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Old 10-02-2007, 21:03   #1
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PC Problems, slow 'puter, start-up menu?

Well, now is the time to ask for expert help before I am tearing my hair out:

My 'puter was top of the line 3 years ago, Windows XP, HP desktop something with lots of goodies.

Now it is slow as molasses.

Have ran the registry cleaner, the registry mechanic and the A1 cleaner tools.
It seems to help some, but still slow.

The programs running in the back ground may be the culprits:

Lots of stuff showing on the little menu bar on the lower right hand corner.
When I hit the "startup" on the green "startmenu bar" and delete all them icons it pretty much tells me that only the icons will be removed, not the programs.
Sure 'nuff.

I have also ran a program called the "startup Inspector" and de-selected 20 programs, but they still pop up whenever I re-boot the machine.

So, how do I permanently keep only one or 2 programs running in the back ground instead of the motherload?

I only need Norton Antivirus and the password thing..Not Adobe, Picassa and all this other stuff we have installed.

Hoping for a final solution here guys and the beer will be on me for life....
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Old 10-02-2007, 21:30   #2
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reimage it with your copy of win xp after backing up the files you want to keep, also blow out all the heatsinks on your motherboard, youll be amazed at the speed difference
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Old 11-02-2007, 00:52   #3
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Sucking...

I used a vacuum cleaner to get all the dust from my computer once. Made quite a difference.
Now I use cut up filters from an old air conditioner to keep the dust down.
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Old 11-02-2007, 02:32   #4
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Open the start menu, click run. Type "msconfig" and OK. Go to the startup tab, un check the programs you don't want. Do not turn off anything if you don't know what it is. Hope this helps.
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Old 11-02-2007, 02:53   #5
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1. Your computer may have hundreds of thousands of files on it. XP needs to keep track of all these, which takes time. To the extent possible, archive off all data files you don't need to keep on your hard drive, including pics, music, video files.

2. Remove unused and unneeded programs from your hard drive (using My Computer -> Control Panel -> Add or Remove Programs).

3. Clear out your temp files: My Computer -> Drive C:\ -> Documents and Settings -> Authorized User -> Local Settings -> Temp

Delete all files in temp folder (XP won't let you delete certain files; that's OK, delete all the others)

4. Be absolutely sure your computer is free of viruses, trojan horses, spyware and other malware. Some of these are devilishly clever in hiding from antivirus programs.

5. Make note to self: "Buy a Mac"

Good luck,

Bill
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Old 11-02-2007, 08:44   #6
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Thanks for all the suggestions, I will do 'em one by one.

As for buying a Mac..?

Hmm, I was on vacation last week and my host had a Mac that I used every day...It was a weird animal..Like being in some parallel universe where things are similar, but really not.
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Old 11-02-2007, 08:51   #7
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There are free anti spyware programs out there that will help to remove junk that gets installed on your computer without your permission or knowlege. Don't remember the names of them as I run Linux and don't need them.
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Old 11-02-2007, 12:20   #8
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Quote:
There are free anti spyware programs out there that will help to remove junk that gets installed on your computer without your permission or knowlege.
Yeah, just finished installing some of them programs.
They sure cleaned up and found hundreds of propblem areas.
They also cleaned my screen-saver that I downloaded 6 months ago..Man it is gone. No mo' tropical fishes swimming across my screen.

The 'puter seem to be a bit faster now, but I am still working on it.
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Old 12-02-2007, 08:11   #9
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The biggest source of spyware and "bots" on the Internet come as unwanted attachments to free downloads - such as screen savers, wallpaper, etc. I use Lavasoft freeware to police this crap.

Even on the internet there's no such thing as a "free lunch." Don't download anything unless you have to.
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Old 12-02-2007, 09:47   #10
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"They sure cleaned up and found hundreds of propblem areas."
PCTools' PCDoctor and AVG's EWIDO are both good at that. The free AdAware and SpyBot programs are a good start--but show their age, they don't catch a lot of new things.

If you are not using a firewall, or NAT in your router, your computer *will* be hacked and the only question is when, not if. Even on a dial-up modem pool, the odds are you will be probed within 10 minutes of dialing out.

The other problem is that you really need to enable all the security options in your web browser, even though some of them will break some web sites. (There's a lot of simply bad web site design that requires active technology options which are a security that.)

If you download and run the free Microsoft Baseline Security Advisor tool, that will also give you a confusingly long list of security settings to make for MS programs on your computer as well.

This has been a good year for the bad guys--it's estimated that 25% of all PC's are now running botnets (zombies, software installed and controlled by hackers) and actively sending out spam or doing other damage without their owners knowing about it.
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Old 12-02-2007, 11:31   #11
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Quote:
The biggest source of spyware and "bots" on the Internet come as unwanted attachments to free downloads - such as screen savers, wallpaper, etc. I use Lavasoft freeware to police this crap.

Even on the internet there's no such thing as a "free lunch." Don't download anything unless you have to
Yeah, I suspect my screen saver may have come with a "gift".
I have been using stuff to police my machine as well:
A1, Lavasoft, and a few others.

Quote:
If you are not using a firewall, or NAT in your router, your computer *will* be hacked and the only question is when, not if. Even on a dial-up modem pool, the odds are you will be probed within 10 minutes of dialing out.
Have used Norton Firewall and Internet Security since the day I bought the computer and feel I have been pretty well protected, automatic updates and scans, etc.

In other words, I don't think I have been wreckless with this machine, but perhaps some stuff snuck by anyway.?

Today I downloaded MS Defender (Free) and with a few programs installed yesterday to root out bots and crap, I should be on the right track..Knock on wood..

Thanks again for the help and suggestions.
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Old 12-02-2007, 11:47   #12
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Today, you don't have to be reckless. Even with the firewall and such, there are ways (either proven or demonstrated) that every active technology used on a web site can let you be hacked, and that gets them right past the firewalls and all.

Java, JavaScript, Active-X, and now possibly even Adobe Flash. But, like they say on the Cartoon Network "Pretty pretty shiny shiny" and that's all the web designers and their customers seem to care about. Rather than building sites that are robust and secure.

Speaking of which...I can't help laughing, Cartoon Network bringing Boston to a panicked halt with gizmos that had been all over the country for three weeks, and written up at least a year ago in Wired as part of guerilla advertising ploys. May the Gods help us if the real terrorists ever get brains, 'cause no one on our side seems to have them.

Repeat after me: "Pretty pretty! Shiny shiny!" Sigh. A mantra for the 21st Century.
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Old 12-02-2007, 12:28   #13
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CSY< You may have already done this but if not it is a must on a regular basis and that is to defrag the system. I do mine at least once a week. XP has a defrag program built in but I like and use diskkeeper as it is a bit more comprehensive and much faster. If you haven't done this for some time it will take windows quite a while the first time. Also run your disk cleaner tool in windows about once a week and check the boxes to automatically fix everything. If you still have a problem get a free program call HijackThis, run it but don't fix anything. Save the log and post it at

TomCoyote (Slaying Slyware Since 2002)

You will need to register to post. Someone will analyze it and give you detailed instructions on how to clean up your computer. Take your time and follow their instructions very carefully. You will be amazed when all is done and you computer will be running just great. Good luck
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Old 12-02-2007, 13:04   #14
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Another good source for info to improve your start up is at

3DSpotlight | Tweaking your system startup/booting
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Old 12-02-2007, 13:43   #15
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Chuck - thanks for that - from another non-computer guy who is being dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 21st Century!

I was given a Sony Viao laptop but it had so much rubbish on it from the old owner, it is s l o w. I've removed a scad of programs but it still seems topped up with files(?) which wont go away. Actually, I'm a bit frightened of removing them just in case they are important to the internal workings! According to my defragmenter, I only have 16% of memory left on C drive - so it tells me it isnt going to do a very good job defragging as it wants at least 20%. Now - just to confuse and entice me - I find that it has a 16 gig Drive D which is practically empty! How the heck do I get to use all this good space? Tony
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