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DoeZ 22. Aug 2009 01:31 AM

Why so slow?
Ok...I'm really getting aggravated. I used to have a super fast computer and then I went and switched my anti virus from AVG to Avast...I also installed a few more malware items...superantispyware and malwarebytes and spybot s&d while I already had AdAware and spyblaster. Ever since I did all this my computer is taking forever to load. I mean literally it takes 1 minute or so to get to my home page or anywhere. I keep my computer clean by disc cleaning and defragmenting and everything else so I don't understand why it all of a sudden is slow. I know I have more than enough ram and I do have 2 hard drives as well. Do you think by having all this extra cleaning stuff is too much stuff and could slow my computer down? Any suggestions anyone has would greatly be appreciated. Thanks so much:rolleyes:

J_L 22. Aug 2009 02:08 AM

Let's see here, first of all, did you unistall AVG completely before installing Avast? The removal tool is listed here if you need it:

Next, are you running more than 1 of your anti-malware programs (excluding AV) in real-time? Such as Spybot Teatimer, SpyBlaster, and Ad-watch. It is generally recommended to only keep 1 of them running in the background, and use the others on-demand.

Lastly, do you have any other security products installed that runs in real-time?

Normal computer users who knows how to stay safe will only need Avast to be running in the background.

DoeZ 22. Aug 2009 02:26 AM

Well I thought the Avast was slowing me down so I uninstalled that and I use revo-uninstaller to remove all programs. And I reinstalled the AVG. As for the other spyware stuff I don't think I have them running...I usually run them once a week. How do I know if they are running or not? In the spybot... I did not do the teatimer...I was told in other posts not to click that so I didn't. And for other what...sorry but I've added and deleted so much the past 2 weeks I'm getting confused. Thanks so much for your help;)

J_L 22. Aug 2009 03:04 AM

They're running if their files show up in task manager>processes. An easier way is to chack your tray for their icons (although that doesn't always work).

By default, AdAware has its Ad-Watch real-time protection on, even if you disable that, it always starts up with your pc. That's why I don't use it. As for SpyBlaster, I've found out that it doesn't run in the background (real-time), it should be fine, just make sure it's from here, not some other place. Even if you didn't click TeaTimer, it might still be running, so check if TeaTimer.exe is shown on Task Manager.

The other security includes Firewalls, HIPS, anything that isn't mentioned in your post and is running real-time.

Last thing, I'm going to be very busy soon, so I cannot help you later until maybe tomorrow.

miskairal 22. Aug 2009 08:12 AM

My computer is 6 years old and I have been running Avast on it that whole time. It's still as fast as the day I bought and has only been formatted 2 or 3 times. I seriously doubt Avast is the cause as I have installed it on many computers of friends and family without any noticable difference in performance. Is you computer still running slow now you've uninstalled it and reinstalled AVG?

Is it just your internet that is slow as you mention how long it takes to get to your home page but not whether it takes ages to load to your desktop?

MidnightCowboy 22. Aug 2009 01:48 PM

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 :D

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 :)

DoeZ 22. Aug 2009 04:13 PM

Thank you so much Midnight...If I'm understanding right I really should only have 1 anti-spyware and 1 malware is this correct? I use revo-uninstaller after I go to my control panel to uninstall something because I have been told that it looks for any remaining items it have left behind during the uninstall. Is this ok? And as for registry cleaners I have one and it is called Registry Cleaner...and I do you use it. Now I unistalled the Avast and went back to AVG is this ok? And I'm not sure on how to reformat my computer and I don't think I really need to reformat just tweak all my things I use for protection because maybe I'm not using it right or it's not a good one etc. This computer is a refurbished one and I had my hard-drive from my other one put in here so I have tons of space and at first it was like fast. And also as far as firewall I have the windows firewall I didn't really do anything to that. I read that article and it is so very interesting and this is what I need...somone to help me walk thru these steps to clean what I don't need and get me back to a good Thanks so very much;)

MidnightCowboy 22. Aug 2009 06:50 PM


Also saw your other post in the comments section. The registry cleaner you can dump. It's not going to help you and ultimately it's only likely to cause more problems. For anyone in your situation a disk defrag tool for use say once a month is all that's needed.

Revo is a great program but again you need a fair degree of system knowledge in order to use it safely and effectively. There's always a danger with this type of program that you can take out shared components which might be needed by something else to function. The makers of these things don't help by using language like "powerful" and "deep" to describe their capabilities. So long as you are not constantly installing and removing different software I would still use Revo but only in safe mode. When removing security software it is advisable to use only the removal tools provided by the vendor to do this job.

Without having physical access to your computer it's impossible to say what might want doing with it. It could even be infected. Only someone with a high level of Windows knowledge is going to be able to assess this for you, which is why I suggested reformatting and starting again from scratch. Even if you have to pay for this the time taken will be less than paying the same person to fix what you already have with no guarantee of 100% success.

As per my other post, once you do get this sorted I would follow the guide and only install what you really need. Windows firewall is just right for you but you need to ensure that your computer is clean first as it contains no outbound protection (except for Vista) which would enable some types of malware to "phone home" or spread to other users.

If you really are unable to have your machine reformatted then you need to install Malwarebytes and the free version of A-Squared, scan with both and then report the results here without deleting anything. It's still highly likely though that we won't be able to interpret the results accurately for you remotely. There are other options without third party assistance but I'm guessing that all of them might be beyond your ability to manage.

Let us know what you think.

DoeZ 23. Aug 2009 01:09 AM

I tried to download the A-squared but it didn't stay...if ya know what I mean. I'll try again and then post all here. But just so I'm clear what your saying is that I do not need all these spyware's and malware's but just one of this correct? And for firewall just stick to my windows firewall? Thanks again for all the help.

J_L 23. Aug 2009 06:10 AM

You only need one that is offering protection (Ad-Aware, Spybot TeaTimer, excluding SpyBlaster).

You can keep the others (SUPERAntiSpyware, Malwarebyte's, A-squared, Spybot w/o TeaTimer) for on-demand scanning.

As for your Firewall, Windows is fine for average users.

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