General Question

janbb's avatar

Help! Why is my computer so painfully slow?

Asked by janbb (58199points) May 15th, 2010

I am running Windows XP on a fairly newish (maybe 12 months old) Dell. If I reboot, it runs fine for a while then starts getting slower and slower. If I try to switch windows or even close one down, it chunters and chunters away but doesn’t do anything. I ran Disk Clean-up and it told me I didn’t need to Defrag. Any ideas?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

20 Answers

FaithLambert's avatar

Delete Some Programs You’re Not Using , Go To Cookies And Start Deleting , It Happend Once With Me But Now It’s Working Normaly Try And Raise To Internet’s Speed But Then You’ll Pay More Money, Or Make Sure You’re Not Openning 3–4 Internet Explorer Windows , Or Make Sure Your Not Using Your Pc While Somebody Else In Your Family Is Using That’ll Make It Slower , That’s All i got

FutureMemory's avatar

Open the Task Manager. Are there any processes that are using an abnormally high amount of memory?

Response moderated
partyparty's avatar

I would try cleaning up your cookies.

bongo's avatar

It always tells you dont need to defrag, my pc told me i didnt need to defrag but then it ended up defragging for 6 hours when i clicked defrag anyway. also check that your antivirus is not continually searching for updates and scanning, set a scheduled scan and update time.
If you have windows defender installed this will be massively slowing down your computer, turn off automatic updates on that and manually search for updates every week or fortnight instead.

janbb's avatar

I delete my browsing history frequently and that seems to help for a while; I will try defragging and deleting my cookies.

AmWiser's avatar

Its possible you might have virus that hidden deep in one of your programs. Try some of the free spyware that is available such as SpyBot Search & Destroy. Do a google search for malwarebytes (free also). Then there is RootKitRevealer that searches deep into your registry. There is a new virus going around that morphs (keep changing). Also you can go into your task manager and shut down windows defender (if you have it) and see if that improves your performance, if so then I would recommend downloading microsoft security essentials (which is new and free). Good luck!

RandomMrdan's avatar

What are the specs on your computer?

janbb's avatar

Don’t have them.

LeotCol's avatar

Even if you don’t have the best hardware that wouldn’t explain why it keeps getting slower and slower. It sounds to me like there may be some process thats not working correctly and eats up more and more processing time. I would open up task manager (press Ctrl + Alt + Del) and keep and eye on the processes (hit the processes tab). Look through the Memory part and see if there are any processes with big big numbers after the computer has been running for a while. Post them here if you are unsure as to which are safe to end.

janbb's avatar

@LeotCol That sounds like a good idea – will do it.

anartist's avatar

Download BillP’s WinPatrol [free version although paid gives more info] and review or change some startups. Everything starts up if you click on it, you don’t need to necessarily have it started up in advqance

dpworkin's avatar

Something you are using has a memory leak, and eventually your OS starts to use VM, which, since it is on a disk, requires time-consuming writes and reads instead of the much faster IO of RAM. I second the notion of checking your processes. Check performance, too, and you’ll see how much memory you are using. It is a graph over time, so you can watch the leak build and see what’s causing it.

janbb's avatar

@dpworkin Do I check the performance in Task Manager too or someplace else?

dpworkin's avatar

Download Process Explorer from and use it instead of Task Manager.

jerv's avatar

The most common thing I’ve seen is a lack of RAM, especially combined with a program that has a “memory leak”. Firefox is notorious for this. For an XP system, you really want 2GB of RAM as a minimum. Otherwise, you run into the issue that @dpworkin described above.

Response moderated (Spam)
Response moderated (Spam)

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther