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Determining cause of system slowdown

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Last response: in Windows 7
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June 26, 2012 12:37:58 PM

Ive spent the last few weeks trying to figure out why my pc has slowed down so much since it was purchased about 2 years ago. When i open nearly any program it takes about 5 seconds to even appear then sits at not responding until it manages to load properly. Gaming has been affected by this, as textures cannot load fast enough and cause massive FPS drops. Especially in SWTOR.

So far ive ruled out the following.

Registry issues
Viruses/malware etc
Hard drive errors/fragmenting


I could use help figuring out what is wrong, and perhaps some programs to test my hardware performance and see if something is causing the slow down. I take pretty good care of my PC and clean it regularly inside of Windows and inside the actual tower. Its starting to really bug me that i cant find a cause.

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a b $ Windows 7
June 26, 2012 12:42:37 PM

Junk87 said:
Ive spent the last few weeks trying to figure out why my pc has slowed down so much since it was purchased about 2 years ago.


Really? It's a very common issue and quite well known.

Why windows slows down over time
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June 26, 2012 12:45:09 PM

So no matter how well you take care of your PC its going to slow down to near windows 95 performance eventually?
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a b $ Windows 7
June 26, 2012 12:51:12 PM

yep it is common practice to do a fresh install of windows every so often to regain optimum performance.
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June 26, 2012 1:02:46 PM

I really didn't want to format and reinstall Windows, i will lose the many tweaks and changes ive made to my system over the years. Most of them i don't even remember.

So if my performance issues continue after a wipe and fresh install where do i go from there?
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a b $ Windows 7
June 26, 2012 1:07:40 PM

after you reinstall windows, it will be just as fast as when you first purchased the computer.
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a b $ Windows 7
June 26, 2012 1:19:00 PM

Check your RAM usage.
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June 26, 2012 1:20:44 PM

Ram usage is around 900-1gig right after power on. I have almost nothing on startup besides critical windows files and my anti virus.
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a b $ Windows 7
June 26, 2012 1:27:18 PM

Ok, how about after you use it like a couple of hours? Any process that is memory leaking?

And wow, how can you keep it under 1GB for W7?
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June 26, 2012 1:34:21 PM

Its currently at 1.5 gigs used, most of that is firefox. Ive been running hard drive tests since it seems to get worse with more programs running like it just cant keep up. Its a shadow of the performance i used to get while multi tasking.

Hard drive tests come out normal though. I "supposedly" defrag my MFT/registry/pagefile often but who knows if these third party defrag programs actually do anything useful.

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a b $ Windows 7
June 26, 2012 1:38:14 PM

What is the total RAM? Did you disable superfetch (I assume you are using HDD)?
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June 26, 2012 1:41:31 PM

Yeah that was one of the first things i tried to improve my slow texture loading during gaming.

It didn't appear to do much, but i havent noticed a negative impact either.



Edit: Total ram is 4 gigs.
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a b $ Windows 7
June 26, 2012 1:42:59 PM

Disabling superfetch will hurt your application start up time thou. You want it enabled, not disabled.
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June 26, 2012 1:50:39 PM

Yes, but the slow program startup and poor multitasking performance was there before i disabled it.

I really think something is wrong with my hard drive. It speed tests at average for an HDD but when something is using it heavily every other program slows to a crawl.

During gaming it will constantly access my pagefile even though i have plenty of RAM remaining and cause massive FPS drops and slow texture loading. Its like it just cant keep up with what im doing, but the speed tests come back fine.

It makes no sense to me.
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June 26, 2012 2:05:59 PM

Junk87 said:
Yes, but the slow program startup and poor multitasking performance was there before i disabled it.

I really think something is wrong with my hard drive. It speed tests at average for an HDD but when something is using it heavily every other program slows to a crawl.

During gaming it will constantly access my pagefile even though i have plenty of RAM remaining and cause massive FPS drops and slow texture loading. Its like it just cant keep up with what im doing, but the speed tests come back fine.

It makes no sense to me.


I had such a problem on a laptop - 4 years old. No issues shown with HDD test programs, but extremely laggy, to the point where Win XP loaded in 5 min and opening a browser took 3 min. The way to check is to rule out HDD issues - simply use a Linux bootable CD. I used Puppy Linux that writes nothing on your HDD and loads everything in RAM. The laptop runs it ever since and I did not even bother to swap the HDD (it is mainly used for simple browsing and movie watching).
So the best way to check if it is the HDD - use a linux bootable live CD.
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July 2, 2012 11:55:45 PM

Best answer selected by Junk87.
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