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HELP trace damage on my slow pc? legit?
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  1. #1
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    trace damage on my slow pc? legit?

    All,

    My PC has been running slowly for a long time. I periodically run Spybot, which once every few months finds some things. I run Advance System Care 6, Toolwiz and CCleaner on it daily to clean things up and about once a week iobit malware fighter to look for things. But it still runs slowly. Even switchted to SLimbrowser instead of Firefox. Last night while looking around I found SpeedyPC recommended. So I downloaded the 'free scan', which of course found many things and said I needed to buy their fixit product.

    After hemming and hawing I finally agreed. They provided a number to call for tech assistance or involved instructions to install on my own. I decided to talk with a live human, to whom I could ask questions. Their scanner found 1700-odd things. But she went through a number of areas on my PC.

    She flew through the Control Panel and ended up at a place called EventViewer(Local). It had 1,700 items, all either warnings or errors. She said that when I run the freeware that I mentioned above, and it finds problems like viruses, that it 'rips the problems out'. In such a way that it damages the hard drive. She claimed that that was the cause of at least some of these 1700 items.

    She said that the term for this is 'trace damage'. That I have 2 options to fix this. I could go to Staples or Home Depot, and they could repair the hard drive for $250-300, and that it would take 3-5 business days(that part at least I believe.) Or, they offer to fix it in 3-4 hours and throw in a year's support with 2-3 tuneups as well for $220.

    I declined for the present. So, my questions:
    1) Is this 'trace damage' legit?

    2) if so, is the pricing to fix valid?

    3) She also pulled up the windows task manager, which I had active. She said that normally there should be 30-60 processes running. At the point we only had their tool going, and it was showing 66 processes. She noted that means there are things running that I don't need. It sounds great to go to the next tab called Processes, and kill unneeded things. However, I don't know what's safe to remove! For example, I see that Intuit Updater is often running, because I have Turbo Tax. I guess it's always sniffing for new updates. I added something where I can see what the processes are, but the descriptions aren't that helpful. This actually is a set of subquestions then:

    4) does anyone with Turbo tax know if it's safe to shut down their updater, which sometimes chews up 47% of the CPU>

    5) there are several svchost.exe's, anyone know how I can tell what ones I could kill?

    6) Any other common 'don't need' processes that I could kill? Due to ASC6, I have a little thing that shows cpu usage. It's often 100%, but I see that often 98% is System IDLE process. Not a problem, right?


    Help greatly appreciated!
    Somewhere in the clouds, Your peak is shining, Have courage and go
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc_cqbxF0cg

  2. #2
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    I should add that my PC (Intel Celeron 3.2 Ghs, 1.4 G Ram) is running faster since running their product.
    Somewhere in the clouds, Your peak is shining, Have courage and go
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc_cqbxF0cg

  3. #3
    Yes you can shut down the updater on TurboTax. I always have mine set to manual. It should tell you there are updates and do you want to update now.

  4. #4
    I call BS (I've been in IT for over 18 years)


    Frankly those double my speed type services are a scam

    "The free cleaner will damage your hard-drive" bah

    What version of Windows are you running? There is enough experience here to help you through most of this...

    Seeing system idle at 98% is not a problem

    Have you tried Malewarebytes? http://www.malwarebytes.org/lp/malwa...FQqk4AodcWoAXQ I swear by the free version (it is NOT an antivirus)

    Trace Damage? Do you mean this: http://www.exterminate-it.com/malpedia/remove-trace

    I'd try Malewarebytes and kaspersky rescue disk first

  5. #5
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    I didn't even know that Event Viewer was there. I went in and took a look. Some warnings but most were information type logs. I just went in and cleared them. Save some disk space. As far as start up processes go any software, especially programs you installed that you don't use everyday, I would uncheck. If something needs to be updated you can always check for updates when you do use the product.
    In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. Source The Declaration of Independence

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trivium Pursuit View Post
    I should add that my PC (Intel Celeron 3.2 Ghs, 1.4 G Ram) is running faster since running their product.
    1) Make sure you're only running one anti-virus app (under Control Panel - Add/Remove Programs for XP, under Programs/Features Vista-Win 7-Win 8). Microsoft offers for free Microsoft Security Essentials. Do a full system scan;
    2) Download and run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware which is free for non-commercial use. Do a full system scan;
    3) Add more RAM - at least 2GB for XP and at least 4GB for the others.

    The other stuff that person said is BS...trying to get you to pony-up some money for nothing. There are a few other things you could try, (like Combo Fix, etc.) but unless you know what you're looking at/for, I would recommend for the average user. Hope this helps!

    Mike R

  7. #7
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    When was the last time you re-installed Windows? A fresh re-install fixes most ills, unless they are hardware related, and I highly recommend it. You may have a problem with the size of your registry which will slow your machine to a crawl if it is too large from old programs you may have uninstalled however the uninstall process leaves a lot of junk behind in your registry.

    You may have corrupt files or incorrect file versions - see if you have errors in your event log (event viewer - control panel - administrative tools) regarding file errors. 1.4 GB of ram isn't a lot so check msconfig (go to run type msconfig) and see what your machine is loading at startup. If you have a lot of program material loading when you start your PC try going to add and remove programs (control panel) and remove any unnecessary programs that may be hogging all of your machines resources, then try disabling some programs that run at startup through msconfig but only programs you recognize because you can hose your machine if you disable the wrong items.

    If it were me I would back up my files and reload with a fresh operating system.

  8. #8
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    My son said re-install and extra memory also.
    So when's the Revolution? God or Money? Choose.

  9. #9
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    Spybot/advanced settings/tools let you look at startup programs with lots of explanations of what they are.
    You can disable first and delete later (or activate, as neded.)
    So that is a good thing.
    Didn't say what your OS is.
    1.4 GB may be OK for Xp, but I would aim for 3. NOT enough for WIN7.
    Sometimes RAM is shared by video, that takes away from it.
    BS on most for money advice. RAM, RAM.
    Beware of dual firewalls from different sources.

  10. #10
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    Do you run XP?

    The "Black Viper" site does a good job of describing what the various "services" do. This page is for 32-bit XP:

    http://www.blackviper.com/service-co...onfigurations/

    He also has a good summary of performance suggestions. XP is here:

    http://www.blackviper.com/2002/04/17...-super-tweaks/

    Black Viper has been around for a long time, I've been using the site since Win2K. He also covers Win 8, 7, and Vista.

    http://www.blackviper.com/

    Just make sure you understand the implications of disabling services, or making other tweaks...

    .




    Murphy's Laws of the Office #2 - To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer...

    If the auto industry kept pace with the computer industry, a Rolls Royce would cost $1.99 and get 100,000 miles to the gallon...

    Beam me up Scotty, there is no sign of intelligent life here...

  11. #11
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    Thanks much everyone! I removed Iobit Malware Fighter and Bit Defender(assuming duplicate efforts as I am running avast), and set the Turbo Tax to manual update. Also, I downloaded Exterminate-it and ran that, all it found was 1 tracking cookie!. In the next day or so, I will take the PC in to Staples, where I am guessing the max I could go to would be 2Gig from 1.4, and will add that memory in. Still running with Avast. Right now showing 56 processes running instead of 66(I've got ASC, Word and Excel open and this browser. This has been aggravating for a long time. Late 2007 Compaq Presario; should be able to keep going on it for awhile, I think... Reboot time notably improved too; I disabled or set to 'eventually load'(something like that) a number of startup processes.
    Somewhere in the clouds, Your peak is shining, Have courage and go
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc_cqbxF0cg

  12. #12
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    Found this cool little site that scanned my pc and said I have 2 slots, 1 has a 1 gig, the other has 512 meg, total that the system can handle is 2Gig, so my one option is replacing the 512 meg with a 1 Gig, which I will do.

    http://www.crucial.com/systemscanner/
    Somewhere in the clouds, Your peak is shining, Have courage and go
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc_cqbxF0cg

  13. #13
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    A program called ComboFix is another good program to run. Only get it from Bleeping Computer (search for it).
    I've saved many a computer using ComboFix in conjunction with other programs.
    We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion:
    the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission;
    which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.
    -Ayn Rand

  14. #14
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    Sometimes old horses need to go to pasture!

    I did not see what your budget is for this project...

    I just gave up on my Win xp tower running on an Intel core2 duo processor at 2.1ghz with 2gb ram...
    BFG motherboard Nvidia nforce 680i plus radeon x 1950 video....

    That machine has been dragging for months and started blue screens of death...multiprocessing was impossible

    Was watching Tiger Direct dot com ( per Cory H reference) and found a Black Friday sale for a modern chip memory mobo combo with tower and power supply for 250 bucks..!~!!..

    Now running win7 64-bit Professional (just purchased-not included in package) with 8gb memory and AMD Phenom II quad processor.... (also downloaded the xp emulator, not tried yet)

    This cobbled up machine is smokin fast, running full data seaches/ music organization in the background while I surf....

    I think your Celeron processor is not designed for and not capable of heavy duty work like "JOE" was in his prime......your old horse is tired and ready to be put out to pasture...

    but not put to sleep

    ....but what do I know....Thats why I have my Nephew Rom to handle technical problems

    YMMV, hope this helps a little,

    Q
    Last edited by Quark; 12-17-2012 at 07:38 PM. Reason: added 64 bit Win7

  15. #15
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    TP, I hate to say this, but you're an easy mark for scams. You've been scammed. Stop doing this kind of thing. Really.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Olson View Post
    TP, I hate to say this, but you're an easy mark for scams. You've been scammed. Stop doing this kind of thing. Really.
    yup

  17. #17
    have a peek at this: http://helpdeskgeek.com/windows-xp-t...lazingly-fast/

    Perhaps there are some things there for you.
    Also a program called WinPatrol can be used to safely shut down programs and background processes.

  18. #18
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    get an Apple

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Olson View Post
    TP, I hate to say this, but you're an easy mark for scams. You've been scammed. Stop doing this kind of thing. Really.
    yup. This is an utter scam that they were trying to pull on you. Your machine is from 2007? Do NOT put any money into it. For what you are talking about, you could buy a current entry level machine that would have warp drive compared to your current unit. It is very likely that your hard drive is getting old and slow, and you may be having capacitor issues on the system board as well. Don't put any money into this old a computer. Put it into a new one, you will be glad you did.

    1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer

    Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    Joh 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.


  20. #20
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    TP,
    the "out-to-pasture" guys may be right, I remember that memory that old is unreasonably expensive...

  21. #21
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    Windoze just seems to get tied-up in knots eventually. Even after turning off services, running countless scans and registry cleaners, and even monitoring with some utilities from sysinternals, I had to do a complete reinstall of 64-bit Windoze7 on my i7 desktop a few months back. It would just randomly freeze for a minute or so, then start running again. The reinstall fixed it. Apparently the periodic temporary "hangs" we're introduced as far back as Vista, with 1-2 hot-fixes released, but the (W7) hot-fix(es) didn't help me.

    I had installed and de-installed a lot of software (including Oracle and SQL Server), and run CCleaner a lot. Eventually, the system was just too tangled. I think the design of Windoze is just too messy. As I recall, Unix is much cleaner, though it had been a few years...

    Now, I only install "must-have" software, and avoid registry cleaners. When I was trying to salvage my 3-year old install, and doing a lot of reading, it sounded like registry cleaners were "bad mojo" (though I realize this is controversial).

  22. #22
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    How often do you guys do a defrag? How often to you pull up the Task Manager and look at your RAM vs virtual memory use, and what processes are running? How many of you are running 2010 or 2012 versions of software on a PC that was built in 2006, and that still has the original 2-3gb of RAM? How many of you are running systems with more than 3gb of RAM but are running the 32-bit version of your o/s? how many of you understand the limitations of running a 32-bit o/s? One of the biggest mistakes ever made was to market highly complex computing equipment as consumer goods. Most people don't know crap, and don't WANT to know. They don't understand what an operating system does, or how to keep it tuned for proper performance. Most people click on almost anything that generates a screen popup, not understanding that if you don't know what the message is, it needs to be researched.

    It took me a DECADE when I first started in the computer field to really learn the o/s and how to keep it running right. And that was doing it for pay 40+ hours a week. For a decade.

    How many armchair computer users do that? Bottom line: either know WTH you're doing or hire someone who does.

  23. #23
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    I wonder if defrag is needed on Windoze 7? I thought I read Windoze 7 did background defrag. In doing a quick search I found this: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/e7/archive/2...rovements.aspx

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trivium Pursuit View Post
    I should add that my PC (Intel Celeron 3.2 Ghs, 1.4 G Ram) is running faster since running their product.
    BTW, a Celeron with 1.4G is rather humble these days. I recently retired a 2.4G P4 with 2G and XP that was just too slow by today's standards.

    While you could get a great PC for $4-500 these days, it is a bad time to have to upgrade; Windoze 8 and "touch" has the market turned upside-down.

  25. #25
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    Here's a hint: why don't you actually execute a defrag and look at the disk map to see if its fragmented....


    As an aside, the instant a PC has to go to virtual, performance drops to basically nothing. A MINIMUM amount of RAM one should be running today is 4gb, and double that preferred. And of course, the 64-bit o/s to go with it. I know for a fact that TP is running the 32-bit o/s.

  26. #26
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    So much passion here!

    First, Dennis, I did not fall for the scam. Second, the 1 gig will be $16. I don't consider that a high price for a 33% boost in main memory. Third...a reinstall--does that mean a reinstall of all producst like Office? Not sure still have disks for that. Almost certainly don't have Windows XP sp 3 disk. Is that available as a free download?
    Somewhere in the clouds, Your peak is shining, Have courage and go
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc_cqbxF0cg

  27. #27
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    First, unless you're going to go to at least 4 gigs, you won't get much help from a performance aspect. Second, reinstalling the o/s wipes the drive. EVERYTHING will have to be reinstalled. Third, you will need the 64-bit version of the o/s to run over 3 gigs. If this PC is a laptop, do you even have an available slot for memory? And why the hell would you be running the Turbotax updater? I mean, WTH???

  28. #28
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    She flew through the Control Panel and ended up at a place called EventViewer(Local). It had 1,700 items, all either warnings or errors. She said that when I run the freeware that I mentioned above, and it finds problems like viruses, that it 'rips the problems out'. In such a way that it damages the hard drive. She claimed that that was the cause of at least some of these 1700 items.


    Um, no.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trivium Pursuit View Post
    So much passion here!

    First, Dennis, I did not fall for the scam. Second, the 1 gig will be $16. I don't consider that a high price for a 33% boost in main memory. Third...a reinstall--does that mean a reinstall of all producst like Office? Not sure still have disks for that. Almost certainly don't have Windows XP sp 3 disk. Is that available as a free download?
    Hey Triv, us computer folk can get somewhat opinionated at times! $16 for the ram is not bad at all, but you are already at 1.5, correct? So your net gain will be 512mb of RAM. You might notice a slight performance increase,but not much. As far as reinstalling the o/s goes, you likely have a hidden partition on your drive, you should be able to access it via F11 on startup. Note to be careful with this, if you start a factory restore before you are ready, you will return the unit to factory original before you are ready. Be sure you backup your data *first* before you go into the recovery option. Re your office cd's, that's up to you. You might try OpenOffice from Sun, it's Open source software.

    1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer

    Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    Joh 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.


  30. #30
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    Ok, not a laptop. 2 slots for memory; 1 has 1g, 1 has 512mg. Yep, 32bit system.

    About what I suspected regarding re-install, so not going there. I haven't sent up a prayer request yet, but I've been out of work again since Nov 10. There is no newer PC in the forseeable future. For the moment, though, this PC is working for me again. I am happy. Thanks to all for the great input!
    Somewhere in the clouds, Your peak is shining, Have courage and go
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc_cqbxF0cg

  31. #31
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    Dump all the mem, and install 2 ea, 2 gb simms. Or don't bother.


    And my prayers for you to go back to work quickly.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trivium Pursuit View Post
    Ok, not a laptop. 2 slots for memory; 1 has 1g, 1 has 512mg. Yep, 32bit system.

    About what I suspected regarding re-install, so not going there. I haven't sent up a prayer request yet, but I've been out of work again since Nov 10. There is no newer PC in the forseeable future. For the moment, though, this PC is working for me again. I am happy. Thanks to all for the great input!
    I'd stick with advice from the folks here before the "remote fix-my-computer" services. There are a few basic tools that you can use yourself, and some VERY skilled people here. The main thing is to not run an over-zealous registry cleaner, and to practice "safe computing" (keep the "nasties" off your PC). Running Windoze update and updating your virus software helps a lot in keeping the "nasties" out of your PC. Without updates, you are prone to "drive by" infection (”nasties” from an infected web-site, which is very common).

    You can rest assured that your hard-disk was not damaged, BTW.

  33. #33
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    Thank you, but I thought that my 32 bit XP SP3 OS wouldn't be able to use the 4 GIG? Or just what's 'over the line' at some point in there?
    Somewhere in the clouds, Your peak is shining, Have courage and go
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc_cqbxF0cg

  34. #34
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    It can't. You'll need to install the 64-bit version as an upgrade rather than a fresh install.

  35. #35
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    Den....his MB is limited to 2GB as were many Celeron-based systems back in the day.
    "People are best convinced by reasons they discover on their own."

    "The next 20 years are going to be completely unlike the last 20 years." - Chris Martenson (The New 2014 Crash Course)

  36. #36
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    Oh. I didn't know that Kris. So that PC is at the end of its useful life.

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Trivium Pursuit View Post
    Thank you, but I thought that my 32 bit XP SP3 OS wouldn't be able to use the 4 GIG? Or just what's 'over the line' at some point in there?
    You ran the Crucial.com program and it looked at your hardware and told you the max of what you could do.

  38. #38
    CCleaner (a free program) has a registry cleaner as part of it and it is good.

    WinPatrol is also free and works well.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kris Gandillon View Post
    Den....his MB is limited to 2GB as were many Celeron-based systems back in the day.
    I'm pretty sure my ol' XP P4 system (Dell 2400) maxed-out at 2gb. I know my work XP ThinkPad (dual core P4) could only support 2Gb of RAM. These were HW limitations, per crucial.com.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intestinal Fortitude View Post
    CCleaner (a free program) has a registry cleaner as part of it and it is good.

    WinPatrol is also free and works well.
    Glary Utilities is good, too. If you have Comcast, you probably get Norton 360 for free.

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