Mar 19, 2012

Fixing a slow machine

Someone came around to me wishing if I would fix his computers. Well, I would do that when I'm free from office works. Means that I'll do that during the evening at mosque (for a laptop) or home, as long as I'm not too exhausted with office works. That's the deal.

A slowing (sorry) Windows computer may a result of 3 things:
  1. Old or faulty machine/part with big burden (3D game or image processing). A CAD processing would be done by a CAD mind, so this is not a case.
  2. Virus, spam, malware.
  3. A faster wish than the mind ;-)

The first can be seen when you hard drive keeps busy from few clicks on 3D games or Adobe Photoshop or Corel Draw. Solution? Use lightweight and non exhaustive game such as arcade games (2D) or lightweight image processing. Irfanview or the Gimp (raster based) or Dia (vector/diagram) or LibreOffice are just sufficient for doing many things for my beautiful thesis with lots of diagrams and figures. All of them works in Windows.

The second one is a bit complicated. To tell the background, Windows exhaust too much of its IDE bus while working. Much different from my experience on hilariously busy multi-tasking and multi-user Linux machine. Well, I may exaggerate this, but that's what I experience. As a result, a tease of virus or spam from the internet will exhaust the machine easily resulting the slowness. How to fix this?

To make things simple, you need an anti virus. But since your machine is slow now, I suppose the virus has been liven happily inside. Hence, it is nearly impossible to clean it thoroughly no matter how hard you update the anti virus program because the malware has a bungalow inside of your machine.

Best trick is to format the hard drive SEVERAL times, reinstall Windows, add ONE antivirus software ONLY, update it, add more software of your need and safe browsing the internet.

There are also tricks if you don't want to delete the system completely. Use a live CD (or burn the ISO on USB disk using Ubuntu live CD). The command is simple and has been world wide web:

ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo clamscan -irv --remove mnt

That's what I got from VolatileMinds. Of course, there are tons of trick and more you can try. What I often do also is boot the computer with (any) Linux live on CD or USB stick, search for suspicious .exe, .com, or .sys files and delete them. Many virus just happy to live in c:\Documents and settings\ which the files can safely deleted (for most) and fewer live under c:\WINDOWS\ and c:\Program files\. The last two folder require good understanding on the system.

Well, that's quiet long now. Bug me with comment if you wish for more information, I may write other clue or put some images to make you understand better. If I'm way too far (with the respond), Google "clamav livecd". You may find a live CD iso image that will make your life easier.

I think I've shared the principles.

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