Hello everyone. I am in need of serious help. Usually I am always able to eliminate and narrow down the possibilities of a problem, and therefore fix it. But this time I'm at a loss.
My computer was running fine and then one day I shut it down (which is rare for me..I know..thats bad.) But anywho, I came back later that day started it up and thats when the trouble started. The computer would sit on the windows loading screen for over a minute, then it would eventually load. Now I seem to have high cpu usage and its very laggy. You can even tell thats its lagging just by moving the mouse around in circles you can see it almost "stick".

I have done the obvious. I have run the following programs:

Norton antivirus
Housecall Online
Panda Active Scan Online
Spybot Search and Destroy

I found no viruses and a few spyware things I got rid of.
I also defragmented and ran SFC /Scannow

I tried to think of programs I may have just installed that may be conflicting with windows and uninstalled anything that I thought was recent.

I can also tell the computer is running laggy because when I am running absolutely no programs and go to watch an avi file on my computer, the audio skips (and sometimes video) which it wasn't doing before. I use to watch movies even when other programs were running and it ran fine.

Your next question would probably be what processes are running when cpu usage is high and what are they at. I went in and eliminated a bunch of stuff upon startup, however I DO have norton which takes up a lot of resources, but never caused this problem before. The only time I really see the cpu usage go high is when I go to open a folder or program. So not sure that the cpu usage being high is really the problem.

Other Information you may need:

Operating System: Xp Home Edition
OS service pack: Service pack 2
System Memory: 512MB
Video Adaptar: ATI RADEON 9550
Page File: 305MB used, 942MB available
Free Space: 16.6 GB


Motherboard: 23C (73 F)
CPU: 49C (120F)
Aux: 26C (79F)

Cooling Fans:
CPU: 4167 RPM
Chasis: 2109 RPM

Processes Currently Running:
iexplore.exe 9,000k
explorer.exe 7,912k
svchost.exe 27,900k
CCAPP.EXE 18,524k
System Idle Process

Seems like a lot of process running to me. However a lot have to do with windows and Norton antivirus/firewall. All this stuff was running before and never had this problem. So shouldn't have to do with these processes running.

I can still run the computer and open programs ect. But I know something is wrong. Its lagging and not acting like it was before shut down.

Any suggestions, ideas? If you need any more information. Please let me know. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Recommended Answers

All 17 Replies

It could be a problem with your hard drive. If you have a bad cluster, it can make windows really slow like you say. To do this click start menu -> run and then type cmd to bring up the command prompt and with in the command prompt enter CHKDSK C: /F and then hit enter. It should say that the drive is in use and ask if you want to run it next time your restart your computer and hit Y for yes and then restart your compter and it should run the program.

It could be that something has enabled itself at start up that is slowing down your computer, if you hadn't shut it down for a while this may be why the problem is only occouring now. To try and fix this go to the start menu then run and type in msconfig. Set it to start up in diagnoistoc mode to see if this solves the problem. If this does then change it back to normal start up and go into msconfig again.

This will show you how your computer is starting up, what process are starting up and what programs are starting up when windows first loads. Make sure you are only running the programs you need to at start up but dont disable processes unless you are 100% sure that they arnt relevant to any programs you are using, this could be the cause of your problem. Also if you are using norton go back and havn't shut down for a while it could be adding information to that on both the start up and shutdown. Hope this helps.

I went and rank chkdsk like suggested but that didnt help. the main problem I seem to be having now is with my audio. I considered that maybe I need to update my driver, but again..this wasn't happening before shutdown. My audio was fine. I will start the computer in diagnostic mode like suggested and see if it does it then. I can't play videos because the audio is choppy and skips. Its not just with video files, also happens with mp3's and other computer wav files.

Audio (just in case your curious)

VIA AC'97 Audio Controller (WDM)
VIA Technoligies, Inc.
Driver Version: 5.1.2535.0

I also read that SP2 and VIA AC'97 do not work well together. Some people reinstalled windows and didn't install SP2 and it fixed it. So I uninstalled SP2 and that didn't help.

I started the computer in diagnostic mode, however I'm not able to check and see if the audio works because in diagnostic mode it says "no sound device detected on system". So in diagnostic mode I'm assuming the driver does not load. I don't know why all of a sudden the sound would start acting this way after restart. I don't know if I should update my sound driver or not and if so, I don't know where to look. I was unable to find any updates higher than the version i have now. I have tried playing the video files/mp3's on several different programs, so its not just Nero that does it. As far as the processes running, I've checked all the ones running and they are all neccesary to running Norton and Windows. They were all running before the problem started as well. I don't know what could be running to make the sound be doing this. I'm at a loss. The last thing I want to do is reinstall windows. Its a real pain. Any other suggestions?

Dude, I hate to say it, but I wouldnt doubt one bit that ya have a virus/extreme malware. I'd reccomend that ya download HijackThis (a diagnostic software), rewrite the problem in a thread in the 'Virus, Spywares, and other nasties' category, and post a HijackThis log into your thread. Help with the HJT can be found at the top of:


Thanks. Now you're prly thinking that since ya ran Norton/etc, you're protected, but from what I've noticed (from helping/reading posts here), the majority of the time, virus scans didnt catch the virus. Jus trust me on this one :)

Im with jhay really does sound like a virus or spyware problem and he is right norton will not always detect them.

I didnt just run Norton though. I also ran Housecall Online, Stinger, Panda Active Scan Online, as well as Spybot search and destroy and Ad-Aware. No viruses were found. And any adware stuff I found, I got rid of. I know better than to just trust Norton by itself. I am certain I have no viruses

I am considering formatting for the first time. This computer is about 5-6 years old and its never been done.

Hmm not a bad plan I guess...Have ya used CCleaner recently?
It can cut down on alotta stuff.

Edit: (and I hate to press the issue, but have ya tried Ewido? :o it's the only malware scanner Ive used that's caught a good number of stuff,, but if you're sure ya have none on you're computer..)

The only reason I keep mentioning it (I apolegize) is because of what Chris5126 said about startup programs. Even msconfig doesnt show all processes...some are hidden.

I dont think hes infected....

It could be a problem with the driver on your graphics card. You may wish to download the newest drivers from ati's website and that may fix your problem. Also check in the device manager to see if you have any hardware conflicts.

Yet again im with jhay a format does sound like a good idea not even the best spyware removal programs will be able to remove all infections the best way is to back up your data and put everything back to the orginal state, I doubt it is a driver problem this would not cause long load up times but spyware infecting windows system folders could cause this and also devices to malfunction.

you guys all give up to easily...

How about you run a hijack this and post the log up here first. Formating should be a last resort.


I would download a OS on a disk, such as Knoppix, and boot with that. See if the problems go away. If the problems are gone, then there is a good bet that the OS is at fault, although if the hard drive or controller is at fault, you will not detect it with this test.

Also, while I generally agree that spending a little time to try and knock out a virus is a good idea, I am firmly of the opinion that after a certain time investment point, it becomes more expensive to try and bugshoot something instead of formatting and re-installing. A number of places that I have been in contact have a zero-tolerance policy concerning viruses: if a machine gets infected, it gets re-formatted after moving any personal data off of it.

Unless you are very skilled, moving the data, and reformatting is the best option to return to your feet quickly.


first, in response to jhay. yes i have run ccleaner. (a friend recommended it to me, and I like it a lot.) Second in response to nizzy's "I don't think he's infected"...
I'm a girl hehe. And also you are correct that formatting should be a last resort, however..this computer is around 6 years old and its never been formatted. Its been running buggy for quite some time now even before all of this. I would love to do a clean install. I think it would be a good idea, not only to fix my current issue, but others as well. I have spent a lot of time fixing problems and trying to make things run right and its been very tiresome. So alas, I think I am going to go ahead and format. I've already backed up all the neccesary files and programs, and will most likely be doing it tommorow. Wish me luck! Once I'm done and connected to the internet again, I'll come back and post to let you all know how it goes. Thank you all for your advice and help, it is much appreciated. :)

Well if its been 6 years then i guess it is time to clean house a bit and clean install that old windows! Post back with your results on how your reinstall goes :)

Well if its been 6 years then i guess it is time to clean house a bit and clean install that old windows! Post back with your results on how your reinstall goes :)

just jumped in and am following with great interest cuz I've got the exact same problem ... my laptop is only 3 months old tho and doesn't do too much, so I don't think reformat is the answer for me

Yea, I'm having the same issue as well..

I had the same issue a few months ago but either it stopped on it's own or I did something that I can't remember to fix it.

It's back to how it was... and it seemed to have occured after using my Cd/Dvd drive to play a game. The game has pretty much always been buggy with my system (After a regular interval approximately a minute or so the game runs extremely slow for about 10 seconds then continues as normal.

When I play sound or video both go slow and sound like quick echos... so it's chopping? crackling? I don't really know how to explain it. (does the same thing when I hear the windows opening sound on startup)

Could it be a problem with my bios at all?

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