From: Daave on
coolguy1541 wrote:
> Wow thanks for all the help this is awesome, I've never reformatted a
> cpu before so I'm new to all of this. This makes a lot of sense now,
> I have recovery disks, therefore, I shouldn't get the SATA HD error.
> I also think I will use the recovery partition first and if that
> doesn't work i'll use the recovery disks. I still have the original
> HD but I added a second internal HD just for data storage, doing the
> recovery it shouldn't touch that HD right? I would assume it
> wouldn't, especially not by default but thought it was worth asking.
> I backup important stuff on a 3rd HD btw too
> And I know this is a last resort extreme thing to do. But does this
> usually go as planned? My cpu doesn't have any viruses or anything
> just a little slower, ect. and I want to clean it up and eventually
> do a dual boot with ubuntu. It just makes me nervous using this
> ancient Microsoft utility...Thanks again for all the help

If I were you, I wouldn't restore your PC to its original condition.
Addressing the sluggishness and correcting it now would be the way to go
IMO. Otherwise, the problem would eventually return.

Here are the usual causes of sluggishness:

1. Malicious software (malware). You need to rule this out first! This
page has excellent information:

2. Certain programs that are designed to combat malware (e.g., Norton
and McAfee). Ironically, they can slow things down because they simply
use way too many resources. Sometime they cause conflicts with other
programs. And their default mode is to scan your entire hard drive each
time you boot up. Fortunately, there are other antimalware programs
available that use far fewer resources (e.g., NOD32, Avast, and Avira).

3. Too many of certain types of programs always running in the
background -- with or without your knowledge. (Then again, many programs
that run in the background have trivial consequences.)

To determine every program and process you are currently running, use
the Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Del) and click the Processes tab. You should
be able to sort by CPU usage or Memory usage to get a good ideas which
ones are the resource/memory hogs. You should write down the names of
all the processes for future detective work (or take a snapshot and
print it out).

Use these sites to determine what these programs are and to learn how to
configure them not to always run at startup:

Sometimes it is recommended to use msconfig to configure the programs to
not run at startup. A better, more thorough program is Autoruns:

But before you do this, you should use the preference settings of the
program in question. Otherwise, for some programs, they will return to
the startup list anyway!

If you do wish to use msconfig, it may be accessed this way:

Start | Run | type "msconfig" (without the quotation marks) | Enter (or

4. Not enough RAM, which causes the PC to overly rely on the pagefile. A
quick way to determine if this is happening is to open Task Manager
(Ctrl+Alt+Del) and click the Performance tab. Then note the three values
under Commit Charge (K): in the lower left-hand corner: Total, Limit,
and Peak.

The Total figure represents the amount of memory you are using at that
very moment. The Peak figure represents the highest amount of memory you
used since last bootup. If both these figures are below the value of
Physical Memory (K) Total, then you probably have plenty of RAM.
In case you want to explore this further, you may run Page File Monitor
for Windows XP:

5. You might also want to check that your hard drive's access mode
didn't change from DMA to PIO:


Also, CPU stands for Central Processing Unit (this is the high-speed
processor that is attached to the motherboard) and PC stands for
Personal Computer. You wouldn't be formatting the CPU; you'd be
formatting the hard drive. :-)