Thread: Why so slow?
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Old 22. Aug 2009, 01:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: South American Banana Republic, third bunch from the left
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It's actually very difficult to second guess what might be the real cause of this sluggishness as potentially there could be many reasons.

What is important to highlight here though, more for the benefit of other readers now, is the general situation. Time and time again I have seen this happen because users not too aware of what is really needed to secure Windows opt for a saturation approach and install several apps when really only one or two at most are needed. This is in no way their fault as they genuinely believe what they read on the net, much of which is either ill informed garbage from amateurs or commercially motivated vendor hype.

A good example of this is registry cleaners. A lot of people won't have heard of Mark Russinovich, but he's Microsoft's leading systems expert. He states categorically that using registry cleaners is ill advised, potentially dangerous and produces no improvement in system speed. Despite this there are still hundreds of users prepared to argue differently. When did all of this start? Were the forums years ago all filled with posts from users with slow computers? No, or course not, this only became an issue after commercial registry cleaners became available. Don't forget that people still change soap powder brands because a new one guarantees to get their socks whiter

Unfortunately, security software is also the most prone to causing these issues as the remnants if not removed properly (as highlighted by J.L.) will inevitably cause some sort of conflict, maybe not immediately but certainly at some point.

Some systems are more sensitive than others. My motherboard/driver configuration for example is prone to network issues and when I was trialing firewalls maybe after only three or four installs/uninstalls I was having to wipe the whole system.

How much of this stuff is actually needed depends as much on common sense as anything else. This article I wrote recently gives some good guidelines to follow.

Also, as pointed out by miskairal, lets not ignore the obvious. My ISP here in Brazil sometimes delivers a broadband speed equivalent to a donkey on a day out and when I first arrived here I was often searching for other causes myself.

If we assume though that this situation continues my own recommendation might seem radical but I still believe it to be the right one, assuming that you don't have access to any expert help. I would view this situation as a learning experience and get your system reformatted. If you follow the guide above using Avast! as your antimalware solution then I don't think you can go far wrong. Months ago I installed Avast! and NetVeda firewall into a system which surfs all over the place with users who know nothing about computers and it's remained totally clean. The key to all of this though is to install your selected software, get it configured correctly and then leave it alone. Even if the Wizo Pro firewall suddenly jumps up two places at Matousec or a new version of Ching Lou antivrus suddenly appears, just ignore it all - you're already sorted
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