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Thread: The Microsoft Dilemma....or is it??

  1. #1
    Senior Member Blunted One's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    The Microsoft Dilemma....or is it??

    Hello once again to all the masters of technology. I have once again come into a problem I am unable to wrap my head around so here it goes.

    We have a somewhat new Dell desktop (9100 with P4 Dual Core, 2GB ram, huge harddrive, dvd/cd burners, the works) here in our office. All the drivers are up to date, so are the bios, software, etc. The only issue is it still runs slower than anything in the office. We have run all types of scans and diagnostics on it, but everything comes back ok. I cannot seem to pinpoint what is causing the sluggish/jerkyness of this system. It even happens when booting into safe mode.

    Programs run slowly and take a while to respond and load. Even getting simple items like a command prompt or control panel to open takes longer than it should. I have uninstalled everything I can think of and have shut down a majority of services. Still the same slow response from the system. I really do not want to spend a huge chunk of my day starting this system over from scratch and then reinstalling everything and setting it up for one of our employees. Not to mention it would kill his productivity and cause a bit of downtime for him and me. Does anyone know why Windows or maybe the system is having such a hard time doing simple and complex tasks? Is it just that windows in time will fall apart or is something corrupted that the diag. couldn't detect. I would be forever in your debt. if you could shed a little light on this issue.

    Dell support as you may have guessed was a waste of time and I do not want to call MS cause that won't be fun and probably cost a bit of money just to ask them a question. Thanks again as you guys have been a great help in the past.
    It's not a war on drugs it's a war against personal freedoms!

  2. #2
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    Has it ever worked properly?

    Have you scanned the harddrive for errors. You may have a Dell tool otherwise get the tool from the HDD manufacturer's website.

    You might also check the RAM

    If the hardware checks out then try Windows repair.

    If that doesn'twork then you haven't much choice other than to reinstall.

    What I don't like is that you get the same symptoms in safe mode

  3. #3
    Senior Member Spyrus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Outside of the Hard drive, which is a great starting point, check out the Capaictors for Bad Caps

    The clickee should give you a basis for what to look for. I think all the Dell caps have a tri-cut in the top of them and if any of them are rounded instead of flat you will have bad caps as well as looking to see if any of them are distended or have bulge indications.

    Let us know how it turns out

    edit: Eye know can spel or gramatizze wordz
    Duct tape.....A whole lot of Duct Tape
    Spyware/Adaware problem click

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    other ideas:

    bad antivirus configuration perhaps? Try to deactivate it and test.
    Even if you have test on safe mode (as you stated), run a HiJackThis and compare the output against an "ok" machine.
    Meu sítio

    FORMAT C: Yes ...Yes??? ...Nooooo!!! ^C ^C ^C ^C ^C
    If I die before I sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to encrypt.
    If I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to brake.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Blunted One's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Harddrive appears to be error free and I even ran the dell HD diag., no antivirus running at all (I removed it to see if that was the issue). I will have to test the memory and try windows repair. That is a good idea to run HiJackThis and compare it to another same model of Dell just to see if I can see anything. However what are things I should look for in HiJackThis that should set off an alarm or cause concern? Thanks for the ideas guys and keep em coming.
    It's not a war on drugs it's a war against personal freedoms!

  6. #6
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    I presume that you have run check disk and defragmented the drive.

    When things are running slowly, you might look at the processes in task manager? What I am wondering is whether the resources are actually being used, or is it some other sort of problem. If the resources are being used, what is using them?

    You might try CrapCleaner to get rid of unwanted stuff.

    Another cause could be that your registry has become screwed might try Registry Mechanic.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Blunted One's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Yes the harddrive seems to be a-ok. In the task manager it only seems to use a few percent of the processor and only a little memory. Nothing seems to be draining the system resources in the task manager. No resources seem to be used just a usual 98-99% system idle process. I will try crapcleaner and see how messed up the registry is. So far I am getting closer to just starting over. Thanks again for the advice.
    It's not a war on drugs it's a war against personal freedoms!

  8. #8
    Dissident 4dm1n brokencrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Shawnee country
    Could be a thermal issue. Check the bios for CPU temperature and see if she's running hot.
    “Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.” — Will Rogers

  9. #9
    If you want to do some more thorough tests on more hardware, motherboard, cpu, etc try Hiren's Boot CD, it is a great disk packed full of utilities for almost anything related to hardware diagnostics... it seems to be kinda hard to find for download on the internet, but if you have usenet access you can find details here

    PS Be careful with the HDD diagnostics tools, they may happily wipe your hard drive clean

    edit: found it!

    Tools Included:
    What's New in Hirens Boot CD 8.0:
    - Maxtor PowerMax 4.22
    - Aida16 2.14
    - System Analyser version 5.3k
    - BIOS Cracker 4.8
    - Paragon Mount Everything 3.0 (New)
    - Universal TCP/IP Network 5.6
    - SCSI Support (New)
    - SCSI Drivers for Dos (New)
    - CWShredder 2.19 (New)
    - Popular CoolWebSearch Trojan Remover tool (New)
    + AntiVir, AntiSpy Definitions Update

    Partition Tools:
    - Partition Magic Pro 8.05 - Best software to partition hard drive
    - Acronis Disk Director Suite 9.0 - Popular disk management functions in a single suite
    - Paragon Partition Manager 7.0.1057 - Universal tool for partitions
    - Partition Commander 9.01 - The safe way to partition your hard drive,with undo feature
    - Ranish Partition Manager 2.44 - a boot manager and hard disk partitioner.
    - The Partition Resizer v1.3.4 - move and resize your partitions in one step and more.
    - Smart Fdisk 2.05 - a simple harddisk partition manager
    - SPecial Fdisk 2000 - SPFDISK a partition tool.
    - eXtended Fdisk 0.9.3 - XFDISK allows easy partition creation and edition
    - GDisk 1.1.1 - Complete replacement for the DOS FDISK utility and more.

    Disk Clone Tools:
    - ImageCenter 5.6 (Drive Image 2002) - Best software to clone hard drive
    - Norton Ghost 8.2 - Similar to Drive Image (with usb/scsi support)
    - Acronis True Image 8.0 - Create an exact disk image for complete system backup and disk cloning.
    - Partition Saver 2.80 - A tool to backup/restore partitions.

    Antivirus Tools:
    - F-Prot Antivirus 3.16b - Very good virus scanner (with ntfs support and easy to use menu)
    - McAfee Antivirus 4.40 - a virus scanner (with ntfs support and easy to use menu)

    Recovery Tools:
    - Active Partition Recovery 3.0 - To Recover a Deleted partition.
    - Active Uneraser 3.0 - To recover deleted files and folders on FAT and NTFS systems.
    - Ontrack Easy Recovery Pro 6.10 - To Recover data that has been deleted/virus attack
    - Winternals Disk Commander 1.1 - more than just a standard deleted-file recovery utility
    - TestDisk 6.2 - Tool to check and undelete partition.
    - Lost & Found 1.06 - a good old data recovery software.
    - DiyDataRecovery Diskpatch 2.1.100 - An excellent data recovery software.
    - Prosoft Media Tools 5.0 v1.1.2.64 - Another excellent data recovery software with many other options.
    - PhotoRec 6.2 - File and pictures recovery Tool.

    Testing Tools:
    - System Speed Test 4.78 - it tests CPU, harddrive, ect.
    - PC-Check 5.50 - Easy to use hardware tests
    - Ontrack Data Advisor 5.0 - Powerful diagnostic tool for assessing the condition of your computer
    - The Troubleshooter 7.02 - all kind of hardware testing tool
    - PC Doctor 3.0 - a benchmarking and information tool
    - Test Cpu/Video/Disk 5.6 - a tool to test cpu, video, and disk
    - Test Hard Disk Drive 1.0 - a tool to test Hard Disk Drive

    RAM (Memory) Testing Tools:
    - DocMemory 2.2b - RAM Test utility
    - GoldMemory 5.07 - RAM Test utility
    - Memtest86+ 1.65 - PC Memory Test

    Hard Disk Tools:
    - Hard Disk Diagnostic Utilities
    - Seagate Seatools Desktop Edition 3.02
    - Western Digital Data Lifeguard Tools
    - Western Digital Diagnostics (DLGDIAG) 5.04c
    - Maxtor PowerMax 4.22
    - Maxtor amset utility 4.0
    - Maxtor(or any Hdd) Low Level Formatter 1.1
    - Fujitsu HDD Diagnostic Tool 6.30
    - Fujitsu IDE Low Level Format 1.0
    - Samsung HDD Utility(HUTIL) 2.00
    - Samsung Disk Diagnose (SHDIAG) 1.28
    - IBM/Hitachi Drive Fitness Test 4.05
    - IBM/Hitachi Feature Tool 1.99
    - Gateway GwScan 3.15
    - MHDD 4.6
    - HDD Regenerator 1.51 - to recover a bad hard drive
    - Ontrack Disk Manager 9.57 - Disk Test/Format/Maintenance tool.
    - Norton Disk Doctor 2002 - a tool to repair a damaged disk, or to diagnose your hard drive.
    - Norton Disk Editor 2002 - a powerful disk editing, manual data recovery tool.
    - Active Kill Disk 1.1 - Securely overwrites and destroys all data on physical drive.
    - HDAT2 4.02.05 - main function is testing and repair (regenerates) bad sectors for devices
    - SmartUDM 2.00 - Hard Disk Drive S.M.A.R.T. Viewer.

    System Information Tools:
    - Aida16 2.14 - a system information tool, extracts details of all components of the PC
    - PCI and AGP info Tool- The PCI System information & Exploration tool.
    - System Analyser version 5.3k - View extensive information about your hardware
    - Navrįtil Software System Information 0.58.6 - High-end professional system information tool
    - Astra 5.11 - Advanced System info Tool and Reporting Assistant
    - HwInfo 4.9.7 - a powerful system information utility
    - PC-Config 9.33 - Complete hardware detection of your computer
    - SysChk 2.46- Find out exactly what is under the hood of your PC
    - CPU Identification utility v1.8 - Detailed information on CPU
    - CTIA CPU Information - another CPU information tool

    MBR (Master Boot Record) Tools:
    - MBR Work 1.07b - a utility to perform some common and uncommon MBR functions
    - MBR Tool 2.1.100 - backup, verify, restore, edit, refresh, remove, display, re-write...
    - DiskMan4 - all in one tool for cmos, bios, bootrecord and more
    - BootFix Utility - Run this utility if you get 'Invalid system disk'
    - MBR SAVE / RESTORE 2.1 - BootSave and BootRest tools to save / restore MBR
    - Boot Partition 2.50 - add Partition in the Windows NT/2000/XP Multi-boot loader
    - Partition Table Doctor 3.0 - a tool to repair/modify mbr, bootsector, partition table
    - Smart Boot Manager 3.7.1 - a multi boot manager
    - Bootmagic 8.0 - This tool is for multi boot operating systems

    BIOS / CMOS Tools:
    - CMOS 0.93 - CMOS Save / Restore Tool
    - BIOS Cracker 4.8 - BIOS password remover (cmospwd)
    - BIOS Cracker 1.4 - BIOS password remover (cmospwc)
    - BIOS Utility 1.35.0 - BIOS Informations, password, beep codes and more.
    - !BIOS 3.20 - a powerfull utility for bios and cmos
    - DISKMAN4 - a powerful all in one utility
    - UniFlash 1.40 - bios flash utility
    - Kill CMOS - a tiny utility to wipe cmos

    MultiMedia Tools:
    - Picture Viewer 1.94 - Picture viewer for dos, supports more then 40 filetypes.
    - QuickView Pro 2.56 - movie viewer for dos, supports many format including divx.
    - MpxPlay 1.53b - a small Music Player for dos

    Password Tools:
    - Active Password Changer 3.0 - To Reset User Password on windows NT/2000/XP/2003 (FAT/NTFS)
    - Offline NT/2K/XP Password Changer - utility to reset windows nt/2000/xp administrator/user password.
    - Registry Viewer 4.2 - Registry Viewer/Editor for Win9x/Me/NT/2K/XP
    - NTPWD - utility to reset windows nt/2000/xp administrator/user password.
    - ATAPWD 1.2 - Hard Disk Password Utility.

    NTFS Tools:
    - NTFS Dos Pro 5.0 - To access ntfs partitions from Dos
    - NTFS 4 Dos 1.4 - To access ntfs partitions from Dos
    - Paragon Mount Everything 3.0 - To access NTFS, Ext2FS, Ext3FS partitions from dos
    - NTFS Dos 3.02 - To access ntfs partitions from Dos
    - EditBINI 1.01 - to Edit boot.ini on NTFS Partition

    Dos File Managers:
    - Volkov Commander 4.99 - Dos File Manager with LongFileName/ntfs support (Similar to Norton Commander)
    - Dos Command Center 5.1 - Classic dos-based file manager.
    - File Wizard 1.35 - a file manager - colored files, drag and drop copy, move, delete etc.
    - File Maven 3.5 - an advanced Dos file manager with high speed PC-to-PC file transfers via serial or parallel cable
    - FastLynx 2.0 - Dos file manager with Pc to Pc file transfer capability
    - LapLink 5.0 - the smart way to transfer files and directories between PCs.
    - Dos Navigator 5.9.0 - Dos File Manager, Norton Commander clone but has much more features.
    - Mini Windows 3.11 - Back to old days, use it as a file manager
    - Mini Windows 98 - Can run from Ram Drive, with ntfs support, Added 7-Zip which supports .7z .zip .cab .rar .arj .gzip, .bzip2 .z .tar .cpio .rpm and .deb, Disk Defragmenter, Notepad / RichText Editor, Image Viewer, .avi .mpg .divx .xvid Movie Player, etc...

    Other Tools:
    - Ghost Walker 2003.793 - utility that changes the security ID (SID) for Windows NT, 2000 and XP
    - DosCDroast beta 2 - Dos CD Burning Tools
    - Universal TCP/IP Network 5.6 - MSDOS Network Client to connect via TCP/IP to a Microsoft based network. The network can either be a peer-to-peer or a server based network, it contains 85 different network card drivers

    Dos Tools:
    - USB CD-Rom Driver 1 - Standard usb_cd.sys driver for cd drive
    - Universal USB Driver 2 - Panasonic v2.20 ASPI Manager for USB mass storage
    - SCSI Support - SCSI Drivers for Dos
    - Interlnk support at COM1 To access another computer from COM port
    - Interlnk support at LPT1 - To access another computer from LPT port

    Windows Tools:
    - SpaceMonger 1.4 - keeping track of the free space on your computer
    - Drive Temperature 1.0 - Hard Disk Drive temperature meter
    - Disk Speed1.0 - Hard Disk Drive Speed Testing Tool
    - MemTest 1.0 - a Memory Testing Tool
    - PageDfrg 2.32 - System file Defragmenter For NT/2k/XP
    - Split Join 1.3.3 - a Small File Split-Join Tool
    - Ghost Image Explorer 7.0 - to add/remove/extract files from Ghost image file
    - DriveImage Explorer 5.0 - to add/remove/extract files from Drive image file
    - Drive SnapShot 1.36 - creates an exact Disk Image of your system into a file while windows is running.
    - Active Undelete 5.0 - a tool to recover deleted files
    - Restoration 2.5.14 - a tool to recover deleted files
    - Startup Control Panel 2.8 - a tool to edit startup programs
    - Startup Monitor 1.02 - it notifies you when any program registers itself to run at system startup
    - IB Process Manager 1.02 - a little process manager for 9x/2k, shows dll info etc.
    - HijackThis 1.99 - a general homepage hijackers detector and remover and more
    - CurrPort 1.07 - displays the list of all currently opened TCP and UDP ports on your computer
    - Unknown Devices 1.2 - helps you find what those unknown devices in Device Manager really are
    - PCI 32 Sniffer 1.1 - device information tool (similar to unknown devices)
    - NewSID 4.10 - utility that changes the security ID (SID) for Windows NT, 2000 and XP
    - Double Driver 1.0 - Driver Backup and Restore tool
    - CPU-Z 1.31 -It gathers information on some of the main devices of your system
    - CWShredder 2.19 - Popular CoolWebSearch Trojan Remover tool
    - Spybot - Search & Destroy 1.4 - Application to scan for spyware, adware, hijackers and other malicious software.
    - Ad-Aware SE Personal 1.06 - find and remove spyware, adware, dialers etc. (a must have tool)

    Homepage -
    I\'m Dying To Find Out The Hard Way

  10. #10
    When you run a memory test, if there is more than one stick, run the check, then swap the sticks and run it again. Sometimes, you can find a bad section or stick that way.

    Since this isn't a brand-spanking new system, I assume that is has been run for a while. Has the user had a removable hard drive (USB) connected to the system recently? Have you checked the Device Manger for "unknowns" in the device listing? Are there driver issues? Sometimes these can cause slowdowns as the system is trying to load or find things.

    Also, Outlook? Does the user have Word set as the email editor for Outlook? If so, change that. This setting can keep a copy of Word loaded in the system at all times. It will significantly slow a box to a crawl, if there isn't a lot of RAM on it.

    Oh, yeah, get Process_Explorer from Sysinternals.

    Oh, yeah 2: what is loading at startup? Check that all applications or services loading at startup are valid and exist. Some of your problems could be Windows trying to run or load something at startup that is broken, missing or just mis-behaving.

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