XP Slow

By DarrellCoe · 33 replies
Mar 19, 2009
  1. I am new to the PC World ( really a Mac User). I recently re-installed XP onto my Dad's PC. After the re-install, the computer ( I felt) ran farly fast. Since that time, the computer is getting slower and slower. After selecting the appropriate User, it now takes anywhere from 3 to 4 minutes for a program to load. I scanned the Techspot article on "What makes XP Run slow and nearly fell asleep. I am thinking of adding RegScrubXP to my computer, but have not done it yet. Can anyone recommend a path to take. The computer has not been around long enough to get any virus attack that my virus program has not detected. I know contrary to a Mac , there are alot of activities that go on in the background. Could there be something there?

    I would appreciate any help and assistance that I receive,
    Thanks in advance,
  2. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Maybe it would be better to try and find out why it's slow:
    1. Too many programs starting on boot and runnig in the background.
    Start> Run> msconfig> enter> Selective Startup> Startup tab> how many processes are checked?
    2. Unnecessary Services set to Automatic (CAUTION: DON'T fool around with these-) they will be included in the Task Manager:
    Open the Task Manager: right click on Taskbar> Task Manager> look on lower left and tell me how many processes are running.
    3. Inadequate security: What security programs do you have?
    4. Malware
    You can get malware the instant you connect to the internet.

    Please answer 1,2 and 3. We'll go from there. I would also like to know how much RAM is installed.
  3. DarrellCoe

    DarrellCoe TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29


    Thank you for responding. Please be patient with me as I am just a PC/Windows Novice and I inherited this computer from my Father who is nl longer able to use it.. I was able to perform step 1 and found that all boxes below Selective Start up are checked. Then clicking on the start tab at the top of the dialog box, all entries in the list of apps are checked. Steps 2 and 3 are another story. I unable to locate anything related to Unnecessary Services set to automatic. Terminology wise, I am unsure where to locate the Task bar.

    At the present time this computer only has the stock 128MB of RAM. I plan on upgrading to 1GB within the next 60-90 days
  4. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    If all of the startup applications are checked, you may want to go through the list and DEcheck certain ones that you aren't going to use. These are all of the applications/programs that run when the computer boots into Windows XP, which could be causing the system to run slower.

    To find your services, click START --> Control Panel --> Administrative Tools --> Services. Upon double-clicking the Services icon, you will be taken to a list of all services set up to run on the computer. You will probably notice that some are set to "Auto" and others are set to "Manual." There may also be some that are set to "Disabled." Now, like step 1, you can go through and set the unnecessary services (i.e. messengers, toolbars, email agents, music clients etc...) to "Disabled" so they do not start automatically when Windows starts. Most of the services that are already set to "Automatic" will run when Windows starts (i.e. Anti-Virus, Spyware guards, sound panel settings, Firewall etc...) which are fine and in most cases will need to run right off the bat.

    Lastly, the Task Bar is the thin bat at the bottom of the screen which displays, the Start button, any quick selection buttons, open windows, and services that are running and the current time to the very right. Hope that helps :)
  5. DarrellCoe

    DarrellCoe TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29


    Your recommendation of dechecking Apps/Programs is well received but I do have a question. Are there Apps/Prog that need to be running in the background and should not be dechecked. Plus in dechecking these Apps/Progr, what does that really do and what happens if I decheck an item that should not be dechecked?

    In disabling services, am I looking at disabling services that are now set as automatic/manual?

    Re: Bobbye's antivirus question: I currently use Comodo AV and firewall
    Thank you for telling me the location of the task bar. I did find that 42 processes were running.
  6. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    Most of the Programs you see in services and in the Task Manager/Processes window need to be running; there will always be programs running in the background. That is normal and is how the computer works. What dechecking them does is prevent them from starting when Windows starts, which can speed up the performance when you log on. You can still run the applications, but you will need to do so on your own.

    Same goes for the services. Like I said before, most of the items in Services are crucial and need to run at startup. But others, like email programs and music players do not necessarily need to run during startup. Anti-Virus programs, Update Managers, and other necessities may need to run first thing in which they should be left on "Automatic" or checked in selective startup.

    If you have any further questions, let us know.
  7. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Just need to make sure you checked the Startup tab after Selective Startup. The ONLY processes that need to start when you boot and run in the background are:

    1. Antivirus program
    2. Firewall
    So if you have the Comodo Internet Security = Comodo AntiVirus + Comodo Firewall> processes for these should be checked.
    3. If on a laptop, the Touchpad needs to be checked.
    4. If you set up a network, there may be a network process.

    Nothing else needs to be checked on the Startup Menu using msconfig

    Darrel, Windows XP needs at least 512MB of RAM to run. You are NOT going to get performance out of the machine until you increase the RAM. You have too little that will be used up too soon, the system will crash and you'll need to reboot to restore the RAM- but only for a short while, then you'll crash again.

    Don't add anything (exception=FoxIt)! Go to Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel and uninstall everything you're not using, including old versions of programs like Java (current is v6u12) and Adobe which is v8.1. In fact, you should dump the Adobe Reader and get FoxIT for the PDF files- it doesn't have the bloat of Adobe.

    42 Processes in the Task Manager is good.
    Changing Service Startup types has to be done very careful;y and the Dependency tab must be cheched.

    Get the RAM increased and I think you'll find a marked improvement. Then come back and we can help to stop any extras from running.

    Comodo Internet Security has all the functionality of a paid AV without the price. It
  8. DarrellCoe

    DarrellCoe TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    First, I errored wen I said I had 128MB of RAM. I actually do have 512 MB of RAM that came with the system, I'm sorry about that. I made some changes in the processes and services, but the majority of the processes I left checked and I left most services that were listed as automatic the same.I have not noticed a marked speed improvement but I guess that may come after I do a RAM upgrade. One question; Do I leave the System Configuration Window set at Swlective Startup instead of the default Normal Startup load all device drivers and services?
  9. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Yes. Once you follow this Start> Run> msconfig> enter> Selective Startup> Startup tab> make the changes> Apply> OK. On the first Reboot after making the changes, you will get a nag message that can be ignored and closed after checking 'don't show this message again.' You must remain in Selective Startup to keep the changes.

    My systems go into Selective Startup the first day I get them- that's when I uncheck the unnecessary startups. And they stay in that mode.

    I have 38 entries listed on the Startup menu> I only have 4 checked. They are for the antivirus, touchpad, network and I keep a tray icon for my wireless configuration utility. The last item is a convenience item, not a necessity.

    As long as you leave all or most of the entries checked, they are all going to start on boot and run in the background> and you will be slow.

    About Services: I only wanted you to check 'number's in my first reply. Services CAN be customized, but they need to be done carefully and Safe Mode works better for this due to the Dependency Sevices.. I'm leaving you a couple of reference sites to help you understand the Services. The main thing you must remember is to always check the Dependency tab when wanting to change a Service start up type. This is because some Services require other Services to work and some functions you use on the system may require a Service to be running:

    Service Reference Sites:
  10. DarrellCoe

    DarrellCoe TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    Re: There are only 13 entries under my start up tab. The start up items are: jusched, nwiz, Reader_sl, communications_H...,cssurf, cfp, msmsgs, ctfmon, ezprint, iTunesHelper, Quickcam, bxcrmon, NvCpl,OTTask, RegFix Pro. The only ones I recognize are Quickcam, Logitech webcam and iTunes, ,lxcrmon& ezprint, which referenced Lexmark under the command Heading, which I dechecked. The rest I have no idea what they refer to.
  11. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    And you can UNCHECK 12 of them!

    Final descriptions:
    I don't see any process for an antivirus program. The cfp.exe is only identified as the main control program for the free firewall. There is no entry in your list for the AV.

    A. jusched: Java updater.
    B. nwiz> "nView Desktop Manager" (NVIDIA) Does NOT need to be on Startup. Very seldom used.

    C. Reader_sl,>ADOBE READER:
    D. communications_H...,> Found on Acer laptops with webcams and Logitech webcams.
    E. cssurf> Counter Strike Surf> Game related. Does NOT need to be on Startup.

    F. cfp,> COMODO Firewall Pro. YES, leave checked

    G. msmsgs,> main process relating to the MSN Messenger Internet chat tool. Does NOT need to be on Startup

    H. ctfmon> MS Office > does NOT need to be on Startup, but usually puts itself back on.

    I. ezprint> installed alongside Lexmark EZPrint and provides additional configuration options for Lexmark Printing devices. Does NOT need to be on Startup.

    J. iTunesHelper:
    K.Quickcam> Does NOT need to be on Startup.

    L. bxcrmon>> lxcrmon? Lexmark printer> Does NOT need to be on Startup

    M. NvCpl> NVIDIA Display Driver Service> Does NOT need to be on Startup..

    N. OTTask> most likely qttask.exe:
    O. RegFix Pro> From C-NetMedia> Spyware Alert: C-NetMedia Is Not CNET Networks
    This company is highly criticized for some of it's practices, such as deceptive advertising, false positives. Advise uncheck and uninstall.

    Darrell, you need to be very careful when giving name of processes- one letter can mean malware instead of legitimate.
  12. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

  13. DarrellCoe

    DarrellCoe TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    I'm sorry to be such a problem person. I unstalled/reinstalled the Comodo Internect Security, AV & Firewall package and it did not change the item numbers under the start up tab. Checking the items after I unstalled, cfp.exe was eliminated and after reinstalling, cfp.exe was added

    Unable to locate
    1. UNCHECK all Java entries on the Startup menu: Start> Run> msconfig> enter> Selective Startup Startup tab.
    ....Unchecked the jusched entry
    2. Open IE> Tools> Manage add-ons> right click on Java (tm) Plug-In 2 SSV Helper' (jp2ssv.dll> Click on and Disable Java Plugin2 and Java Quick Start.
    .....unable to locate Open IE> Tools> Manage add-ons...to perform recommended steps
    3. Start> Run> services.msc> right click on JavaQuickStarterService)> Properties> Change Startup Type to Disabled> Stop the Service
    4. Stop auto update:.
    5. Make sure only the current version of Java v6u12 is in Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel. Uninstall any other versions
  14. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    No you're not a 'problem person', it's just that there is only the one entry for Comodo. In fact, I didn't come up with anything computer related for 'cfp' so I added exe (cfp.exe)

    Here is the information:
    From http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/startups/cfp.exe-20812.html

    In fact, there should also be an additional process:
    From: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/startups/cmdagent.exe-17088.html

    jusched - Java Updater: This is the first entry you gave me:
    Control Panel> Java> Update tab> UNCHECK 'check automatically for updates'> Apply> answer YES when asked to confirm> OK

    I'd like you to run HijackThis. Then I can see what's loading:
    * Make sure you have the LATEST version of HJT (currently v2.0.0.2) it can be downloaded from HERE:

    * Run the HijackThis Installer and it will automatically place HJT in C:\Program Files\TrendMicro\HijackThis\HijackThis.exe. Please don't change the directory.
    * After installing, the program launches automatically, select Scan now and save a log
    * After the scan is complete please attach the entire log here
  15. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Is nobody going to suggest CCLEANER, to run CHKDSK /F and install DEFRAGGLER ?
  16. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    For myself being the 'somebody', I will suggest the maintenance AFTER he gets the 12 unnecessary programs off of Startup, AFTER I make sure he has an antivirus program running. For myself, I don't push programs like CCleaner and ATF- I don't used either-and after I see the entries on the HijackThis log.

    Your sarcasm is noted. Why didn't YOU suggest the programs instead of making the sarcastic remark?
  17. DarthMMX

    DarthMMX TS Rookie

    It might take a long time to pin point the exact cause of a slow down, but it can be done.

    Since you stated that you have done a reinstall recently, I would recommend doing a reformat and fresh install of Windows XP.

    Be sure to back up any personal files or photos to a CD/DVD before attempting to re-install.

    Even an old laptop with 128 mb ram and 300 mhz CPU can run XP without too much hang time.
  18. DarrellCoe

    DarrellCoe TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    Losded HJT and found 7Adware/Spyware errors. Attempted to clear them but it took me to another screen asking for $$$ fpr various programs, so I cleared the screen. But I'm sorry, I forgot to save the log.
    I also checked the ADD/Delete programs and found that the cssurf referred to the Comodo Security Pkg. I do not know if that helps.

    I also diabled the automatic updates for JAVA according to your recommendation

    Re: DarthMMX comment. Before I re-installed XP, I did reformat the drive. I went from XP Home edition to XP Pro
  19. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Darrell, you are admittedly new and people are trying to help you. It's not going to work if you don't listen!

    I asked you to run HijackThis to better see what's running. I did NOT tell you to remove any entries. I have no idea of what kind of spyware/adware error you found or what you did to try and remove them. You do not have the experience to decide what should be removed- in fact, MOST of the entries in the HijackThis logs will be legitimate. If you've gotten to the place where programs want you to pay to remove what they've found, then you have made the situation worse.

    If you want to continue, You need to update and rescan with HijackThis and attach the log.

    You asked this question:
    This reply you got was misleading:
    The place for you to UNCHECK a process so that it will not start on boot and run in the background is on the Startup Menu which is accessed through the msconfig utility. The Task Manager will then show what processes are running. While you can kill a process in the Task Manger, it is NOT where you regulate the startups!

    Yes, it does, thank you. I took a Google correction of 'cs surf' and that how I came up with Counter Strike Surf. However, this is NOT the antivirus process. It is the Comodo Safe Search that was available for a separate download with the original install of the security suite. It's search bar with this description by Comodo: "This is just giving our users a choice in their search engine choice and making Comodo some money"

    Bottom line is that I still don't know if the Comodo suite is configured correctly and booting with the AV.

    I do NOT advise you to try and change any Services Startup type at this point. That must be done carefully, with attention paid to what the Service does and what it's dependencies are.
  20. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    I did not feel sarcastic when I wrote it, and it does not read sarcastic to me now.

    I just did not have time to explain how to do those things, and felt that the symptoms first described indicated the needs described, by being as likely as other problems. Because the poster said it was ok when first begun (including all the non-required background processes), and has slowed down gradually over time (not suddenly after an infestation).
  21. DarrellCoe

    DarrellCoe TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    HJT log attached

    Iam sorry about the misunderstanding. I just became overzealous when I saw the Repair button and knew as soon as I clicked it that it was the wrong move on my part because you did not say press that function and I have been trying to follow all the steps you have recommended. I DO appreciate all the help you have given.

    Logfile of Trend Micro HijackThis v2.0.2
    Scan saved at 3:32:38 PM, on 3/27/2009
    Platform: Windows XP SP3 (WinNT 5.01.2600)
    MSIE: Internet Explorer v8.00 (8.00.6001.18702)
    Boot mode: Normal

    Moderator Edit:
    All logs must be Attached, not pasted in
    Pls read here on help with attaching logs:
  22. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Darrell, I got the pasted log in my email feedback. You don't have to run it again and attach this time.

    Edit to complete.
    Okay Darrel, need tor remove some entries: I'm setting this up in section so you know what they are: DO NOT click on FIX Checked until all entries have been checked

    Remove bad HijackThis entries
    • Run HijackThis
    • Click on the System Scan Only button
    • Put a check beside all of the items listed below (if present):
    Since you're asking us here, you likely don't need the following. Maybe you used the feature at one time, but it's still loading on the system, so check both entries:
    The following entries are all related to the Logitech QuickCam Check the all. Take the processes off of startup, set the Service to Manual
    The following entries are for the Lexmark Printer. Check them all. Launch the printer manually if and when you need it:
    Lexmark Printer:
    • Close all open windows and browsers/email, etc...
    • Click on the "Fix Checked" button
    • When completed, boot into Safe Mode:

    Start> Run> services.msc> right click on each of the following> Properties> change Startup type as mentioned:
    The following should be UNCHECKED on the Startup menu. Some we discussed previously:
    Start> Run> msconfig> enter> Selective Startup> Startup menu> UNCHECK the following>
    Open IE> Tools> Manage add-ons> find and highlight the following:
    Lexmark eDiagnostics> Disable

    Verify the location of this file:
    O20 - AppInit_DLLs: c:\windows\system32\ntmssvck.dll,>> removable storage manager: verify location using Windows Explorer:>
    Right click on Start> Explore> Windows> system 32> If ntmssvc.exe is listed on the right, okay. If it is NOT, it need to be removed in HijackThis

    Boot into Normal Mode when through. NOTE: you will get a nag message that you can ignore and close after checking 'don't show this message again.' Stay in Selective Startup.

    Don't get confused: you CHECK an entry in the HijackThis log to remove. You UNCHECK an entry on the Startup menu to start start on boot.
    Let me know how this goes. You should experience some speed up. We will then go to the next step.
  23. DarthMMX

    DarthMMX TS Rookie

    I realize you already did a reformat with your install.

    What I'm saying is, save yourself alot of hassle and re-install Windows. (it does not matter what flavor of Windows you choose).
  24. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    The problem with doing what you suggest Darth, is because it doesn't help any user learn how to troubleshoot- perhaps yourself included! Reinstalls or reformats should be the last ditch effort when all else fails. Doing it because a computer is slow because a lot of unnecessary processes are starting on boot is not recommended.

    And I could have sworn you already said the same thing in Reply #17!
  25. DarrellCoe

    DarrellCoe TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 29

    Bobbye's Latest Recommendation


    This just may take me a bit longer than just one day. I want to get this right. Being a Stroke Survivor, my eyes tire easily and requires me to refocus a number of times and to take several breaks. Am I correct in saying that the items you need me to check all came from the log you were able to obtain?
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...