Windows XP - boots OK, but slow to launch

Discussion in 'Computing and Networks' started by fdugrad, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. fdugrad

    Thread Starter Member

    Aug 30, 2010
    13
    1
    I have a turn-of-the-century Gateway PC with Windows XP, SP3, 768MB of RAM and a 1.3Ghz Pentium 4. It boots up without any problems, but its very slow to launch programs (Word, Excel, etc.). I have to let it idle for about 20 minutes before launching any programs. I scanned the hard drive for viruses and errors. I defragmented it. I used the disc cleanup utility. I used MSCONFIG utility to see if any programs are running in the background (besides my Avast A/V software). Still, I have the same problem. Anyone have any ideas or suggestions?
     
  2. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
    3,386
    496
    There is really only two things you can do.

    1) Max out the RAM.
    2) Reinstall Windows.

    You can do 1 or 2, or both.
     
  3. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,432
    3,360
    Doing both should fix the problem for awhile.
     
  4. tubeguy

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 3, 2012
    1,157
    197
    I have a similar old Gateway PC and increasing the RAM definitely improved it.
     
  5. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,261
    6,770
    Mine is a Dell, but I keep an image of the OS on a DVD and reinstall about twice a year. It's amazing how much Internet stuff builds up in an XP system, and the only way I know to fix it is to let my image disk wipe the C: drive and put the clean copy of the OS in. Works every time, and I'm back in business in about 15 minutes if I don't include the time it takes for the machine to download all the updates since the last time I made a backup image.

    Very handy, those image disks. Kills most viruses, too.:p
     
    absf likes this.
  6. joeyd999

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 6, 2011
    2,674
    2,724
    3) Install Linux
     
    Brian Griffin and absf like this.
  7. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
    3,386
    496
    I have been there, I have done that, I still use Windows.
     
  8. joeyd999

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 6, 2011
    2,674
    2,724
    I still use Windows, too. On a virtual machine under Linux.
     
  9. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
    3,386
    496
    My gear is old, P2, P3 machines. There is no point running one OS in order to run another OS. That is my case. I am sure other people have other needs.
     
  10. RamaD

    Active Member

    Dec 4, 2009
    254
    33
    Have experienced such a problem quite some time back. The sluggishness was due to the antivirus hogging the resources for updating. Just disconnect the net, uninstall antivirus, and check it out!
     
  11. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
    5,939
    1,222
    I had an old Dell laptop with not that much RAM. Remember installing a new version of AVG made it very slow and sluggish. Changed to the free Microsoft virus scanner that helped a lot
     
  12. Alec_t

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
    5,779
    1,103
    If your hard drive is nearly full, Windoze may be having a hard time trying to find space for a swap file and housekeepng stuff.
     
  13. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
    2,648
    761
    What made my PCs slow:

    Windows update enabled. Incredible how much time is wasted.

    Avast dealing with every single file I open/close/read/write plus other shields that I do not need (P2P amongst them). Microsoft's antivirus is so well tuned to Win XP that mess with everything all the time. Returned to Avast.
     
  14. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    2,428
    1,328
    2 steps:

    1) Uninstall Avast
    2) Install Microsoft Security Essentials.

    See if it works any better.

    Avast is absolutely terrible. Not sure if removing it will solve your problem, but it's definitely worth a shot.

    Matt
     
  15. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
    3,386
    496
    Waste of time. The old rule of thumb is to reinstall Xp every couple of years. I had a Xp instal running 4 or 5 years, it slowed down, in that time I have used AVG antivirus, later I used Avast, both worked fine, the system slowed down anyway, particularly in the later two years.

    We have a combination of things here: old Xp install chock full of crap that collected over the years, low RAM (768 MB of RAM is straight from P3 era, in those days it was max), and likely full hd so that there is not enough space for page file.
     
  16. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    2,428
    1,328
    I still recommend getting rid of Avast. I had nothing but bad luck with it.
     
  17. fdugrad

    Thread Starter Member

    Aug 30, 2010
    13
    1
    Thank you for all of your help, but I found an easier way of fixing my slow PC. All I did was disable two auto start programs, one is called Wired AutoConfig and the other is Extensible Authentication Protocol Service. I did a little research and discovered I really don't need these programs because I don't use an Ethernet connection. I don't know how these programs got running in the first place. Maybe some files got corrupted.
     
Loading...