Computer loading very slow with WinXP

By FalseAngel
Jul 16, 2009
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  1. My computer often takes *way* too long to load pretty much anything and runs extremely choppy even when given the simplest instructions/commands in windows. The HardDrive light begins flashing and my computer slows almost to a hault. It is almost unusable at times.
    Could it be my hardrive? or anything else?
    Any help is greatly appreciated ! Thanks !

    system specs:
    Intel Celeron 2.0 GHz
    128 Ram

    Hard drive Specs:
    Barracuda ATA V
    Capacity: 60.02 GB
    Speed: 7200 rpm
    Average Seek Time: 9 ms
    Cylinders: 1023
    Heads: 256
    Sectors: 63

    WinXP Home Edition (Version 2002 w/ SP3)
    SB Live!
    (shares internet connection with one other copmuter and an xbox 360)
  2. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    My guess is that you simply do not have enough memory installed, because it is actually sort of amazing that you are able to run at all with only 128 mb of RAM.
    It is hard to comment on whether the hard drive is part of the problem without knowing the space used and the free space.
    But anytime you have limited memory on Windows XP, you are likely to have some problems with the fragmentation of the data.
    It would be good to know the age of your Seagate Barracuda hard drive, as well as the computer itself.
    You will likely need to go up to 512 MB of memory, or hopefully more, to correct the speed problems you described.
    Be aware that you may be at risk of losing or corrupting valuable data if something is not done about your configuration.
  3. FalseAngel

    FalseAngel Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    The hard drive currently has 48 gb free. I dont know the age of the hd but the computer is built from random part...it was an Emachines W2646 but it doesnt have the original RAM, HD, CD/DVD rom drive, CPU....basically when I got it it was just the case, motherboard, power supply, and the CPU fan. So i dont actually know the age of anything in this computer...i have built several computers like this but this one going slow was new to me....its practically impossible to download windows update or defrag and do anything else at the same time because it will not load for several minutes.
  4. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Certain eMachines motherboards have very high failure rates... 60 to 75 % failure on 17 different model numbers... and significant slowdowns are reported before they fail altogether. Then they suddenly shut down, taking the power supply with them.
    Save all your data while you know you can.
    Good luck.
    We would replace the motherboard, because the other components will likely last for as long as any other computer
  5. FalseAngel

    FalseAngel Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    My main PC is an Emachines with

    Specs:
    240 gb HD (x2 120 gb)
    1 gb RAM (x2 512 mb)
    Nvidia GeForce4 MX 4000 graphics
    2.0 GHz AMD Athlon 3000+ CPU
    WinXP Home Edition

    I have never had a single issue with that computer and I have had it for like 8 years now. This computer that im trying to fix is just a basic computer for everyone else to use so im just looking for a quick, cheap, easy fix to get it running faster than it is. My main computer runs excellent so im not worried about it for myself.
  6. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Most eMachines are ok... Only 17 or 24 models, depending on whose count you use, have these problems of slow down then unrecoverable failures... all Windows XP Home machines.
    It would be helpful to know the model number of the one on which you are working... motherboard number, and power supply... but the symptoms you describe are typical...
    What about the memory?
  7. FalseAngel

    FalseAngel Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    the one im building is a Emachines w2646.

    These are the original specs....I will put new specs in ()

    CPU : Intel® Celeron® 2.60GHz Processor (Intel Celeron 2.0 GHz)
    128KB L2 cache & 400MHz FSB
    Operating System : Genuine Microsoft® Windows® XP Home

    Chipset : Intel® 845GV chipset
    Memory : 256MB DDR (PC 2100) (128MB)
    Hard Drive : 40GB HDD (60GB Barracuda)
    Video : Intel® Extreme Graphics 3D
    64MB Shared memory
    Sound : AC '97 Audio (SB Live!)
    Network : 10/100Mbps built-in Ethernet
    Modem : 56K ITU v.92-ready Fax/Modem
    Ports/Other : 6 USB 2.0 ports (2 on front), 1 Serial, 1 Parallel, 2 PS/2, Audio-In & Out
    Dimensions : 7.25"W x 14.125"H x 16"D

    But when I got the computer it was gutted and was basically the motherboard and CPU fan...thats it. I really dont know what the model number is for the motherboard or the power supply and i am currently on the computer that im working on so i cant take it apart to find out at this moment.
  8. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    If we assume that motherboard came with the W2646, then you have one of the failure prone ones... resulting in a total failure. Soon! I have never seen one of them repaired without replacement of the motherboard and power supply.
    The board was originally an Intel design, but built under license by Tri-Gem in Korea. There are no replacement boards available. But there are several alternate boards.
    Good luck. Let us know what you decide to do, or how you were able to repair it.
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