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Linux user seeks Vista help - slow system

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markjensen    98

I have a low-end PC running Vista Home Basic. It belongs to my 9 year old kid, who has not been using it lately because it is "too slow".

I logged in, and the thing was horribly sluggish.

He is not admin. He cannot install apps. Not sure what is causing the system to run so slowly. I have it dual-booted with Xubuntu at the moment, and he is happy with running Linux and how much faster it is now.

My question is: I still have Windows there as a secondary boot option. What can I do to fix it, so he can choose either OS to boot, and they both respond reasonably well? It isn't a machine with a lot of RAM or horsepower, you can see the specs in my blog 2 1/2 years ago here.

Could someone point me to some things I can look for (or perform) to determine the slowdown cause, and remedy it, please.

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>Ned    77

look at the reliability history to see if you can pinpoint when certain problems started occurring.

....although nothing is crashing so I don't know how much use it will be.

look in the taskmanager processes tab (show processes from all users) and try to find if any processes are taking up the cpu.

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User6060    351

its vista...somehow it manages to slow up without reasonable cause. heck even transferring files from folders is much quicker on 7 than vista (measured by the file dialogue mb/s)

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gdodson    24

If it only has 512MB of RAM, that's your problem. Vista runs like garbage on less than 2GB.

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InterceptorX    10
its vista...somehow it manages to slow up without reasonable cause. heck even transferring files from folders is much quicker on 7 than vista (measured by the file dialogue mb/s

Really? Never had that problem.

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markjensen    98
look at the reliability history to see if you can pinpoint when certain problems started occurring.

...

look in the taskmanager processes tab (show processes from all users) and try to find if any processes are taking up the cpu.

I'll take a look at those tomorrow, probably. It is getting late here. Just put the youngest kids to bed, so will need to head off to bed myself. Gotta work in the morning :(
its vista...somehow it manages to slow up without reasonable cause...
While the Linux advocate part of me would like to believe that this is true, I really didn't expect it to be true. Not sure what would have caused this, though, as nothing was added by me. I tried a few of my trusty admin passwords and could not log in, so I know that I have not authorized any app installs in a LONG time. Must remember (or reset) password before I can do too much diagnosis. I find it hard to believe that Windows would really slow down as much as it did all on its own. Maybe one of the apps installed is sucking up CPU time for some weird reason. You know - a problem outside of the OS itself - it just gives CPU time to the apps as they request it.
If it only has 512MB of RAM, that's your problem. Vista runs like garbage on less than 2GB.
I noticed! It was my main observation in my blog entry pasted in the first post for purposes of hardware identification. But while it was slow originally, the speed was unbearably slow for his game that he used to play with reasonable speed. Half or less, maybe? Now, if I reduced RAM from original factory setup, I would agree. I just expect the same poor performance as before. Not worse. :p

EDIT: :laugh: the thread is rated one-star. Not sure if it is because I mentioned "Linux" or "Vista". :unsure:

Anyhow, the suggestions are appreciated, and I will try to post back tomorrow with some responses to the investigations requested.

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IceBrewedBeer    0

I know this isn't helping either but why not run XP?

try CCleaner? Maybe it needs a defrag? CCleaner will rid you of temp files that might be causing the slow down. I dunno if this helps but good luck, don't make your son's Window's experience a bad one, lol.

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markjensen    98
I know this isn't helping either but why not run XP?

try CCleaner? Maybe it needs a defrag? CCleaner will rid you of temp files that might be causing the slow down. I dunno if this helps but good luck, don't make your son's Window's experience a bad one, lol.

I don't have an XP license. I am wary of CCleaner. If it is recommended by several other posters without caveats, I will certainly try it.

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redvamp128    321

Some things I have seen to speed up a slow Vista-

Turn off the Side Bar-(gadgets)

Tone down visual effects or turn off Aero if enabled (on some of the slower end systems or those with less memory)

On that same note- you may also look into updated video drivers -

Check your startup items- I don't know why things like Adobe need speed launch (with faster systems this is not needed anymore)

Also on some systems I have seen Norton 360 pre-installed which I have seen that is a major slow down (Though Norton Internet Security seems faster) so maybe an AV change may be needed.

on most systems I have found that the default Defragmenter does not run- (I think the default setting is Wednesday at 1:00am) so it may be time to just let it run.

CCLEANER- the default clean with the Pre-Fetch clean I would recomend-

Now with that said its registry checker - Use with caution for cleaning- I generally tell people to let it scan then de-select all and go through them one by one- only removing things that have been uninstalled.

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Emon    40

+1 for CCleaner. You won't have any issue running it.

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Billus    135

CCleaner is good, perhaps the best cleaning tool for Windows. I've never used it under Vista or 7 but I have used it for XP and 2000 and can confidently say it won't screw up your system unless you go into the more advance options. Apart from that, it's free so if you don't like it, no harm done. Is it possible for you to go for a clean install or is that to much hassle?

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>Ned    77

you can use ccleaner, but I don't recommend you use the registry cleaning options.

...heh, looking at your blog post. Not the best computer to run vista on...hence why it only came with vista home basic.

Edited by Ned

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Emon    40
you can use ccleaner, but I don't recommend you use the registry cleaning options.

CCleaner reg cleaner is way less aggressive than other reg cleaners and quite safe if you ask me.

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Justin-    0

CCleaner -- run it as Administrator or it may not get everything. And I've never had problems using the registry cleaning options... I've ran it on many computers without any problem.

Other than that, do a scan with Windows Defender and an Anti Virus program. See what's using the CPU and what's hogging the ram. Not sure if there's something for Vista that let's you see which files are being read from/to like there is in Windows Server 2008, but if there is and if it's constantly hitting the disk that may be helpful too.

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markjensen    98

Grrr... bad news (for me). I have to travel and will be gone the rest of the week. I will have to take a look at the computer this weekend.

You guys have given some good suggestions. I will get on them as soon as I am able.

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redvamp128    321

also to note- with the latest development release of wine- teamviewer works well under Linux.

Only issue I had was that when the elevated prompts come up you have to click in and out of the window to select them.

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Growled    3,880

Better late than never but I also recommend ccleaner. A great tool.

I really don't think Vista will run well for that machine. It is a resource hog for sure.

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Raa    1,565

I'd drop Windows 7 onto that PC if you can! And definately get some more ram for it ;)

Although I can run Windows 7 quite well on 1GB of ram, seriously!

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Owen W    53
If it only has 512MB of RAM, that's your problem. Vista runs like garbage on less than 2GB.

+1 (Y)

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nokiaxion    2

Have you ran Windows Update on that machine? Might speed it up a bit :)

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>Ned    77

You said he was running a limited user account. If you create a new user profile does it still run slow?

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markjensen    98
I'd drop Windows 7 onto that PC if you can! And definately get some more ram for it ;)

Although I can run Windows 7 quite well on 1GB of ram, seriously!

Not interested in throwing money at the problem.
Have you ran Windows Update on that machine? Might speed it up a bit :)
Yes, I had it automatically keep updated. I keep current in Linux, and wanted his computer to get all the latest fixes and updates, too.
You said he was running a limited user account. If you create a new user profile does it still run slow?
Excellent idea. I will try that this weekend, too. (Y)

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nokiaxion    2
Yes, I had it automatically keep updated. I keep current in Linux, and wanted his computer to get all the latest fixes and updates, too.

I believe on a limited account automatic updates do not get installed.....I may be incorrect.

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cpressland2    0
I believe on a limited account automatic updates do not get installed.....I may be incorrect.

I think they get installed while shutting down, but obviously Major Updates like Internet Fail Explorer and Service Packs don't get installed.

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markjensen    98

Update: Back home for the weekend. Getting ready to run CCleaner later today.

I would like to get some objective performance benchmarks done as a "before/after" on the Vista cleanup. One thing in particular is Java speed (not Javascript, Sun Java), since one of the games they like to play often is a Java game inside their browser.

Googling, I see an online benchmark for Java called Caffeine Mark. Is this a good enough Java benchmarker for overall performance? Any other benchmark suggestions (things outside Java, too)? I would be most interested in utilities that run in Linux, as well, so I can benchmark the final Vista versus his current Xubuntu install as well.

I believe on a limited account automatic updates do not get installed.....I may be incorrect.

The auto updates were set up under the "Dad" account, which is an "Administrator" level account.

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