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Thread: Computer becoming sluggish.

  1. #1
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    Default Computer becoming sluggish.

    Hey guys. Not sure if this is the right forum to post in, but here's my problem.

    I want my computer to be a used predominantly for photography and internet browsing. I've just uninstalled all my games because I don't want to be too tempted to waste hours upon hours of time on video gaming while I can be studying / doing productive work with photography as my Os draw near.

    My computer is becoming extremely slow / sluggish. Everything seems to be slowing down to a crawl really. I reformatted at the end of the year, and it was alright for 2 months, then it became laggy again.

    My computer was built at the end of 2005, here are the specs:

    AMD X2 3800+ (OC'ed slightly)
    Not sure what mobo
    4x512mb DDR1 (I think) ram
    Nvidia 7800GT (OC'ed slightly)
    480W iCute PSU
    150GB internal: The thicker kind of HDD; used as C drive
    150GB internal: The thinner one, used for photo storage
    150GB external: Used as mobile photo storage & backup

    I haven't been tech-whizzy for a good 2 years already. I setup the above and back then it was a 'notch below the best'. Obviously new-gen tech has evolved further now, but my computer is by no means dated to me (other than DDR1 ram).

    Last time, whenever I opened a folder on a desktop for example, it would be instantaneous. Now, I have to wait 1-2 seconds. Nothing bad here, except that when more apps are running, opening folders can take long periods of time. Back when I got the computer, CS Source ran at about 125fps, but now, it runs on 40 - 60fps only. Obviously the game itself was updated along the way, but I can't explain the 60fps drop, especially since I've been using the same in-game settings all the way.

    My work in Photoshop CS1 isn't speedy. It used to be, but now it's just slow. Last time, the liquefy tool took at best 1 sec to load a standard 1024x768 image. Now, I think it takes about 3-4 seconds. I downloaded the Lightroom2 trial, and I'm loving it. But I hate how everything is extremely slow. I want to purchase LR2, but my only concern is how my PC will handle it properly.

    I could go on and on about examples of slow-speeds, but I'll stop. Is there any way at all that I can speed things up? I defrag weekly (and after every major install/uninstall/data moving), Crap-Clean every night and perform "disc-cleanup" every week. I've got TuneXP installed too.

    Upgrading my computer isn't what I feel like doing unless needed. I for-see with my limited knowledge of current-tech that if I want to up the ram, I'd need to replace the mobo and processor. That'll cost a lot, and I just can't afford that, especially since I'm trying to invest most of my savings into photography gear.

    Any help here?

    Cheers,
    Zexun
    Our pictures are our footprints. Itís the best way to tell people we were here - JoeMcnally | Flickr

  2. #2
    Senior Member dorts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Computer becoming sluggish.

    Cannot be as slow as my previous Intel Pentium 4 2.4Ghz right? LOL! I bared with the slowness.

    How about a reformat again? I think it shouldn't run that slowly as you mentioned.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Computer becoming sluggish.

    Quote Originally Posted by dorts View Post
    Cannot be as slow as my previous Intel Pentium 4 2.4Ghz right? LOL! I bared with the slowness.

    How about a reformat again? I think it shouldn't run that slowly as you mentioned.
    Problem encountered: I lost my XP Installation CD. Don't want to go Vista too.

    For my seriously old computer (1.7ghz compaq), a reformat every 6 months did the trick. I don't have the luxury to do that nowadays because now my files are in hundreds of gigabytes.
    Last edited by Headshotzx; 15th August 2008 at 07:04 PM.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member dorts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Computer becoming sluggish.

    Quote Originally Posted by Headshotzx View Post
    Problem encountered: I lost my XP Installation CD. Don't want to go Vista too.

    For my seriously old computer (1.7ghz compaq), a reformat every 6 months did the trick. I don't have the luxury to do that nowadays because now my files are in hundreds of gigabytes.
    This is the problem of Windows computers. Once your computer gets cluttered, whatever you do won't be better than a reformat.

    Don't go Vista either, as figures show that it runs slower than XP.

    Sorry can't help much. That's the nature of Windows.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Computer becoming sluggish.

    Quote Originally Posted by dorts View Post
    This is the problem of Windows computers. Once your computer gets cluttered, whatever you do won't be better than a reformat.

    Don't go Vista either, as figures show that it runs slower than XP.

    Sorry can't help much. That's the nature of Windows.
    Yeah, sadly I lost my XP Cd 1 month after they said XP won't be for sale anymore.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member dorts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Computer becoming sluggish.

    Quote Originally Posted by Headshotzx View Post
    Yeah, sadly I lost my XP Cd 1 month after they said XP won't be for sale anymore.
    If you have the serial number, you can try to somehow get XP, and enter your key. You did have the disk after all.

    Have you tried defragmenting your drive? Don't use the built-in defragmenter, it's not as effective.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Computer becoming sluggish.

    The slowness is most probably due to the large storage that you have. As you store more files into your hard disk, the longer it takes to access the files. Make sure you have enough free space left in your C: drive as it needs this additional space to act as virtual memory.

    Other than that, I don't think there's anything else you can do except to buy a new PC

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Computer becoming sluggish.

    Without having a direct look at your PC nobody can give a good recommendation. There are too many factors that can and will slow down Windows - and Windows is well-known for being slowed down even by small things. Uninstalling your games doesn't help much since it will leave enough rubbish on the disks that is not properly removed and still slows down the machine. There are so many settings that need to be checked as well:
    - Hardware config (remove OC, doesn't help much)
    - Swap file, Auto start
    - Network settings
    - Windows settings (animations, shares and all this nonsense)
    You have more than one hard disk, you could easily format C drive and backup data to the other disks. As long as you have the right Windows Install CD you can use ANY install CD. But you need your Windows Key (usually a sticker on the PC) for installation. But you'll also need to backup all the user settings in "Documents and Settings".
    Also, get more RAM. 1GB is a bit short today. Check the empty slots on the board and get at least another 1 GB RAM.
    There were a couple of threads about system configuration for PCs used for photo-editing. Check them, there were some helpful information about hardware setup. The best car won't run fast with handbreak on - I recommend TuneUp to have a good look at Windows and the settings. PM me for hands-on support
    Last edited by Octarine; 15th August 2008 at 07:36 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member dennisc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Computer becoming sluggish.

    Could be many reasons, need to see the patient before diagnosing the problem. But yours can be due to things like too much junks in the registry, startup, sometimes removing it would free a lot of rams. Have u tried updating nvidia drivers? DirectX etc?

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    Default Re: Computer becoming sluggish.

    Quote Originally Posted by dennisc View Post
    Could be many reasons, need to see the patient before diagnosing the problem. But yours can be due to things like too much junks in the registry, startup, sometimes removing it would free a lot of rams. Have u tried updating nvidia drivers? DirectX etc?
    Thanks. This actually helped a bit! I didn't update my drivers cos last time CSS was weird with the new drivers. I'd say about 10% faster now in LR2.

    Off topic I know, any idea if the released LR2 is optimised better than the LR2 trial?

    I'll download Loadup.
    Our pictures are our footprints. Itís the best way to tell people we were here - JoeMcnally | Flickr

  11. #11

    Default Re: Computer becoming sluggish.

    Thread moved to a more suitable forum.

    Here a few things that might help.
    1. Set the pagefile in another HDD, limit it to say 1024-1024. Dun let OS managed for you.
    2. Defrag the HDD once in a while.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Computer becoming sluggish.

    Bring up your TaskManager, look at the Processes tab, sort by CPU, and see if something back in there somewhere is chewing up all your CPU resources...

  13. #13
    Senior Member sammy888's Avatar
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    Default Re: Computer becoming sluggish.

    Have you tried System Restore? Go into System restore to do a backup of your present system config/registries..etc. Then do a system restore by choosing as early a date you can find in System Restore. There was a time I lose my original Window XP disc too so a format and install was out fo the question. So what I did was use system restore to bring forth one of my earlierst setup. Sure some of your application you installed later might not work but ifyou still have the softwares you can reinstall them again. But Windows XP will be fine. Most importantly you data should be fine too but that is a risk too since you have not cultivated a habit of backup all your data from time to time.

    As much as you feel it is too troublesome to back them up now as you have hundreds of gigabyte...face the fact...sooner or later ( I have a feeling it will be sooner as you play around with your PC and OS to tweak it to go faster and erasing files here and there...) your system will get so unstable...you are going to be very sorry when all that data goes up in smoke.

    My advice about system restore might help you but I would seriously ask you to BACK UP EVEYTHING before you attempt anymore ideas any forummers have to advise you because if something goes wrong with the tweaking...you might not be able to reverse it!.

    I have another 2 advices:
    About using all those 3rd party "tuneup" s/w for your OS...some of them makes it worst then better...and sometime after certain updates you have done to the OS...it might not work well wth certain 3rd party TUNEUP s/w. The other thing is overclocking.

    Your system is already old and I take it you have been using your CPU in overclock mode for a fairly long time now. Overclock "ages" and shorten your CPU's lifespan...the CPU may not die straight away but it can decrease performance. Another thing about CPU, parts of the internal guyus of the motherboard...etc. Have you consider all the dust and hair bunnies ...all this causes heat build that might trigger your system to run slower or unstable. Cleaning out your hardware can help too.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Computer becoming sluggish.

    Spec wise, its sufficient to run all those programs, my 2-yr pc setup is quite similar to yours.
    I don't think there are 150GB HDD, unless you partitioned one.
    you're probably better off getting another OS and HDD to do a full reinstall. grab a 500GB and install at your own convenience, keeping your current HDD untouched til the new stable is setup.
    Or you can get a new setup for <$700 with OS and GST inclu. Definite costs less than any L lens.
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    Default Re: Computer becoming sluggish.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluestrike View Post
    ...1. Set the pagefile in another HDD, limit it to say 1024-1024. Dun let OS managed for you...
    May I know how to go about this?

    Quote Originally Posted by ah.zeep View Post
    Bring up your TaskManager, look at the Processes tab, sort by CPU, and see if something back in there somewhere is chewing up all your CPU resources...
    Yes, only when using LR2 trial, CPU jumps to 50%

    Quote Originally Posted by sammy888 View Post
    ...System Restore...

    I have another 2 advices:
    About using all those 3rd party "tuneup" s/w for your OS...some of them makes it worst then better...and sometime after certain updates you have done to the OS...it might not work well wth certain 3rd party TUNEUP s/w. The other thing is overclocking.

    Your system is already old and I take it you have been using your CPU in overclock mode for a fairly long time now. Overclock "ages" and shorten your CPU's lifespan...the CPU may not die straight away but it can decrease performance. Another thing about CPU, parts of the internal guyus of the motherboard...etc. Have you consider all the dust and hair bunnies ...all this causes heat build that might trigger your system to run slower or unstable. Cleaning out your hardware can help too.
    System restore: Somehow, I can't do a system restore back to December / January when I reformatted; it's stuck at Aug 08.

    Using 3rd Party software & OC'ing: So do you recommend that I uninstall these software and reset back the bios cell clocks?

    Dust: I brought my rig to a shop for a PSU replacement and they cleaned my internals a month ago. PSU replacement didn't slow down my computer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dithiolium View Post
    Spec wise, its sufficient to run all those programs, my 2-yr pc setup is quite similar to yours.
    I don't think there are 150GB HDD, unless you partitioned one.
    you're probably better off getting another OS and HDD to do a full reinstall. grab a 500GB and install at your own convenience, keeping your current HDD untouched til the new stable is setup.
    Or you can get a new setup for <$700 with OS and GST inclu. Definite costs less than any L lens.
    Hm, well since it says 150gig free, they should be 160gig hdds I guess.
    "Getting another OS" means getting vista; something I'm not keen about since I only have 2gig DDR1, plus the fact that Vista runs slower and has all those security checks that kinda.. um.. don't work with those software that I own. It's gonna cost quite a lot too, and I just can't spare more than S$200 on an upgrade of sorts..

    Things to do:
    Defrag regularly (using disc defrag?)
    Cleanup regularly (Disc cleanup, CrapCleaner)
    Reset BIOS
    Clean internals of rig
    Hope for the best

    That's all I can do.. right?
    Our pictures are our footprints. Itís the best way to tell people we were here - JoeMcnally | Flickr

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    Default Re: Computer becoming sluggish.

    Cleaning up the Registry and de-fragmenting the drives occasionally will help. There is plenty of software to buy which will do both well--just read reviews.

    I wouldn't suggest messing with the virtual memory or other "performance" characteristics unless everything else fails to help.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Computer becoming sluggish.

    Check to see if services you don't need are being run, and if unnecessary crap is being loaded at startup.

    To recover the product key from your hard disk, try this :

    http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/product_cd_key_viewer.html

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    Default Re: Computer becoming sluggish.

    Quote Originally Posted by lennyl View Post
    Check to see if services you don't need are being run, and if unnecessary crap is being loaded at startup.

    To recover the product key from your hard disk, try this :

    http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/product_cd_key_viewer.html
    Wow, you just saved me. Thank you SO MUCH!

    So this way, i can borrow an XP cd from someone and use my own serial number.. is that okay? Won't get in trouble right?
    Our pictures are our footprints. Itís the best way to tell people we were here - JoeMcnally | Flickr

  19. #19
    Senior Member dorts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Computer becoming sluggish.

    Quote Originally Posted by Headshotzx View Post
    Wow, you just saved me. Thank you SO MUCH!

    So this way, i can borrow an XP cd from someone and use my own serial number.. is that okay? Won't get in trouble right?
    I don't think so.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Computer becoming sluggish.

    you wan to slipstream a xp anot? lol... let me know what drivers u need, then customise a xp cd.
    Logging Off. "You have 2,631 messages stored, of a total 400 allowed." don't PM me.

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