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TSF Team Emeritus , Microsoft Visiting Expert
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Hi haskellbob


You might want to run a few malware scans, as this can cause strange slowdowns like this. If you are running a great many programs in the background & have a limited amount of system memory (RAM) installed, you might want to look in on either adding more memory, trimming your background processes, or both. Microsoft/SysInternals provide a few handy tools to help check on these:
AutoRuns --- http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/ProcessesAndThreads/Autoruns.mspx
Process Explorer --- http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/ProcessesAndThreads/ProcessExplorer.mspx

And for help identifying background processes, you can search SysInfo's well-known list --- http://www.sysinfo.org/startuplist.php

Of course, if your mouse happens to be a wireless, check that your batteries aren't low, too.

Best of luck
. . . Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your help - especially for the link to the list of valid and invalid processes to have running.

I've enclosed a picture (I hope you can read it) of the programs I have running, as shown by Task Manager. It seems like a lot, but I don't know...

How does that list of programs look to you?

Thanks

oh - and what's a good freeware (if there is one) malware scanner?
 

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TSF Team Emeritus , Microsoft Visiting Expert
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Hi again

Your background processes look OK. If you have enough system memory to run all of these, your performance shouldn't suffer much at all. If you have 1gb of system memory, you've nothing to worry about. If you were pushing for top performance, you could opt-out of having QuickTime (qttask.exe) and RealPlayer (realsched.exe) running their taskbar apps continuously (you'd opt-out in their "Preferences" or "Options" menus. But I'm not sure they matter enough to make much difference.

You asked about free malware scanners - there are many good ones. But from your background processes, it looks like you have some form of Symantec/Norton scanner already. If it's recent, up-to-date, and capable (and paid for!) - no reason not to keep it. It is one of the more resource-heavy scanners, but that's partly because it's thorough.

If your subscription has expired, and you are considering free-for-personal-use "home" edition alternatives, my favorites are -- the ZoneAlarm firewall (I also like the Sunbelt/Kerio Personal firewall), avast! antivirus, and for spyware scanners I like the combo of AdAware & SpyBot (I especially recommend using the "Immunize" function of SpyBot regularly). Links to all of those can be had at cnet's download.com.

You might simply have one of the Windows-XP display quirks, for which workarounds have been figured out -- take a look through those last three MSKB articles & see if your Task Manager cpu usage points to one of those as a possible cause. The very last article only concerns situations when the csrss process goes to 100% as a result of a right-click.

Time for me to get a fresh cup of coffee.
. . . Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Enjoy that coffee and thanks. Well, I guess you will already have enjoyed it as I write this. Enjoy another one!

I'll need a few to cope with those MSKB articles. Would you believe I have the same birthday as Bill Gates? One year older.... That year made a lot of difference!

(october 28th)
 
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