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New Systen Extremely SLOW...

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April 6, 2009 11:22:39 PM

I need to know if I'm crazy or not. I just put together my first "home built" system. We had a 7 year old Dell 2.0 P4. I talked my wife into letting me build a new system because the old one was slow.

Here's what I bought: (keep in mind I had a tight budget to work with)

ECS A780GM-A AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma 2.7GHz ( stock cooler)
CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
New Rosewill case with two fan
500w power supply
Existing 250 Seagate IDE HD
Existing DVD Burner
Windows XP

I put it all together got Windows loaded..... and man is this thing S-L-O-W. I click on Explorer or Firefox and wait as it slugs through the process. I went into BIOS and adjusted the RAM voltage ( it was a little low)... no major change. I changed the Memory Bus from 200 MHZ to 400MHz as indicated from the table in the manual. Still really slugish. At this point, my wife has used the computer and points out how much slower this computer is than the "old" one.

I need help. Am I missing something? I read reviews on this CPU and everyone says it's fast. Keep in mind, we use this computer to surf the web, e-mail, music, etc...no major gaming. Could it be the HD and DVD Burner on the only IDE header bogging down? RAM settings incorrect? I downloaded CPU-Z and it looks to running normal.. the RAM is going at two different speads, but I've read that could be normal. It does say 1 core, I was under the impression this is a dual core chip. Sorry for the long post. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


More about : systen extremely slow

April 6, 2009 11:27:52 PM

Did you do a fresh install of Windows XP? When you open "Task Manager" do you see two CPU charts? It sounds like the OS isn't using both cores. That old HD isn't doing the system performance any favors either.
April 6, 2009 11:33:54 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
Did you do a fresh install of Windows XP? When you open "Task Manager" do you see two CPU charts? It sounds like the OS isn't using both cores. That old HD isn't doing the system performance any favors either.


Yes, it is a fresh install. In task manager only 1 core is showing. How can I get two to show?
Related resources
April 6, 2009 11:48:15 PM

I'm not sure off the top of my head. I'm just getting off work and don't have much time to research it right now. Hopefully somebody else will be able to help before I get back. I would try updating the motherboard BIOS and checking all the BIOS settings first.
April 6, 2009 11:55:53 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
I'm not sure off the top of my head. I'm just getting off work and don't have much time to research it right now. Hopefully somebody else will be able to help before I get back. I would try updating the motherboard BIOS and checking all the BIOS settings first.


OK thanks. You have pointed me in the right direction. I just have to figure out how to get it working correctly.
April 7, 2009 1:23:32 PM

Even if only 1 core is working, it should still be faster than you are describing.
Does the BIOS recognize your processor correctly, does it display it by name at the beginning of POST? If not, you may need a BIOS update.
Did you install all the motherboard and chipset/VGA drivers that came with the motherboard?
April 7, 2009 4:10:55 PM

I've seen this happen at a few colleges where the networks are so flooded with viruses that as soon as you connect to the internet to update your windows and anti-virus programs you'll get infected before you can do that. I'm wondering if its possible you are infected with some sort of a virus.

I would first take a look at Jitpublisher's post and see if your bios see's the correct processor. When the computer boots up you should see that it reconiges it correctly by name (this happens really fast and before the windows loading screen comes up). If its to fast just go into the bios settings and check. If it is wrong then I'd recommend doing a bios flash to the latest drivers.

If that's not the case, try doing a fresh clean install of windows. Assuming your using a legal copy of windows, its possible that it got currupted when installing itself. You also might have a virus problem that I noted above. Not suer what type of network your on?

Another thing to take a look at is in your task manger what precetage is your cpu being run at and how much memory is getting used.
April 7, 2009 4:13:30 PM

jitpublisher said:
Even if only 1 core is working, it should still be faster than you are describing.
Does the BIOS recognize your processor correctly, does it display it by name at the beginning of POST? If not, you may need a BIOS update.
Did you install all the motherboard and chipset/VGA drivers that came with the motherboard?


Yes, the motherboard recognizes the cpu properly. Yes, I installed the drivers that came with the motherboard. There is a BIOS update for 3 core processors. I'm not sure I need to update to that. Someone at work told me today I need a 64 bit operating system...do you think that is true?
April 7, 2009 4:16:30 PM

kubes said:
I've seen this happen at a few colleges where the networks are so flooded with viruses that as soon as you connect to the internet to update your windows and anti-virus programs you'll get infected before you can do that. I'm wondering if its possible you are infected with some sort of a virus.

I would first take a look at Jitpublisher's post and see if your bios see's the correct processor. When the computer boots up you should see that it reconiges it correctly by name (this happens really fast and before the windows loading screen comes up). If its to fast just go into the bios settings and check. If it is wrong then I'd recommend doing a bios flash to the latest drivers.

If that's not the case, try doing a fresh clean install of windows. Assuming your using a legal copy of windows, its possible that it got currupted when installing itself. You also might have a virus problem that I noted above. Not suer what type of network your on?

Another thing to take a look at is in your task manger what precetage is your cpu being run at and how much memory is getting used.


I've got a good virus program...nothing there. It is a legal copy of windows, but I had to download all of the service packs once it was installed. It's a home computer connected directly to the router. Do you think there's any truth to having to use a 64 bit OS?
April 7, 2009 4:18:39 PM

A 32-bit OS can't fully use all 4GB of RAM, but you don't NEED a 64-bit OS for your system.
April 7, 2009 4:19:00 PM

Yes I would recommend a 64 bit OS to utilize all 4 gb's of your ram, but you still should see a nice speed improvement even with a 32 bit os. I don't think that's the problem.

If you can try checking the tempatures for your cpu and vidoe card. I'm wondering if this is heat related. I'm reading some reviews on the board about people complaining about freezing due to the vidoe card overheating.
April 7, 2009 4:41:31 PM

I've been doing some more research on your board. Looks like I'd still flash it to the latest update. Seems like its a mixed crowd that have your cpu and board having luck or not. Some say it doesn't work at all and others say it works just fine.
April 7, 2009 5:09:56 PM

kubes said:
I've been doing some more research on your board. Looks like I'd still flash it to the latest update. Seems like its a mixed crowd that have your cpu and board having luck or not. Some say it doesn't work at all and others say it works just fine.


I was going to flash it last night, but it got too late. I tried once, but I got an error saying the usb didn't have a bootable sector. I'm going to try again tonight. The XP I have also doesn't recognize the size of my HD either.... it only shows 137 gb. As for the heat issue; I have checked the temp several times and it stays steady at like 104F i think. I don't have a video card, just onboard. The audio isn't very good on this mobo though. Once I get my issues resolved I may get a sound card.
April 7, 2009 5:36:19 PM

The problem with the HD size may also be what's causing the OS to only recognize 1 core. Do you have any service packs installed on your XP? You need at least SP1 to recognize more than 137GB. I would google "slipstream" and figure out how to slipstream SP3 into your XP and do a fresh installation of XP SP3. I wouldn't be surprised if that fixed both the HD and CPU issues.

Here's a good guide on how to slipstream SP3:

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/howtos/how_to_slipstre...
April 7, 2009 10:50:18 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
The problem with the HD size may also be what's causing the OS to only recognize 1 core. Do you have any service packs installed on your XP? You need at least SP1 to recognize more than 137GB. I would google "slipstream" and figure out how to slipstream SP3 into your XP and do a fresh installation of XP SP3. I wouldn't be surprised if that fixed both the HD and CPU issues.

Here's a good guide on how to slipstream SP3:

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/howtos/how_to_slipstre...


I'm making a new disk now. Keep your fingers crossed. I'll post back with the results.
April 8, 2009 12:16:03 AM

IDE drives are slow, particularly old ones. A new sata drive will be $50-$100.
Interference from the ide dvd drive may also be a problem. A sata dvd brner is $25.

There are some ide settings that I have long forgotten about that affect performance. You might look into that.
April 8, 2009 2:16:37 AM

shortstuff_mt said:
The problem with the HD size may also be what's causing the OS to only recognize 1 core. Do you have any service packs installed on your XP? You need at least SP1 to recognize more than 137GB. I would google "slipstream" and figure out how to slipstream SP3 into your XP and do a fresh installation of XP SP3. I wouldn't be surprised if that fixed both the HD and CPU issues.

Here's a good guide on how to slipstream SP3:

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/howtos/how_to_slipstre...



WOW!!!! I just finished install... it's like getting off a bike and getting into a sportscar. The bump I hit was the 34 minute hiccup, but I knew how to solve that when it happened. System is very speedy. Windows recognized HD as 232 gb. Properties in my computer shows dual core. Task manager and CPU-Z still show only one core, but it is ALOT less sluggish now. The link that shortstuff_mt gave me was a lifesaver. I had read about slipstreaming before, but was confused. The article shortstuff provided walked me right through, very easy to do. Thanks for everyone's help. I didn't flash the BIOS yet... I'm not sure if I'm going to or not. I'll give it a few days.

geofelt... I know IDE drives are slow and SATA drives are cheap, but I'm on a tight budget and the wifie poo has both fists around the money right now. I'll be working on getting SATA soon enough.

Thanks again for everyone's help.
April 8, 2009 2:47:38 AM

packrfanfw said:
WOW!!!! I just finished install... it's like getting off a bike and getting into a sportscar. The bump I hit was the 34 minute hiccup, but I knew how to solve that when it happened. System is very speedy. Windows recognized HD as 232 gb. Properties in my computer shows dual core. Task manager and CPU-Z still show only one core, but it is ALOT less sluggish now. The link that shortstuff_mt gave me was a lifesaver. I had read about slipstreaming before, but was confused. The article shortstuff provided walked me right through, very easy to do. Thanks for everyone's help. I didn't flash the BIOS yet... I'm not sure if I'm going to or not. I'll give it a few days.

geofelt... I know IDE drives are slow and SATA drives are cheap, but I'm on a tight budget and the wifie poo has both fists around the money right now. I'll be working on getting SATA soon enough.

Thanks again for everyone's help.


Do NOT flash your bios unless you think it fixes a problem that you have. A failed bios flash can permanently render your motherboard useless with no recovery.
If you must flash, , read and follow the instructions carefully.
April 8, 2009 3:49:16 AM

That's great that the performance issue is fixed, but I think there's still a problem. Only one core is being used if only one core shows up in Task Manager. I don't know what to suggest other than updating the BIOS. I wouldn't be that scared to update the BIOS. I've flashed the BIOS on many motherboards and have yet to brick a board. The best way to do it is through the BIOS. It's much more risky to flash the BIOS through Windows even though I've also done that a few times and haven't ever had a problem. You just don't want to do it on an unstable system.
April 8, 2009 11:28:11 AM

shortstuff_mt said:
That's great that the performance issue is fixed, but I think there's still a problem. Only one core is being used if only one core shows up in Task Manager. I don't know what to suggest other than updating the BIOS. I wouldn't be that scared to update the BIOS. I've flashed the BIOS on many motherboards and have yet to brick a board. The best way to do it is through the BIOS. It's much more risky to flash the BIOS through Windows even though I've also done that a few times and haven't ever had a problem. You just don't want to do it on an unstable system.


I think you're right. After I was done updating and re-installing my back up stuff, the performance was a little slower again. It's nowhere as bad as it was before, but still a little laggy. I guess I got a little excited too early. We'll see.
April 8, 2009 6:14:45 PM

Ya I still think a bios flash is worth the chance in this sencerio. Boards now a days handle flashes much better and are much safer than older boards. There still is some sort of issue if your OS is only seeing one cpu as noted by shortstuff. I think this would help eliminate its a firmware problem.
April 8, 2009 10:27:48 PM

kubes said:
Ya I still think a bios flash is worth the chance in this sencerio. Boards now a days handle flashes much better and are much safer than older boards. There still is some sort of issue if your OS is only seeing one cpu as noted by shortstuff. I think this would help eliminate its a firmware problem.


Flashed to latest BIOS.... no change what so ever. I'm not sure what direction to go in now.
April 8, 2009 10:29:20 PM

Another thing I noticed... Device manager shows no processor in the list.
April 8, 2009 11:21:37 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
I found this thread that may or may not be useful. I just skimmed through it.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/247820-28-intel-core-...

It might also help to Google "dual core hotfix". It looks like Microsoft has a hotfix that may help.


I thought of something else.. the thread shortstuff provided talked about ACPI and ACPI Multiprocessor PC. I re-installed Windows with the slipstream disk. When I installed it I got the "34 minute hiccup" I had come across before where the windows install "hangs" at 34 minutes. The fix I found is to push F5 at the initial screen... The only options were Standard PC and "other". I assumed "other" was causing the "hang" because that's what I read in another forum. I wonder if Microsoft has a fix for that. So, I probablt set my PC up as "standard"( probably single core) instead of "multiprocessor PC"(multiple core). I hate to keep re-installing Windows, do you think I should just buy VISTA and be done with it? I really don't want to have to listen to my wife complain about this happening. There has to be a way to fix it. Let me know what you think.
April 8, 2009 11:30:48 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
Did you try the hotfix? If you did and it still isn't working, I would try the re-install again. This link seems to have a different resolution for the "34 minute hiccup":

http://techtracer.com/2007/03/12/xp-installation-the-34...


Yes, I tried that technique, but couldn't get it to work. I got a reply from AMD about the PC being set-up a multiprocessor instead of standard PC. According to Microsoft's website, I can change it unless I re-install Windows. HOwever, I believe I will run into the same problem... 34 minutes comes up and freeze then blue screen. I'm not sure what to do at this point. I'll try the link with the hotfix and see what that does.
April 8, 2009 11:39:26 PM

I found it... on Microsoft's website. I going to have to re-install and "force" the correct HAL in for ACPI multiprocessor PC.
April 9, 2009 12:50:28 AM

That was it. Apparently, Microsoft decided when you install Windows to start the type of PC list at the bottom. All I had to do was push the up arrow to select "ACPI Multiprocessor PC". 2 cores show in task manager now and also in CPU-Z. The whole installation only took maybe 45 minutes.... and everything is much fater now. Thanks for everyone's help.
April 9, 2009 12:55:01 AM

That's great! Congratulations. :) 
April 9, 2009 1:07:39 AM

shortstuff_mt said:
That's great! Congratulations. :) 


Great? It's fantastic! I'm listening to music, transferring music from my external, downloading updates, and surfing the web all at the same time with no lag at all. Thanks again for ALL your help.


:bounce:  :bounce:  :bounce:  :bounce: 
April 9, 2009 1:11:00 AM

I bet it's nice to have the wife off your back too! :) 
April 9, 2009 1:12:15 AM

She actually said.." spider solitare was that fast on the old computer." with a straight face..... I about fell over.
April 9, 2009 1:16:01 AM

:lol:  You, sir, just made my night! Are you sure she isn't related to my wife?
April 9, 2009 1:19:04 AM

shortstuff_mt said:
:lol:  You, sir, just made my night! Are you sure she isn't related to my wife?


Maybe. SHe'll understand tomorrow...when she finally gets to play with the "new" computer. She was the same when we switched from dial-up to broadband. She would say we don't need it...until she tried it. :sarcastic: 
April 9, 2009 12:22:00 PM

Hahah this has just made my morning lol. My significant other has said the same thing to me once or twice lol hahahahah. Ty for the smile.
!