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Old December 10th, 2010, 07:13 PM
Ben321 Ben321 is offline
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Need help. My computer runs VERY SLOW for no reason (do NOT believe it's a virus).

Ok, progressively my computer had been getting slower running slower as I installed more stuff but then I backed it all up to a DVD and deleted all the stuff clogging the drive. Things got a little faster. Good. But then one day I was using the computer and out of nowhere it began to run VERY VERY VERY slow. I thought I was working with a 50Mhz slowpoke pile-o-crap computer! But it wasn't a different computer, but rather the same computer that had been working perfectly fine a week before. This horible slowness got progressively worse over time. It got to the point (after just a few more days) that after the computer booted after a reboot (thinking this would clear it up), it became so slow it was effectively locked up! Time to format.
Ok so I formated, first removing all the partitions, and starting fresh. This should have removed any MBR or Boot Sector virus that would withstand a normal formatting. So I format the new partition and procede to install WinXP from the disk. Now it works like new. Almost at least. It worked so fast that to the untrained person it would look like new. However there was a small lag when doing some things that I wouldn't have expected from a brand new Windows install. This set up a little warning flag in my brain. But I proceeded to install SP2, .net frameworks, and any other needed system updates. These actions shouldn't significantly impact the computer speed. However on my computer they did MAJORLY! My computer is now ALMOST back to being as slow as it was before when it was unusable (just before I had to format it). I've installed NO games or anything.
The only reason I'm able to use the computer at all is that these "attacks of slowness" come in bursts. My computer most of the time runs fine. Then these bursts of slowness come when I run a program, while waiting for the popup menu to display after right-clicking on a file (which can on this now-buggy computer take UP TO A MINUTE to appear), bringing up the Windows Start menu, or while even loading some files.

Sometimes the CPU won't even process keyboard data (ctr+alt+del and alt+tab functions, of taskmgr and task switching, usually works when EVERYTHING else seems locked, but not with this bug happening to my comp, even they are disabled).

Even weirder is when I run task manager (if it was already running, as there is no hope of starting it during an "attack of slowness"), I don't see my CPU Usage shoot up to 100% during these instances of slowness. In fact AT ALL TIMES it is usually less than 20% in use. I don't know what is going on. Nothing seems to work to fix it. I already did a full partition deletion and re-creation and format. Should have killed ANY virus on the drive, PERIOD!

Please help me. Is there a chance (though rare) that a virus could be SO advanced that it could survive even re-partitioning of a drive? I'm wondering because I heard the virus going to Iran's nuke making plants was super duper powerful and could get through ANY firewall, etc. I'm not saying I have this virus, nor any similar virus. But I might? I don't know. I don't know what is wrong with my computer. I don't even know what I should start checking to even find out what is wrong with my computer. Could it be a hardware problem (CPU gone bad, ram gone bad, one of those many various random surface-mount chips on the motherboard that looks useless but actually would make your computer dead without it, etc)? Please help me. Really I'm getting desperate here.
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  #2  
Old December 10th, 2010, 11:02 PM
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Miz Miz is offline
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Since it ran nicely before installing anything, I would suspect something you installed is not working smoothly with Windows.

When you say, "...other needed system updates" do you mean you got driver updates from Microsoft? If so, that may be the problem, are at least part of the problem. I don't know why but it's not unusual to have problems with driver updates gotten through Microsoft. It's always best to get driver updates from the component (or computer) manufacturer's website.

Do you have an antivirus program installed? If so, did you notice a slowdown after installing it?

Can you identify at what point during the updating things started to slow down?
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Old December 11th, 2010, 11:46 AM
Ben321 Ben321 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miz View Post
Since it ran nicely before installing anything, I would suspect something you installed is not working smoothly with Windows.

When you say, "...other needed system updates" do you mean you got driver updates from Microsoft? If so, that may be the problem, are at least part of the problem. I don't know why but it's not unusual to have problems with driver updates gotten through Microsoft. It's always best to get driver updates from the component (or computer) manufacturer's website.

Do you have an antivirus program installed? If so, did you notice a slowdown after installing it?

Can you identify at what point during the updating things started to slow down?

I said even from the time of me finishing formatting the drive, it ran a LITTLE slow (which set up red flags in my mind), because usually a freshly formatted drive makes the computer run like new.

No av software that slowed it down like this. I've seen it slow down before from av software and it was NOWHERE as severe as this got. As I said it was like my 2Ghz computer was downgraded to 50Mhz.

And no 3rd party drivers. I got ALL the drivers from the devices original companies.

Could it be a virus so advanced that it flashed the firmware in my harddrive's read/write controler chip (or in some other hardware component of my computer) with a hacked firmaware so it could littereally be impossible to remove?
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Old December 11th, 2010, 02:28 PM
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Miz Miz is offline
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The only suggestion I have is to run a diagnostic on the hard drive. You can get one from the manufacturer of the drive.
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  #5  
Old December 11th, 2010, 10:22 PM
Ben321 Ben321 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miz View Post
The only suggestion I have is to run a diagnostic on the hard drive. You can get one from the manufacturer of the drive.
Though I don't even know that it is the harddrive. Might be some other electronic component somewhere on the motherboard. I have no clue how to test all possible problems.
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  #6  
Old December 11th, 2010, 11:22 PM
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Miz Miz is offline
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Well, yes, pinpointing the problem is a matter of trial and error. Since you seem to think it's a hardware problem, I suggested you start with the hard drive.

Go to Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Computer Management and choose Disk Management. Then right click on the hard drive it shows and in the menu that opens, left click Properties. It should show you there the make of the hard drive (Seagate, Western Digital, Maxtor or a number of others).

Once you know that, you can go to the manufacturer's web site and download the diagnostic tool.

If the diagnostic finds no problem with the hard drive, you can test the RAM with Memtest86.

If the RAM checks out okay, you can test the integrity of the motherboard although that does require testing meters that usually only computer repair shops have.

If all the hardware checks out, the problem is software. If you now think it could be a virus, post in our Malware Removal forum for help from the experts in that field.
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  #7  
Old December 11th, 2010, 11:28 PM
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Miz Miz is offline
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Oh, yes, forgot to add:

The slowdowns you describe are usually attributable to something, or some things, running intermittently in the background. Pinpointing which thing, or things that may be is also a matter of trial and error.

I usually start by doing "End Task" on a service in Task Manager I suspect. If there's still a slowdown, I end another service (or sometimes more than one if they're related...like all the different services most antivirus runs) and see if there's another slowdown. I keep doing that until I've run out of non-essential services to end.

The trick is to allow enough time between "end tasks" to make sure it's had enough time to give you another slowdown if that wasn't the problem service.

It can take a while but short of doing another reformat/reinstall and doing updates one at a time to see which one, or ones, are causing a problem, it's the only method I've found to help in troubleshooting software trouble.
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