Why is my computer becoming so slow all of a sudden?

About one month ago my McAfee Antivirus could no longer update automatically, and I had to update it manually by going to McAfee's website.  Then today, my computer became incredibly slow and would take forever to open anything.  Going full screen with flash videos caused flash to crash until I went to settings and unchecked the "Enable Hardware Acceleration" feature.  I also attempted to open iTunes and it appeared to worked until it attempted to access the internet, when it would freeze and ultimately crash.  Could programs accessing the internet be the problem?  I uninstalled McAfee and performance increased a little, but iTunes will still not work unless I turn off my wireless internet connection.

I'm lost and have no idea what to do.  I tried to have Windows automatically diagnose my problem but all it told me to do was to stop having so many programs open on start-up, which I did, but it is still painfully slow.

Could it be overheating? (I've never had this problem before)
Could it be some issue with the registry? (I often use AVG PC Tuneup 2011 which deletes some items from the registry which it claims is no longer necessary)

Thanks.
Answer
Answer

Uninstall McAfee (disconnect from the Internet before you do.)  Replace it with something else.  Avast!  Avira or AVG will work (if you want free) or eSet NOD32 (AntiVirus ONLY - not the suite!) if you are willing to pay about 60 U.S.D. every two years.  You'll be happier.

It could be overheating - but you should be able to PHYSICALLY test for that. heh

Don't mess with the registry in any manner you wouldn't do 100% manually.

My suggestion - cleanup the computer and get the latest drivers for your hardware (perhaps even a later BIOS) from the manufacturer(s).  Do not use any built-in method from Microsoft to do the driver updates - actually visit the manufacturer(s) web pages and get the proper drivers installed per component.

Check for malware:

Download, install, run, update and perform full system scans with the following two applications:


Removing everything they find.  Rebooting when needed.  (You can uninstall one or both when done.)

Then perform an online scan with the eSet Online Scanner.

 

Free up some hard drive space and get it organized:

Open an elevated command prompt by clicking on the start orb and browsing through All Programs --> Accessories and right-clicking on "Command Prompt" and choosing "Run as Administrator".

Type in the following in the command prompt:

dism /online /cleanup-image /spsuperseded

... and press ENTER.

The process takes a few minutes to complete, it ends with the sentences “Service Pack Cleanup operation completed. The operation completed successfully”.

Use Disk Cleanup to eliminate more temporary files safely.  May want to schedule this regularly.

You can use an application that scans your system for log files and temporary files and use that to get rid of those:

Ccleaner (Free!)
http://www.ccleaner.com/
( just the disk cleanup - don't play with the registry part for now )

Other ways to free up space..

SequoiaView
http://www.win.tue.nl/sequoiaview/

JDiskReport
http://www.jgoodies.com/freeware/jdiskreport/index.html

Those can help you visually discover where all the space is being used.  Then you can determine what to do and what to delete/archive.

After that - you will want to check for any physical errors and arrange everything for more efficient access...

CHKDSK
How to Run Disk Check in Windows 7

Defragment
How to Defragment your hard drives
* will take time

 

The less you have running all the time, the better the things you want to run will perform:

Use Autoruns to figure out what all is starting up when your computer does/when you log on.  Look up anything you do not know about using Google (and/or ask here.)  You can hopefully figure out if there are things starting when you computer does (or you logon) that you do not need and then configure them (via their own built-in mechanisms is the preferred method) so they do not start up - using your resources without reason.

You can download and utilize Process Explorer to see exactly what is taking up your processor/CPU time and memory.  This can help you recognize applications you might want to look into alternatives for and/or get rid of all together.

.-
Shenan Stanley
MVP 2005-2011 & 2013-2015
Insider MVP 2016-
.-

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I'm not sure what that other guy is talking about but you did a great job helping me.  I just got back from a much needed vacation and I now have a new hard drive that Dell gave to me for free under warranty.

Thank you so much for your help!

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Last updated June 18, 2020 Views 37,113 Applies to: