Extreme Computer Lag

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by David02, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. David02

    David02 Guest

    Hi everyone,

    I need some advice diagnosing a problem with my parents computer. I have been trying to help them out over the phone, so please bear with me on this.

    The computer is a few years old. Runs Windows XP with 512 MB RAM, 1.8 GHz processor and a 120 GB hard drive. It's "protected" from Viruses and Spyware by Norton Internet Security 2008.

    On Sunday my parents called me saying that the computer had slowed down immensely. I clocked over 20 seconds just for them to expand the start menu. Running programs is nearly impossible.

    I was able to walk them through a round of Advanced Windows Care and Ccleaner to fix any registry glitches and clean out any junk files. That did not help the problem at all. They also did a MalwareBytes scan which turned up nothing. Then they attempted to defrag the hard drive over night, but it was impossible due to the extreme lag.

    The really odd part is that CPU usage hovers between 5-10% even while lagging terribly, with occasional spikes up to 15%. I expected it to be maxed out...

    Any ideas on how to fix this problem are extremely appreciated! It has been very difficult to help them through this, because it takes such a long time to run the diagnostics that I am so familiar with.
  2. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera New Member OT Supporter

    Jan 27, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Failing hardware can cause lag without CPU usage, because the OS is waiting around for the hardware to finish doing its job and deliver the data it wants.

    My first guess is a dying hard drive, unless the computer still boots up quickly and the lag only appears once Windows is loaded. In any event, 512MB of RAM for Windows XP isn't so hot, and whatever the problem is, that's definitely making it worse.

    Also, never ever ever allow a Registry cleaner to automatically fix Registry problems, because 99% of the "problems" it finds it can only guess at a solution for.
  3. Sexual Vanilla

    Sexual Vanilla New Member

    May 23, 2005
    Likes Received:
    South Carolina
    Sounds like a hard drive issue...fellow brought me his laptop which he dropped to the floor while it was on, took forever to boot Windows and to do anything once Windows booted.

    You can try running chkdsk and have it fix any errors, but it may be a lost cause.

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