useless/unneeded/unknown programs)

oh yah, the HDD busy light is ALWAYS ON, and if i did not know any better, i would say that windows is not responding.

I am going to try to repair windows using the install CD- is that recommended?

law9933
03-28-2007, 03:23 PM
If you replaced the HD, then you must have done a fresh install of XP?
I don't see how the old & new XP OS would both have the same problem.

Ajmukon
03-28-2007, 04:08 PM
If you replaced the HD, then you must have done a fresh install of XP?
I don't see how the old & new XP OS would both have the same problem.

I had an IMAGE file of the hard drive, courtesy of NORTON GHOST on a backup drive, so i restored that, and the problem persisted, though not as bad as before.

law9933
03-28-2007, 04:18 PM
I did not see in your HJT post where they said it was clean. When I ran it on a online analysor it had possible problems.
Norton & McAfee are known to really slow a PC sometimes.
I think you have too many running processes.
Just a few thoughts.

Ajmukon
03-28-2007, 04:29 PM
I did not see in your HJT post where they said it was clean. When I ran it on a online analysor it had possible problems.
Norton & McAfee are known to really slow a PC sometimes.
I think you have too many running processes.
Just a few thoughts.
This problem started a few weeks ago, nothing NEW that ran in the background was installed, so none of those programs are doing it....
in the HJT post, they never told me to remove anything, and Mcafee came with the computer, and the computer is a year old (so it is not Mcafee) and Norton was installed Months ago, so its not Norton, None of those programs or running processes did this

It is almost like the it can't get somethings off the HDD, and Windows stops responding (ie i can open Task manager, and i drag it, and it leaves an after image behind, WITH NOTHING ELSE RUNNING)

And, it stops completely and 'Beeps' (internal speaker) after a few seconds/ minutes and then continues processing.

What i want to now is whether i should try to repair windows, or try to troubleshoot (Uninstall) some programs??

Sylvander
03-28-2007, 05:24 PM
Load and run Knoppix from a Knoppix Linux Live CD (http://www.knoppix.net/get.php).
If the PC performs well with no sign of a problem, then you know that there is no problem with the hardware [HDD excluded] or BIOS, and it is a problem with the Windows environment.

Seeing your PC perform normally once again will demonstrate that this problem is fixable.

Let's leave deciding what should be done to fix Windows until the above is done.

Ajmukon
03-28-2007, 05:37 PM
Load and run Knoppix from a Knoppix Linux Live CD (http://www.knoppix.net/get.php).
If the PC performs well with no sign of a problem, then you know that there is no problem with the hardware [HDD excluded] or BIOS, and it is a problem with the Windows environment.

Seeing your PC perform normally once again will demonstrate that this problem is fixable.

Let's leave deciding what should be done to fix Windows until the above is done.
I am downloading Ubantu (linux-based free), i will post the results here... about 1 day...
Also, Windows in safe mode with networking DID not slow down, and i think now it may be a service doing it....
I was getting a lot of SVChost errors a while back, i was told to turn off and on Windows Auto Updates and to re-update

Ajmukon
03-28-2007, 07:06 PM
hmmm... It appears to have gone (the problem) but it has been known to do this (come and go at will), but i will still install/Boot from CD Ubuntu

Ajmukon
03-28-2007, 10:06 PM
Well, i booted to Ubuntu (linux free) and the it worked well enough, and it was not slow like windows....
So what the ____ is the problem (Insert swear at ___) ??!!??!?!?!?

Sylvander
03-29-2007, 03:49 AM
So it's a Windows [or possibly, but not likely yet another HDD] problem, and what would be the best strategy for fixing it?

HDD
In the BIOS Setup are all the drives set to "Auto"? ["Dynamically Auto-detect"] so that the new HDD has been detected and the parameters re-set to match?

WINDOWS
Changing HDD's may have made necessary a REPAIR (http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm) of the [XP?] Windows installation.
Always remember that images are matched to a particular set of hardware.

FRESH INSTALL
Can you afford to start afresh?
Do you have anything on there you'd like to keep?
Data files?
Are the data files held on [or off] C:?

Ajmukon
03-29-2007, 01:19 PM
thanks, it appears to have gone (for now), but if it returns, i will try your solutions...
And, i can move important files to the second HDD and use that as a storage system for my files

Sylvander
03-29-2007, 04:37 PM
Better still...

Begin making image backups of the contents of your PC's HDD partitions [particularly C:] when your software is working well....
Then if you so much as suspect that the software is no longer "all well and good", just restore a recent good backup of C:, and the software will be back as it was, and the problem will be gone.

Ajmukon
03-29-2007, 09:45 PM
that was what i was hopping to do, but Norton will only schedule once a week (at the largest value, and it TAKES A LONG TIME TO DO) but i have it set to run at any install of a game/program, and it hasn't run in a week, and it only keeps a few copys of the backup (not enough room on the second roof top)

Sylvander
03-30-2007, 07:04 AM
"it TAKES A LONG TIME TO DO"
My C: partition has only 4 GB in use of a 5 GB partition and takes about 30 min to image using "Image for DOS" booted from a floppy.
I do that manually from outside of Windows whenever it seems the time is right and I'm in the mood, or have the time.
Just set it going when I'm about to go off to do other things. Time spent is minimal.
C: is kept small by moving ALL data files off C: to to other partitions.
All personal data files [My Documents, Desktop, emails, address book, IE Favourites & Temporary Internet Files, Firefox profile, etc] are re-homed on a 1 GB D: partition [500 MB used].
Data partition D: is "synchronised" to a 1 GB USB2 Flash Drive and E: & F: to a folder on a partition on an 80 GB USB2 HDD using the FREE version of "SyncBack".
Each of these only takes 5 min or less after the 1st long synchronisation or backup has been done.

"it only keeps a few copies of the backup (not enough room...)"
HDD's are not expensive these days.
I fitted a spare into an external USB 2.0 HDD enclosure.
Eventually ended up with a spare 80 GB HDD fitted, so now have plenty of room for images [mainly of C: but some of D: E: F:] etc.
See some of these in screenshot 1 below.
Screenshot 1 : images of C: on N:
Screenshot 2 : Synchronisation copy of D: on H:

Ajmukon
03-30-2007, 02:22 PM
"it TAKES A LONG TIME TO DO"
My C: partition has only 4 GB in use of a 5 GB partition and takes about 30 min to image using "Image for DOS" booted from a floppy.
I do that manually from outside of Windows whenever it seems the time is right and I'm in the mood, or have the time.
Just set it going when I'm about to go off to do other things. Time spent is minimal.
C: is kept small by moving ALL data files off C: to to other partitions.
All personal data files [My Documents, Desktop, emails, address book, IE Favourites & Temporary Internet Files, Firefox profile, etc] are re-homed on a 1 GB D: partition [500 MB used].
Data partition D: is "synchronised" to a 1 GB USB2 Flash Drive and E: & F: to a folder on a partition on an 80 GB USB2 HDD using the FREE version of "SyncBack".
Each of these only takes 5 min or less after the 1st long synchronisation or backup has been done.

"it only keeps a few copies of the backup (not enough room...)"
HDD's are not expensive these days.
I fitted a spare into an external USB 2.0 HDD enclosure.
Eventually ended up with a spare 80 GB HDD fitted, so now have plenty of room for images [mainly of C: but some of D: E: F:] etc.
See some of these in screenshot 1 below.
Screenshot 1 : images of C: on N:
Screenshot 2 : Synchronisation copy of D: on H:

1-true, but getting a large enough external HD, that is reliable, increases the cost of the HD, and i am but a poor college student. Besides, Norton is doing a good enough job, and i can afford having only 5 backups on the 2nd HD (heavily compressed)
2-I am tempted to buy a third external HD, USB 2.0, and i will use that as my backup, but until then, i will have to live with only 4-5 backups happening ONLY at times when something is installed.
3-You set up some bizarre partitions, I did not, and i have to make the ENTIRE 80 gig HD to make a image, NOT just part of a partition, and what u did I can't follow all that well

Sylvander
03-30-2007, 03:33 PM
SIMPLIFIED
Internal Partitions...
C: 4 GB used of 5 GB.
Windows, Programs, configurations, swapfile, hibernation file.
Imaging takes 30 min, done weekly.

D: 500 MB used of 1 GB.
Personal data.
Imaging 10 min, done weekly.
Synchronising 5 min or less, daily.

E: 7 GB used of 30 GB.
Music files plus.
Imaging 45 min monthly.
Synchronizing 5 min fortnightly.

F: 1 GB used of 20 GB.
Photo's plus.
Imaging 10 min monthly.
Synchronising 5 min fortnightly.

G: 9 GB used of 12 GB.
Holds image backups and installation file sets.
Not imaged or synchronised.

Flash Drive...
H: 500 MB used of 1 GB.
Holds synchronised 2nd copy of all files on D:

USB2 HDD...
N: 25 GB used of 30 GB.
Holds image backups of internal partitions C: D: E: F:

O: 12 GB used of 30 GB.
Holds synchronised 2nd copies of all files on C: E: F:

P: 6 GB used of 18 GB.
Holds...
Portable Programs, Installation File Sets for all programs installed and some not installed, files for making bootable disks.

By compartmentalising I minimise the size and frequency of backups, and the number and total space occupied by backups.

Ajmukon
04-01-2007, 04:38 PM
SIMPLIFIED
Internal Partitions...
C: 4 GB used of 5 GB.
Windows, Programs, configurations, swapfile, hibernation file.
Imaging takes 30 min, done weekly.

D: 500 MB used of 1 GB.
Personal data.
Imaging 10 min, done weekly.
Synchronising 5 min or less, daily.

E: 7 GB used of 30 GB.
Music files plus.
Imaging 45 min monthly.
Synchronizing 5 min fortnightly.

F: 1 GB used of 20 GB.
Photo's plus.
Imaging 10 min monthly.
Synchronising 5 min fortnightly.

G: 9 GB used of 12 GB.
Holds image backups and installation file sets.
Not imaged or synchronised.

Flash Drive...
H: 500 MB used of 1 GB.
Holds synchronised 2nd copy of all files on D:

USB2 HDD...
N: 25 GB used of 30 GB.
Holds image backups of internal partitions C: D: E: F:

O: 12 GB used of 30 GB.
Holds synchronised 2nd copies of all files on C: E: F:

P: 6 GB used of 18 GB.
Holds...
Portable Programs, Installation File Sets for all programs installed and some not installed, files for making bootable disks.

By compartmentalising I minimise the size and frequency of backups, and the number and total space occupied by backups.

Ahh...
makes more sense now, (thanks)
but i do not know how to compartmentalize a 80 gig HD, and what does synchronizing mean....
but the computer now works and i will maintain a backup (of some kind) and right now i am not worried that it takes forever to do, just as long as it does not backup EVERY night (like it was three weeks ago, which i stopped and made it only go once a week and whenever i installed something larger than 500MB, so that is no longer a problem) Norton takes about 1hr to create a backup...

Ajmukon
04-01-2007, 05:59 PM
Just repaired windows, had to reinstall some programs (well actually, repair them, but close enough)
MFT usage went down to 84%
And NO SLOW DOWN WHATSOEVER!!

Sylvander
04-01-2007, 06:41 PM
"i do not know how to compartmentalize a 80 gig HD"
I used that word compartmentalise to conjure up an image in the mind of different things being stored in various compartments.
e.g. You maintain differing temperatures/environments in various rooms in a house, by strictly separating it [compartmentalise the house] with walls and doors, and having individual control of the heating and ventilation in each compartment/room.
On a HDD you Partition to separate into storage compartments, then use folders to make more "compartments".

"and what does synchronizing mean"
synchronizing : making change happen "in time", or "at the same pace". Literally "Together in time" I think.
In practice it means that "SyncBack" makes certain that two matched copies of files [the "source" and the "destination" files] are "in step" with each other.

"Norton takes about 1hr to create a backup"
SyncBack takes 5 or 10 minutes to update the "destination" copy so that any changes to the "source" are copied over.
It doesn't need to re-do all the stuff that is the same as before, like imaging does.
But then it only keeps the very latest copy; no chance to "jump back" to some time past.
Well I think that can be done, but its too complicated for me, and impractical.

"NO SLOW DOWN WHATSOEVER!!"
Sounds good. :D

Ajmukon
04-01-2007, 11:31 PM
However, i could not update Windows and things were not working as well as they should
so i ended up restoring the image-
HOWEVER, the repair function could NOT repair .NET framework files- so i uninstalled .NET 3.0 and, guess what, its FIXED!!!!! (more or less) and, while there is some slow execution, it is only about 1 min (much better than the 20+ before!!)
I guess i had a bad program or a broken program or something

Sylvander
04-02-2007, 05:30 AM
If I were in your place...
1. I'd make an image of C: as it is now...

2. Then non-destructively rearrange/resize the partition[s] so as to be able to move all data files off C: to make it as small as possible.
I suggest using the free trial version of BootIT NG (http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/bootitng.html) to do that.

3. If you feel keen, make a small [1 GB] dedicated partition [D: say] for holding all the personal data files, and find out how to re-home those there.

4. Then install the free version of SyncBack (http://www.2brightsparks.com/downloads.html#freeware) [or similar], and synchronise [or backup] your data partitions.

5. Make a new image of the new, much smaller, C: partition [and all the data partitions too if you like].

6. Then when you hit software problems you'll be able to easily [and quickly] "jump back" to a good software setup on C:.
EXAMPLE
Yesterday I installed the latest ZA update and it didn't go well; system was misbehaving afterward.
So it took about 30 min to restore an image of C: made March 29, and now everything is working well again.
If that update continues to cause problems I won't install it.

Ajmukon
04-02-2007, 08:52 AM
If I were in your place...
1. I'd make an image of C: as it is now...

2. Then non-destructively rearrange/resize the partition[s] so as to be able to move all data files off C: to make it as small as possible.
I suggest using the free trial version of BootIT NG (http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/bootitng.html) to do that.

3. If you feel keen, make a small [1 GB] dedicated partition [D: say] for holding all the personal data files, and find out how to re-home those there.

4. Then install the free version of SyncBack (http://www.2brightsparks.com/downloads.html#freeware) [or similar], and synchronise [or backup] your data partitions.

5. Make a new image of the new, much smaller, C: partition [and all the data partitions too if you like].

6. Then when you hit software problems you'll be able to easily [and quickly] "jump back" to a good software setup on C:.
EXAMPLE
Yesterday I installed the latest ZA update and it didn't go well; system was misbehaving afterward.
So it took about 30 min to restore an image of C: made March 29, and now everything is working well again.
If that update continues to cause problems I won't install it.

Well, now that i have traced the problem....
it would be easier to fix it in the future, at least i think i fixed it....

Sylvander
04-02-2007, 12:02 PM
The trouble is that software is so complex that the number of possible things that can go wrong is almost as numerous as the grains of sand on a beach...

And searching for that single grain [the cause of a software problem] among all the many possibles...

Well...I don't even try.
I just developed a strategy of backup and restore.
It has been working superbly well for me these latest years, so I recommend it.
Any software glitches that appear are eliminated in 30 minutes at most whilst I do other things, so cease to be a problem.
The sense of security and certainty that produces is of great value.

I'm surprised that Microsoft haven't introduced something like this [better than a restore point] that works from outside Windows [a bootable disk].
Perhaps one day.
"It's coming yet for all that".