Very slow computer, but low cpu usage


Ann Brady

I'm trying to diagnose a problem with a WinXP Pro PC. The
computer recently (yesterday) started running extrememly
slowly. I suspected a spyware invasion, but that doesn't
seem to be the case - at least not the usual suspects

When I check the task manager, there are no unusual
processes running and the cpu usage is very low - like 2
to 10 percent. I am seeing some red lines in the cpu
usage graph, but I don't know what they mean. The max cpu
usage is around 20 percent.

My question: Do you think this is a hardware issue? The
memory usage seems ok. I wonder if the cpu is going bad.

Thanks for any insights.

Jupiter Jones [MVP]

Not likely a hardware problem.
Make sure you have updated your AV and spy detector applications
within the last few days.

Run an updated virus scan.
Or Scan for Viruses online:
Run Disk Cleanup checking all boxes except "Compress old files"
(Windows XP)
Start/All Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Disk Clean-up
Run Defrag.
Start/All Programs/Accessories/System Tools/Disk Defragmenter
If you have file sharing software such as Kazaa, disable it.
Check this link:
Run Ad-Aware (free version) or Spybot to check for spyware: (Update if you already have it)
Or (Update if you already have it)

This may apply if you recently installed Windows XP Service Pack 1:


I'm having the same problem. My computer hangs when I try
to install software or open web pages, Allaire Homesite,
and even just My Computer. I also suspected spyware,
which hasn't proven to be the issue.

I really don't believe this is a hardware issue, but I'm
at a loss as to what it /is/. As Ann said, any insights
would be appreciated. Thanks.

May 2, 2011
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If you are experiencing slow PC performance suddenly then hardware issues may not be a possible cause. But if it is happening after switching over from one operating system to other then incompatible hardware may be possible reason. However, if other things are okay then you can correct this issue by using professional speed up windows 7 tool to enhance your PC speed. You may download software to enhance PC speed from any reliable source.

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