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Terminating programs is getting super slow

Last response: in Windows XP
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August 23, 2011 9:24:13 PM

Hello, I'm Dan.

I've been using my auntie's PC for gaming whenver I went there and since the beginning I noticed her computer would get extremely slow when closing programs and starting new ones after.

The pc itself is one of the first pentium dual core, can't recall exactly which one, and about 4 years old. It's a Dell Optiplex bought together with her company orders.

Well, she went as far as jacking a geforce 8500 GT 512mb years ago too.

It was just last year we decided to actually clean up the computer, as previous measures were showing CPU and GPU temps climb to 91ºC. After that, together with repositioning the case it won't go over 71°C.

Running everest home edition everything seems to be in order as well as dx-diag.

What could cause the slow down when shutting down applications/games? Sometimes a windows explorer window being closed takes close to 40 seconds.

The computer is scanned regularly with Avast, spybot, and there was another program for registry entries which I can't remember the name.
August 24, 2011 9:16:09 AM

Well I can immediately tell you that SpyBot is a major contributing factor to this issue- my company stopped using spybot long ago due to the amount of system memory it consumes.

I'd recommend defragging the hard drive a number of times (5-10, essentially until you can run the defragmenter and it finishes instantaneously). You can do this by right clicking on your C:\ drive in My Computer, going to Properties-> Tools tab->Disk Defragmenter->Defragment.

You should also run the Disk Cleanup wizard or Piriform CCleaner (preferably both, as CCleaner is free).

Set the Disk Checker to run as soon as you reboot the machine.

I would also investigate possibly purchasing more RAM for the machine, or even replacing the unit. A machine that old is on its last legs and won't continue to operate for much longer. My old P4/8500GT system was replaced last summer by an i7 980X//GTX 480 SLI build. Best investment I ever made.
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August 24, 2011 9:18:37 AM

I forgot to mention, you should minimize the number of background tasks that are running/start with the machine. You can do this by going to Start->Run->msconfig->Startup; at this point uncheck everything except for your antivirus program. Everything else is just going to slow down your machine.
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August 24, 2011 9:26:19 AM

patosaiex said:
Hello, I'm Dan.

The computer is scanned regularly with Avast, spybot, and there was another program for registry entries which I can't remember the name.

First off, gaming sites are notorious for infections. Enough said about that.
Install another Malware Scanner; Don't rely on just Spybot. Malwarebytes Free Edition, or for $25 Pro Version gives you real time protection (IP blocking) and other features.

Whatever that program you run, for registry entries, stop running it. Registry cleaners are not recommended, IMO.

Keep all your software (OS, Browser, JAVA, 3rd Party) up to date. Secunia PSI is a good way to do that.

Windows Firewall is ok, I guess, but I use Zone Alarm, because I am on XP, and ZA can ID outgoing connection attempts, and show what programs on the computer is attempting it.
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August 24, 2011 10:50:00 AM

Best answer selected by patosaiex.
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