Old Slow Computer

Dear Computer Lady,

My sister gets your newsletter and she sent your email address to me. I am on a very limited income and my computer is sick. It is very slow the cable company had me go to speed test.com and go through all the prompts and then they ask for money and I can’t give it to them. It gets stuck and won’t move. I have to shut it off and turn off the power to it.

I have kapersky installed and norton antivirus do you think I need to take it to Good Will and have them clean it out and back up my hard drive or is there something I can do myself??

Thanking you in advance for your help and time, Kris


Dear Kris,

I would not advise that you spend money on the speed test software, when a computer is slow and not running programs well, the last thing you want to do is add yet another program.

I do see one thing in your description that could be a problem. You mentioned that you are running Norton antivirus and Kapersky.

If the Kapersky program is an antivirus program also, having both of them running on your computer can cause a lot of problems. Definately, slowing the computer down is one, and having more than one antivirus program running can also leave you open to viruses.

Try uninstalling one of the antivirus programs and see if that helps your computer any.

If it doesn’t help, then backup your files like pictures and documents and have the computer cleaned out. For an older computer that has slowed down to a crawl, that is often the best thing for it.


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    • ron007
    • October 13, 2011

    The point about running 2 AV apps is a good one.

    Kinda hard to provide specific help without any idea of the OS.

    Unfortunately it sounds like Kris sounds has limited tech ability, so the DIY fix is going to be difficult. I think the best bet is to talk to friends and find a technician people have worked with and trust.

    My thought is that another problem Kris probably has is too many programs and services loading at startup.

    http://searchenterprisedesktop.techtarget.com/tip/Disabling-annoying-Windows-XP-startup-programs – this article makes an easy suggestion for testing the idea of too much crapware. Start in Safe Mode

    Tools like:
    CCleaner – has a startup “tool”, but the simple disk cleanup also could help

    Also, after doing some disk cleanup, run a disk defragment tool




    • DiggerP
    • October 13, 2011

    Hi Kris,
    You certainly got yourself into a dilemma.
    Since you mentioned that you’re on a limited income,
    I’m surprised that you’re running 2 paid programs,
    although 1 may well be free through your ISP.

    While your questions are relatively simple, the answers,unfortunately, are not.
    You cannot simply un-install almost any AV program,since its processes are protected and locked.
    You need to go through a set of procedures to succesfully un-install those type of programs.

    Whether or not you’re able to do this, because of unfamiliarity with this,I’ll write this for your benefit as well as others.
    1.Open the AV program,on the menu bar select Help and then About and note (write it down) the version of the program.
    2.In order to do the un-install, you need to stop the running processes of the AV program.
    You cannot do this via Task Manager(Processes tab).
    They cannot be stopped there.Instead, you have to do this in Services.
    You can do this via msconfig (Initially)
    Start Menu > Run > type msconfig in the box.
    In the resulting panel, go to the Services tab.
    At the bottom you’ll see a box “Hide All Microsoft Services > Tick it.Now UN-tick the services of the AV program you want to un-install.You will notice that the status will not change (running).Click Apply (at the bottom),and OK.
    Generally, dealing with Services, it’s better to do this via the Services utility.
    So, if after a reboot the AV is still running,
    use the instructions below.

    Assuming you’re running XP, you go to Control Panel >Administrative Tools > Services.
    In the Services window,look for services that are identified having a connection to the Anti-virus program.Double-click on one.The resulting panel may well look unfamiliar, but just follow the instructions.
    In the middle of this panel, you’ll see “Startup type”
    it will say “Automatic”.
    Click the little arrow next to this box.
    Now you’ll see a choice of:Automatic,Manual and Disabled.Click on Disabled.Click on ‘Apply’ at the bottom and then OK.

    There are usually more than one of these AV services.
    Do the same for the others.
    Once you’re satified that you did them (usually 2 or 3), close the Services window, close any other running applications and reboot.
    After log-on, that AV program will not be running,so then you just un-install via Add/Remove (Control Panel > Add/Remove)

    If the un-install was not successful or not complete,
    you can try the special un-installer from the respective AV program’s website.
    That’s where the version number comes into play,
    as mentioned in the beginning.
    Norton http://tinyurl.com/5vf9hak (leads to Norton website)
    Kasperski does have specific instructions for their respective programs ,but you’d have to go to their website to find what you want.
    For Kaspersi you could try the general procedure first.Via the Systray icon, select Exit, then try the ADD/Remove method.You will get 3 choices: Repair, Modify or Un-install.Selecting Un-install may well take care of stopping its services and require a reboot to complete the un-install.

    Hope it will help.
    PS Personally ,I’m not keen on Norton, but instead use the free Avast or Avira AV programs (For Avira, don’t install the Ask.com toolbar if you don’t want it)
    Other general AV un-installer is App Remover

    • vfzandgps
    • October 13, 2011

    Before “cleaning out the computer” you might want to investigate to see if she has the maximum amount of RAM that her motherboard will support. Increasing the RAM is quite often all a slower computer needs. Also, she might want to disable most of the programs that are currently running in the background on start-up at “msconfig”. If she just leaves the absolute minimum of programs running (including only one anti-virus) the computer should also run much faster.

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