Question about a Windows PC

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Ozman712, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. Ozman712 macrumors member

    Mar 6, 2006
    This is a question that I am trying to figure out for my father. He uses a 3.2Ghz Pentium 4 PC running fully updated XP. It is about 2 years old or so. Here is the problem: it is extremely SLOW. Everything from launching applications to browsing the internet. But that is what has me confused. I can understand the applications slowness maybe, but the internet speed shouldn't be dictated by the speed of the computer, right? I am on the same DSL connecting with my Mac and have no problems. In fact when family members get fed up with his computer being so slow on the internet, they come use my computer. Either way I think the P4 is certainly fast enough for what he uses it for.

    The main program being used is Quickbooks with a very large database. Other programs used are the normal Firefox, iTunes, a couple other average programs. I am sure many of you know about there have been random programs downloaded from the internet, so I suspect this has something to do with the problem. All in all though, does this problem seem like a computer that is not fast enough or something else? He keeps hounding me about it so I told him I would find an answer.



    Also, there is something else really weird that happened. His number pad on the keyboard stopped working. We have tried new keyboards both PS/2 and USB, neither will work. Any ideas?
  2. dmr727 macrumors G3


    Dec 29, 2007
  3. Frisco macrumors 68020

    Sep 24, 2002
    Sounds like this PC has a ton of spyware on it. Maybe even a few viruses. It should not be slow with a P4. Nothing your dad is doing is processor intensive. But you never did mention amount of RAM installed.

    I would reinstall XP and you'll see things are much better. Windows tends to get corrupted after a while and a reinstall is usually the best bet.

    On my Windows machine to keep things running smoothly I regularly use Spybot and Ad-Aware to remove spyware and AVG Anti-Virus for virus protection.

    All these programs are free. Stay away from Norton and McAfee.
  4. Ozman712 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 6, 2006
    Thanks for the quick responses. I'm not sure about how much memory, but I'll check and a free virus software is appreciated.

  5. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    A couple of other things to check/do: Check on the available drive space/fragmentation. A drive that has less than 5-10% available will slow down operations noticeably, and if it's over 5% or so fragmented can also create issued if left unchecked. Windows has an OK defragmenter built in. Also, the QuickBooks db should be archived off, leaving only the most recent year or so in the working db - Quicken is the same way. It also doesn't like having the db anywhere other than the same drive the app is on. It'll work, but it wants to pass everything back & forth constantly.

    The other recommendations on SpyBot & AdAware are excellent. Free, easy to use, and cover 90% of the gunk out there. Common sense and a little knowledge of the web will take care of the rest. RAM is also important - 1GB should be sufficient, but also a minimum. Unless that machine's been upgraded, I wouldn't be surprised if it only had 512KB, and if the drive's nearly full, there's little or no room for swap.

    I"d hold off on a reinstall of XP until the other items are taken care of. All you really gain for that particular effort is a clean registry (which is the actual culprit being remedied), and the joy of reinstalling apps and restoring backups. A good way to blow a weekend...

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