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(deprecated) Microsoft Windows OS (XP/NT/Vista) Forum

Too slow windows XP Service Pack 3

 4:30 pm on May 30, 2009 (gmt 0)


I recently installed a genuine windows xp service pack 3 on my laptop. I had no problem of slow down with xp sp2 until i installed sp3. For instance when i type on the command line something like help, it takes almost 3 minutes before i can see all the DOS commands.

I am a mysql developper and the same happens when i run any query on the mysql command line.

however when i search how long such a query has taken, i realize that a query normal time (0.4 s) for instance was used.

however, if the result was big, then it takes about 2 min before i can see the whole result set.

It seems that the system is not stable.
Who can help me?

my laptop is a packardbell one, with 1.3GH CPU, 40GB and 705MB RAM

thank you so much



 5:49 pm on May 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

that is awfully slow ..
I have xp pro sp3 running on the other side of this dual boot Linux/XP desktop ..posting from the Linux side here ..
but normally it's way faster than you are seeing ..
I use my slowest machines for the net ( the others are 64 bit and running for graphics and 3D work or building sites ) ..
This machine has AMD 900 ..and 400 megs ram ..runs much faster than yours ..

Even my old toshiba portege laptop pentium 2 at 400 and with 64 megs ram runs faster ..and yes it runs XP pro3 ..but I stripped it with nlite to only what I need to upload pages , get mail surf and be a base for portable ( thinstalled apps ) on a 4 gig thumbdrive ..

Never used packhardbell ..heard too many bad things about them over the years ..when I finally shell out for another laptop ( too busy buying /building desktops ) it'll probably be Toshiba or Acer ..acer are very quiet ..desk or lap ..

[edited by: Leosghost at 5:50 pm (utc) on May 30, 2009]


 2:21 am on May 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

I haven't run into XP SP3 slowdown issues on any of my PCs, and some of them are in a similar spec range. I'm not sure what the specific issue is, but it is possible to uninstall SP3 and get back to SP2.


 2:28 am on May 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

SP2 is pre WGA. Restore to SP2 to stop "phone home" MS. However, keep in mind that doing so will prevent security updates to 2014. No idea why you have slowdowns... my SP3 actually improved performance on all but my x64 machines...they were already fast.


 9:34 am on May 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

Sounds like some sort of network timeout issue. Disable all network adapters and see if the problem persists. Also consider removing unnecessary network protocols, temporarily disable all firewall software and check your hosts file is ok.



 5:51 pm on May 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

Does it have something to do with virtual memory? It has 2014MB of it. And it was setup by default during installation.

What makes me mad is the fact that when I work with mysql and run any query, the first query result is normally fast but, but the subsequent ones begin to show up one by one almost like a wave.

MS Word 2007 or even Excel 2007 have also become too slow. When i want to browse the rest of a word document, the content does not show up with a normal speed(too slow).

Please what are the configuration i should setup?



 7:49 pm on May 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

Could be your disk is in desperate need of a defrag ..because this much Virtual memory should be more than enough ( If I remember correctly the optimal virtual memory is not normally bigger than twice your ram )..and to run XP I would have thought that 1.5 gig of Virtual memory was more than enough ..depends what you have open at the same time though ..

eg firefox will slow even most machines to a crawl if left running in the background ..be they linux or windows ..

even if you have loads of virtual memeory set up ..if the HD is badly fragmenetd ..the space that will be used to page for virtual memory will also be fragmented ..ideally it should be contiguous ..

Any machine will be faster if the virtual memory is on another HD ..even another partition ( BTW how is your HD partitioned) all info helps us ..

What would help to diagnose your problem is if you could open task manager and see what actually is eating your physical ram ..what is running in the procs tab ..what the mem use says for each proc "image name" and how many "handles" it is using ..

( that will tell us what you have ..if it should be there ..and if it's getting out of hand )

then go to the perf tab and see what it says in each of the "totals" .."commit" "physical" and "kernel" ..

check these two tabs at startup ( soon as the machine is stable ) and then leave the window open ..work as normal ..and when it gets to "treacle" see what they say again ..

but defrag first ..it may just be that ..
BTW the inbuilt XP defrag is OK but you would be better off downloading and installing jkdefrag [kessels.com] which is way better ..and totally safe ..

the reboot and check those two tabs ..

get back to us ..

[edited by: Leosghost at 7:51 pm (utc) on May 31, 2009]


 12:56 am on Jun 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Oh ..and despite that you probably know how to record all the info in each tab ..some readers may not ..
when the tab is open ..drag the window to max height so no part of the list needs vertical scrolling to be seen ..then hit "print screen" usually the button to the right of F12 or to the right of the arrow <------- key, or the backspace key ..

then go to "all programs" ..you click the "start button" to get it to show up ..then "accessories" ..then "paint" ..when paint opens ..right click in the drawing area ..and choose "paste" ..from there you can enlarge the part that shows the taskmanager window ..so that the lists are readable..crop out the rest ..save as jpeg and upload to image shack ( dont upload to your own site ..because we dont link out to our own places here ..see TOS ) or wherever so that we can all see what the tabs showed before and after the "treacle" ( molasses ) slow down that you are getting ..do the same for both tabs ..

sorry if that seems ever so basic ..but you'd be amazed at the number of people that think you need some fancy paid for app to do basic screen capture in 'doze ..you dont :)..works for all flavours of 'doze


 6:00 pm on Jun 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

I looked at the task manager and two programs are taking higher ram than the rest. those are the apache server httpd.exe and the mysql daabase server. They take up around 20MB for each. The rest have smaller influence on memory usage. Actually i saw that about 450MB memory was not used. However if i run any mysql query, i notice that most queries take less than a second to execute. However the lines on the mysql screen take more than 1 Minute to display the whole result set. Actually, lines display one by one in a slow scrolling manner. I also defragmented the hard(the only one) drive, but things remained the same. I am more or less sure that there is no virus since the problem happened in the first run of windows after fresh installation

Any new idea of how to overcome this?

Many thanks!


 4:22 am on Jun 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

If you believe it was SP3 that is causing your woes have you tried uninstalling it as I suggested above?


 4:32 am on Jun 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

Is this a test machine (development) or production machine? Do you get the same results on a different computer? Have you tried that? Almost sounds like bad code (recursive calls, etc) for the results to slow down that much. Try the code on a different machine. Or do as Bill and I have suggested, restore to SP2.


 8:46 am on Jun 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

Only a bad configuration could cause a problem like this.

Security software is a common culprit, however, in this case, as I said above, it is most likely a network-related setting that's at fault (waiting for a response and timing out).

You should probably uninstall and reinstall MySql.
If available when uninstalling, remove existing settings.
If available when installing, ignore existing settings.



 9:43 am on Jun 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

If as it appears you already had MySql on your machine when you installed SP3 ..I agree with Bill, Tangor and Kaled ..either uninstall SP3 ..or uninstall and reinstall MySql following Kaled's steps ..
I'd actually uninstall SP3 ..reinstall it ( very carefully and uninstall your security software first )..then reload Mysql ( as per Kaled's steps ) ..test drive ..then if all is OK ..put back whatever security software you have ..and test drive again ..


 3:24 pm on Jun 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

First of all i installed a fresh copy and genuine windows xp sp3. then i installed all other software in later phases. i got back mysql data from a backup file of it. i dont know the difference between a production and developper machine. but i develop mysql databases and php as well on the same machine. i should try reinstalling as you say but, i said before that the same problem occurs at the very windows commad prompt (the dos commmad promp). for instance, when i type the commamd help on the black color command prompt, it takes a hell of time to display the list of all available operating system commands, commands being printed line by line like a wave. This lets me predict for sure that the problem is not in the mysql installation but possibly in the windows installation.

I dont have xp sp2 otherwise i would go back to it. this sp3 costed me 132 Euros last year and i dont like vista neither.

tonight i will try to reinstall windows and choose the repair option to see what will happen then i will come back to let you know the results.



 3:44 pm on Jun 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

I had no problem of slow down with xp sp2 until i installed sp3

I dont have xp sp2 otherwise i would go back to it. this sp3 costed me 132 Euros last year and i dont like vista neither.

you formatted and installed XP sp3 on a freshly formatted disk ?..or was SP2 on another machine ?

missed the first time about command line dos window probs ..that sounds very like SP3 install is bad ..


 2:17 am on Jun 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

this sp3 costed me 132 Euros last year

SP3 is offered by Microsoft for free. I'm assuming you purchased XP with SP3 bundled in?

Microsoft has removal instructions here: How to remove Windows XP Service Pack 3 from your computer [support.microsoft.com]


 4:01 am on Jun 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

Do you watch DVD or play video games on this computer? Is it possible you have a DRM rootkit or other boot time malware installed?


 10:09 am on Jun 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

hello guys. I got a confirmation that the installation was bad. I tried to reinstall as most of you suggested. After having inserted the windows cd, i got immediately a message saying: "Existing software was not fully installed"

I tried to reinstall windows and chose the repair option. All went well until the time windows sent a message saying: "Windows is going to start, please wait...". Then I waited more than 2 hours with no feedback. I forced then the switch off. I restarted the computer and i saw two operating systems. The first one ("Microsoft Windows XP Professional") was prompting for a 30 sec to boot automatically. That one once started could not allow me to swith user to admin. I used another user but was getting error messages with red crosses saying: "Could not find C:\windows\services.exe" and sometimes the screen went off and could not see the desktop icons anymore.

I then restarted the computer and chose the second operating system that prompted (strangely with the same name 'Microsoft Windows XP Professional') that one was even more informative. The system could not start. I got a black screen with this message: 'Could not boot from the C drive because there is a computer disk hardware configuration problem. Check the boot path and disk configuration...'. I then run the CHKDSK utility on the drive containing windows (C:\). I saw no error but of course they are plenty.

I believe this is for sure a problem of configuration. I don't know how to solve this,

Please help.

I did not format the C drive when I installed windows. I just inserted the CD and chose to install a fresh copy of windows which of course deletes all the existing data.

Please help

someone said microsoft gives sp3 for free. But the previous XP SP2 was not genuine. So to buy a new genuine software was the right decision to avoid problems.

I also found a rootkit of this name "C:\windows\ms-dos.exe"

This problem is bigger than what i can solve by myself. Please, let me know something



 10:36 am on Jun 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

Completely format the hard drive and install a valid copy of Windows.

From the MS KB: How to partition and format a hard disk by using Windows XP Setup program [support.microsoft.com]


 1:38 pm on Jun 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thank you so much. I completely formated the hard drive and installed windows anew. This time all windows program sare extremely fast and i am happy for that.

I installed Office 2007 also. But this one scrolls very slowly when you want for instance to view the bottom of a word document it takes still too long.

How can I solve it?

Also, Explorer.exe was infected and deleted by Avast Antivirus. How can I reinstall it without going into the whole process of repairing windows?

Thank you.


 2:09 pm on Jun 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

Explorer.exe was infected and deleted by Avast Antivirus

Are you sure? Windows won't boot without Explorer!

It sounds like your fake/hacked Windows CD is infected.



 1:23 am on Jun 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

You don't get an infected Explorer.exe on a fresh install of Windows. I agree with kaled. Try running the Windows and Office Validator [microsoft.com].

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