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So I know a ridiculously large amount of people complain about their old computers being sluggish and slow, but my computer is only 3 weeks out of the box (a back-to-school sort of deal) and I'm confused. I've been running PowerDefragmenter (about 5 times faster than Windows Defragmenter) and I have AVG Free and Kaspersky Internet Security running. I've run scans with both of these, and nothing has come up dirty.

Here are the specs:
Gateway NV-52 notebook
4 GB RAM, 320 GB HD

If you feel that any other specs are relevant, please ask.

Does anyone know of any reason why this would be happening?

Thanks in advance.
altf2junkie

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Last Post by kaninelupus
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What is sluggish? What are the symptoms?

What does Task Manager report in the CPU column for the top hitters?

Is the disk light flashing all the time?

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I noticed the OP said he's running AVG and Kaspersky. Might I suggest removing any one AV app as multiple security programs can lead to degraded performance too.

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There could be a bit of a conflict between the two anti-viruses slowing your system.

You may want to remove some programs from start-up. Do you have any useless or non-important programs running at start up?

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Agree with multiple AV's - get rid of that hunk-of-junk crapware AVG anyhow! Also agree with with slimming down background and start-up processes - Hit Winkey+R and enter [Bmsconfig[/B] - on the Startup tab, un-check any 3rd party processes that you don't need (research if you DON"T KNOW WHAT IT IS). For example Acrobat, QuickTime, Messenger, Java etc, do not need to run at start-up.

One other point which hasn't been covered. If system is new, you've likely installed a few programs along the way, all of which would have prompted Vista to have created a restore point (in Vista, this means a full shadow copy) - which will chew through your HHD space. Use the Disk Cleanup utility (Start Menu > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup >"More Options" tab) to remove all but last Shadow Copy to reclaim HDD space.

Also, as OEM's tend to neglect systems not long after sale, might pay to track down more up-to-date drivers than what the OEM has provided you with, as many will have been optimised for performance in Vista far beyond those which the OEM has provided you with.

Edited by kaninelupus: n/a

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Hi there altf2junkie,

I see that you wanted to speed up the computer.

Try disabling all start-up items. Never keep win def running together with the antivirus. Not a good idea.

To disable all start up items:
Start > type MSCONFIG on start search > click at the start up tab > disable all > apply > ok restart computer.

Try as this as well:
Start > control panel (classic view) > System > Advanced system settings > Advanced tab > settings under performance > select Adjust for best performance.


If it is still the same could be a virus.

You may also need to check if the fan is running.


If it still the same you may need to reformat the computer.

After all of these has been made this could into a HW issue.Possibly on the HDD.

Edited by crunchie: url snipped-keep it on site

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Try disabling all start-up items. Never keep win def running together with the antivirus. Not a good idea.

That is only the case where the onboard AV client has anti-malware protection, which not all do... and given how useless AVG is, can't hurt to have WinDef as over-seer. A decent AV with malware/sys protection will disable WinDef by default anyhow.

To disable all start up items:
Start > type MSCONFIG on start search > click at the start up tab > disable all > apply > ok restart computer.

Um NO. Doing this will also disable vid-card utilities, core Windows' processes, hotkey and touchpad driver utilities etc. Some things NEED to be there on start-up!

Try as this as well:
Start > control panel (classic view) > System > Advanced system settings > Advanced tab > settings under performance > select Adjust for best performance.

Are you even using Vista. Setting to "basic" is sufficient, as will disable the Aero effect, without looking butt-ugly!

If it is still the same could be a virus.

So if the OP hasn't killed his Windows install following your advice, and is still seeing poor performance (guaranteed if he does as you suggest), it must be a virus?? You could at least suggest a diagnostic tool or two before even going there and scaring the cr@p out of the OP!

If it still the same you may need to reformat the computer.

Wow... no feedback from OP as to reasonable advice/suggestions, and already suggesting a complete reformat. You didn't by chance purchase your crystal ball from here did you??

After all of these has been made this could into a HW issue.Possibly on the HDD.

Might we not want to establish this before a full reinstall??


NB: to the OP; looking up this particular model, has been shown to be low-end, and handles Vista poorly. As you only bought recently, may well be able to get the discounted upgrade to Win7... would take it as will handle your laptop better - go x64 if have that option, as from what I can see, your lappy should support it, and will actually use that 4GB of RAM.

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.....NB: to the OP; looking up this particular model, has been shown to be low-end, and handles Vista poorly. As you only bought recently, may well be able to get the discounted upgrade to Win7... would take it as will handle your laptop better - go x64 if have that option, as from what I can see, your lappy should support it, and will actually use that 4GB of RAM.

NB: to the OP - hello. Where are you?

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Hello kaninelupus,

That is a step by step process. We have to isolate all possible causes by disabling everything. Of course, the graphics will not look good. Part of the process.

Recovery is always there as a final solution. Because after all software sides has been taken into consideration the recovery will tell us if this is software or HW.

Keeping things simple. There are only 2 causes of a slow computer. Software or HW.

If we disable everthing and its still slow, what does it suggest? Nothing is running why is it still slow? A virus perhaps? HDD issues?

Please, after all software sides has been taken into consideration consider it is a HW.

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when i was experimenting with the last computer i had, some combinations of RAM chips adding to 4MB or more slowed the windows xp. have you checked in your settings the size of your paging file? or the virtual memories settings and that you hadnt some of the other option activated. how often is it setting restore points and have you emptied that file? sorry man just throwing out some of the million things i've run into. you didn't set the hard drive to run quietly or anything correct?

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NB: to the OP - hello. Where are you?

Hey, sorry, I didn't quite expect so many responses and haven't been checking email as well. =P my bad.

Let's see---
(I'm not sure who asked what, but here you go)

1) I'm already using x64.
2) I signed up for the Windows 7 upgrade thing, should be coming mid-October at the soonest.
3) Yes, it is a fairly low-end computer, but not THAT low end! It's still brand new!
4) I killed the Vista theme entirely and I just went with Classic. I'd go with an XP theme if I could, but it seems as though Vista hates me. Already I'm seeing graphics improvements.

Hope this helps alleviate some of the looong replies, I'll be replying in a bit. Thanks a lot you guys.

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when i was experimenting with the last computer i had, some combinations of RAM chips adding to 4MB or more slowed the windows xp. have you checked in your settings the size of your paging file? or the virtual memories settings and that you hadnt some of the other option activated. how often is it setting restore points and have you emptied that file? sorry man just throwing out some of the million things i've run into. you didn't set the hard drive to run quietly or anything correct?

I'm fairly certain you mean 4GB, correct? =D Assuming you do, Vista x64 is supposed to be able to handle 4GB of RAM. I haven't set the paging memory yet, but it'll probably be another GB... I have a lot of leftover disk space.

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Hi cbusen,

XP can read only a max of 2GB.
Vista 32 can read 3GB and 64 can read 4GB.

Even though the computer can HW can handle memory higher than these it is advised just to stay on the limit.

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Hi cbusen,

XP can read only a max of 2GB.
Vista 32 can read 3GB and 64 can read 4GB.

Even though the computer can HW can handle memory higher than these it is advised just to stay on the limit.

Limit?? He's using Vista x64 and planning to upgrade to Win7 x64. Win7 (pro class editions) can handle up to 192 GB of RAM. x64 is optimised to run with a minimum of 4GB RAM - yes you can run with less (haven't had spare cash to upgrade my notebook from 2 to 4 gig of RAM just yet), but you will notice a performance hit. XP x86 can also be forced to use 3GB of RAM with a boot-switch, as per MS's own instructions. Please stop posting useless and incorrect information, as it only confuses things!

@altf2junkie

You are correct in 4GB Vista x64 support. Vista x64 HP will support 16GB, higher SKU's supporting up to 128GB. As to moving to Win7, that is a good idea... performance often outdoes XP, let alone Vista SP2. Don't worry about page-files though - setting pre-defined Page-file size (esp in Win7) seems to slow things down after a while. Is better to let system manage the size.

A couple of tips if you wish to speed things up:

  • Look a better hard-drive. A higher write-speed will give OS performance a massive boost. SSD'd prob out of your price range at this point.
  • Look at upgrading to a higher-performing RAM. Given the low-cost nature of GateWay machines, is likely only a bare-basic RAM you have installed. Even gaming-class RAM cards very affordable these days :)

Hope that helps

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Hey, sorry, I didn't quite expect so many responses and haven't been checking email as well. =P my bad.

Let's see---
(I'm not sure who asked what, but here you go)

1) I'm already using x64.
2) I signed up for the Windows 7 upgrade thing, should be coming mid-October at the soonest.
3) Yes, it is a fairly low-end computer, but not THAT low end! It's still brand new!
4) I killed the Vista theme entirely and I just went with Classic. I'd go with an XP theme if I could, but it seems as though Vista hates me. Already I'm seeing graphics improvements.

Hope this helps alleviate some of the looong replies, I'll be replying in a bit. Thanks a lot you guys.

Nice to see you again.

You didn't reply to any of my suggestions but I'd like to add one more (although we still don't know how you define "sluggish" - where it happens and how it manifests.

If you've got X64 then more RAM will improve performance. > 4GB is good with x^4. But until we know what's sluggish and what your CPU or disks are doing, definitive advice is not possible.

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Hi cbusen,

XP can read only a max of 2GB.
Vista 32 can read 3GB and 64 can read 4GB.

Even though the computer can HW can handle memory higher than these it is advised just to stay on the limit.

To reinforce what kaninelupus has said - you are posting a load of rubbish. Utter b*llox.

XP(32) recognises up to 4GB of RAM of which 2GB is available to any one application; multiple applications will roll in/out each at a maximum of 2GB. There is a software extension that allows the 2GB to be extended to 3GB and Windows system is then squeezed down to the remaining 1 GB.

Vista(32) behaves in the same way as XP except for improved pool habdling in Vista.

Kaninelupus has covered what x(64) can do. If you've got x64, then if you're not going to upgrade the PC, then upgrading RAM beyond 4GB is a sensible way of reducing system load times and any Windows intensive swapping activity.

For the OP, we do need to know what he means by "sluggish" before we can give him definite advice on his best options.

But you, JC, don't know what you're talking about - or at least that's how you come across. Sorry - but true.

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But you, JC, don't know what you're talking about - or at least that's how you come across. Sorry - but true.

Hey don't apologise.... if he actually knew what he was talking about, he wouldn't be handing out the sort of "advise" even your average monkey would cringe at!

Now maybe I enjoy stripping down the local imbecile a little too much, but I reckon if no-one calls the rubbish advice for what it is - pronto - then is often likely the unknowing end-user is likely to follow said "advice" to their own detriment... and leave others to have to guide them through cleaning up the resulting mess.

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Hey don't apologise.... if he actually knew what he was talking about, he wouldn't be handing out the sort of "advise" even your average monkey would cringe at!

LOL. I'm just Mr. Slightly Nicer Guy than you!

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I found a clear out of all temp files speeded up my laptop considerably.

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LOL. I'm just Mr. Slightly Nicer Guy than you!

Very funny (we all know you have a dark side :D ). I just have a low tolerance for idiots and @rseholes.... and these types of forums tend to attract both kinds in bucket-loads.

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