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Author Topic: Computer speed  (Read 14495 times)
STAYVERTICAL
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« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2012, 02:45:42 AM »

Hi Glenn,

A lot of things to try have already been mentioned, but here are a few more:

1. The new memory you have installed may have some problems - not likely I know, but it can happen where the timing is not right,
    which may cause recoverable errors.  This is a long-shot, but I mention it for completeness.

2. Do some diagnostics - what is the P.C. running when it slows - remember the operating system basically gives each program
    a bit of CPU time and then moves on to the next slice.
    Normally, programs don't have enough privilege to hog the CPU, but things like drivers may.
    Have you installed any new drivers, and then the system ran slow.

3. When it is running fast - look at the task manager on windows, and see which processes are using the most time.
    Compare this with when the P.C. is running slowly, and you should see if any processes are high CPU usage.
    Then you can try to kill the process (look first to make sure it is not a system level process - although windows should warn you).

4. When a disk writes a data block it grabs it from the free list. Eventually it may have to grab bits from non-contiguous locations.
    Since a disk works fastest when it is reading sequentially (minimum seeks necessary), defragmenting is just taking the various
    bits of file data and trying to put them one after another. This will increase speed of the disk, and any swapping required.

5. If this happens mainly during web browsing, you may need to change your browser to allow it to load images in the background,
    otherwise it may wait for all the pictures to be served from a possibly slow server.
    This makes your system appear slow, when it is really the network.

6. What I do is use a program to image my hard disk with a mirror image backup.
    Then, rather than try to clean up all the rubbish from failed and incompletely removed programs I have tested,
    I simply restore the P.C. to a known clean state.
    This is not necessary, but it is faster than manually cleaning and only takes 10 minutes and I am back to a good state.

7.  Reboot your windows machine regularly.
     Despite what you may hear, even Linux/UNIX systems will get slower if not rebooted.
     Normally, this does not happen to Linux/UNIX machines due to the level of sysadmin expertise, and the ability to tune it.
     Things like log files will grow unless archived/purged, and there are many settings which are available for the UNIX savvy person.
     Windows is made for Mom and Pop users, so the "under the hood" stuff is less accessible, and what is, mostly is left at default.

If there is one thing I would encourage you to do, it is to do some diagnosis, and see what the conditions are when it slows down.
Perhaps, unknown to you, a union called a go-slow, and you did not get the memo (hi).

73 - Rob

 
« Last Edit: June 03, 2012, 02:50:47 AM by STAYVERTICAL » Logged
W8JX
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Posts: 5665




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« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2012, 06:38:36 AM »

Everyone thinks they have a silver bullet here. It has to big a swap file as windows increases it if you let it (you would think adding ram would shrink it but it does not) and a old slow HD. It is amazing how many ignore the obvious here.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2012, 11:05:58 AM »

Microsoft recommends that the swap file size be increased when more RAM is added. I presume that more RAM reduces the chances of the swap file being needed, but when it is needed it will need more.

One thing you can do is to minimize the number of programs you have open at any given time, as much as possible. I've seen users who never close any program. They just minimized it so it starts faster when needed, but that unnecessarily uses a lot of RAM to store the code for the minimized programs. I'm from the old school where you never leave programs minimized unless you are really working with both of them at the same time.
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W8JX
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« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2012, 12:30:12 PM »

Microsoft recommends that the swap file size be increased when more RAM is added. I presume that more RAM reduces the chances of the swap file being needed, but when it is needed it will need more.

Very bad and dated advise and misleading. MS invented swap file to let you be able to run programs on less actual memory but slowly and with page faults. It was born when memory was expensive to sell machine with very little memory to increase sales.  With XP and 2 gig you need no swap file. With one gig and XP 512 meg or so swap file is all that is needed. With Vista 64 bit or Win7 64 bit with 6 gig or more you need no swap file. What you and many do not realize is that given a free hand WinDoze will page code (which slows thing down) and as you increase size of swap file (whether is is in use or not) actual memory is removed from pool to track these pages of HD memory so when you say add 512 meg you may actually only gain 200 to 300meg of useable memory for program code. It is very deceptive. Disabling swap file or shrinking its size actually frees up memory and forces more code to stay in memory too.
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KJ6WEV
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« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2012, 01:33:56 PM »

Hello everyone

Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. I understand that having an older computer with just a 20GB hard drive things will just poke along at their own pace, like me.
More info. I do turn the computer off when not being used, but I use it daily, many times a day to surf the web. I do have Firefox from Mozilla. The sites I have ready to go on the Firefox menu bar are Facebook, eBay, Yahoo mail, Yahoo sports, You Tube, Wikipedia and Yahoo entertainment.

The speed change is not exclusive to one site. When it runs slow everything is slow. Above the start button on the screen the info goes by in a flash when it is running good, if it's having the slows you can almost read the info word for word.

The one thing I will try is leaving it on during the day and turning it off just at bed time instead of off and on all day.

I still like to know how it can change from one day to the next.

Thanks everybody

Your friend
Glenn
KJ6WEV
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W8JX
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Posts: 5665




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« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2012, 02:05:07 PM »

Hello everyone

Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. I understand that having an older computer with just a 20GB hard drive things will just poke along at their own pace, like me.
More info. I do turn the computer off when not being used, but I use it daily, many times a day to surf the web. I do have Firefox from Mozilla. The sites I have ready to go on the Firefox menu bar are Facebook, eBay, Yahoo mail, Yahoo sports, You Tube, Wikipedia and Yahoo entertainment.

The speed change is not exclusive to one site. When it runs slow everything is slow. Above the start button on the screen the info goes by in a flash when it is running good, if it's having the slows you can almost read the info word for word.

The one thing I will try is leaving it on during the day and turning it off just at bed time instead of off and on all day.

I still like to know how it can change from one day to the next.

Thanks everybody

Your friend
Glenn
KJ6WEV


Disable letting Windoze automatically manage swap file size. If you want to use it for a whille yet install a new HD. They are cheap and it will make a big difference in boot time and running/loading apps. Your old 20 gig is very slow.



« Last Edit: June 03, 2012, 04:45:22 PM by W8JX » Logged

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STAYVERTICAL
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Posts: 859




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« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2012, 02:18:44 PM »

One thing which may be happening, is that - if you have a virus protection program, it may periodically run a virus scan in the background.
This will certainly slow down your system.

Of course, if your not using one, or it is set to manual scan only, that's a dead end.

73 - Rob
« Last Edit: June 03, 2012, 02:20:27 PM by STAYVERTICAL » Logged
AA4PB
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Posts: 12788




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« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2012, 06:12:31 AM »

Also, Windows, Adobe, or some other program could be downloading updates and the background and using up Internet bandwidth.
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2012, 09:42:30 PM »

put your swap file on a thumb drive, get a 2Gb one
and leave it plugged in all the time, will make it better.

take a look at what is loading up at system boot

Autoruns (from Sysinternals, MS bought them out)

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb963902.aspx

You can customize what is loading up to make  your system lean.

you can also scan for 'not found', that can also slow you down,
it tries to look for stuff to load up but it is no longer there,
often from bad uninstalls and  upgrades.

turn off disk indexing, that will make your system run like a snail,
it constantly checks the HD and updates the tables, not necessary for our use.

we've got over 100 desktops that stay on 24/7/365 unless they need a
reboot from windows updates or trendmicro updates,
everything from XP and all flavors of windows and android too.

Then there are the servers and we won't get into that stuff.

keep track of what you change and tweak so you can go back if necessary.



73 james
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W8JX
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« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2012, 06:09:28 AM »

put your swap file on a thumb drive, get a 2Gb one
and leave it plugged in all the time, will make it better.

Not a option with XP and besides while it looks good on paper a "thumb drive" reads and  writes a lot slower than a HD
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KF7CG
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« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2012, 11:03:37 AM »

One note fellows: With a single core processor (a lot of Celerons) any one not so well behaved program can effectively bring the system to a crawl. XP does not make good use of pre-emptive multi-tasking, so all the programs running have to cooperate or things come to a crawl.

Given an opportunity a single program can hog most of the machine cycles, not all but most, and will not let others in until it is satisfied.

A look under the Processes tab of Task Manager. Accessed via <ctrl><alt><delete> and the appropriate selection will let you look at who is using how much CPU and how much Memory. Program name and what "user" it is assigned to is also available.

The Performance tab lets you see the loading on each of the machine cores and on the Page File.


David
KF7CG
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2012, 02:30:36 PM »

hi,

CNET and I do not agree with you.  It works fine.

Try it and it will work just fine.  I even used older flash memory pcmcia cards
for swap files on older laptops with tiny hd and no problems.

http://cnettv.cnet.com/8301-13415_53-10121584-11.html


Process Explorer even better then task manager, shows you all the stuff running

MS bought them out Sysinternals.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx

put your swap file on a thumb drive, get a 2Gb one
and leave it plugged in all the time, will make it better.

Not a option with XP and besides while it looks good on paper a "thumb drive" reads and  writes a lot slower than a HD
« Last Edit: June 05, 2012, 02:32:56 PM by KE4DRN » Logged
W8JX
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Posts: 5665




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« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2012, 05:25:04 PM »

CNET and I do not agree with you.  It works fine.

Try it and it will work just fine.  I even used older flash memory pcmcia cards
for swap files on older laptops with tiny hd and no problems.


If this was 10 years ago fine but given that even the cheapest entry level laptop you can buy in 300 dollar range on sale is light years ahead of that old laptop in memory amount, CPU power and HD speed it is kinda silly to invest too much time and energy of old technology. I have a few 6 year old laptops here that are backups but I installed new modern (and much faster) HD's , fastest CPU it would support and 1.5 gigs of ram. HD's have advanced a LOT in last 5 years and even more in last 10.
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2012, 05:46:35 PM »

Hi,

not 10 years ago, 2008 is when the cnet article was written.

I think you and I can agree that the automatic updates is what is
causing the original posters situation.  Just a few changes in settings
will clear that up so he can control when the system looks for updates and
downloads them.

Not everyone has money to spend on new parts or even a new pc.

IBM has off lease under 3 year old laptops with 3Gb memory Win 7 installed.

http://www-304.ibm.com/shop/americas/content/home/store_IBMPublicUSA/en_US/laptops.html

check daily, inventory changes and you can get a good  used machine that fits the budget.
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W8JX
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« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2012, 06:46:43 PM »

not 10 years ago, 2008 is when the cnet article was written.

Maybe but old XP laptops lack CPU power and have very SLOW HD's

I think you and I can agree that the automatic updates is what is
causing the original posters situation.  Just a few changes in settings
will clear that up so he can control when the system looks for updates and
downloads them.

The problem is not the automatic updated directly but rather what they do to code. Even XP is bloated compared to when it shipped in 2001 so its hardware requirements have increased a lot. If it was a machine that was never on Internet you could just do a fresh reload with no updates.

Not everyone has money to spend on new parts or even a new pc.

New entry level hardware is very cheap today.

IBM has off lease under 3 year old laptops with 3Gb memory Win 7 installed.

For the price of it you can get a new entry level laptop. A LOT has changed in hardware in even 3 years.
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