Is there somewhere I can go that is a cheater site to help me sort out what computer processes I can shut off?
March 16, 2004 7:42 PM   Subscribe

I am sorry if this is a stupid noob question, but my laptop has gotten really slow the last few days- things take forever to load up and I get overlapping in windows, etc. I suspect there has been a buildup of processes, but I really am too computer dumb to know which ones I need and which I can shut off to improve the situation. I have run ad-aware, virus scan, defrag, etc. Is there somewhere I can go that is a cheater site to help me sort out what I can shut off?
posted by oflinkey to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
What version of Windows are you running?

You might want to try Startup Cop (original | pro)
posted by pmurray63 at 8:40 PM on March 16, 2004

A. Start by closing all your open applications, then viewing your active processes by opening the task manager (Control-Alt-Delete or Start, Run, "taskmgr") and clicking the Processes tab. The status bar will display your total CPU usage. If it's above 10% or so, look at the "CPU" column and determine which process is the offender. Investigate and remove as explained below.

B. Regardless of whether you find a CPU hog, selectively remove your startup processes by doing the following:
1. Start, Run, "msconfig"
2. Click the Startup tab
3. For each item checked, go here for a description and an evaluation of whether or not the process is critical. Uncheck as necessary.
4. Reboot
5. Profit!

Note that some apps will try their damndest to survive an unchecking. RealPlayer, for instance, turns on the "realsched.exe" process each time you run RealPlayer.
posted by PrinceValium at 8:41 PM on March 16, 2004

Well, the first link doesn't work and the second one costs money. Sigh...
posted by pmurray63 at 8:44 PM on March 16, 2004

Of my links, I mean. Sigh.

But I don't think that 2000 and XP have msconfig...
posted by pmurray63 at 8:49 PM on March 16, 2004

98 and XP do. Not sure about 2000 and NT.
posted by PrinceValium at 8:54 PM on March 16, 2004

The foolproof windows cleanup:
1. Do a search of all .tmp files (search - all files and folders - *.tmp)
2. Delete all tmp files. You don't need them, and they will clog up space and eat up memory, causing a slow down.
3. Empty trash.
4. Run scandisk.
5. Run Defrag.
6. Reboot - Profit!
posted by jazzkat11 at 8:56 PM on March 16, 2004

Thank you all. I appreciate the fact that you gave me help and didn't make fun of my n00bz.
posted by oflinkey at 9:16 AM on March 17, 2004

Oh, i'm running XP, and it does have msconfig.
posted by oflinkey at 9:28 AM on March 17, 2004

Ah -- I'm using 2000, and it doesn't have it (the one thing I miss from 98). Good to hear that they added it to XP.

BTW, I think there's a Disk Cleanup thing that will delete temp files for you, with you having to manually hunt for them.

Hope all of these suggestions help.
posted by pmurray63 at 9:37 AM on March 17, 2004

Black Viper provides info on Win2K and XP services and whether they need to/ should be running.
posted by yerfatma at 9:49 AM on March 17, 2004

The MSCONFIG.EXE in Windows XP will run under Windows 2000.

One thing to double-check for, if you've already checked the things you have (like defrag and disk space -- at least 20% free), would be a loose or bad memory card. The behavior you describe is basically Windows under severe resource stress.
posted by dhartung at 9:40 PM on March 17, 2004

you can use spybot to block apps that are uneccesary, if that helps?

go here to get a copy. it's free and will come in useful even without the apps blocking, as you'll see if you run it.

to enable this feature - (use advanced mode)

-system startup

then look for any processes that you feel not to be useful . use reasonably eh?
posted by triv at 12:06 PM on March 18, 2004

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