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Solved: How can I tell what is making my computer so slow?

Discussion in 'General Security' started by shopgurl, Nov 26, 2008.

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  1. shopgurl

    shopgurl Thread Starter

    Nov 26, 2008
    I have a Gateway desktop w/ Intel Pentium 4 CPU 1.80GHz, 384 MB of RAM, Windows XP Home Ed., Ver 2002. I know that's really slow and old, but it's been so much faster in the past than it is now. I mostly use it for accessing the internet. I don't download a lot (at least not purposely!) No digital photos, music etc. Very minimal documents, mostly word and the occasional excel or power point from work. It is slow not just at start, but when opening any new site or page or clicking around. I recently added a magic jack internet phone, but it was slow long before that.

    My ex-boyfriend is in IT & used to help me with this stuff, but he's MIA, so I'm trying to learn to do this myself. I researched free downloads at sites like PC magazine. I was laid off a few months ago, so I'm really trying to do this as inexpensively as possible. (Although I am not opposed to doing something like buying more RAM -if that's even possible and might help, but I'm trying to stick with free software.) I ran ccleaner yesterday, and it seems a little faster, but not enough. I tried defragging it using the system tools/disk clean-up on my computer. I've used purchased security programs before, but all or most of them are no longer in use, because I have not spent the money to renew the license.

    But I'm shooting in the dark, which leads to my main question. Is there a way to diagnose exactly what's slowing my computer down so much? If I can figure that out, I may have follow-up questions, but at least I'll know what I'm trying to do. Right now I don't even know what program I should look for next; registry cleaner? anti-virus? anti-spyware? overall security? anti-spam? malware removal?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
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  3. ACA529


    Nov 15, 2005
    Try opening the task manager and click on the "Processes" tab. Then click "CPU" and scroll to the bottom and tell me which process is using up most of the CPU.
  4. shopgurl

    shopgurl Thread Starter

    Nov 26, 2008
    Sorry I couldn't get back to you yesterday. I managed to get a few minutes away from the Thanksgiving festivities, but just long enough to find task manager and copy down some of the processes that seem to be using the most memory...I hope that is the same thing you were asking.


    iexplore.exe 57832K Owner 0
    acroRd32.exe 16092K Owner 0
    iexplore.exe 19200K Owner 0
    taskmgr.exe 22524K Owner 0-17
    magicJack.exe 14900 Owner 0
    helpsvc.exe 11468 System 0-2

    I tried to do the info above in a chart, but I see that once it's posted, all the info runs together. Sorry about that, hopefully it's still clear. That is the processes using over 10,000K in memory. Under CPU, most of them said zero, and the few with a number fluctated alot. So I looked at the larger numbers for memory. At the bottom it says 39 processes and CPU usage fluctuated between 2-10%. I tried in vain to copy the whole list but could not figure out a way to do it, so I hope that is the right info.

  5. ACA529


    Nov 15, 2005
  6. shopgurl

    shopgurl Thread Starter

    Nov 26, 2008
    Thanks, I will read instructions and then install HiJackThis. In the meantime, I do have a question.

    I really want to understand how this works so I know how to do it in the future. Since you're now referring me to a malware program (I think), does that mean there is nothing unusual in the above, in terms of CPU/memory usage for the processes in task manager? What were we looking for -that is, what CPU or memory usage is large enough to consider as possibly contributing to the problem?

    Thanks very much for your help!
  7. ACA529


    Nov 15, 2005
    The CPU and memory usage looks OK if those are the programs that are using the largest amounts.

    You have very little RAM in your computer. I recommend getting more RAM. Most new computers now come with at least 1GB.

    Are you by any chance running two anti virus programs at the same time?

    I recommended downloading Hijackthis so that a security expert can take a look at your log to make sure that your computer is malware-free. :)
  8. shopgurl

    shopgurl Thread Starter

    Nov 26, 2008
    When I read your recommendation on RAM, I remembered...about 2 years ago I had a guy (Rob) work on my computer and he added 256 MB of RAM (to the original 384MB.) I'm not sure if that was reflected anywhere in the info I sent you. I realize that's still very little RAM, but I wanted to make sure you knew in case it makes a difference. I would like to get more RAM. How can I tell if I can add more RAM? I'm guessing I can't just keep adding it indefinitely to my little, old computer. If I can add RAM, what do you recommend?

    I probably am running several antivirus programs, but they are out of date. I had Norton Internet Security in 2004, but never renewed it. The guy who added more RAM (Rob) loaded some programs (in 2006): I think Adaware 6, Avast, Spybot, and Webroot/Spy Sweeper. but I don't think they are still current. One of them (Spysweeper) still runs a scan every Sunday night, but will not fix anything without my paying to buy a new version. Also I installed Panicware Pop-up Stopper shortly before all the other programs were installed in '06, because I had a major problem with pop-ups. Pop-up stopper didn't help as I recall, but after Rob was done working on my computer, and loaded those programs, it was working great and running fast.

    The programs listed are all the ones shown when I hit the start button and all programs. Most of them have an "uninstall" option. Do you think I should uninstall some of them?

  9. tikkyisrad


    Nov 28, 2008
    While, your ram is really your biggest problem, your going to see a significant increase of speed when you get up to 1 gb, but most programs these days are becoming more and more memory hogs, so more than 1 gb is your best bet. Unfortunately, ram is pretty expensive. It's easier to buy it online from newegg, tiger direct, and your best bet of buying it is from crucial. Crucial will find absolutely guarunteed compatible ram.
  10. shopgurl

    shopgurl Thread Starter

    Nov 26, 2008
    I thought it might be easier to break this up and give the HiJackThis info in a separate email. Here is the log. Your last email mentioned having a security expert look at my log. Are you a security expert, or do I need to post this somewhere else and find someone else to review it? I just wasn't sure. Thanks very much.

    Logfile of Trend Micro HijackThis v2.0.2
    Scan saved at 6:36:10 PM, on 11/28/2008
    Platform: Windows XP SP3 (WinNT 5.01.2600)
    MSIE: Internet Explorer v7.00 (7.00.6000.16735)
    Boot mode: Normal

    Running processes:
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\ccSetMgr.exe
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\ccEvtMgr.exe
    C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\aswUpdSv.exe
    C:\Program Files\Lexmark X6100 Series\lxbfbmgr.exe
    C:\Program Files\Siber Systems\AI RoboForm\RoboTaskBarIcon.exe
    C:\Program Files\Lexmark X6100 Series\lxbfbmon.exe
    C:\Program Files\Norton AntiVirus\navapsvc.exe
    C:\Program Files\Norton AntiVirus\SAVScan.exe
    C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Application Data\mjusbsp\magicJack.exe
    C:\Program Files\Webroot\Spy Sweeper\WRSSSDK.exe
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\CCPD-LC\symlcsvc.exe
    C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe
    C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 7.0\Reader\AcroRd32.exe
    C:\Program Files\Uniblue\RegistryBooster\RegistryBooster.exe
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Works\MSWorks.exe
    C:\Program Files\Trend Micro\HijackThis\HijackThis.exe

    R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Default_Page_URL = about:
    R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page =

    R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Default_Page_URL =

    R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Default_Search_URL =

    R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,SearchAssistant = about:blank
    R1 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Search Page = http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=54896
    R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=69157
    O2 - BHO: (no name) - {00F1D395-4744-40f0-A611-980F61AE2C59} - (no file)
    O2 - BHO: Adobe PDF Reader Link Helper - {06849E9F-C8D7-4D59-B87D-784B7D6BE0B3} - C:\Program

    Files\Adobe\Acrobat 7.0\ActiveX\AcroIEHelper.dll
    O2 - BHO: (no name) - {53707962-6F74-2D53-2644-206D7942484F} - C:\PROGRA~1\SPYBOT~1\SDHelper.dll
    O2 - BHO: (no name) - {724d43a9-0d85-11d4-9908-00400523e39a} - C:\Program Files\Siber Systems\AI

    O2 - BHO: NAV Helper - {BDF3E430-B101-42AD-A544-FADC6B084872} - C:\Program Files\Norton

    O2 - BHO: (no name) - {F5DE8ADB-4A69-4e56-96AB-823171C8E9D8} - (no file)
    O2 - BHO: (no name) - {FDD3B846-8D59-4ffb-8758-209B6AD74ACC} - C:\Program Files\Microsoft

    O3 - Toolbar: &RoboForm - {724d43a0-0d85-11d4-9908-00400523e39a} - C:\Program Files\Siber Systems\AI

    O3 - Toolbar: (no name) - {2CDE1A7D-A478-4291-BF31-E1B4C16F92EB} - (no file)
    O3 - Toolbar: (no name) - {7FD44536-9DF0-4034-939F-5BD4D98E3187} - (no file)
    O3 - Toolbar: Norton AntiVirus - {42CDD1BF-3FFB-4238-8AD1-7859DF00B1D6} - C:\Program Files\Norton

    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [PrinTray] C:\WINNT\System32\spool\DRIVERS\W32X86\3\printray.exe
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Lexmark X6100 Series] "C:\Program Files\Lexmark X6100 Series\lxbfbmgr.exe"
    O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [RoboForm] "C:\Program Files\Siber Systems\AI RoboForm\RoboTaskBarIcon.exe"
    O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [updateMgr] "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 7.0\Reader\AdobeUpdateManager.exe"

    AcRdB7_0_8 -reboot 1
    O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [cdloader] "C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Application Data\mjusbsp\cdloader2.exe"

    O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [Microsoft Works Update Detection] C:\Program Files\Microsoft Works\WkDetect.exe
    O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [ctfmon.exe] C:\WINNT\system32\ctfmon.exe
    O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [Uniblue RegistryBooster 2009] C:\Program

    Files\Uniblue\RegistryBooster\RegistryBooster.exe /S
    O4 - HKUS\S-1-5-18\..\Run: [ALUAlert] C:\Program Files\Symantec\LiveUpdate\ALUNotify.exe (User 'SYSTEM')
    O4 - HKUS\.DEFAULT\..\Run: [ALUAlert] C:\Program Files\Symantec\LiveUpdate\ALUNotify.exe (User 'Default

    O8 - Extra context menu item: &AOL Toolbar search - res://C:\Program Files\AOL

    O8 - Extra context menu item: Customize &Menu - file://C:\Program Files\Siber Systems\AI

    O8 - Extra context menu item: Fill Forms &] - file://C:\Program Files\Siber Systems\AI

    O8 - Extra context menu item: Save Forms &^ - file://C:\Program Files\Siber Systems\AI

    O9 - Extra button: Fill Forms - {320AF880-6646-11D3-ABEE-C5DBF3571F46} - file://C:\Program Files\Siber

    Systems\AI RoboForm\RoboFormComFillForms.html
    O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Fill Forms &] - {320AF880-6646-11D3-ABEE-C5DBF3571F46} - file://C:\Program

    Files\Siber Systems\AI RoboForm\RoboFormComFillForms.html
    O9 - Extra button: Save - {320AF880-6646-11D3-ABEE-C5DBF3571F49} - file://C:\Program Files\Siber Systems\AI

    O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Save Forms &^ - {320AF880-6646-11D3-ABEE-C5DBF3571F49} - file://C:\Program

    Files\Siber Systems\AI RoboForm\RoboFormComSavePass.html
    O9 - Extra button: RoboForm - {724d43aa-0d85-11d4-9908-00400523e39a} - file://C:\Program Files\Siber

    Systems\AI RoboForm\RoboFormComShowToolbar.html
    O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: RF Toolbar &2 - {724d43aa-0d85-11d4-9908-00400523e39a} - file://C:\Program

    Files\Siber Systems\AI RoboForm\RoboFormComShowToolbar.html
    O9 - Extra button: Real.com - {CD67F990-D8E9-11d2-98FE-00C0F0318AFE} - C:\WINNT\System32\Shdocvw.dll
    O9 - Extra button: MoneySide - {E023F504-0C5A-4750-A1E7-A9046DEA8A21} - C:\Program Files\Microsoft

    O9 - Extra button: (no name) - {e2e2dd38-d088-4134-82b7-f2ba38496583} - C:\WINNT\Network

    O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: @xpsp3res.dll,-20001 - {e2e2dd38-d088-4134-82b7-f2ba38496583} -

    C:\WINNT\Network Diagnostic\xpnetdiag.exe
    O9 - Extra button: Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program

    O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Windows Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program

    O12 - Plugin for .spop: C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\Plugins\NPDocBox.dll
    O16 - DPF: {072D3F2E-5FB6-11D3-B461-00C04FA35A21} (CFForm Runtime) -

    O16 - DPF: {41F17733-B041-4099-A042-B518BB6A408C} -

    O16 - DPF: {47F591A2-8783-11D2-8343-00A0C945A819} (RFXPlayer Class) -

    O16 - DPF: {56336BCB-3D8A-11D6-A00B-0050DA18DE71} -

    O16 - DPF: {D27CDB6E-AE6D-11CF-96B8-444553540000} (Shockwave Flash Object) -

    O16 - DPF: {E5F5D008-DD2C-4D32-977D-1A0ADF03058B} (JuniperSetupSP1 Control) -
    O17 - HKLM\System\CCS\Services\Tcpip\..\{C248F7CA-CD4D-4676-A2C6-E84570B17922}: NameServer =
    O23 - Service: avast! iAVS4 Control Service (aswUpdSv) - Unknown owner - C:\Program Files\Alwil

    O23 - Service: avast! Antivirus - Unknown owner - C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\ashServ.exe
    O23 - Service: avast! Mail Scanner - ALWIL Software - C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\ashMaiSv.exe
    O23 - Service: avast! Web Scanner - ALWIL Software - C:\Program Files\Alwil Software\Avast4\ashWebSv.exe
    O23 - Service: Symantec Event Manager (ccEvtMgr) - Symantec Corporation - C:\Program Files\Common

    Files\Symantec Shared\ccEvtMgr.exe
    O23 - Service: Symantec Password Validation (ccPwdSvc) - Symantec Corporation - C:\Program Files\Common

    Files\Symantec Shared\ccPwdSvc.exe
    O23 - Service: Symantec Settings Manager (ccSetMgr) - Symantec Corporation - C:\Program Files\Common

    Files\Symantec Shared\ccSetMgr.exe
    O23 - Service: InstallDriver Table Manager (IDriverT) - Macrovision Corporation - C:\Program Files\Common

    Files\InstallShield\Driver\1050\Intel 32\IDriverT.exe
    O23 - Service: iPodService - Apple Computer, Inc. - C:\Program Files\iPod\bin\iPodService.exe
    O23 - Service: LexBce Server (LexBceS) - Lexmark International, Inc. - C:\WINNT\system32\LEXBCES.EXE
    O23 - Service: Norton AntiVirus Auto Protect Service (navapsvc) - Symantec Corporation - C:\Program

    Files\Norton AntiVirus\navapsvc.exe
    O23 - Service: Intel(R) NMS (NMSSvc) - Intel Corporation - C:\WINNT\System32\NMSSvc.exe
    O23 - Service: PictureTaker - Unknown owner - c:\fixit\pt\PCTKRNT.SYS (file missing)
    O23 - Service: PrismXL - Unknown owner - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Lanovation\PrismXL\PRISMXL.SYS

    (file missing)
    O23 - Service: SAVScan - Symantec Corporation - C:\Program Files\Norton AntiVirus\SAVScan.exe
    O23 - Service: ScriptBlocking Service (SBService) - Symantec Corporation -

    O23 - Service: Webroot Spy Sweeper Engine (svcWRSSSDK) - Webroot Software, Inc. - C:\Program

    Files\Webroot\Spy Sweeper\WRSSSDK.exe
    O23 - Service: Symantec Core LC - Symantec Corporation - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec


    End of file - 9843 bytes
  11. tikkyisrad


    Nov 28, 2008
    As far as your questions on the ram, see my last post. :)

    For programs. Unfortunately, uninstall is going to be somewhat useless. The bad things about these antivirus softwares are they find ways to stay on your computer even after you hit uninstall.

    To get rid of Norton (one of the worst programs on the face of the earth) you will have to learn to get into the registry.
    Dave taylor has a step by step guide, which I used and had good results with. http://www.askdavetaylor.com/how_to_fully_remove_norton_from_pc.html

    Try to get rid of spysweeper, because this also sounds like a waste of space.

    Panic Pop Up Blocker sounds like a slight scam to me. And your best bet is to try AVG, which will come with a pop up blocker.

    Which leads to my other point. you're going to want a program that has it all in one foul swoop. AVG, a free antivirus, is a decent antivirus.

    If you have more questions, feel free to ask!
  12. shopgurl

    shopgurl Thread Starter

    Nov 26, 2008
    tikkyisrad and ACA529,

    Thanks for the info on RAM. I checked out newegg and it looks like there are options in the $30 - $100 range for RAM which is ok. It looked like they carry the Crucial brand. I went on the crucial site, and filled out the info on my system. I found some of my notes that my computer originally had only 128MB, so when 256MB was added, that got me up to 384MB. Crucial says I have 2 slots and I'm guessing the 256 used up one of them, and they said I can have a max of 2048MB (or 2GB.) Crucial's site also has a scanner which says it will get info on my system to guarantee the RAM I buy is compatible. Do you recommend I download the scanner?

  13. tikkyisrad


    Nov 28, 2008

    Crucials scanner is a-ok to use. :) it didn't take to long for me, and got me exactly what I needed.

    If you buy from crucial you will most likely get the better price, although newegg will probably have some on sale if you watch them, which will be better than crucials base price. Don't fall for computer stores (like best buy, office max etc) prices, and for sure dont' pay them to install the ram for you. It's so amazingly easy. Crucial will even give you directions if you'd want them.
  14. Rich-M


    May 3, 2006
    You need to uninstall, Norton, and Spysweeper. Also Registry Booster...I know they advertisae it here but it is crap and is destructive of your system.
    You also need to go "Run,msconfig,ok,startup" and uncheck all the following then hit apply and reboot:
    Run: [updateMgr] "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat
    Run: [cdloader] "C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Application Data\mjusbsp\cdloader2.exe"
    .\Run: [Microsoft Works Update Detection] C:\Program Files\Microsoft Works\WkDetect.exe
    Run: [ctfmon.exe] C:\WINNT\system32\ctfmon.exe
    .\Run: [Uniblue RegistryBooster 2009] C:\Program
    Files\Uniblue\RegistryBooster\RegistryBooster.exe /S
    Run: [ALUAlert] C:\Program Files\Symantec\LiveUpdate\ALUNotify.exe (User \Run: [ALUAlert] C:\Program Files\Symantec\LiveUpdate\ALUNotify.exe
    You also are running without any antivirus or antispyware so I agree you need to download and run Avg 8.0 Free and update and scan with it, then www.superantispyware.com and do the same thing...
  15. atnskyline

    atnskyline Banned

    Aug 7, 2008
    i recommend a new processor and more ram. get at least 2 ghz cpu dual core and 2 gb ram, you may need a new mother board too, i think its more pc components rather harddrive contents
  16. dvk01

    dvk01 Derek Moderator Malware Specialist

    Dec 14, 2002
    Having 2 or more antiviruses will cause a tremendous slow down
    Uninstall them

    and ONLY leave 1 antivirus
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