Help with HP and slow/not responding issues....

I am trying to help a friend with her PC and am stumped. She is having major problems with programs "not responding" and just a general slow working environment. HP has been little or no help to her. I have a few hours to play with it next week and thought I would do the basic bonehead stuff like cleaning out her msconfig startup programs and whatnot, but wanted any suggestions you all might have (memtest? disc scan?).

One theory is this: Insufficient power supply...
She is a user who doesn't game but will have photoshop, illustrator, Outlook and a few other programs all open at the same time that she is watching a streaming video online - and she always has about 15 firefox tabs open. i looked at her PC's specs (below) but what is doesn't say there is that it is a small form factor PC and the power supply is only 240 watts. I think that might be the problem, or part of the problem.
I did a basic survey on the antec power supply calculator, and it came up with a need of 270watts. she has 220.

Example of her issue:
Yesterday I was there and she was using a program (Xilisoft DVD audio ripper) to extract some audio. It started up fine and said it would be about 15 minutes to rip a DVD. after a few minutes she wanted to show me some digital photos and we looked at about ten - but when we went back to the program it was stuck at 12% and would not budge. We tried to cancel but it took several minutes to shut the program down (task manager didn't work - ""no response"). When she re-started the program and re-ran it without doing anything in the background, it ripped the DVD in about 12 minutes. So multi-tasking seems to be a no-go with this PC.

Product Description HP Compaq Business Desktop dc5800 - Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4 GHz
Type Personal computer
Windows Vista Certification Windows Vista Capable
Form Factor Small form factor
Dimensions (WxDxH) 13.3 in x 14.9 in x 3.9 in
Weight 17.9 lbs
Localization English / United States
Processor 1 x Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 / 2.4 GHz ( Quad-Core )
Cache Memory 8 MB L2 cache
Cache Per Processor 8 MB
RAM 4 GB (installed) / 8 GB (max) - DDR2 SDRAM - non-ECC - 800 MHz - PC2-6400
Storage Controller Serial ATA ( Serial ATA-300 ) ; IDE
Hard Drive 1 x 250 GB - standard - Serial ATA-300
Optical Storage DVD±RW (±R DL) / DVD-RAM with LightScribe Technology
Card Reader 16 in 1
Monitor None.
Graphics Controller Intel GMA 3100
Audio Output Sound card - stereo
Networking Network adapter - PCI Express x1 - Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet
Power AC 120/230 V ( 50/60 Hz )
OS Provided Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate
Manufacturer Selling Program HP Smart Buy
Environmental Standards EPA Energy Star , EPEAT
4 answers Last reply
More about help slow responding issues
  1. Check the system memory. The specs state 4GB installed. Does it actually have 4GB (or reporting somewhat less for a 32-bit OS)? Also, check to see if the hard drive is full (or nearly full). Pretty much anything under 20% available is going to start problems like you're experiencing.

    -Wolf sends
  2. would I have her check the memory with a program like cpuz or task manager or something else?

    She has had problems with being under 20% before, but she added another hard drive and changed some windows 7 backup defaults and I don't think she has issues with HDD space anymore.
  3. Won't hurt to check the memory with something like CPU-Z, but just a quick check (right-click the My Computer icon and select properties). So long as it doesn't say something significantly less that 4GB (anything under say 2.5GB, I'd be concerned about), you should be fine.

    As for the hard drive space, you really should re-check. Just because you have 500GB free on one drive doesn't mean you won't start having problems when the other drive goes under 20% available.

    -Wolf sends
  4. thanks. I will have her check. I think there was a problem initially where Windows 7 was creating backup files and it filled her harddrive (C drive). I think we got that taken care of or at least I didn't notice anything weird last time I checked.

    Her second drive is just for files.
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