extremely slow and erratic Vista performance

my laptop with Windows Vista Home Basic OS has been slow out of the box.  I upgraded RAM to 2.5 GB and the HDD is >100 GB.  I *think* there is something defective with Vista (I have done repeated hardware diagnostics and found nothing wrong with any of the hardware on the laptop).  It runs slowly as soon as I turn it on and runs even more slowly when I run more than a few applications.  Is there some way to verify if Vista is defective or just uninstall and reinstall Vista?  Any suggestions are appreciated because I cannot return the laptop now and unless I get this fixed it's no better than an ashtray.  Thanks...

Question Info

Last updated March 25, 2018 Views 874 Applies to:

Yes it is reasonable since if you put it back as it came it should perk back up unless hardware issues.

If you want to trouble shoot it start with SFC and CheckDisk

You can do these in Safe Mode without networking which might be faster. Repeatedly Tap
F8 as you boot and load as lean as possible.

Run DiskCleanup - Start - All Programs - Accessories - System Tools - Disk Cleanup

I would also run SFC and Chkdsk to be sure corruption is cleared.

Start - type this in Search Box ->  COMMAND   find at top and RIGHT CLICK  -  RUN AS ADMIN

Enter this at the prompt - sfc /scannow

How to analyze the log file entries that the Microsoft Windows Resource Checker (SFC.exe) program
generates in Windows Vista cbs.log

Run checkdisk - schedule it to run at next start and then Apply OK your way out then restart.

How to Run Check Disk at Startup in Vista


Possibly something interferring with IE and run Malwarebytes and Prevx to ensure machine is clean.

What antivirus/antispyware/security product do you have on machine? Include any you have EVER has on this
machines including those you uninstalled (they leave remnants behind which can cause strange issues).

Start - All Programs - Accessores - System Tools - IE with no Addons - does this work better?

IE - Tools - Internet Options - Advanced Tab - click Restore then click Reset - Apply / OK

IE - Tools - Internet Options - Security - Reset all Zones to default level - Apply / OK

any better?

Try IE and/or IE with no Addons

IE - Tools - Manage Addons (for sure disable SSV2 if it is there, this is no longer needed but Java still installs it
and it causes issues - you ever update Java go back in and disable it again.) Look for other possible problems.

Windows Defender - Tools - Software Explorer - look for issues with programs that do not look right. Permitted
are usually OK and "not permitted" are not always bad. If in doubt about a program ask about it here.

Could be a BHO - BHOremover - Free - standalone program, needs no install, download and run - not all
are bad however some can cause your issue. (Toolbars are BHO's)

Startup Programs

Malwarebytes - free - use as scanner only. If you ever suspect malware UPDATE it and then run it as
a scanner. 

Prevx - Home -Free small, fast, exceptional CLOUD protection, works with other security programs. This is
a scanner only, VERY EFFECTIVE, if it finds something come back here or use Google to see how to remove. 

PCmag - Prevx - Editor'a Choice


Next is drivers - Vista loves updated drivers :

For Drivers check System Maker as fallbacks and Device Maker's which are the most current.
Control Panel - Device Manager - Display Adapter - write down the make and complete model of your
video adapter - double click - Driver's tab - write down the version info. Now click UPdate Driver (this
may not do anything as MS is far behind certifying drivers) - then Right Click - Uninstall - REBOOT
this will refresh the driver stack.

Repeat that for Network - Network Card (NIC), Wifi, Sound, Mouse and Keyboard if 3rd party with their
own software and drivers and any other major device drivers you have.

Now go to System Maker's site (Dell, HP, Toshiba as examples) (as rollback) and then Device Maker's site
(Realtek, Intel, Nvidia, ATI as examples) and get their latest versions. (Look for BIOS, Chipset and software
updates at System Maker's site while there.)

Download - SAVE - go to where you put them - Right Click - RUN AD ADMIN - REBOOT after each installation.

Repeat at Device Makers - BTW at Device Makers DO NOT RUN THEIR SCANNER - check manually by model.

Manually look at manufacturer's sites for drivers - and Device Maker's sites.

How to Install a Device Driver in Vista Device Manager

If you update drivers manually then it is a good idea to disable Driver Installations in Windows Updates,
this leaves Windows Updates ON however it will not install drivers which will usually be older and cause
issues. If Updates suggests a new driver then HIDE it (Right Click on it) and then go look for new ones
manually if you wish.

How To Disable Automatic Driver Installation In Windows Vista - Drivers

Hope these help.

Rob - Bicycle - Mark Twain said it right.
Rob Brown - Microsoft MVP - Windows and Devices for IT 2010 - current
Windows Insider MVP 2016 - current

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