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Monday, May 28, 2001

McAfee may make PC slow
Vipul Verma

THOUGH computers are super-intelligent yet their capacity and performance is subject to some conditions. If these conditions are violated either knowingly or unknowingly, the PCs performance gets affected and the errors are generated. These errors are usually basic in nature and have simple solution.

Tackling slow system

The most common problem of computer-users is related to the system getting slow. In fact, any machinery with continuous use and no maintenance would go down in performance. A little bit of maintenance can boost up the performance. The first step is running a scandisk and disk defrag regularly in that order. Thus you should first run scan disk and then defrag. It is not necessary that each time you run scandisk, it has to be followed by defrag. Normally a ratio of 5: 1 is good enough. If you do not use your computer heavily, then even a ratio of 10: 1 is good enough. Here the ratio represents the number of times scandisk performed followed by disk defrag. This will keep your PC perfectly tuned.

Sometimes you may come across a situation when neither scandisk nor defrag work. In these cases, either running scandisk would hang the computer or will form a loop and return to zero after reaching a particular point. This is a tricky situation as in this situation it is difficult to fine-tune your PC. The simplest solution is to reboot the computer in a safe mode and then try running scandisk and disk defrag.


In most of the cases scandisk will run properly and will remove the error that prevents it to run successfully. However, if it fails to run in a safe mode also, then you should run it in DOS mode by pressing the F8 key just before the loading of Windows begin. Running scandisk at the DOS prompt would definitely solve your problem unless there are bad sectors on the hard disk or there is some other hardware problem.

However, if after running scandisk successfully in DOS mode, it does not run properly in Windows, then it could probably be due to the fact that there is some other program running in background, which causes hindrance in running scandisk successfully. Thus if there are any software running in the background, then you should close them first. Also, you must run disk clean up first, before running scan disk, as there could be some files among the deleted ones, which could create problem, unless they are not removed permanently.

Anti-virus software

Another possible reason for not being able to run scan disk successfully is running of anti-virus software, especially McAfee. It has been noted on many occasions that anti-virus software affects running scandisk in many situations. Thus it is important to take them into consideration before finding a solution to this problem. It may so happen that your computer may be playing host to a worm called W32.HLLW.Bymer. Other names for the worm are Dnet.Dropper or W32/Msinit. Under this scenario also you may come across a similar situation. However, the following procedure can be used to check the presence of a worm by using the startup tab of the Msconfig utility to search for either the Msi216.exe or Ms216.exe files (which may have been loaded into your computer).

To perform the search, move along the following steps: click Start, click Run, type: msconfig, and then click OK. Click the Startup tab and search for an entry that resembles the following example:

Name = msinit Data = C:\ Windows\ System\ Ms216.exe Data = C:\ Windows\ System\ Ms216.exe.

Junk file

Another thing, which is quite instrumental in slowing down the performance of your system, is the junk file. These junk files are in the form of *.bak, *.tmp and also image files like *.jpg, *.gif etc, which gets stored in your browser’s directory representing the cache. It’s a good idea to delete these files regularly as it keeps your disk and memory cache free, which unleashes a lot of power to your system. Out of these files you can find .tmp files in temp directory, whereas .bak files could be found out in several directories and needs to be explored.

These files not only consume precious hard disk space but also slow-down the PC by wasting useful resources. Another factor, which has a significant bearing on the performance of your PC, is the management of the memory of your system. Though there is nothing, which you can do physically for better utilisation of your computers memory, yet you can surely manage it by arranging programs.

The first thing in this direction is to keep limited programs in start-up as they consume a lot of memory when they are loaded initially. This slows down the loading of operating system considerably. You can remove the items in your start-up directory by right clicking on the task bar and selecting properties.

Now in the task bar properties Window, you can click on the start menu program. Use tab to edit your start-up directory. Removing all unnecessary programs, which gets loaded in the start-up directory during the default installation, would surely boost the performance of your PC.

Avoid screen-savers

Another factor, which is quite important for better performance of the PC, is avoiding the use of screen-savers. Normally screen-savers eat up a lot of memory and make the computer run very slow. Thus by disabling the screen-savers, you can increase the PC’s performance. However, if the situation is such that you have to use the screen-saver, you should not use those screen-savers that involve heavy graphics or excessive colours. All audio-visual effects, which you add to your PC, decelerate the performance. You must have noticed that your system runs fastest in the safe mode, which is primarily because, it excludes all the add-ons to your PC and uses the basic configuration to run the system. So, if you are looking for performance, then you will have to compromise on the other things mentioned above. Tuning your PC this way would also solve the problems of frequent hanging of the system unless there is some problem in your hardware like bad sectors or fault in motherboard.

System that hangs

Another common problem of the computer users is related to shutting down of Windows ’98 as in some cases the system hangs on the shutdown screen i.e. it stops responding on the message "Windows is shutting down". This is not a problem specific to your computer, but it is a common problem in Windows ’98 Second Edition. It is a documented problem, which Microsoft suggests that one should follow detailed steps to troubleshoot the software and hardware. After going though all the steps, one should then install the patch that is provided by Microsoft for this problem. This patch will take care of the problem related to the shutting down in Windows 98.

Another common problem of many users is the Logon window, which comes before loading the desktop. Many users do not want this Window and wish to get rid of this by setting it on auto logon. This is not a problem as it involves only enhancement to your operating system by using a utility called TweakUI utility available on the Microsoft site or the Win ’98 CD. In the utility, there’s an option to automatically login as it enters the name and password for you.