Why could my system be so slow?

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rhythmcrazy | 15:57 Sat 11th Feb 2012 | Technology
24 Answers
Whenever I open anything, whether it is my browser (Opera), email program (Thunderbird), an Ms Word document or Excel workbook, or even Windows Paint (Start/All Programs/Accessories/Paint) - it tells me "Not responding" and then I have to wait several minutes before I can carry on working. Do I have too many applications running at once? I didn't think so. I have enough RAM and also enough hard drive space, to my opinion.

I listed the applications, the startup items, the background programs, as well as specs and other info about my netbook below.

Here goes:-

Netbook: Samsung N150 Plus


HDD's: C (37.8 GB free of 84.9 GB)
D (117 GB free of 127 GB)
OS: Windows 7 Starter 32-bit SP1
PROCESSOR: Intel Atom CPU N450 @1.66GHz 1.67 GHz

Startup items:

Realtek HD Audio Manager
ELAN Smart Pad
Canon Printer
Adobe Reader and Acrobat Manager
Kaspersky Anti Virus

Open applications during a typical computer/internet session:

Mozilla Thunderbird (email client)
Opera Mobile (browser, resides on D-drive)
Microsoft Word (1 or 2 docs at a time)
Microsoft Excel (1 workbook at a time)
MTN FastLink Modem (for internet)
PopMan (email notifier)

Programs usually running in background:

Kaspersky Anti Virus
Canon Printer
Windows Explorer
Power manager (battery status)
Clock (Time & Date)
Graphics Driver
Samsung Recovery Solution
ETD Control Center (pointing device)
Realtek HD Audio Manager
Action Center
Media Player
Windows Update

Does anyone have a clue what is happening? I hope so - I spend my time waiting for everything to "respond" instead of being able to get on with my work whenever I use the netbook! Thank you.


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1GB of ram is the bare minimum for windows to run really and then you're running a couple of office apps and a browsers so you will basically be swapping information from the RAM to the hard drive all the time.

Also, it's an atom CPU.... that is a CPU that's made to be low power, not high performance.

Also the fact you have an atom CPU means it's probably a newbook? in which case it will have a 2.5inch 5200RPM hard drive in it, which is pretty slow as hard drives go, which takes up back to point one about swapping info from the RAM to the hard drive, even with a fast hard drive this is a slow thing to do, with a slow hard drive it will be painful

More RAM would help, but in all honesty, you're simply asking a low performance system to do too much at once.

I meant netbook.
Not to mention Kaspersky... ;-)
Mark, can you just say why you mention Kaspersky like that please? I was thinking perhaps it's better than Norton's so does that mean it can make the system run slower?
Kaspersky is terrible, IMO. Buggy, resource-hogging and prone to false positives. I've never known a techie say a good word about it. Although Norton is miles better than it used to be it's still nowhere near MSE, AVG or Avast. There's no need to pay for anti-malware these days - just run one (and ONLY one!) of the above three, and do a scan with malwarebytes every week or two.
Yep - ditch Kaspersky, use the free verison of avast or AVG - and as chick says "do one thing at once"

My elderly (acer) netbook is fine for surfing OR word OR excel OR picasa - but grinds gently to a halt if you try to do too much at once.
'chuck' not 'chick' ... Dr Spooner very nearly had me in bother there ...
There's simply no getting away from the fact, though, that this machine is woefully inadequate to the tasks that the OP is trying to accomplish with it. As CF says, 1GB RAM is the ABSOLUTE BARE MINIMUM for Windows 7, even the Starter edition, the hard disk is slow and small, and the processor just isn't designed for this type of work.
>>>Netbook: Samsung N150 Plus

Chuck, poster does say it is a netbook.
we use Kaspersky where I work at the moment (not my choice BTW) and I don't find it too bad on resources, but totally agree about the false positives!.... we'll be changing to forefront endpoint on the next license renewal.
Removing the Printer and Adobe from Startup might help a little bit.
Only switch them on if you are going to use them.
And don't leave anything running in the back ground if you've finished using it.
Perhaps you'd notice the resource hogging a bit more if you were forced to use the OP's netbook... ;-)
Up to a point Lord MarkRae ...

My netbook is an Acer A150 with 1GB running Windows 7 Pro (after I ditched the 'Noddy goes to Linuxland' which was installed when I bought it) - it will run Office 2007 and even Photoshop Elements quite cheerfully as long as I keep an eye on exactly what is in the startup list and don't open too many documents/programs/windows at once.

If I need the grunt then I use my all singing, all dancing Tosh i5 laptop with 6GB - but the Acer netbook does a good job & is a sight easier and safer to lug around on my travels.
Fair point, MR.... our systems tend to be core2 duos with 3GB RAM as a bare minimum spec.
Fortunately (I suppose!) the RAM on this machine can be upgraded up to 4GB for less than fifty quid. Doing that would result in a MASSIVE increase in perceived performance because it would essentially all of the paging that the machine is being forced to do at the moment.

There's a spare stop if you want to borrow it :)
I would delete everything from the startup (via msconfig) apart from your AV (ie Kapersky).
Then if you haven't got it, download and run CCleaner, followed by a disk defrag. and see how that goes.
There is nothing wrong with your netbook, but of course a faster processor and more ram would naturally be beneficial.
Well, I have Kaspersky (free with Barclays) and have had no problems at all.
Has it always been like this, or just recently? How long have you had the machine?
Have you ever run anything like Adaware or spybot? Defrag?
Question Author
Wow, so many answers during the weekend - thanks all of you. :-) Now I have a good idea why my netbook is slow and often not responding. Yes lunaraine it has always been this slow. I bought it in October 2011 so it is still fairly new. I have never defragged, nor used any anti-spyware software, because I figured Kaspersky would automatically take care of spyware.

Seems like the immediate solution is removing unnecessary stuff from Startup, do a disk defrag and not run too many apps and windows at once. MarkRae's suggestion to upgrade the RAM seems like a great idea - thanks. I'm not clued up about processors willyboy - is it possible to install a faster one?

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