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Understanding Slow Performance

Last response: in Windows XP
July 31, 2009 12:11:14 AM

Hello, I am hoping to understand Windows and XP a little more. My machine is having extremely slow performance (launching applications, navigating in windows explorer, etc), where is the first place you all look for the problem? Using task manager or process explorer, it shows that the CPU is about 95% idle. RAM usage is normal, with plenty available. But opening firefox might take 3 minutes. Opening a Photoshop file takes 3 minutes. All way too long. But my processor seems like it's never taxed.

So if my processor isn't in use, and there is plenty of available memory, where else would you look? The computer is virus free, and hasn't had a virus issue on it. I know that this is a very general question, but where else would you all start looking? Drivers? Periferals? Does anyone have a checklist or procedure they use when looking into issues like this?

Thanks for the help.
July 31, 2009 3:50:14 PM

Go into msconfig - start - run - msocnfig. Uncheck all startup programs and see if the problem stops.
If so then recheck 1 or 2 programs at a time with a reboot and then test. When the problem reappears that program is your culprit. Uninstall it. Continue rechecking programs to autostart in msconfig until all are checked or you hit the problem again.
Once things are running correctly you can try reinstalling the offending program.