Sudden problems running programs...

By dardenc
Dec 11, 2005
  1. Sudden problems with computer...(speed/performance)

    Hi, i have never posted here before, but i believe this is the correct section...

    I have a Dell Inspiron XPS laptop, 3.4 Ghz Pentium 4, 1GB RAM, ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 video card

    The problem started about two months ago. Regular programs, such as AIM, started taking up unreasonable amounts of CPU. When the problem started, I only had 512MB RAM, but I have recently upgraded.

    In task manager, AIM still takes up 47 under the CPU column, and in performance, CPU is at about 80%, but the Page File usage is still pretty low. Other programs, like VLC Media Player, sometimes take up about this much memory, sometimes not.

    Before i upgraded, i did a fresh install of my OS, XP Pro, but this didn't help the problem at all. I also play Counter-Strike: Source, and after the video stress test, i have about 6.1 FPS, which is awful. the program itself, while taking up considerable amounts of memory (it's supposed to), still runs smoothly, just not when I try to play. Since I upgraded the RAM, the computer does run noticeably faster, usuallu when booting it.

    Also, in this time period, explorer.exe will take up between 3-23 CPU and about 23,000 K Mem Usage according to task manager. It still does this even after the RAM upgrade. When I shut the screen, and then try to reopen it, it takes about ten seconds to turn back on. I can no longer stream video very well from web pages - the sound comes in fine, but the video is usually choppy or remains frozen completely.

    I have had plenty of problems with computers before, and while I am by no means (obviously) an expert, I know a thing or two, and can't think of any reason why these programs aren't running properly as they had in the past. If anyone can help me with this problem, it would be greatly appreciated. I've browsed this site before in the past, and have used tips with other problems that I have had, and I've found more than a few solutions here. Hopefully someone is able to lead me in the right direction.

  2. peterdiva

    peterdiva TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,088

    I think that CPU usage is your problem,turn the computer off and reboot.As soon as everything is loaded open the task manager and see what the CPU usage is,it should be 0 or close to it.
  3. dardenc

    dardenc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    After I reboot, the CPU Usage starts at 0 or close to it, but soon levels at about 11-25% doing nothing...usually explorer.exe causes that...but with my machine, I can't run games like counter-strike that i should be able to with ease, and if I run AIM, it just hogs loads of memory like it is supposed to, which has never been a problem before.

    Firefox as well, it will start out small, the Mem Usage stays normal at about 29,300, but CPU goes up and down between 9 to 51...Page File Usage is normally around 185-225, except when running Counter Strike it goes to about 385-445. explorer.exe right now is at about a constant 5+ in CPU and 22,000 in Mem Usage.

    I think something in the hardware has to be affecting these problems, because the decrease in performance is rather recent. I have just had no luck finding any answers. If anyone else has suggestions, please help, because this problem is quite frustrating.

    Thanks again.
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