Am I just showing my age? Rickity CPU speeds.

By Treyd
Oct 8, 2006
  1. Hi, I'm Trey. I have been having a problem with my laptop recently (over the last year) and I could really use some help figuring it out.

    Essensialy, it just isn't running the way it used to. I have to have this thing for at least another year, until I'm out of college, and I am getting pretty pissed at it. The CPU used to run at about 2% when it was idle, but now it runs at around 10%. Is that normal?

    The problem that is really getting to me is not the idling state, but when I put load on it. For clarity, I have just totally formated my drive, reinstalled XP, run virus and spyware checks, plus a voodoo ritual I swore fixed it this other time a few years ago. As soon as I ask it to, say, load a webpage, or open Explorer, man that thing shoots right up to 100 percent and sits there for a second. It didn't used to do that! Even just a file window takes about two or three seconds to open - it doesnt sound like much, but when all you're doing is waiting for a stupid window, that really gets to you. Opening, say, ten tabs all at once in Firefox totally kills it for thirty seconds. It takes over a minute to boot. And the worst, absolute worst, is Atmosphere Deluxe. That program epitomises the intrinisic problem I am having - for no reason, without warning or provocation, it will just start running at 70% of my CPU and sit there until I close it. All kinds of programs do this, though not on such an extreme level. It is just acting screwy.

    I'm not just venting, though. The problem, remember, is that this did not used to happen. When I bought this thing, it would open a explorer file window so fast it seemed like it was predicting that you were about to click on it. Now, it takes 2 full seconds. I just want to know if this is anything I can fix, or if it is hardware degredation from being old, and I'm stuck with 100% cpu spikes whenever I try to open "my documents." Any help you are able to give is appreciated. Following is some information on my system.

    Dell D600 Lattitude running Windows XP Pro
    Intel Pentium M745 (1.80GHz), 512mb RAM
    7000ish RPM HDrive
    AGV Free Antivirus
    Running Litestep Alternative Shell
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