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Journal Chacham's Journal: Chronicle: Mother's computer slows down or freezes 6

Well, my mother's computer runs slow or freezes now and then. Also the mouse periodically jumps around. Ignoring the mouse issue, i decided to check out the slow downs.

There were some slowdowns on startup, and after then when IE was running. IE running slow is probably what most people consider XP's sluggishness.

Uninstalled old programs, removed startup items via Autoruns, and checked out processor time in Process Explorer. The slowdowns are hardware interrupts which means drivers(, hardware settings,) or hardware.

Disabling or unplugging hardware made no difference. Shutting IE8 made all the difference. My guess is its the hard drive. Windows is notorious for thrashing the HD on startup and IE isn't too good either. Firefox had the issue to a lesser extent.

To verify this, i'd have to disable the HD. So i'm not quite sure how to continue. I could just get a new HD, but i could be wrong and just wasted $100 or whatever. I'm debating whether booting off a USB key of CD would make sense as a test.

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Chronicle: Mother's computer slows down or freezes

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  • Did the HD get knocked back to PIO mode?

    • by Chacham ( 981 )

      Good point. I'll have to check that.

    • Did the HD get knocked back to PIO mode?

      That makes sense - I had a machine showing similar symptoms, and eventually found this was the culprit. Windows has an error counter, and it seems that once the drive hits the threshold, Windows assumes it's not DMA capable - of course, in reality, it could just be cumulative random glitches over a long period of time, as it was in this machine's case. There was a little script I found which cleared the relevant registry keys so the drive would no longer be on the W

  • From your description, I'd say clear out all the temp dirs (%TEMP% and %TMP% and under %SystemRoot% and under your mom's user account's dir and IE's temporary Internet files dir and whereever FF stores its stuff) and defrag the drive (I can't remember if XP comes with one or not) or use a defragger to see if it looks bad.

    I moved my mom's PC from Win98SE to XP Home a few years ago when something in her case arced to the hard drive or vice-versa and burned it out. It was running like a well-oiled machine with

    • by Chacham ( 981 )

      Thanx for the advice. I'll probably try Com2Kid's and your tomorrow and report.

Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan