General Windows XP Home reinstall question

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My XP Home home computer is really having slowness issues (for example 20 seconds to bring up a normal email) and I suspect that there is a S/W problem (not HW issue). I have a lot of programs and files on the hardware, not to mention the internet configuration, etc. I have virus checked, spyware/adware checked till I am blue in the face. I am currently running a defrag. Beyond that what is the best way to troubleshoot this and then if this does not work is there a way to reinstall the XP home with a minimum of reconfiguration effort, etc??? There must be a way and I am banking on that somebody knows it :) Brent bccarey@kci.net

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Uninstall all unused programs. Run ‘msconfig’ from the Run box. On the start up tab, uncheck everything. Remove all the items from the start up folder in your start menu. Also, use task manager to determine any resource hogs you can remove or services you can disable (like Ipod service, spooler if you’ve no printers). Got to services, go to the properties and change start up type to disabled.
You can rebuild XP with all your settings by booting off the cd and selecting install windows then repair installation. However if your resource hog is still installed you won’t improve things. This takes about an hour or so.
Also, the more mail in your inbox the slower your mail program to open mail. Empty your deleted items, delete all old email.

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There are many possible reasons that your computer system runs slower than before. There might a virus infection on your system that is continuously running on the background. The very first thing you have to do is to backup all your important data and files before any viruses could proliferate and completely paralyze the entire system. Then, run a full system scan using your latest and updated antivirus software.

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  • Superfreak
    a couple of things. Have you installed all Windows updates?? Look in Task Mgr and see what is running Check MSCONFIG and see what is in the Startup tab, anything that doesn't need to be there, uncheck it..
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  • Cptrelentless
    Ha. Beat you to it, superfreak.
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  • MaineIT
    My son had the same problem on his XP Home machine, and I went through everything that you've done, to no avail. Then I followed an obscure tip I found and changed the Windows Automatic Updates service to manual instead of automatic. Problem solved.
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  • Tawestcott
    A basic question is ask is how much memory is installed? You say you have a lot of applications loaded. If you run a number of things at the same time, you could be using up physical memory and forcing XP to continually swap info in and out of memory, which significantly affects performance. Also, do you have a number of users defined on XP and everyone logs on and never logs off - just switch user when another person gets on? You'll see in Task Manager that you have a lot of things loaded in memory (I'm alway telling my kids to log off when they leave the PC to go do something else - and of course they *always* listen! (yeah, right...)
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  • Arnaud66
    All good suggestions. Mine would be to check the Processes running in Task Manager (CTRL+ALT+DEL). Click twice in the Mem Usage column to identify the processes at the top that are using the most resources. If you can recognize a program that is already installed, close it and see if it makes a difference. Otherwise, search the process on Google and go from there. In my experience, spyware is usually the culprit, so you may also want to run Ad-Aware. Good luck!
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  • greatjubee
    Before you uninstall you might want to buy a registy cleaner. before you go to all that trouble. It sounds like you have a lot of junk running in the registry.
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  • Dfng2002
    Not to mention if your hard drive is at capacity it will run hard, have you checked for defragmentation? If you play alot of games and save alot you could have a fragmentation problem.
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  • Kstair
    If you have SP2 installed you may want to try disabling the firewall that gets turned on with SP2. If your PC doesn't have much memeory the firewall will eat it up and leave you with nothing much to run the operating system on, let alone any apps. I had a PC that wouldn't hardly move the cursor for the first 10-15 minutes after boot. After that I could get around but it was still slow. I turned off the firewall and all was well.
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  • Kaiserbeto
    You also might want to check out the Virtual memory settings, which uses hard drive space when you're out of system memory. System --> Advanced --> Performance Settings --> Advanced --> Virtual Memory. General rule is 2.5x to 3x. your installed RAM. So if you have 1 GB of RAM installed, set min to 2048 and max to 3096 or something along those lines.
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  • Pkuczyns
    If the startup item isue dosnt clear it. Also delete all your temp files. download and install Cleanup, free. http://www.stevengould.org/software/cleanup/ By default, it deletes all temp files. Backup your critical files, and reimage the machine. Make shure you format the hardrive during reinstal, this remove any potential virus related files.
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  • BlueKnight
    You can also squeeze better performance from your system by disabling un-needed services. I'd refer you to the "Black Viper's" web site (www.blackviper.com) but it's being refurbished. However, you can find his Windows XP services guide and other tips at: http://www.dead-eye.net/WinXP%20Services.htm in the meantime. I like his format better than: http://www.beemerworld.com/tips/servicesxp.htm which provides the same type of info. Turning off un-needed services does help... I've done it to my own system. Another such site is: http://www.theeldergeek.com/alerter.htm You can cycle through the services explanations/recommendations by clicking "next." There are a number of articles on restoring system performance on the 'Net as well. The following sites my be useful: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/setup/expert/northrup_restoreperf.mspx http://www.msfn.org/articles.php?action=cat&acid=18 http://www.tweakxp.com/performance_tweaks.aspx http://www.iamnotageek.com/a/10-p1.php (Performance tweaking guide) Hope this helps you out some. I know how frustrating this issue can be.
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  • Apierson
    What spyware program was used, they are not all equal. Spybot, and adaware, only find about 60% - 70% of spyware. Check out Counterspy, or Trendmicro for a more in-depth scanner.
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