General Question

marinelife's avatar

Why oh why is my new computer so slow and should I return it?

Asked by marinelife (62440points) January 27th, 2009

3 gb RAM, 250 gb hard drive, compaq presario with SR5710F AMD Athlon X2 4450e+ and I can’t view a youtube video without it pausing. Also the Web is slooooow.

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24 Answers

joeysefika's avatar

“Can’t view a youtube video without it pausing”, “The Web is so sloooow”.
Absolutely nothing to do with the computer, it’ll be your internet speed. So you need to upgrade your internet connection.

Either that or you have a virus, unlikely on a new computer

netxm's avatar

so maybe internet connection is slow

marinelife's avatar

Really, the connection? I have high speed DSL. My old computer did not do that.

jlm11f's avatar

Do you have an Anti-Virus installed? Those can often mess things up severely. It isn’t Norton by any chance is it?

marinelife's avatar

Actually, PnL, I have not yet installed, but did purchase Norton. Since I began researching this problem, I saw several mentions that Norton was a resource hog. I am thinking of taking it back too. Then what for antivirus, antispyware, etc.?

This machine has Vista. I can take it back and for about $50 more have a machine built for me with XP.

I just do not know what to do, but I know this is way too slow for my needs as is. I suspect that it is all the crap they festoon these machines with and have active at start that are the problem, but am just not technically saavy enough to know.

blastfamy's avatar

One thing you could do, is reinstall Windows. As long as you acquire a computer from a company as opposed to building it yourself, that company will always subsidize their costs with placed crapware. You get a wonderful assortment of junk that you really don’t need, that will ultimately slow the machine down to near-inbearability.

Re-installing windows or, if you’re really feeling daring, something soooo much better, would spped your machine up immensely. The computer should have come with a “recovery disk” that you can use to wipe the hard drive and start anew. Plus, you’ll get rid of Norton and all of the other crap, so that you can pick and choose what really goes on your system.

Be sure to back everything up first. You wouldn’t want to trade speed for data!

discover's avatar

I think your internet connection is slow.rather than the computer. Try using some computer application to check if your computer is slow.

jlm11f's avatar

@Marina – I swear by this anti-virus and did I mention it’s freeeee? Oh, and you should remove all the unnecessary junk programs compaq added to your windows. I don’t think that’s the reason, shouldn’t be, but it’s worth doing either way for the long run. How are you connecting to internet? Ethernet or wireless? And what browser? If you aren’t already, switch to Firefox, much faster than IE.

marinelife's avatar

I am Firefox all they way, but had not put it on this machine yet.

I used to use AVG on my old machine. I can get that too.


jlm11f's avatar

It’s probably the Ethernet then. Something is blocking it? Firewall? I assume the same ethernet works fine on another computer?

wenbert's avatar

Go here:
And give us the results. It will show you how fast/slow your computer is downloading stuff…

Vincentt's avatar

Whether you’re going to reinstall Windows or not, make sure you get the installation disk from the manufacturer. If you can’t get that, try to get your money for Windows refunded and buy it yourself. At least make sure you can always reinstall if (other) problems might arise.

Or go for @blastfamy‘s excellent suggestion ;-)

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Here’s a suggestion: open control panel, user accounts, turn user account control on or off. Turn it off, reboot, ignore the dire warnings you’ll get about how unsafe it is not to let Vista protect you from yourself, and see how many of your problems disappear.

tonedef's avatar

Look into running CCleaner. It clears out all the crapware that comes loaded on new pcs, and does other kinds of maintenance work. Read the comments on that post, too. They might be insightful.

robmandu's avatar

Can’t help but wonder if your PC is compromised.

Close all apps and try bringing up Task Manager (XP) or Resource Manager (Vista) and see if your computer is looking busy even when you’re not doing anything.

If you want to go slightly hardcore, try downloading Process Manager and it might provide more detail.

You see, even though we’re pretty light on the details in this thread, I can’t help but wonder if your PC has been hijacked and acting as a spambot. That would eat up a lot of CPU, RAM, and network bandwidth. (Makes sense, since your older/slower PC with the same network conn was working fine.)

A firewall problem would typically block a connection, not just slow it down.

Crapware/Adware is also a possibility, but only slightly. Compaq, while burdening you with a bunch of junk you don’t need, doesn’t want you to struggle right from the get go.

A bad ethernet cable could indeed show symptoms such as sometimes working, sometimes not, sometimes slow, sometimes fast. Is yours in a high traffic area, subject to crushing or bending or crimping?

marinelife's avatar

Thanks, everyone, for the help so far.

@wenbert I ran the test twice. it said 220.50 kpbs first time and 228.1 kpbs second time.

@robmandu Soory if I did not provide sufficient detail. When I said the computer was new—I literally had just installed it yesterday afternoon. Could it be compromised so quickly?

robmandu's avatar

Indeed it can. I recall reading about one test done where a naked PC hooked up directly to the Internet was compromised in the first 15 minutes.

The current “top of the charts” culprit to worry about is Conficker. Not saying you have that – I don’t know – but it’s a possibility you should consider. Note that the symptoms sound similar to what you’re seeing.

Of course, if it was slow right from the get-go out of the box, well, then I would also tend to look elsewhere… like the pre-installed apps. Still, it’s not unheard of for a new PC to ship with a virus/trojan/worm/whatever already on it.

marinelife's avatar

OK, turns out my high-speed DSL was not delivering. It is fixed and that has solved my video/music problems and slow downloading.

So, now I just have to figure out getting all the crap apps off, which I can proceed with over the next few days. (Like how to unistall Windows Defender, which they make virtually impossible.)

Thank you to everyone who provided information.

robmandu's avatar

Yay! Glad it was something like that!

joeysefika's avatar

@Marina, unless you really like Vista I would recommend doing a clean install of XP, so you’ll have a better OS and no crapware

marinelife's avatar

@joeysefika I think that’s an excellent idea. Just wipe it all out and start over. I didn’t want VIsta (had XP before), but they wouldn’t give it to me with XP. I know I will never buy a packaged machine again. Thanks!

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Luiveton's avatar

Personally I would return it before attempting to do anything with it so I can blame them, and I get to fix it for free or even trade it for a better one. :P

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