Laptop issues when browsing the Net

By menelaus7
Sep 26, 2006
  1. Hello All:

    I know these issues are nothing new - but I was hoping that one or more of you had some suggestions:

    I am running a 5 year old Dell Inspiron laptop - PIII - 833mhz and 526MB Ram. I have been running XP (Home) SP2. I actually did a clean install of the programs two weeks ago - wiping the drive clean. I am connected wireless to the internet through a secure wireless network in my home. I usually run Firefox - although I will use IE from time to time.

    I have noticed that when I run programs (and not open up my web browser), no issues -- everything runs fine. However, within five minutes of logging onto my web browser, everything slows to a crawl. There are no spyware programs and I have uninstalled McAfee (which was killing my system). When things get very slow, my cpu usage is up at 100% and the main culprit is normally the browser - running at or close to 100% of my cpu. The fans will start to blow and not stop.

    Could all this slowness be attributed at all to all of the Microsoft security updates that get downloaded to my computer? Should I try a clean install again (there is nothing that I need on this computer right now)?

  2. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    sounds very much like a virus attack.
    run AVG free anti-virus.
  3. smore9648

    smore9648 TS Rookie Posts: 697

    run msconfig from the command prompt and disable any programs that you do not want running in your tray.

    Clear prefetch
  4. smore9648

    smore9648 TS Rookie Posts: 697

    Do you have any AV, anti spyware and firewalls running?
  5. menelaus7

    menelaus7 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I run Microsoft's firewall -- and I run antispyware, antivirus programs -- but they are only active when i run them. I have run the AV program and I do not have a virus -- and I have run the spyware program to kill all those programs (but most were just cookies that got deleted).

    I have also run msconfig and disabled a bunch of the programs -- but to be honest, I am not sure which programs I "need" to run - and which can be disabled - so Im not sure that I am optimizing my system.
  6. altheman

    altheman TS Rookie Posts: 425

    Firefox suffers from a memory leak when it caches information. Closing and opening FF again usually sorts that out, or you can open about:config in FF, make a new boolean value called "config.trim_on_minimize" (without quotes), and set it to true. When you minimize FF, RAM usage will go to about 10MB. Also, try running FF in safe mode, to make sure your extensions are not interfering.
  7. smore9648

    smore9648 TS Rookie Posts: 697

    Everything that is running in start up shows up on your start up menu interface and your tray. These run in the background and suck up memory.
    You are getting rid of the programs, you are just disabling them during startup. go to and find the task manager program, forgot the name. It will show you all the items running and show you how much memory its using.

    To help optimization do the following

    Clear your prefetch
    Disable unneeded startup programs
    defrag your HDD
    defrag your pagefile.sys
    ensure your virtual memory is setup correctly
  8. menelaus7

    menelaus7 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for all the advice.
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