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Slow XP machine

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  • Windows XP
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Anonymous
April 21, 2005 11:43:09 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

My mother has a Compaq Ultra DMA 80 GB Hard drive, DDR SDRam 256 MB, 2.5
Intel Celeron processor, with Window XP Home and SP2. The problem is that it
is SLOW! She said that performance improves after she runs defrag, but I
don't understand why it slows so much. She is not a power user and she rarely
creates or deletes files. The hard drive is partitioned and she has the hard
drive from her old computer piggybacked in there somehow (I don't know the
specs or other details - my brother set that up for her). She also runs her
virus scans, ad blocks, spyware scans regularly. Her system is as clean as we
can manage.
Any insights, suggestions? Need more info?
--
Lisa N.

More about : slow machine

Anonymous
April 21, 2005 12:40:41 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

Since your mother is not a power user, the piggybacked HD appears not to be
necessary, but perhaps is there because your brother found it easier to set
up that way. Easier for him, but what purpose is it serving? It could be the
cause of the slowing.

"intrepid007user" <intrepid007user@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in
message news:839D032A-7FE8-4D76-8919-665956E39539@microsoft.com...
> My mother has a Compaq Ultra DMA 80 GB Hard drive, DDR SDRam 256 MB, 2.5
> Intel Celeron processor, with Window XP Home and SP2. The problem is that
it
> is SLOW! She said that performance improves after she runs defrag, but I
> don't understand why it slows so much. She is not a power user and she
rarely
> creates or deletes files. The hard drive is partitioned and she has the
hard
> drive from her old computer piggybacked in there somehow (I don't know the
> specs or other details - my brother set that up for her). She also runs
her
> virus scans, ad blocks, spyware scans regularly. Her system is as clean as
we
> can manage.
> Any insights, suggestions? Need more info?
> --
> Lisa N.
Anonymous
April 21, 2005 7:37:36 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

Check the cabling and jumpers on both drives although I doubt this is the
cause.
It also may depend on exactly what is meant by "piggybacked"

Also carefully follow this even though you may have done part of it:
http://www3.telus.net/dandemar/slowcom.htm

--
Jupiter Jones [MVP]
http://www3.telus.net/dandemar
In memory of our dear friend, MVP Alex Nichol
http://www.dts-l.org


"intrepid007user" <intrepid007user@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in
message news:839D032A-7FE8-4D76-8919-665956E39539@microsoft.com...
> My mother has a Compaq Ultra DMA 80 GB Hard drive, DDR SDRam 256 MB, 2.5
> Intel Celeron processor, with Window XP Home and SP2. The problem is that
> it
> is SLOW! She said that performance improves after she runs defrag, but I
> don't understand why it slows so much. She is not a power user and she
> rarely
> creates or deletes files. The hard drive is partitioned and she has the
> hard
> drive from her old computer piggybacked in there somehow (I don't know the
> specs or other details - my brother set that up for her). She also runs
> her
> virus scans, ad blocks, spyware scans regularly. Her system is as clean as
> we
> can manage.
> Any insights, suggestions? Need more info?
> --
> Lisa N.
Related resources
Anonymous
April 22, 2005 8:05:37 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

intrepid007user <intrepid007user@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote:

>My mother has a Compaq Ultra DMA 80 GB Hard drive, DDR SDRam 256 MB, 2.5
>Intel Celeron processor, with Window XP Home and SP2. The problem is that it
>is SLOW! She said that performance improves after she runs defrag, but I
>don't understand why it slows so much. She is not a power user and she rarely
>creates or deletes files. The hard drive is partitioned and she has the hard
>drive from her old computer piggybacked in there somehow (I don't know the
>specs or other details - my brother set that up for her). She also runs her
>virus scans, ad blocks, spyware scans regularly. Her system is as clean as we
>can manage.
>Any insights, suggestions? Need more info?

Depending on how many background "tools and toys" are running on the
machine (and with a Compaq there usually are a lot) and also on what
these background items are then it could be that the 256 mb of RAM is
not really enough and therefore a RAM upgrade might provide some
performance improvement.

Adding more memory can noticeably improve performance only if the
added memory results in reduced usage of the virtual memory paging
file. Therefore if the paging file is not currently being used to any
significant extent then adding more memory will not provide a
significant improvement.

Unfortunately there is no ready way of determing actual paging file
usage provided with Windows XP - it does not have an equivalent to the
'Memory Manager - Swap File In Use" reporting provided by the System
Monitor utility in Windows 95/98/Me.

There is a free utility that you can download and run which will
provide this information for you. It was written by MVP Bill James and
you can get if from
http://www.dougknox.com/xp/utils/xp_pagefilemon.htm or from
http://billsway.com/notes_public/WinXP_Tweaks/

If that utility shows actual page file usage of 50 mb or more on a
regular basis then that is indicative of fairly significant paging
file activity. Adding more RAM will reduce or even eliminate entirely
this activity thereby improving performance.

This apples regardless of how much or how little RAM is currently
installed in the computer, at least up to the 4 gb RAM maximum for
Windows XP.

Good luck


Ron Martell Duncan B.C. Canada
--
Microsoft MVP
On-Line Help Computer Service
http://onlinehelp.bc.ca

In memory of a dear friend Alex Nichol MVP
http://aumha.org/alex.htm
Anonymous
April 22, 2005 8:05:38 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

On Fri, 22 Apr 2005 04:05:37 GMT, Ron Martell <ron.martell@gmail.com>
wrote:
<snip>

>Unfortunately there is no ready way of determing actual paging file
>usage provided with Windows XP - it does not have an equivalent to the
>'Memory Manager - Swap File In Use" reporting provided by the System
>Monitor utility in Windows 95/98/Me.
>
>There is a free utility that you can download and run which will
>provide this information for you. It was written by MVP Bill James and
>you can get if from
>http://www.dougknox.com/xp/utils/xp_pagefilemon.htm or from
>http://billsway.com/notes_public/WinXP_Tweaks/
>

>Good luck
>
>
>Ron Martell Duncan B.C. Canada
Ron, is the information on the task manager
performance tab - "PF usage" not the same as the
info provided by "memory manager swap file in use" ?

If it's not, what is "PF usage" ?

Dave
Anonymous
April 23, 2005 4:06:18 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

da_test <davexnet02NO@SPAMyahoo.com> wrote:


>>Ron Martell Duncan B.C. Canada
>Ron, is the information on the task manager
>performance tab - "PF usage" not the same as the
>info provided by "memory manager swap file in use" ?
>
>If it's not, what is "PF usage" ?
>
>Dave

PF usage includes all memory content that has been mapped to locations
in the pagefile. This also includes the *unused* portions of memory
allocation requests, which can be quite extensive.

By design Windows must identify memory address space for all of the
memory allocation requests that are issued by Windows components,
device drivers, and application programs. All of these items tend to
ask for memory allocations that are somewhat larger than what they
will actually need under normal circumstances. What Windows does is
to assign locations in RAM to only those portions that are actually
used, and it uses locations in the pagefile for the unused portions.

Note that mapping the unused portions of memory allocation requests to
the pagefile does not involve any actual hard drive activity. All
that is required is to make entries in the memory mapping tables
maintained by the CPU. And if subsequently it is necessary to use
some of the requested but previously unused memory then at that point
Windows will remap that portion to an available location in RAM.

This type of memory mapping was also used by previous versions of
Windows. However what is different with Windows XP is that the unused
requests mapped to the pagefile can exceed the actual current physical
size of the file, provided that they do not exceed the maximum limit.
So long as Windows can increase the pagefile to the required size, if
and when that should ever become necessary, is all that is needed.

Here are some current actual figures from my own computer, which might
help to illustrate what is going on:

Paging file size settings: Minimum = 80 mb, maximum = 1,000 mb

From Bill James' page file info utility:
Current pagefile usage: 34 mb
Session peak usage: 34 mb
Current page file size: 80 mb

From Windows Task Manager, Performance tab:
PF Usage: 335 mb

This tells me that I currently have 301 mb (335 - 34) of memory that
has been requested but not used by the various items that are running
on my computer. That includes 5 applications on the taskbar,
antivirus, antispyware, folding@home, and probably some others.

Hope this helps clarify the situation.

Good luck




Ron Martell Duncan B.C. Canada
--
Microsoft MVP
On-Line Help Computer Service
http://onlinehelp.bc.ca

In memory of a dear friend Alex Nichol MVP
http://aumha.org/alex.htm
Anonymous
April 24, 2005 1:14:02 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

Hi 'TW', thanks for responding. The PiggyBacked HD is there because of some
applications and games that Mom did not want to give up and she was not able
to upload the software to her new machine. I really don't remember what these
items are but I do know that she has a german 'Word' version on the HD under
discussion. I will have to ask her whether she still uses these
programs/games.
Also I don't recall her system being this slow when the PB HD was first
installed.
Oh Yes I just remembered that 'Windows 98(?)' is the OS on the PB HD.
The whole thing sounds peculiar to me but my brother did seem to know what
he was doing.

Lisa N.
"T. Waters" wrote:

> Since your mother is not a power user, the piggybacked HD appears not to be
> necessary, but perhaps is there because your brother found it easier to set
> up that way. Easier for him, but what purpose is it serving? It could be the
> cause of the slowing.
>
> "intrepid007user" <intrepid007user@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in
> message news:839D032A-7FE8-4D76-8919-665956E39539@microsoft.com...
> > My mother has a Compaq Ultra DMA 80 GB Hard drive, DDR SDRam 256 MB, 2.5
> > Intel Celeron processor, with Window XP Home and SP2. The problem is that
> it
> > is SLOW! She said that performance improves after she runs defrag, but I
> > don't understand why it slows so much. She is not a power user and she
> rarely
> > creates or deletes files. The hard drive is partitioned and she has the
> hard
> > drive from her old computer piggybacked in there somehow (I don't know the
> > specs or other details - my brother set that up for her). She also runs
> her
> > virus scans, ad blocks, spyware scans regularly. Her system is as clean as
> we
> > can manage.
> > Any insights, suggestions? Need more info?
> > --
> > Lisa N.
>
>
>
Anonymous
April 24, 2005 1:21:02 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain (More info?)

The only thing that I know she has added, that runs in the background, is
'Webshots Daily Photos' as a screen saver.

Thanks for the link for the utility I will probably use it as soon as we get
the system up again. Now she can't get the monitor to stay awake for more
than a very few seconds! This just happened yesterday (Sat) while she was
trying to install an update purported to be from Earthlink Total Access. I am
the point of having her take it back to Best Buy (since it is still under
warranty) and letting them deal with it!

Lisa N.

"Ron Martell" wrote:

> intrepid007user <intrepid007user@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote:
>
> >My mother has a Compaq Ultra DMA 80 GB Hard drive, DDR SDRam 256 MB, 2.5
> >Intel Celeron processor, with Window XP Home and SP2. The problem is that it
> >is SLOW! She said that performance improves after she runs defrag, but I
> >don't understand why it slows so much. She is not a power user and she rarely
> >creates or deletes files. The hard drive is partitioned and she has the hard
> >drive from her old computer piggybacked in there somehow (I don't know the
> >specs or other details - my brother set that up for her). She also runs her
> >virus scans, ad blocks, spyware scans regularly. Her system is as clean as we
> >can manage.
> >Any insights, suggestions? Need more info?
>
> Depending on how many background "tools and toys" are running on the
> machine (and with a Compaq there usually are a lot) and also on what
> these background items are then it could be that the 256 mb of RAM is
> not really enough and therefore a RAM upgrade might provide some
> performance improvement.
>
> Adding more memory can noticeably improve performance only if the
> added memory results in reduced usage of the virtual memory paging
> file. Therefore if the paging file is not currently being used to any
> significant extent then adding more memory will not provide a
> significant improvement.
>
> Unfortunately there is no ready way of determing actual paging file
> usage provided with Windows XP - it does not have an equivalent to the
> 'Memory Manager - Swap File In Use" reporting provided by the System
> Monitor utility in Windows 95/98/Me.
>
> There is a free utility that you can download and run which will
> provide this information for you. It was written by MVP Bill James and
> you can get if from
> http://www.dougknox.com/xp/utils/xp_pagefilemon.htm or from
> http://billsway.com/notes_public/WinXP_Tweaks/
>
> If that utility shows actual page file usage of 50 mb or more on a
> regular basis then that is indicative of fairly significant paging
> file activity. Adding more RAM will reduce or even eliminate entirely
> this activity thereby improving performance.
>
> This apples regardless of how much or how little RAM is currently
> installed in the computer, at least up to the 4 gb RAM maximum for
> Windows XP.
>
> Good luck
>
>
> Ron Martell Duncan B.C. Canada
> --
> Microsoft MVP
> On-Line Help Computer Service
> http://onlinehelp.bc.ca
>
> In memory of a dear friend Alex Nichol MVP
> http://aumha.org/alex.htm
>
!