New Computer is SLOW

Category: Quickies


A good friend just bought a new eMachines system. But already it's slower than the 8 year old Gateway he got rid of! If they can't work out the wrinkles they're returning the whole thing. Can you give me a suggestion as to whether he should continue with his frustrations?


The most important factors in system speed are the processor (typically ranging from 1.0 MHz to 3.5 GHz) and the RAM (usually ranging from 128 MB to 512 MB and beyond). If your eMachines unit is lacking in either category (especially RAM) it will not perform well.

See my article Making Windows XP Start Faster for additional tips.

This article was posted by on 30 Jul 2005

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Most recent comments on "New Computer is SLOW"

Posted by:

10 Aug 2005

eMachines tends to load a lot of unnecessary software onto their machines. This could be what is slowing it down. I wouldn't be surprised if it suffered from a poor motherboard design either. But if it only comes with 64 or 128MB of RAM, then that is definately a bottleneck.

Posted by:

10 Aug 2005

I solved my sluggish machine by removing the Microsoft Spyware Beta program. When I would fire up my computer I noticed the hard drive was running wild. Using Windows Task Manager I found the system was running between 50 and 60 percent usage. When I removed Microsoft Spyware Beta the usage dropped down to 2 percent.

Posted by:

10 Aug 2005

EVERYBODY puts a lot of unnecessary software onto their machines. I recently got a new Compaq (I know, shame on me) and it was loaded down with superflua. One thing that will really slow things down is the Norton Internet Security Suite. As installed, it will also block LAN access. Other things that slow down a system by eating memory like it was Fritos are the stubs left by programs like Quicktime, Real Audio, and others so they can restart quickly. What's the point of this? It's insane. And with Quicktime, you have to go back in and take them out everytimg Quicktime or i-Tunes runs. It's irritating. My new machine came with 512 MB of memory, but it only has access to 384 MB because the Onboard Graphics uses 128 MB. A lot of manufacturers are doing this "Shared RAM" thing, which I think is misleading to the uninformed, and not really a very good idea. I'll be changing to an AGP or other separate device soon, about the time I an another 512 NB to the main memory. The System Restore slows down a machine too, so if you can figure a way to survive without it, you can gain speed that way. Still my old 800 MHz Athlon machine can almost keep up with my new Athlon 2.2 GHz 64-bit machine. As it came out of the box, the 800 MHz dinosaur ran faster.

Posted by:

10 Aug 2005

I just set a new eMachine up for a friend, and it ran fine with all the included software. Something else is causing the problem.

The most likely reason for dragging performance on a brand new system - excluding the memory thing, since most new eMachines ship with at least 250 MB of RAM - is that he hooked it up to the internet before he had a good firewall set up and it got loaded with spyware and maybe a trojan or 50.

I did an experiment recently with a newly-formatted hard drive. I installed windows and hooked up to a broadband connection for a measured 2 minutes with only Windows built-in firewall protecting it. After disconnecting, it took me about two hours to remove 56 trojans, 17 varieties of spyware and one virus. Several trojans had to be dug out - the antivirus scan would detect them, but not remove them.

There may have been more. I'd learned what I wanted to know, and reformatted the disc. Installed ZoneAlarm and AVG before connecting and the machine is still bug-free after more than a month.

Posted by:

19 Aug 2005

I've set up 2 eMachines, one of which I used for well over a year. Memory is always an issue no matter what machine you have - must have at least 512 these days. I added 512 memory to the existing 128 and always install XP Professional right away (after formatting the disk of course). This cleans up the system from all that junk that comes installed or partially installed. I then run all the windows updates and install Norton Systemworks and run all the updates. The next order is AdAware, Spybot SD and Spywareblaster with all those updates.

After that I can install whatever programs I want since I can always use Norton's Windoctor to clean the system each time I uninstall something I no longer want. This has been standard proceedure for me for years and because of it I have clean, fast running machines, at least to start with. I reinstall my machines on an average of 2-3 times a year because I put a lot of shareware and freeware on to play with and they don't always uninstall cleanly, even with Norton, and tend to slow the machine down as time goes on. :-(

Make sure you keep your original eMachine disks handy though... you will need them to get eMachine specific drivers when you wipe out the old install. I temorarily 'lost' them at one point and couldn't get any sound - all they told me was to find the original disks. I just added a sound card to get around it until I could find the disks again, which I finally did. :-)

Posted by:

30 Nov 2007

Hi Bob, your site has been helpful and functional for those who does self maintenance. These my PC has been bit strange, it goes into auto shutdown to a blue screen that reads memory dump or something, I then have to press the on/off button to restart the PC. Please advise...


Posted by:

Rich C
15 Dec 2007

My Computer configuration is , AMD 64x Duo 6000.

Asus M2N32 sli deluxe MoBo. Raptor Hard drive . MSI 8600gts Video card. 4 gigs of Crucial Xtreme Ram. 650 watt power supply. Pages still Lag. It's sporadic. I have XP Pro. I've shut off page filing , visual styles etc. Still a lag in performance.When I use I.E. 6 , click on favorites , the drop down box hangs , turns white then dissapears. I also use Firefox , but that seems fine. I'm using McAfee utilities. I'm suspecting either the Ram , or the Nvidia pci xpress MSI Video card.There is a delay when I click on a file or page. I'll click on a file , and a moment later I can hear the click sound. Your thoughts or suggestions?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Could be the video card. Are you saying the problem goes away when you run Firefox?

Posted by:

17 Jan 2008

It is somewhat Better when using firefox , but still a performance Lag.I've updated all the drivers , which are a nightmare from nvidia , and still a lag in performance. Even when off line it lags. I'm debating going to an ATI video card.

The system in itself is decent , but the lag in pages , and sound are driving me nuts. I have a 2 year old E-Machine that runs circles around this one. The exact configuration is;

AMD 64x 6000 CPU

Asus M2N 32 sli deluxe wireless Mobo.

Antec 900 Gaming tower.

650 watt power supply.

4Gb crucial Xtreme Ram.

MSI 8600GTS Nvidia video card.

WD 74 Gb Hard drive.

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