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My PC has real problems, its slow and more, any help would be great

By yukka ยท 18 replies
Oct 2, 2003
  1. I have a AMD 1700xp running in a MSI KT333 ultra 2 mobo, with 512mb ddr, an ati 128mb video card, a audigy platinum 2 sound card, a dvd drive, a cdrw drive, a maxtor 80gig ata133 drive, and a fujitsu 27gig 66mhz drive. The powersupply is an enermax 350w (might be 400w, it is pretty new). The system is running Windows XP professional and is fully patched, with Norton Antivirus 2002 running on it, behind a firewall on my network.

    My problem is that everything runs fine for a while, maybe its over 2 months since my last reinstall, but now its hopeless to use. Late one night, I got the BSOD and when i rebooted, it couldnt find my hard disk. This continued until i turned the power off on the front of the case, after this the hard disk was found and windows rebooted.

    Now tho, the pc is slow. its as if something else is taking up the cpu cycles. ive looked in taskmanager and nothing is there apart from svchosts and the usual suspects. I went into lots of tweak sites and turned off lots of services, and have improved the boot time from over 1.5 mins to less than a minute, but when i do stuff (like using my browser or opening "my computer", the pc freezes and disks alot, before getting where it was going.

    during games, the screen may freeze as the pc disks to find stuff too.

    im pulling my hair out. ive done virus checks, tried repairing xp (didnt work), ive reinstalled but i dont want to do it every 2 months.

    ive run powermax from the maxtor website, and done the full scan. it says my harddisk is fine.

    i know the fujitsu drive has bad sectors, but ive removed it in the bios and in windows, and it makes no difference overall.

    I know the problem is probably a unique one due to my configuration, but if anyone has any ideas (or any obvious opinions), it will be of great help. otherwise i have to reinstall and fingers crossed it doesnt happen again.
  2. BBString

    BBString TS Rookie Posts: 16

    sounds like a clean start is needed.....
  3. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,519

    Try uninstalling windows update Q811493 (use add/remove programs) and see if that helps. Some older PCs don't get along with that patch and it slows your system dont to a crawl and can also give I/O errors. Let us know if this works.
  4. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 866   +73

    ive done it now, and its still real slow.

    guess ill just reinstall and wait to see if it happens again.
  5. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,519

    Have you checked your bios to see if you have it set to down-clock your CPU whenever a certain temp is reached. Check to make sure that temp is not set too low. When you experience slowdown, can you reboot in safe mode (Press F8 during boot) and check if your system is still slow, as that will allow you to see if your issue is related to installed software.
  6. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,218

    have you tried checking the HDD to see if there is a problem with it physically. Sounds like your problem involves an awful lot of disk activity. Maybe it needs a defrag, maybe there are bad sectors on that disk as well.
  7. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 866   +73

    the powermax utility i used is from the maxtor website. it makes a disk that runs a full disc scan when you boot with it.

    i did the intensive test, and it found no bad sectors.
  8. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,218

    YEs, I'm familiar with Powermax, use it quite a bit myself. Did you also check the cables and defrag the drive to see if that may help?
  9. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 866   +73


    i opened the case, removing and replugging all the cables, but most importantly i removed my second harddrive.

    this drive was in a stack, with my 80gig ata 133 drive under it, and my floppy drive mounted above it. i took it out entirely and now windows is fine. all fast and no problems.

    thanks for everyones suggestions, ill be taking heat into consideration a little more after this.
  10. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,519

    Your description of the symptoms was misleading. Why would your system work fine for 2 months, then slow to a crawl? Maybe that's not what you meant in your post, but it obviously had the rest of us here scratching our heads. Heat doesn't build up over a couple of months so maybe your CPU was indeed getting clocked down due to bios settings for overheat protection. Why don't you check your bios settings and set the clock-down setting to a higher temp, as I already suggested in an earlier post. Then you'll be able to keep both hard drives installed. Temperature doesn't cause hard drives to slow down, but it can shorten their working life.
  11. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 866   +73

    i didnt ignore your previous posting about heat settings. i have the heat settings disabled, meaning that nothing underclocks if it gets hot.

    im sorry if my original post was misleading, tbh its been doing my head in, and there have been so many symtoms at different times, its hard to keep track. fact is it worked fine for a while, but im not sure how long it was, and now that i have just the one drive in, it seems to run faster than it ever did.

    i did say this - "Late one night, I got the BSOD and when i rebooted, it couldnt find my hard disk. This continued until i turned the power off on the front of the case, after this the hard disk was found and windows rebooted.".

    now that i have found the problem, ive no hesitation in stating that the bsod was the biggest clue, and i should have looked at the hard drive heat situation immediately.

    also the idea that hard drives dont slow down because of heat, is the reason that i looked everywhere else for a fault, the reason i was totally baffled, and the reason that i turned to this message board.

    now my 2nd drive is removed and the pc is instantly fixed. ive even reinstalled that microsoft xp patch that you suggested i uninstalled, and its still fine.
  12. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 866   +73

    the second drive was part of the pc when the problems started. i disabled it in the bios and disabled it in windows but that made no difference.

    it was only last night that i removed the actual unit from the pc, it was still connected by ide and power cable until then.

    again im sorry if anyone has wasted time on this, tbh everything said was helpful, and helped me narrow it down. thanks
  13. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,519

    We're all glad you've got your issues fixed :=).
  14. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 866   +73

  15. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 866   +73

    Finally a solid solution!!!

    well the problems didnt go away with that solution, and i think that a new harddrive is probably in order eventually.

    last night i turned off the virtual memory.

    my pc is so much faster, i think the harddrive problems may have been affecting the virtual memory performance, but whatever, its really sorted it out. not just a little faster, but completely refreshed.

    cool eh? :)
  16. Leprof

    Leprof TS Rookie

    Hard drive

    I have the same problem with the second drive of my machine
    I change ribbon, drive and the same problem, the machine is
    more faster with only one drive. I noticed the problem with
    the speed of reading a DVD with DVDDecrypter. The Speed of
    reading and Writing to HD was 1.7X with 2 HD connected and
    5.1X with only one drive connected. My computer is a P4 1.9,
    Intel motherboard, 2 HD on primary IDE (120 Gig each) Seagate
    on secondary IDE DVD reader and One Pioneer A05 DVD burner.
    I scrapped 4 DVD the same day but when i disconnect the second
    hard drive everything was faster and i can burn DVD without
    problem. I have 2 other machines with 2 HD and 2 Dvd (reader and burner) It's p3 and more faster than my p4. Notice, i use
    the same original DVD and the same DVD reader to read it. i don't
    understand that problem.

  17. CheezHead

    CheezHead TS Rookie Posts: 35

    I read just one reply about Temp. My guess is all that cool stuff is in a rather small case,, from what "Yukka" said the PC in question is in an office. So any way the 128meg ATI card creates a lot of heat itself. how hot do ya think the "Northbrige" chip gets?,,high heat big probs. Case in point. My Mother had a 733PIII assembled.

    733 PIII
    Asus PIII/2000 mobo
    3dfx16meg 2x agp
    seagate backup tape
    Small Aopen case
    just PSU fan for vent.

    she had all the problems said in these replys,i put all her stuff in a taller case with more air flow,,2in2out 2PSU.
    problem solved,,what did it cost?? 65 Bucks.
  18. muffen

    muffen TS Rookie

    My computer runs fine but I only have.

    Pentium 3 500 Mhz
    Asus P2B motherboard
    Gforce 4 FX 420 with 64 MB of DDR memory
    Soundblaster Live 5.1
    LG CD burner
    DVD Rom
    1 26 GB & 1 20 GB hard drive internal 1 40 external
    Aims tv tunner
    Intel Anypoint telephone network
    D-link network card
    and old Hayes 56 K ISA Modem (Not software install or hook to the phoneline)
    384 MB of pc100 memory

    What I have for a cooling
    1 hard drive fan
    1 large inlet fan
    3 small inlet between then burner and the DVD
    1 outlet fan
    1 cpu fan

    odd thing is that my power suply doesn't have a fan at all, scratch your head on that one.
  19. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 866   +73

    lost a partition off my hardrive yesterday. just says "drive is not formatted" and offers me the reformat option.

    got a new drive, ill see if that works. my case is large, only using stock cooling but still i have a northbridge fan and large cpu heatsink etc.

    bought a 120 gb samsung with 8mb cache btw.
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