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Why does Win2k slow down till my multimedia breaks?

Why does Win2k slow down till my multimedia breaks? I have a 1.2GHz Athlon 512MB RAM, Asus KT6+ motherboard, 2 hard drives (20GB and 60GB), and CDwriter and DVD drive. All drives are Ultra ATA.

Basically all the background processes halt when the machine accesses any of the drives, or when I minimize a window. It's quite a problem when trying to show presentations. Many thanks for any help.

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This could occur for a variety of reasons, including:

  1. out of date or incorrect device drivers
  2. software executing in the background consuming resources (this can include viruses, Trojan horses, and other software you may have installed and forgotten about or didn't even know was installed)
  3. the BIOS on the motherboard is old
  4. your pagefile is too small (it should probably be around 1GB)
  5. you could have a APM/ACPI problem (i.e. the power management features of hardware that Win2k supports)

If you have the Norton System Doctor tool or similar on hand, I'd run it to see if it could find any issues. Depending on how log your Win2k system has been running, it may benefit from a complete system wipe and re-installation.

This was first published in February 2002

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