PC slows drastically after left unattended

  Grambo 18:14 20 Jan 04

The problem is as stated in title. If machine is left turned, but not used for a few hours it is so slow as to be unusable. Takes an age to shutdown (or restart). Its a pain if websites or docs are left open, as you could read a book if I wanted to save.
XP Home, CPU 1.8 GHz, 256 MB RAM, 40 G HD, Norton AV 2003
Also does repeated shutting down (requiring holding in the OFF button) cause any harm.

  Chegs ® 18:20 20 Jan 04

RAM problem,try increasing the amount of RAM from 256 upwards.Also try a RAM tester.Having said that,I have 1Gb of RAM and after 3 days or so(puters on 24/7)I had to restart it to clear RAM,but this prob disappeared a few days ago(probably due to my almost tracking the fault down. :-) )

  Cuddles 18:23 20 Jan 04

Have you tried disabling Norton AV to see if the problem still occurs,Norton has a habit of causing strange problems with some systems.
If you do disable it make sure you are not connected to the internet just in case a virus comes to visit.

  billyliv 20:19 20 Jan 04

Hi, The only time you should touch the 'Off' button is when you switch on. Computers are designed to go through a closing down sequence and if you ignore this sequence you will end up with all sorts of problems. get into the habit of doing things properly and you will have no trouble. Cheers, Bill

  Grambo 20:27 20 Jan 04

Thats what i thought. Usually i shut down normally, but this slowness issue means it takes helluva long time. Will be more patient with it and leave button alone in future.

  Chegs ® 21:11 20 Jan 04

If you abruptly shutdown windows,chances are the data running in RAM and Virtual Memory will be lost causing all manner of probs,as this data is needed by OS+progs you have installed.In 98,there was a patch that actually slowed the shutdown to give windose chance to return this data from where it came,as the cpu's got faster,shutdown was happening to fast for it to work correctly.

  Grambo 21:19 20 Jan 04

Thanks for giving it to me straight. Could I have done any permanent damage or will it come good if i stick with the slow (proper) shutdown. Bit worried now :-(

  Gaz 25 21:22 20 Jan 04

The NOT shutting down most likely is related with Nortons AV.

Yes, sometimes hard reseting the PC can corrupt files.

If using XP log-off into the Welcome sreen or the CRTL + ALT +DEL screen then shutdown, this ay rule out any shutdown probs.

If it is running slow, it may be as above, or could be a heat problem. Ensure your PC is running cool, less than 65C should be OK.,

  Gemma 21:25 20 Jan 04

What's running on the PC when you're not watching it? It could be an app. with a memory leak i.e. something that asks Windows for memory and does not give it back. When you are using the PC, what are you doing (if you will excuse the question)that prevents the symptoms appearing?

Power Management:
On a recent machine with power management enabled (98, ME, XP) the power button and power supply are more complex than they look.
Off means power to the mobo is off except the LAN is kept alive. This varies from PC to PC; if you have a power switch on the power supply itself (round the back), then turning this off will remove all power from the mobo.
If the PC is on, a prod on the power switch sends a signal to Windows to start the shut down sequence (as if you had done a Start/Turn off/Turn off). If you press and hold the button for around 6 seconds, the power will drop and take Windows by surprise, leading to the visible disk scanning in 98 and ME and the more subtle clean up in XP.

  Chegs ® 21:33 20 Jan 04

Unlikely you have caused any damage,as 98se shows its displeasure by BSOD(RAM leakage is a problem with 98se and ME)if you had caused any corrupted files.XP is much better at memory management,showing the difference between the two is easy,XP can have upto 3Gb's of RAM whereas 98se can only handle 768Mbs(and often needs use of a third party app for this,such as RAM Booster,etc)

  Chegs ® 21:41 20 Jan 04

I also used 98se,and regularly left my puter running 24/7(I had a little app running analysing cancer causing molecules)I used to get regular crashes/lockups,etc but was finally able to get a very stable install,which I created an image of,and if ever I installed an app that "broke" my windoze,I reinstalled off the image.This image I used for over two years with rarely a problem(I still have the image,but never use 98se as I regularly work with files over 4Gb's and FAT32 filesystem just doesn't understand what these huge files are...lol)This image of 98se would run happily for weeks,but the RAM manager regularly used to show that my RAM was being hogged,as free RAM levels slowly dropped away.

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