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Old April 27th, 2008, 09:47 PM   #1
chris1044
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Default Windows guru's - help with slow comp

So, I'm no where near computer illiterate, but at the same time I'm no where near a computer know-it all either....

My computer has been running slower than usual lately....it's running XP with SP2, has very very very few start-up programs (only the necessary ones), and has 1.25GB RAM.

Anyhow, with firefox open and windows media player running in the background, I have noticed it's started to become slower than usual. There are two reasons I can think of:

1) I have windows media player accessing a large (30gb) folder of music....when it was only accessing a 20gb folder it was faster, but that could be a coincidence?? (asking if this really matters...it's gotta alter performance somewhat, but how much??)

2) There are things running in the background that shouldn't be. So, I've gone into msconfig and verified there are no additional startup items or services running. However, when I go into the task manager and view the processes running, I have like 8 processes labeled "svchost.exe" and they all vary in memory usage size from 2,000K to 30,000K.

Well, for shits and grins, I stop the one that's running around 30,000k and bam - the computer is back up to speed. I don't know why though; what did I stop? How do I find out what it was that I stopped, and while I'm at it what all the other "svchost.exe" processes are??

Is it worth looking into, or is it time to reformat again lol - it has been a year or so
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Old April 27th, 2008, 09:53 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by chris1044 View Post
2) There are things running in the background that shouldn't be. So, I've gone into msconfig and verified there are no additional startup items or services running. However, when I go into the task manager and view the processes running, I have like 8 processes labeled "svchost.exe" and they all vary in memory usage size from 2,000K to 30,000K.

Well, for shits and grins, I stop the one that's running around 30,000k and bam - the computer is back up to speed. I don't know why though; what did I stop? How do I find out what it was that I stopped, and while I'm at it what all the other "svchost.exe" processes are??

Is it worth looking into, or is it time to reformat again lol - it has been a year or so
I would reformat once a year personally, but it sounds like you need to update your antivirus/spyware.

http://www.liutilities.com/products/...brary/svchost/

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Windows errors related to svchost.exe?


svchost.exe is a system process belonging to the Microsoft Windows Operating System which handles processes executed from DLLs. This program is important for the stable and secure running of your computer and should not be terminated.

Note: svchost.exe is a process registered as a backdoor vulnerability which may be installed for malicious purposes by an attacker allowing access to your computer from remote locations, stealing passwords, Internet banking and personal data. If unaccounted for, this process should be removed immediately.

Note: svchost.exe is a process which is registered as a trojan. This Trojan allows attackers to access your computer from remote locations, stealing passwords, Internet banking and personal data. This process is a security risk and should be removed from your system.

Note: svchost.exe is a process belonging to Microsoft Service Host Process. This could also be a stealth monitoring software that sits in the background and tracks all activities such as keyboard input (including websites visited, passwords etc.) This information can be sent to third parties through email or ftp uploads. If you did not intentionally install this program make sure you remove it to protect your privacy.

Determining whether svchost.exe is a virus or a legitimate Windows process depends on the directory location it executes or runs from. We strongly recommend that you run a free registry scan to identify .svchost related errors.
Might have been malicious.
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Old April 27th, 2008, 09:56 PM   #3
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Also firefox is a memory hog. Once you get x amount of tab windows open it will just eat your ram. Don't be afraid to x out of it and clear your cache. How often do you clear it? Also when is the last time you defragged?
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Old April 27th, 2008, 09:59 PM   #4
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Also firefox is a memory hog. Once you get x amount of tab windows open it will just eat your ram. Don't be afraid to x out of it and clear your cache. How often do you clear it? Also when is the last time you defragged?
True, but isn't that listed under the firefox.exe process module??

How can I compare the available memory with the amount being used by the PC??

The answer in your other post is the one I was afraid of....kinda thought that was the case - looks like I'll be reformatting sometime within the next few weeks then.
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Old April 27th, 2008, 10:01 PM   #5
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I agree, a defrag will help, also if you use IE, do a disk cleanup.
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Old April 27th, 2008, 10:08 PM   #6
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Sorry, kinda skipped answering the questions as well....

I use firefox, have it set to clear the cache every time it's closed....I do the disc clean up and defrag a min of one time per week, and when I perform that I also go into the IE options and delete everything that is saved in the "temp" folder.

So, it's not like I don't keep up on the stuff with the comp. Also, windows media player is using substantially less memory when running than firefox, which is why I doubted that would be the problem as well...
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Old April 27th, 2008, 10:10 PM   #7
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Sorry, kinda skipped answering the questions as well....

I use firefox, have it set to clear the cache every time it's closed....I do the disc clean up and defrag a min of one time per week, and when I perform that I also go into the IE options and delete everything that is saved in the "temp" folder.

So, it's not like I don't keep up on the stuff with the comp. Also, windows media player is using substantially less memory when running than firefox, which is why I doubted that would be the problem as well...
Just don't overdefrag. I hear it does a number on your harddrive over time as in wear out causing it damage. I don't know what that time frame is though. I defrag max once a month.
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Old April 27th, 2008, 10:12 PM   #8
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Just don't overdefrag. I hear it does a number on your harddrive over time as in wear out causing it damage. I don't know what that time frame is though. I defrag max once a month.
Never knew that....I'll have to keep that in mind.

Any "special" tips on reformatting aside from the typical insert disc, boot from CD, delete partition, blablabla....I've heard people talk about doing something to the registry, but again, I have no clue wtf they're refering to.
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Old April 27th, 2008, 10:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris1044 View Post
Never knew that....I'll have to keep that in mind.

Any "special" tips on reformatting aside from the typical insert disc, boot from CD, delete partition, blablabla....I've heard people talk about doing something to the registry, but again, I have no clue wtf they're refering to.
I just back up my files and do a fresh install. But I don't delete stuff the normal way since my last reformat. When I delete a program I don't like I use RevoUninstaller. Make sure it grabs everything out of your registry. Check it out it has great options. I also don't use a normal defrager either. Found a nice open source one with more features and better visual of what is going on exactly. Called JK Defrag. Here are the links:

http://www.kessels.com/JkDefrag/

http://www.revouninstaller.com/

Both are much better than their Windows counterparts.

EDIT:

Also a nice cleaner program to try. Great for optimization. Makes alot of those manual tasks for cleaning automated.

http://www.ccleaner.com/
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Old April 27th, 2008, 10:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by chris1044 View Post
True, but isn't that listed under the firefox.exe process module??

How can I compare the available memory with the amount being used by the PC??

The answer in your other post is the one I was afraid of....kinda thought that was the case - looks like I'll be reformatting sometime within the next few weeks then.
Three finger salute.

ctrl-alt-delete

Click the performance tab.

That will show you the total ram and what is being used. Also the page file size. Page file is a part of the hard drive that windows uses as ram when it runs out of physical ram.

Run a defrag, run a virus and spyware scan and a disk clean up. Set you net cache to under 100MB in the internet options.

I like the format and reinstall idea. I do it once a year as well.
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Old April 27th, 2008, 10:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by chris1044 View Post
Never knew that....I'll have to keep that in mind.

Any "special" tips on reformatting aside from the typical insert disc, boot from CD, delete partition, blablabla....I've heard people talk about doing something to the registry, but again, I have no clue wtf they're refering to.
Back up before all that.

Dont fukc with the registry unless you know what you are doing. Or you will be stuck with a boat anchor until you reinstall.

Spybot, and Adaware are good scum scanners.
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Old April 27th, 2008, 10:40 PM   #12
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Search, Download and run: HiJackThis
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Old April 27th, 2008, 10:54 PM   #13
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On a conventional magnetic platter based hard drive, you aren't going to come anywhere close to wearing sectors, unless you're defragging 24x7 for years. Each sector is rated for hundreds of thousands of writes.

Now, if you have a SSD (solid state drive), which is basically a hard drive made out of flash memory, that's a different story. The cells in them are rated for less operations than a standard platter based drive. However, due to the nature of these drives, access is more random access than sequential, so you don't really need to defrag anyways.

In short, weekly defrags are probably a good happy medium between too few and too many. No matter what, you're not going to wear out your drive. By the time you wear it out, you'll be looking at buying a new computer. Unless you have an SSD drive.
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Old April 27th, 2008, 10:57 PM   #14
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On a conventional magnetic platter based hard drive, you aren't going to come anywhere close to wearing sectors, unless you're defragging 24x7 for years. Each sector is rated for hundreds of thousands of writes.

Now, if you have a SSD (solid state drive), which is basically a hard drive made out of flash memory, that's a different story. The cells in them are rated for less operations than a standard platter based drive. However, due to the nature of these drives, access is more random access than sequential, so you don't really need to defrag anyways.

In short, weekly defrags are probably a good happy medium between too few and too many. No matter what, you're not going to wear out your drive. By the time you wear it out, you'll be looking at buying a new computer. Unless you have an SSD drive.
Thanks for clarifying that. I wasn't exactly sure about it or my source. It's just something I heard a nerd or two talking about in a forum. Some people like to baby their gaming rigs.
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Old April 28th, 2008, 05:04 PM   #15
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Three finger salute.

ctrl-alt-delete
Here's the three finger salute I gave MS products:



Went to Linux, no more registry BS.
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Old April 28th, 2008, 06:56 PM   #16
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so back on the svchost subject...

i've been having similar issues with my machine, and after reading this i looked, and i have 5 or 6 svchost processes running in my list... is this right?
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Old April 28th, 2008, 07:11 PM   #17
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so back on the svchost subject...

i've been having similar issues with my machine, and after reading this i looked, and i have 5 or 6 svchost processes running in my list... is this right?
I'm also curious on this....the reason I'm so curious is because upon manually ending various svchost processes, I find they're actually needed by the computer. For example, ending the svchost process that is utilizing the most memory means that my speakers no longer work (anything that uses sounds tells me there are no active mixer devices)

Additionally, updating and scanning my computer with both adaware and norton have yielded nothing???
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Old April 28th, 2008, 08:13 PM   #18
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This page at Microsoft support describes what svchost really does, and how to find out what each instance is doing. However, it's only available on XP Pro.

Basically, svchost (MS shorthand for service host) is an executable that keeps track of what processes are running and how much memory they use. The problem is, once they are open, they don't close until you reboot causing a massive memory leak. Used in a trojan horse it can cause the good old buffer overflow that allows a hacker to control your computer.

Here is the easiest to understand way to disable excess processes I could find.

This really is the big reason I switched to linux, it's really a pain keeping ahead of all the various Windblows bugs that keep popping up. At least if a linux install is buggy, it was free so you don't feel bad wiping it out and starting over with a different distro. Sorry if my previous post was smart-assy, but I have a stack of dead computers that are all OS problems, waiting to be repaired. Side jobs are a pain sometimes too.

"All computers suck, you just need to choose the suck you can deal with"
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Old April 29th, 2008, 11:14 AM   #19
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Here's the three finger salute I gave MS products:



Went to Linux, no more registry BS.
I hear ya. My file server runs redhat.

BTW I never have these problems with my iBook. To mac.
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Old April 29th, 2008, 11:29 AM   #20
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"All computers suck, you just need to choose the suck you can deal with"

x2

and for the normal user, with Windows, tis why a daily reboot is probably worthwhile.
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