I.T. One day at a time

May 4, 2010

The case of the slow case

Filed under: Uncategorized — Craig @ 12:00 AM

Tonight I was handed a computer from a customer who was having problems getting anything done on their machine. The machine was incredibly slow and essentially unusable. The machine was running Windows XP, they thought, and there had been no recent installs and none of the current software on the machine had been updated. Windows was regularly updated and no new hardware had been added. That took all the “basic” problems out of the equation.

After booting up the machine problems start to become a little more evident. The first screen I am confronted with is a Virus scanner warning informing me that it was completely out of date.  This was easily fixed. The second most evident problem is just how slow this machine was. The processor was being hammered, 100% and no signs of letting up.  After killing the buggy software responsible for this, I noticed the computer was still slow to respond. After checking through the running processes I noticed that “interrupt” was regularly spiking the processor to 90%. After a little investigation I found that the Hard Drive IDE channel had reverted back to PIO mode. ( a much slower data transfer rate than the preferred DMA mode). http://winhlp.com/node/10

So after a quick update of drivers and some hardware checks the computer was returned in practically store bought condition. Another happy customer.

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