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ljs22's avatar

Windows task manager...how many "processes" is it normal for my computer to be running when I only have one program open?

Asked by ljs22 (1077 points ) October 24th, 2008

Lately my computer is always “thinking,” and really slow to respond to any command. I opened my Task Manager and under the Processes tab see that there are currently 55 Processes going on. Examples include Host Process for Windows Service and Task Scheduler Engine. I’m sure some of these are completely valid, but what can I do to make my computer run more quickly/smoothly? It’s getting annoying. Thank you.

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5 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

A clean install of windows XP with all the excess crap you don’t need switched off will have about 20 processes running.

Bare in mind that lots of programs start processes running behind the scenes even when the program itself is npot open. itunes runs about 3 or 4 all the time, adobe reader runs 2, and God help you if you have Symantec internet security as it has loads of background processes.

What you need to do is look at all the things that are running and then decide (possibly with the help of google) if you actually need them. You can use the Service manager from the control panel to disable them or you can have them to run when needed to be on the safe side.

Lovelocke's avatar

Some “things”:

Symantec Products. They cause dramatic slowdown for 100% of all users who have it installed. Get rid of it, and instead consider “Avast!”. IMPORTANT: When installing “Avast!”, make sure you DO NOT install “The Bat!”, that’s another one of those memory hogging programs.

Tweaknow Regcleaner Professional – I use this software every month. Sometimes after “uninstalling” software, programs can still leave behind little library files that the computer loads up, even if the original software isn’t present anymore. Use this program to “clear out” any left behind garbage, and also to “Defragment” your registry.

Why defrag the registry? It’s important… the way a hard drive works, is that it spins VERY fast, all the while data is being “tapped” onto it like Morse Code. Do this for long enough on a large enough drive, and soon your computer will have to spin that drive longer and longer in order to “find” all the segmented portions of data. The same thing happens with your registry after enough installations/uninstalls.

Defragmenting, wether it’s your hard drive or your registry (do them both), takes all of those segmented pieces of data and pushes them closer to each other. This way, the disc has to spin less, and your programs require less time to load data. The registry is something that “stays alive” no matter what programs you open and close, and so, it’s important to remove excess… think of it as “cutting back on overhead”.

Use Firefox 2.0 – It uses about 30% of the resources Internet Exploder uses, and is compatible with 90% of the websites out there. It also has the added benefit of the “Adblock” plugin, and the “NoScript” plugin.

When you visit a website, MANY site’s worth of content tries to load into the browser, and subsequently, into your computer. For example, here on Fluther, you’re loading data from Fluther.com, quantserve.com, getclicky.com, and yahooapis.com. Generally, 4–6 sites on “one site” is normal, but some sites can go as far as to load over 20 other site’s worth of junk onto a single site… and some of those sites could attempt to install spyware on your machine. “Noscript” lets you visit a website, then lets you “pick and choose” what sites you want to load data from. For example, if you visit a site for the first time, it might tell you something like “You do not have Flash installed in your browser”, that’s because you’re blocking scripts from that site. Click to “Allow www.whateversite.com”, and then the site loads normally… with no pop ups, no spyware, no banner ads… just the one website you want to see.

Using Avast!, Firefox, NoScript, and Spybot S&D, I’ve been virus-free and relatively spyware free since 2004. My little 2.0ghz machine runs laps around most dual core processors with Vista loaded in…

Hope any of that helps.

ljs22's avatar

Thank you both so much.

Trustinglife's avatar

@Lovelocke, I’d like more speed, too, and appreciated your suggestions.

I just added NoScript. I downloaded Avast, but hesitated to fully install it on my desktop when I discovered that I have 102 days left on the Norton subscription that I paid for. Would you recommend that I wait in installing Avast until my subscription expires? There was some kind of caution about running both of them simultaneously. Thanks!

Lovelocke's avatar

Yes, I wouldn’t run Windows alongside Norton, let alone any other kind of software. Two antivirus programs at the same time, however, will bring any PC to it’s knees.

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