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2GB RAM and very slow performance: no spyware
What is causing it?

 3:17 pm on Jun 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have a pentium 4 1,8 2gb ram and things are going really slow. Compared with a 256 athlon the athlon is going much faster. I'm afraid something is not properly set. RAM is there but performance is poor.
Tried several xp tips and didn't help much.
Is there anything to test and determine what is happening?
Spyware clean. Virus clean.



 3:19 pm on Jun 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Are you sure your motherboard can take the 2 gig ok? I people have bought lots and it fits in the motherboard ok but the motherboard can only use like 1gig of ram making it look slow...

Post the full specs?


 5:24 pm on Jun 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Asus P4S533-X

Supported RAM Technology SDRAM, DDR SDRAM
RAM Installed ( Max ) 0 MB / 2 GB (max)
Supported RAM Speed PC2100, PC1600, PC2700, PC100, PC133

I see with a program called ram booster is always a 73% aprox ram remaining wich is ok
Page file usage is about 439 usually
and virtual memory is set to be managed by system

I tried setting it mannual to

because it's 1,5 availble ram and twice that value for maximum...

But system says 4096 is the max... so had to set it on "automatic" I mean managed by windows.


 5:58 pm on Jun 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Couple questions...

1) Are you SURE it's spyware clean? How do you know? What did you use to check? I've seen many computers infected that had to go through 2,3 or even 4 different spyware detectors to actually find the spyware as there are so many types these days.

2) Is this a new computer or did it just recently start slowing down?


 7:18 pm on Jun 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

scaned with different antispyware all found was some tracking cookies, already deleted

Never got a great performance but changed from 512 mb to 2gb ram recently and nothing is going much faster either.

Scrolling a page or folder takes long, when double click my pc delays some seconds to show the disc icons... not a fast pc at all....


 7:47 pm on Jun 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

go into the bios and make sure that the frontside bus etc speeds are set correctly, this will make a roughly 50% difference in speed. Most mobos default to failsafe slow speed, you have to set it manually to run at the correct speed, for cpu, memory, and frontside bus.

set page file at a static constant size, that way windows doesn't have to keep expanding or contracting the page file, pushing other data around etc.

If you have 2 gig of ram, you should need no more than 512 mB page file, max and min set. 1 gig on the very outside, but I'd like to know what programs you run if you need that much, things like fireworks mx 2004 have massive memory leaks, and firefox if not corrected can try to grab 1/2 gig of ram.


 7:54 pm on Jun 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

You're leaving out a very important and overlooked performance item... what hard drive are you using? and what swap size are you using with 2GB ram?

spyware no needs to be removed manually. the removal programs work for common stuff, but you really need startuplist.exe and some experience to get the bad stuff out all the way...


 8:17 pm on Jun 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

<<things are going really slow>>

Do you run [N]orton Internet Security, by any chance?


 10:42 pm on Jun 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

norton? god I hope not... there is your problem :)


 1:23 am on Jun 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have no norton. I have avast.

go into the bios and make sure that the frontside bus etc speeds are set correctly, this will make a roughly 50% difference in speed. Most mobos default to failsafe slow speed, you have to set it manually to run at the correct speed, for cpu, memory, and frontside bus.

How do I do that?


 3:20 pm on Jun 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Try Ctrl-Alt+Del and then sort by CPU and by Memory to see which process is using the greatest resources.


 9:06 pm on Jun 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Did you look at msconfig?

type msconfig
hit enter

click startup tab

make sure you do not have a zillion prg running in your bg.


 7:02 pm on Jun 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

How do I do that?

Read the motherboard manual.


 11:29 pm on Jun 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Assuming it boots up at roughly expected speeds, ram configuration is unlikely to be the cause.

Disconnect from the internet and uninstall all security software, i.e. firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware, and restart. If still no joy, uninstall all other utilities that are running such as registry monitors and restart.

If still no joy, reinstall everything that you've just removed, reconnect to the internet and work through each running process, firstly identifying the process and then closing it if is safe to do so. You can usually google each process name.

This problem is probably related to the external hard disk issue dicussed in your other thread. It could be a driver fault or an incorrect setting but you should always start by running the easy tests first (i.e. uninstalling stuff discussed above).



 4:48 pm on Jun 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Cpu usage "inactive system process" is taking the most.
Memory usage Firefox takss 49.276 kb (why so slow always too?)
Cactusspamfilter.exe 43.544 (but filters spam ok)
iexplore.exe 28.06
msimn.exe 26.436
explorer.exe 23.964
svchost.exe 17.940

are the most consuming, and are leaving some 73% ram free

Startup items some 10, I see PCCClient.exe (old entry for Pccilin antivirus uninstalled time ago. Won't go I always delete that enty and comes back)


 4:57 pm on Jun 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

One simple test is to unplug any and all network connections (Ethernet, wireless, whatever), and reboot into safe mode. If things seem a lot zippier at that point, then you can strongly suspect that the slowness is the fault of some damn software that isn't getting loaded in safe mode.

Tenacious DRE

 9:19 pm on Jun 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Upgrading from 512 to 2gigs will hardly be noticable unless you are using resource heavey programs (games, redering programs, etc), and even then you will be bottlenecked by your cpu and g card.

However, it sounds that there hardware isnt the problem. A 1.8 p4 can still pull its weight. I recommend booting up in safe mode (with no networking) and running all anti spyware and anti virus programs.

Also scan ur drives for errors and defragment your hard drive/s.

hope some of this helps.


 8:28 pm on Jun 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'll try those suggestions too. About virtual memory is actually C: without paging file (C is where SO and programs are, the partition)

and the other partition of same disc with paging file both values are the same 512 for min and 512 for max.

Is that ok? Some suggest 1,5 timesyour RAM s pagin file size for min and more for max. Others leave system to manage it. I'm a bit confused...


 8:03 am on Jun 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

I ran into a similar problem last weekend with my machine ( P4 / 2.8 GHz).
Deleted a demo version of Nero which was expired as well as the antivirus sw (Kaspersky) which had also expired. Cleaned out some old stuff from the startup menu.
Afterwards, reorganized some directory structures.
Cleaned the disk from all unnecessary stuff (temp files, browser caches etc.) and defragmented

Now the machine is up to speed again like it was when I bought it about 4 years ago.
Good luck in fixing your machine.


 3:52 pm on Jun 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

What you mean "Afterwards, reorganized some directory structures"

What's wrong with directory structures?

Matt Probert

 4:11 pm on Jun 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

Clean the registry
Remove all unwanted startup applications
Remove all 'temporary files' (use disk cleanup)
Defragment the drives

With 2gB of RAM you may not need a swap file
You might find that with 2gB of RAM the Windows memory manager is slow, try reducing to 1gB of RAM and see if that improves things (honestly!)

If all else fails, backup your data, reformat the hard disk, reinstall the operating system and your applications, and restore your data. It's drastic, but effective!



 7:51 pm on Jun 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

What you mean "Afterwards, reorganized some directory structures"
What's wrong with directory structures?

There is nothing wrong with directory structure, but in the old days I kept files of similar type or belonging to one program close together so the head of the HD had not to move too far when accessing files.
Nowadays I also organize files (e.g. logfiles from my servers that I have on my desktop for analysis) in separate folders to keep the folder with the most current ones small, which makes the programs (in this case the logfile analyzer) run faster.

Hope this helps.

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