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Hard Drive Diagnostics?

Discussion in 'Bits & Bytes' started by ethics, Dec 9, 2002.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    I know this is probably beyond the scope of this forum but you guys and gals have been so good I figured I'd pass my biggest headache off and see if anyone has any suggestions.

    System is the following:

    512Megs of RAM

    40 Gig HD

    1.0 Gig mhz motherboard.

    Decent graphics card with 32 Vram.

    OS: WinXP

    Problem: HD is churning and SEEMS like it's accessing it way too much. Slows down the entire system while the CPU utilization is very low.
  2. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    A sign of not being defragged in a long time. 512 Megs of ram should rule out using the hard drive as virtual ram.
  3. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Freshly defragged yesterday.
  4. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    He should still have a sizeable swap file set up. At least 800 MB.

    Some other things to look at are what background tasks are running. I haven't used Norton AV in several years, but earlier versions were quite aggressive when running in the background.
  5. Sunriser13

    Sunriser13 Knee Deep in Paradise

    What kinds of things are running in the background?

    XP has <B>MANY</B> unnecessary services that will run in the default configuration, and of course your anti-virus and firewall (and anything else that <i>you've</i> chosen to allow to run) also can hit your performance.

    <u>Black Viper</u> has an excellent guide to taming those services. It takes some time, but I've seen a tremendous difference in performance - vital for me since I've got a POS computer, anyway.

    Then we can work on your startup programs... :)
  6. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    I know I have a lot to start with but so does my other PC's and the performance is nothing compared to this dino.
  7. mrRT

    mrRT Tech Mod

    How 'bout these;.....

    Whats the free space look like?? You running that thing past 3/4 full..

    defrag you said just done. Do you use the XP defrag?? I have switched...and now use O&O defrag...seems to have a little better file placement.

    whens the slowdown...bootup, all the time, using a specific program.

    Whats the Temp directory look like...full of stuff, also temp internet files are a killer...1000's of those 4K files are brutal...

    Swap files...I have never messed with them One of the few things that MS seems to do correctly is size the swap file and anytime I have screwed with it ...it only got worse

    anything else......have to think about this one for a few.
  8. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Thanks, sir, I will take a look tonight.
  9. tke711

    tke711 Oink Oink Staff Member

    Does this seem to happen at about the same times every day?

    The reason I ask, is that I vaguely remember my coworker having a similar problem a few years back. If I remember correctly, it turned out to be his anti-virus doing system scans.
  10. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Happens at the start and gradually gets worse. I can disable AV or anything else that I am running tonight and see if it's anything elementary like that. If it is, I'd be really embarassed. :)
  11. tke711

    tke711 Oink Oink Staff Member

    If it begins at startup and continues the whole time, I would doubt it's an AV problem then.

    Mmmmm....I'll have to keep thinking about this one then.....
  12. mikepd

    mikepd Veteran Member

    Clear out your Internet Temp Cache Files, turn off Fast File Indexing.

    Other ideas, I am going to have to think about once my head stops pounding.
  13. -Ken

    -Ken Guest

    Or, alternatively, Fdisk, remove the partition, turn off the computer, turn the computer on, Fdisk, create a partition, turn off the computer, turn the computer on, format the hard drive and reinstall windows.

    This will return your computer to the pristine condition and blazing performance it had when you first purchased it.

    Oh, did I mention you should back up your files first?
  14. mrRT

    mrRT Tech Mod

    It is definitely not an AV issue.... (unless you are setup to scan all files on boot...then it could be an issue...but I don't think so

    also should try CNTL-ALT-DEL....process tab....see who is sucking up all your resources...that might give you a clue to the problem
  15. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Don't see anything exciting here:
  16. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Here is avg seek/transfer time (blue line)
  17. mikeky

    mikeky Member

    What is that app using 99% of your CPU? I doubt you should experience that unless it's one very graphic or calculation intensive application.
  18. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    It's <a href="http://ud.com">United Devices</a>. CPU Crunching program.
  19. Jedi Writer

    Jedi Writer Guest

    We have very similar systems! OK so this doesn't get too convoluted, here in no particular order or priority are some tips and thoughts.

    1. Always de-frag you HD at least once at week whether Windows says you need it or not. It is fast and painless.

    2. Here is the best site in my opinion for optimizing your Windows XP and entire system, why and how. It covers in detail much of what others have stated or alluded to in their posts. Naturally you want to go to the links that target XP.


    3. One important question that I would like to the answer to is did you upgrade to XP and if so from what previous version of XP? ( Really an important issue.)

    4. Is your XP from MS or is an OEM version such as from Dell? If so <i> which company?</i>

    5. Do you have a good Windows utilities program such as Symantec's System Works 2002 or Norton/Symantec Utilities 2002? Most utilities suck in more ways than one.

    6. Swap file would not cause what you have described. I am not saying it isn't a separate or important issue to be discussed but not a factor in the symptoms you describe. (Probably neither is de-frag)

    7. Have you asked MS or your computer vendor for support or an answer to your problem? What did they say?

    8. Are you experiencing any other unexplained Windows or performance problems--even with specific applications?
  20. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    I try, but run the XP utility. I think Mike said it sucks?

    Started doing that, removed some thing from the start menu. Also STOPPED disk monitoring.

    Hmmm. It was an XP Home edition that came with Dell. The HD went bad, DELL replaced it, and I reloaded the XP Home Edition, which was upgraded with Pro Edition and then upgraded to Corporate edition (none Dell).

    Why would this matter?

    Don't have any of those programs.

    Under warranty until 7/2004. I like to tinker with my brain first, when I exhaust resources, I then turn to Dell.

    Everything actually. I try to click down on IE's address bar and it literally takes about 5 seconds, while the hourglass (and HD churning) is going.

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