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Computer problem I have seen before....
but cannot remember the cure.

 7:59 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

I folks, sorry for posting this in Foo, but you all are just so wise...

Anyhoo, here is the deal. One of my managers computer developed a problem. I drops into a long pause every few minutes. You can be working normally, and then suddenly everything will freeze for a few seconds, including the mouse pointer. (In fact, he originally called me in saying he had 'mouse problems')

Now, i KNOW i have seen this problem before. I ran a scandisk and a defrag, but that did not clear the problem up.

Any suggestions? opinions?



 8:01 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Mac or PC?

What OS?

I have a similar event on occassion in IE 5.5 that I can't nail down. I wonder if it's similar?



 8:02 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

oops, good point. Windows 98, I do belive.


 8:11 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm running w2k (the best and most stable MS OS IMO) on an old Compaq 550Mhz processor with 356 megs of RAM and have sometimes thought maybe my processor is a bit too small, especially when multi-tasking.

Maybe your processor is going away? Dunno, just being inquisitive.



 8:13 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

that is a possibility.. it is an old compaq machine.. hesaid this problem just started up in the past few days...


 8:14 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

It may be worth checking that any printer drivers are working okay. I have had problems on Win 98 with Epson's printer status monitor. Uninstall this and it works a lot better.

IMHO Win 2000 is the most stable Windows OS.


 9:36 pm on Jan 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

clean up the disk as much as possible. delete rubbish, temp internet files,autostart group etc. cleanup registry!
Helped me a lot. Only now my HD seems o give up (or maybe the controller chip on the mainboard.
also COMPAQ ( 4.5 years old PII MMX 333 MHz w 96 MB RAM)


 12:16 am on Jan 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Is he connected to a network and/or does he have Inet access? When the machine pauses is there a lot of HD activity (look at the HD light)?


 2:35 pm on Jan 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

yes, he is on the internet, and the harddrive grinds a bit when it pauses.. however i do not think it is a virus, i ran norton on it...

Marketing Guy

 2:40 pm on Jan 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

Slightly different symptoms, but my PC was laggin badly for ages.

Our IT guy found that a copy of Seach Engine Commando i had installed was eating up system resources (about 99%!). Im not sure if i had left it doing stuff, or if it was a bug (i looked at it for 5 mins after download then got bored :)).

Maybe check the PC for programs using up too many resources?

I assume the problem isnt specific to one program?


 3:23 pm on Jan 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I had a PC that was sensitive to certain kinds of I/O activity. When Outlook Express checked mail, everything else ground to a halt.

Another PC had serious sleeping sickness. Every once in a while, it would just freeze for 20 seconds or so. If you waited it out, everything returned to normal. As I recall, blowing the machine away and rebuilding Windows cured it.

As onlineleben suggested, clean up as much junk as you can. Run Regclean (if appropriate for your OS) and Adaware (to look for resident spyware not found by virus checkers). Check your Task Manager & Systems Tools for clues to any other process that might be causing the problem. Check your startup settings to see if anything is loading that you can kill off. If all that doesn't cure it, reformat & reinstall.


 3:44 pm on Jan 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm running w2k (the best and most stable MS OS IMO)

I used to think that, but now I'm not so sure. I've been running W2K and WinXP side by side for a few months now. With the latest patches, the XP box seems to be a bit more stable than the 2K box. I reboot the 2K box far more often (not that it's much, a few times a month maybe).

I think that after some initial problems, XP is slowly becoming more robust -- perhaps more than 2K. At least in my shop...


 5:44 pm on Jan 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

i ran norton on it...
from a clean boot up?

It might be a virus but I'm wondering if the box has any HD accellerators or cache programs running. What background services are running - what does he have for a mail client and is it open all the time? Basically, I'd turn off all services and background apps including network services (disconnect him from the network) and then let him work with the problem program. It will help you narrow down the list of possibles quickly.


 5:21 am on Jan 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

i would go to msconfig and disable all but the needed startup files...

i would also disable the network...i have had many issues with that slowing me down.(mainly that outlook mail check slow down)

another thing i always like to do is turn off any sort of sleeping or snoozing that can take place on a computer. back in the 95/98 days this caused serious problems on an Compaq machine that would sleep instead of fully shut-off.

i also like to disable any sounds that are associated with anything, except my mail sound.

more importantly i would back everything important up right now while you can...my computer acted "buggy" for about 2 days...then my hard drive conked out.

hope any of that helps.


 4:57 pm on Jan 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

I remember people talking about turning off the journalling functionality in some MS software (outlook? office?) when the computer starts to slow down. That's been said to do wonders (I use linux myself, so don't blame me if it doesn't help... ;))


 11:19 pm on Jan 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think I know what the problem may be. My computers bios was set up so that after a certain amount of time, the harddrive would shut-down, stop spinning basically.. It really got annoying while I was gaming because when I went to the next level, it would pause because the disk had to get back up to speed. This often happens when you are working on a document for a while and don't necessarily need to access the hard-drive because most of the work you are doing is repetitive stuff that is already loaded into RAM. The next time there is a pause, listen closely to the computer, you should here a whirring sound, that get's higher in pitch as the harddrive speeds up, then you may here a pop as the head engages and starts to read.

Check that out and let us know if that's it.


 5:21 am on Jan 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

As rogerd says, run Adaware. Then tell your manager to stay away from porn sites.


 8:11 am on Jan 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

The word on the streets is that AdAware should be avoided. They haven't made a RefUpdate file since September 2002, and relying on them to catch spyware is like using last year's virus definitions to catch last week's new crop of virii.


 10:55 am on Jan 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

If he is running IE6 then that could be the problem. If he recently went from a previous version of IE to IE6 then, cookies, TIF and the history lists have bugs. If this is the cause then delete the history, clear the Temporary Internet Files and delete all cookies. This should clear up the problem.



 11:06 am on Jan 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

There is a commercial look-alike to adaware that has current updates called BPS spyware remover. I think there is a free/shareware version too:


With windows2000, anytime I see a nasty change in behavior like that, I immediately go into a "startup manager" (like msconfig but for win2k) and remove or disable any new entries, which can come from various sources. Usually solves the whole problem.

The one I use is "Startup Control Panel by Mike Lin" (freeware) and looks up from the five different places that programs can start automatically in win9x/win2k. Written by a 19 year old MIT student, great easy to use utility.

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