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Thread: My computer has slowed down?!!?!

  1. #1 My computer has slowed down?!!?! 
    Forum Freshman Sudhamsu's Avatar
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    My computer has been running unexpectedly slowly for the past 30 days. There's no spyware or any virus on the comp, i checked. And I have tried limiting the number of programs running at a time. I've installed BOINC, but I usually turn it off and also its other processes. My comp is up-to-date. Still my computer runs slow. What could be the reason?


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  3. #2  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    What are the specs of your computer?


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  4. #3  
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    You say you don't have a virus or spyware, when in fact what you mean is that your system has not picked one up. When a new virus/spyware arrives it takes a time for the antivirus guys to to extract a 'signature' which is unique to that piece of 'software' until they have programmed an 'antidote' you have to suffer with it.

    HAve you run the task manager to see what process is eating the time? if you log on and leave your PC to 'settle' for 10 minutes then go to task manager it should show the idle process at 97-99 %. (10 minutes allows any updates for software to be installed.

    Another thought, have you installed any new software recently? if so un install and see if the PC returns to 'normal'. If you have large disks with lots of data maybe there is a 'scan' in progress, which unless you let it run it's full course will restart from the begining if it is interrupted. (My antivirus software takes about 2hrs to do a full scan and slows the pc (the hard drive light is on almost continuosly when this happens.
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    What are the specs of your computer?
    +1

    It may be that your computer just isn't good enough. Tell us your specs.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Masters Degree Numsgil's Avatar
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    I installed BOINC one upon a time and noticed that it tended to give my computer a migraine after running. Took several minutes after BOINC was done for it to start feeling right again. Of course, my computer is from the late iron age (5+ years old).

    Also, some viruses/trojans/etc. are able to hide from scans. The best trick is to install a second version of windows on another hard drive, and run the scan from that. If you don't have a second hard drive, you can also partition your current drive. There are some tools which let you partition your drive without losing data.
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  7. #6  
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    Though this wouldn't be my first guess, modern systems muddle on with hardware failure or degradation "better" than ever. For example half your memory could fail and the machine will boot without a hiccup, or your CPU may be overheating and "throttled down" to compensate.

    What exactly is slow about it?
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  8. #7  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    I was thinking that his ram gets filled up and then it has to work directly from virtual memory (use the HDD as ram). My work pc has 1gig of ram and I recently upgraded the antivirus to the new AVG. Now, suddenly, it routinely runs out of ram. Another problem might be his processor which, if single core, might simply not be good enough anymore. I still have a single core at home and, while it is still good enough for games, it really suffers when I try to do more than one thing at a time.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Well it seems it has slowed down so much now that he is unable to read and respond to the replies... Have you checked to make sure nobody is charging a car battery from your USB port?
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  10. #9  
    Forum Freshman Mach1ne's Avatar
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    Well it seems it has slowed down so much now that he is unable to read and respond to the replies... Have you checked to make sure nobody is charging a car battery from your USB port?
    Cute lol...what exactly is BOINC?
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  11. #10  
    Forum Freshman Sudhamsu's Avatar
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    Here are the specs:
    Intel Pentium 4 HT, 3.0 GHz, 512MB RAM (i know thats low!), 80GB HD, Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 SP3.

    here's a snap of the processes from task manager. and another snap for the processes graph.
    the data for CPU usage keeps varying from 2-50%.

    and the CPU also makes a lot of noise! i hope thats not a part of the current problem, is it? it is warm (actually hot) here in India.

    so, any more help i can get?
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  12. #11  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    can you rank your apps in the task manager by descending CPU ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    chrome.exe is google Chrome, the browser, no? When you installed it, did it ask you if you wanted to install an archiver program? It is a program that constantly scans your system and catalogs the files on your hard drive while you are not using it. When you have been reading something for instance, that thing could have been going at it and then it has to clear your limited ram and stop the processes each time you do something.

    Also, how many tabs do you have open in Chrome? Can you also list the programs/icons on your taskbar?

    And dude, get more ram! :wink:
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudhamsu
    any more help i can get?
    Surely. But you have to tell us what's unusually "slow" about it.

    Slow internet?
    Slow startup?
    Slow loading files?
    Slow like hourglass appears at every action?

    The CPU won't be making noise unless that's a fan whirring all the time. I think you mean the hard drive. This could be a sign of badly fragmented drive. When was last time you defragmented it?
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  15. #14  
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    by SLOW, i mean slow startup, slow loading files, and yes appearance of hourglass frequently.

    the fan is the cause of the noise. I defragment the drive every month or so.
    I did that last week, i think.

    I open about 3-4 or 5 tabs at a time in chrome usually. And do u know where i can disable the archiver?

    i've got two CPUs, System Idle Process uses 99% of one CPU, other one is available to me.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudhamsu
    i've got two CPUs, System Idle Process uses 99% of one CPU, other one is available to me.
    Ah ha. I don't know Intel but (optional) CPU drivers for my AMD dual core can resolve imbalance issues. Maybe the Intel site has a driver that would help?
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  17. #16  
    Forum Freshman Sudhamsu's Avatar
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    and oh! i forgot to tell, i have 256MB nVidia GeForce 7300 also.
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  18. #17  
    Forum Professor leohopkins's Avatar
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    Have you checked how much hard disk space you have left?

    And also when was the last time you performed a defrag on your hard-drive?
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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  19. #18  
    Forum Freshman Sudhamsu's Avatar
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    defragged just last week and free space in C: 2.85GB, in D: 6.02GB, and in E: 12.1GB. Windows is installed in C:.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudhamsu
    defragged just last week and free space in C: 2.85GB, in D: 6.02GB, and in E: 12.1GB. Windows is installed in C:.
    That could be your reason, you should always aim for at least 15% "free" space on your disks, which in the case of your 80GB hard disk is 12Gb.

    Therefore I would suggest getting rid of some stuff on your hard disk (back it up on DVD/CD etc) until you have at least 12Gb free, then defrag your hard disk again and you should notice a significant increase in speed.

    Let me know how you get on.
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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  21. #20  
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    12GB in which drive? C: ? Its not possible. Cause theres only softwares in C:, no personal files which I can move.
    Actually I'm considering a Windows Re-install later this week. I'm backing-up all I'll need.
    I will need some help in formatting and partitions...
    How can I swipe clean all the drives? And I want to club C: and D: in to one drive, so that I have more space in OS drive.
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  22. #21  
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    I agree with leo,you should always have 10 gigs free if your HD is only 10 gigs then you really need a bigger hard drive.
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  23. #22  
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    You're all wrong, though it's very common. The most likely problem is that he needs a new hard drive, because the one he currently has is malfunctioning. I myself have experienced this to add credence to the phrase "The most common bottleneck in a computer is the hard drive, not the CPU", and have recently had to replace my hard drive after finally discovering that it was not the RAM, CPU, video card, motherboard, or ANYTHING ELSE. The hard drive was the least suspected, but it was the cause. Especially for slow boot times.

    As for your RAM and HD, how fast are they? What are their individual specs? There is a program called "EVEREST free edition" that will give you all of this information.

    Lastly, you do NOT need 10GB free. That's bullshit. Instead you should set your virtual memory to 1GB minimum and maximum, and turn off the OS's automatic settings. They too can cause slowdowns. NOTHING, even the most modern game, requires more than 1GB virtual memory.
    Om mani padme hum

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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    You're all wrong, though it's very common. The most likely problem is that he needs a new hard drive, because the one he currently has is malfunctioning. I myself have experienced this to add credence to the phrase "The most common bottleneck in a computer is the hard drive, not the CPU", and have recently had to replace my hard drive after finally discovering that it was not the RAM, CPU, video card, motherboard, or ANYTHING ELSE. The hard drive was the least suspected, but it was the cause. Especially for slow boot times.

    As for your RAM and HD, how fast are they? What are their individual specs? There is a program called "EVEREST free edition" that will give you all of this information.

    Lastly, you do NOT need 10GB free. That's bullshit. Instead you should set your virtual memory to 1GB minimum and maximum, and turn off the OS's automatic settings. They too can cause slowdowns. NOTHING, even the most modern game, requires more than 1GB virtual memory.
    Actually, Windows XP will call up on you to have at least 15% of your hard disk free to perform a proper defrag. Anyway.......

    What the OP needs to do is to delete his internet history, clean up his page file, clean out any unused registry entries, delete cookies, clear out his trash can etc. That should free up some space.

    To the OP: Go to. START>PROGRAMS>ACCESSORIES>SYSTEM TOOLS then click on "disk clean up" and select the C: drive and click on "Ok".

    The process may take a minute or two and then a window will appear with some check boxes. Go and click on the check boxes so there is a tick in all of them and then click on "ok".


    This process may take a good few minutes.

    After it has finished, take a look again at your C drive and tell me how much space there is now ?
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by leohopkins
    Actually, Windows XP will call up on you to have at least 15% of your hard disk free to perform a proper defrag. Anyway.......
    Really? Wow. That's sad in so many ways. Smart Defrag. It owns. USE IT.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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  26. #25  
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    I regularly do all that leohopkins says in his last post. Leave it guys, I've decided to re-install OS.
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  27. #26  
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    I assure you it was not the OS that is to blame here. It's your hard drive, trust me. You would do very well to back up your data and buy a new one rather than wait for a random crash to happen. Of course it WOULD help if you would have told me your RAM/HD specs like I asked, but no. That's apparently too much trouble.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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  28. #27  
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    I'd still say it is the combination of only 512 ram and AVG 8.0 along with an archiver program. Report back to us once you are finished with the reinstall!
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  29. #28  
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    I assure you it is not. I run win2k on 256MB RAM (not just any ram, but we're talking two 168 pin 133MHZ DDR 128MB sticks), WITH Avast Antivirus AND an archiver. I assure you, my computer runs very well. Why? BECAUSE OF THE NEW HARD DRIVE.

    Incidentally, your "running out of ram" problem is absolutely nonsensical. Set your virtual memory to 1GB and get Avast to use instead of AVG. I never run out of ram because I have 1GB virtual memory and a VERY fast hard drive.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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  30. #29  
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    Incidentally, your "running out of ram" problem is absolutely nonsensical. Set your virtual memory to 1GB and get Avast to use instead of AVG. I never run out of ram because I have 1GB virtual memory and a VERY fast hard drive.
    Sure, the problem is that standard 7200 rpm drives have much slower seeking, reading and writing times than ram does. If they were the same you wouldn't need ram at all. If you have a Veloceraptor 10000 rpm drive or similar (latest SSD's even better) you would have less of a problem. Having a few largish programs open with only 512 or 256 mb ram and a standard drive will certainly make your machine slow.

    I agree with Avast. Good, free antivirus.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  31. #30  
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    I actually have a 7200RPM drive. It's only faster because it's newer (the older your drive is the slower it starts responding), AND uses two disks. It's the Western Digital 80 gig special edition.
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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  32. #31  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    I actually have a 7200RPM drive. It's only faster because it's newer (the older your drive is the slower it starts responding), AND uses two disks. It's the Western Digital 80 gig special edition.
    Oh, that sounds pretty cool. I am thinking that it has some kind of raid configuration between the two disks, which would speed it up a lot. I suppose the inbuilt cache also makes a difference, with the newer ones coming out with 32mb.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
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  33. #32  
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    Lol. Mine is an ooooooooooolder one. 8MB cache. Here are the exact specs: http://www.wdc.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=32
    Om mani padme hum

    "In dishonorable things we are not bound to obey any man." - The Book of the Courtier [1561], pg 99 (144 in pdf)
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  34. #33  
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    Just to toss this out there. A Pentium 4 HT has Sped Step technology. If the CPU gets too hot (bad fan, loose heatsink etc) then it will clock down to save itself. The computer will still run, but run really slow. Just didn't want this to go overlooked.

    The HD space is fine. You have to get a whole lot less space then that to really slow the computer down, unless of course it's trying to grow the swap file all the time (shouldn't be). A failing hard drive often will cause pauses and perceived slowness as someone else mentioned.

    I've been working with PC's singe the very first IBM PC. I actually owned a real one (not a clone).

    512 MB of ram is not enough for much of anything these days. Developers are writing applications in very poorly designed languages that suck down a ton of memory (.NET).

    Just my opinion of course.
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  35. #34  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudhamsu
    I regularly do all that leohopkins says in his last post. Leave it guys, I've decided to re-install OS.

    I use a tune-up program. Tuneup Utilities. I found it stopped most of that. I did a lot of programing and I would strand files, and mess up the registry all the time. This thing fixes it all up.

    It will defrag the registry as well. It sets up a memory monitor that frees up memory and lets you call up a screen to see what is running. And it lets you just shut it down. I love it.

    It also lets you play around with the programs that startup when the computer starts.

    Keeping space on your C:\ drive I found is important. Even if you partitioned the drive, you still have to keep space on the C:\ drive.

    I use part of a hard drive for special functions like file indexing and as memory. I use my "I" drive for that. One day I noticed that the "I" drive was messing up. It was because of the bottle neck caused by this feature. I had to stop adding stuff to the "I" drive.

    I also took out my heat sink one day and dusted it off really well, with a paint brush. The computer performed much, much better. I do a lot of video work on the machine and it, eats up processor power. The heat sink had dust baked onto it.
    I also dusted the whole computer out, worked much, much better.

    Sincerely,


    William McCormick
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  36. #35  
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    OS re-installing done! And I got Avast! I'm currently updating the OS and installing softwares I think I need. The computer is responding a little better than before, but not as much as I expected. My computer is 4 years old. I haven't changed my HD since I bought the PC. Do you think I need a new one so soon? I think it's working fine (not considering the speed). And my Dad has agreed to double the RAM to 1GB. And I've increased the virtual memory to 1-1.5GB.

    Another question that's biting me:
    Is it safe to use "msconfig" to block few selective startup programs? There are many processes which I don't require all the time, like the HP printer applications.
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  37. #36  
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    For non-system processes using MSconfig is perfectly safe. also, do NOT use a variable virtual memory band. Leave it at 1000-1000MB (or 1024 depending on if they're using binary or decimal), because otherwise the OS goes "I need this much, NO THIS MUCH, no this much, NO THIS MUCH!" and slows down the computer.
    Om mani padme hum

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    Found this on Google....

    The first port of call here should have been (as one user pointed out) Fan, heat sync, and probably very first of all the thermal compound; this fits between the CPU and the Heat Sync and it wears very easily and needs renewed every so often, it's just a kind of paste. This would make the fan noisy since there's not proper heat distribution, 9/10 times this is the problem I find.
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    Check out out some trial versions of different malware programs. One might pick up infections that others haven't. You can always delete them when your done. Run the the check in safe mode. Worst case scenario but a sure fix would be to reinstall your operating system from scratch.
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  40. #39  
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    Sudhamsu,

    just change your cpus bios settings, to find out if the probs are being heat related. If this is going to be worse over time, your computer will render useless, otherwise.

    Good Luck,
    Steve
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    Your Computer is unexpectedly slow right form last 30 days and you also write here that you cannot use ans\y kind of anti virus and spy ware so definitely its result is same as you face with your computer. It is automatically coming slow. It doesn't means that you have virus on your computer but you have warms on your computer worms can slow down your PC. So best solution is format your PC.
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  42. #41  
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    Sudhamsu,

    are you there? What's going on?

    Steve
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  43. #42 Re: My computer has slowed down?!!?! 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sudhamsu
    My computer has been running unexpectedly slowly for the past 30 days. There's no spyware or any virus on the comp, i checked. And I have tried limiting the number of programs running at a time. I've installed BOINC, but I usually turn it off and also its other processes. My comp is up-to-date. Still my computer runs slow. What could be the reason?
    I think main reason for slowing down of computer may be the software you are using are acquiring more memory due to which your computer is slow or may be your main memory is not sufficient.
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    "
    I think main reason for slowing down of computer may be the software you are using are acquiring more memory due to which your computer is slow or may be your main memory is not sufficient."
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