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Consumer Products => Avast Free Antivirus / Premium Security (legacy Pro Antivirus, Internet Security, Premier) => Topic started by: rwaters on June 09, 2009, 12:43:25 AM

Title: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: rwaters on June 09, 2009, 12:43:25 AM
I've used avast! Home Edition for some time on Windows XP and Vista systems and am very pleased with its performance. Thanks to ALWIL for making such a great product available for free.

I also have an old 200 MHz Pentium laptop that is maxed out at 64 MB of RAM. This Toshiba machine gets only occasional use and I keep it around only as a guest PC for accessing the Internet. It runs Windows 98 SE (the best it can do in the Windows family) and I would like to load avast! Home Edition on it so that there is on-access protection when users access the Internet. Despite the indications that avast! only needs a 486 processor with 32 MB of RAM to run, avast! slows this system so much during startup and VPS updates as to render the machine unusable.

To give you an idea of the performance hits I see, I have timed the boot process (with the machine disconnected from the Internet to prevent an update check). Here is what I experience:

(1) From power up to the Windows 98 desktop: less than 1 minute
(2) From appearance of the desktop to the System Tray icons (except for avast!): less than 1 minute
(3) Appearance of the avast! blue ball in the System Tray: 12 minutes!

During the 12 minutes it takes for avast! to eventually load, the hard disk is accessed almost continuously, during which time the system is very unresponsive to any user activity. Eventually, after avast! loads and the system becomes stable, performance improves to an acceptable level. Typical scan time for the hard disk seems about right (15 minutes for a lightly loaded 4 GB drive).

Response is even worse if avast! detects and installs an updated virus signature database. This process typically takes 30 minutes or more to complete.

I have tried a repair, and a complete uninstallation (including running aswClear.exe) with reboots in between, with no improvement in performance after reinstalling. With avast! uninstalled, performance is what you would expect for a machine of this type. It boots completely into Windows in less than 2 minutes after which it is ready for use. I am trying to load the latest avast! version (4.8.1335) but I have also tried the last 4.7 version (build 1098) with identical results.

The Windows 98 SE installation was done as a clean install. Aside from the operating system itself, the machine has few applications installed, none of which run resident. There is no firewall installed, nor has there ever been any antivirus installed other than avast!

I don't want to give up on avast! completely and would prefer not to rely on an on-demand scanner (like ClamWin) only. Any suggestions for what else I might try would be appreciated.

Thank you.

Ray
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: igor on June 09, 2009, 12:48:41 AM
The virus database grew significantly over time... I'm afraid 64MB RAM is not enough anymore.
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: Mr.Agent on June 09, 2009, 01:14:26 AM
This laptop seem to be really old you can find any better on any cheap price you should buy one from your customer.

Mr.Agent
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: CharleyO on June 09, 2009, 01:51:15 AM
***

More RAM is about your only option but I can not help with what version of RAM nor amount such an old laptop would use. If you already know this information, you can check the websites of TigerDirect, NewEgg, and PacificGeeks for availability.


***
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: dw2108 on June 09, 2009, 02:36:53 AM
Ray, I'm a fellow Win 9x/ME enthusiast, as well as an avast! lover.

Until you get more ram, try CacheBooster (freeware) from analogx.com I use it on a Pentium 1 133MHz w 24 MB RAM to run avast! with Win 95 (RARE 16 bit) pre-release version w winsock update.

No kidding!

Dave

BTW. IF you're running a Pentium THAT old, then IT IS MILSPEC, and running it at 100% all day and all night won't even hurt it at all.
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: rwaters on June 09, 2009, 03:01:58 AM
Thanks to everyone for your replies.

For igor: Maybe it would be good to change the information on the website to indicate that much more memory is needed to run avast! even on older machines.

For dw2108: You're right. This old laptop is built like a tank!

To all: I have a Dell Core2 Duo laptop with 3 GBs of RAM running Vista Home 32bit, so I have a good machine to use. I suppose it's finally time to retire the old Toshiba for good.

Ray
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: Go Pack Go on June 09, 2009, 05:08:22 AM
You could try scanning your computer with the crucial memory scanner at crucial.com (http://crucial.com), but I don't know if it works for 98.  If it does you could then look at Newegg for the same module, but a lower price, so then you wouldn't have to put your Toshiba down.  Also, if that doesn't work, you could install Linux on it and extend its life a little while, if that interests you at all.
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: Vladimyr on June 09, 2009, 06:12:44 AM
If you're serious, it's possible!

A few suggestions:

1. Set 'Update (Basic)" settings to 'Manual' for both program and definitions (even 'Ask when update is available' will chew-up resources) and diligently update manually when you know you won't be using the PC. If you have plenty of internet speed and bandwidth you can download the updater (http://www.avast.com/eng/updates.html) which is much quicker (it does increase Alwil's server traffic though  :-\ ).

2. Install (or "change" in "Add/remove Programs") only the avast! 'Standard Shield' on-access scanner and not the 6 other 'Providers'.

3. Make sure that only what is absolutely necessary is loaded at startup. No Microsoft Office pre-loaders, toolbars, VNC clients, whatever.

4. Trim down 98SE to "SLEEK" with the free preview version of 98lite (http://www.litepc.com/preview.html) by Shane Brooks.
This replaces the 98 explorer shell with the non-integrated, faster, and about 7-10 MB smaller, 95OSR2 version. You would have to get hold of these files from a 95 CD or an existing 95 installation.

Hope that helps.






Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: Lisandro on June 09, 2009, 02:14:29 PM
2. Install (or "change" in "Add/remove Programs") only the avast! 'Standard Shield' on-access scanner and not the 6 other 'Providers'.
I won't remove WebShield and NetShield. It's not safe, imho, and will require High security level of Standard Shield, which decreases performance considerably.
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: Vladimyr on June 09, 2009, 03:44:01 PM
I won't remove WebShield and NetShield. It's not safe, imho, and will require High security level of Standard Shield, which decreases performance considerably.

Even you Tech, might be tempted to if you only had 200mhz/64MB to play with and got sick of the constant sound of your hard disk swapping while the PC appears catatonic!  ;)

It's a choice for the user, and less desireable or "necessary" if you opt for 98Lite "Sleek".
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: DavidR on June 09, 2009, 04:21:38 PM
Whilst this might be a choice for the user, they should also be made aware of the risk.

The Network Shield uses negligible resources and punches above its weight in respect of blocking common worm/virus attack ports and blocks malicious sites.

The Web Shield is a very important part of your protection with the swath of sites being hacked (you only need browse the viruses and worms forum to see that). You can no longer consider legit sites as being safe sites as many of those have been hacked and the payload at the other end of the redirects could seriously spoil you day (or several days). Yes the web shield uses more resources than all but the standard shield, but is really is doing the lions share of the work in protecting your system.

Then they can make an informed decision.
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: rwaters on June 09, 2009, 11:52:19 PM
I checked the specs on my old Toshiba laptop and it supports a maximum of 160 MB of RAM, organized as 32 MB of non-replaceable memory plus one memory card slot that can accept 32, 64, or 128 MB cards. Pricing for the 128 MB card is ridiculously high ($100US or more), but 64 MB cards aren't too unreasonable. Before I put any more money or effort into keeping this machine alive, can anyone tell me what the true minimum RAM needs are for acceptable performance under Windows 98SE? Obviously, 64 MB is not enough, but will 96 MB do? That's what I would get if I bought a 64 MB card to replace the user-installed 32 MB that is in the PC now.
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: DavidR on June 10, 2009, 01:16:43 AM
It used to be you paid a premium for top of the range, now its the reverse paying a premium for old RAM. If you know exactly what type of RAM (get the spec from those that want to charge $100) and see if you can find some on ebay.
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: Mike Buxton on June 10, 2009, 01:55:30 AM
Hi,

I may well be missing something but why not connect to the Internet using your newer machine and (so that you need not use Avast) only run any extra program(s) you already have on your old faithful?

My regards
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: Vladimyr on June 10, 2009, 03:03:09 AM
It used to be you paid a premium for top of the range, now its the reverse paying a premium for old RAM. If you know exactly what type of RAM (get the spec from those that want to charge $100) and see if you can find some on ebay.

DavidR is right. I got a 64MB PC100 SDRAM SODIMM for AUD $11 a couple of years ago but 128MB might be harder to find.
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: rwaters on June 10, 2009, 05:31:25 AM
Hi,

I may well be missing something but why not connect to the Internet using your newer machine and (so that you need not use Avast) only run any extra program(s) you already have on your old faithful?

My regards

That certainly is an option. If I don't connect to the Internet with this old machine, then the need for an on-access antivirus scanner goes way down. The problem, though, is that I only keep this PC around so that guests can go on line for a brief time to check email, etc. So an antivirus program really is useful. As far as I can tell, avast! is the only mainstream antivirus application that will even run under Windows 98 or ME.

Still, if I can't solve the problem with poor performance on this old laptop, I will either retire it altogether or do as you recommend and uninstall avast!, resorting only to an on-demand tool like ClamWin.
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: Mike Buxton on June 10, 2009, 10:29:06 AM
Hi again,

Thanks for your reply. However, if solely for guests perhaps you could clone its hard drive and even perhaps buy "GoBack" or something similar (so you could reset e.g. daily to a clean and original state). Then you would not need Avast.

My regards

Addendum:

Of course, if you can get Avast working well and quickly that would be ideal.
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: Lisandro on June 10, 2009, 01:49:58 PM
I'm not sure GoBack is for sale yet... specially for Windows 98.
Anyway, a clone of the hard disk could do the job. Better more than one clone, as you can accidentally clone an infected disk ;)
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: Mike Buxton on June 10, 2009, 02:09:46 PM
Tech,

I've had GoBack (the old Roxio version) for about 6 years. It works well with W98SE. I still have it though I no longer use it. It takes me about 8 minutes to clone back my W98SE partitions but GoBack, as I recollect, could revert much quicker than that.

Googling is good.

My regards
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: Lisandro on June 10, 2009, 07:52:25 PM
I've had GoBack (the old Roxio version)
But it's not available for buying anymore, is it?
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: Mike Buxton on June 10, 2009, 08:03:41 PM
Tech,

Why ask me? You can google as easily as I can.

My regards
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: Lisandro on June 10, 2009, 08:07:00 PM
Tech,

Why ask me? You can google as easily as I can.

My regards
Sorry... just that I was thinking it was not for sale anymore...
Seems I'm wrong http://www.symantec.com/region/br/home_homeoffice/products/backup_recovery/ngb40/sysreq.html
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: Go Pack Go on June 11, 2009, 12:13:04 AM
@ OP

Not sure if this is one that would fit, they are 168 pin and a speed of PC100 or PC133 for ~$15.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2000170147%201052307855&name=128MB (http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2000170147%201052307855&name=128MB)

Could you post the number of pins it uses and the speed(s) it supports?
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: rwaters on June 11, 2009, 12:38:33 AM
@ OP

Not sure if this is one that would fit, they are 168 pin and a speed of PC100 or PC133 for ~$15.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2000170147%201052307855&name=128MB (http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2000170147%201052307855&name=128MB)

Could you post the number of pins it uses and the speed(s) it supports?

The correct card is a 60 ns 144 pin SO DIMM model, which may have been common back when this laptop came out. I've found it a little cheaper elsewhere, but this is what I would need:

http://stores.channeladvisor.com/Arch-Memory-Electronics/items/item.aspx?itemid=2566462

The following source is as cheap as I have found the 128 MB module, short of looking on eBay:

http://www.impactcomputers.com/ktt650-128.html

But thanks for the suggestion.
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: Go Pack Go on June 11, 2009, 03:29:52 AM
Here is Crucial RAM that fits the specs: http://www.crucial.com/store/partspecs.aspx?IMODULE=CT16M64S4W7E (http://www.crucial.com/store/partspecs.aspx?IMODULE=CT16M64S4W7E)

Here is the same thing on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/128MB-Sync-PC133-144PIN-Sodimm/dp/B00068UJIY (http://www.amazon.com/128MB-Sync-PC133-144PIN-Sodimm/dp/B00068UJIY). but it says there is only one left in stock at the time of this posting.

At Amazon it is $27, but with free shipping, at Crucial's site it is $24, but shipping does cost you something so check to see if it would be cheaper at Amazon after shipping is added.
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: rwaters on June 11, 2009, 04:49:41 AM
Here is Crucial RAM that fits the specs: http://www.crucial.com/store/partspecs.aspx?IMODULE=CT16M64S4W7E (http://www.crucial.com/store/partspecs.aspx?IMODULE=CT16M64S4W7E)

Here is the same thing on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/128MB-Sync-PC133-144PIN-Sodimm/dp/B00068UJIY (http://www.amazon.com/128MB-Sync-PC133-144PIN-Sodimm/dp/B00068UJIY). but it says there is only one left in stock at the time of this posting.

At Amazon it is $27, but with free shipping, at Crucial's site it is $24, but shipping does cost you something so check to see if it would be cheaper at Amazon after shipping is added.

Great find! Thanks!
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: alanrf on June 11, 2009, 05:33:01 AM
For anyone else wondering about "Goback" it was sold by Roxio to Symantec years ago, given one brief update and then consigned to the warehouse of products bought by Symantec and then allowed to die - it is no longer sold.  For any that have the last release from Symantec (like me), it still works just great on older single processor systems.  It has issues on multiprocessor systems (though I discovered that running on this dual processor system with asymmetric memory the problems go away) it must be considered for the future, to all intents and purposes, a defunct product.
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: Vladimyr on June 11, 2009, 08:10:15 AM
Did anyone mention Ghost 2001 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norton_Ghost#Ghost_6.0_.28Ghost_2001.29)?
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: Lisandro on June 11, 2009, 03:47:26 PM
Did anyone mention Ghost 2001 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norton_Ghost#Ghost_6.0_.28Ghost_2001.29)?
I think the technology is different.
GoBack is a sector to sector backup/restore tool.
Ghost is a partition/disk/file backup tool.
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: rwaters on June 11, 2009, 04:53:16 PM
Here is Crucial RAM that fits the specs: http://www.crucial.com/store/partspecs.aspx?IMODULE=CT16M64S4W7E (http://www.crucial.com/store/partspecs.aspx?IMODULE=CT16M64S4W7E)

Here is the same thing on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/128MB-Sync-PC133-144PIN-Sodimm/dp/B00068UJIY (http://www.amazon.com/128MB-Sync-PC133-144PIN-Sodimm/dp/B00068UJIY). but it says there is only one left in stock at the time of this posting.

At Amazon it is $27, but with free shipping, at Crucial's site it is $24, but shipping does cost you something so check to see if it would be cheaper at Amazon after shipping is added.

After taking a second look at this module, I noticed that it is SDRAM while the laptop specs call for EDO RAM. It might work, but in general I think it is not a good idea to mix different memory technologies in the same machine. So I still think I'm stuck with the more expensive memory I located earlier, which does match the EDO requirement.

Thanks anyway.
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: Vladimyr on June 12, 2009, 06:11:48 AM
Did anyone mention Ghost 2001 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norton_Ghost#Ghost_6.0_.28Ghost_2001.29)?
I think the technology is different.
GoBack is a sector to sector backup/restore tool.
Ghost is a partition/disk/file backup tool.

Hi Tech

I mentioned Ghost 2001 for a couple of reasons.

1/. It's another product purchased by Symantec and discarded (maybe with good reasons as Windows versions came and went) in favour of Powerquest's techniques.

2/. After all these years, IMO the executable 'ghost.exe' run from a DOS-compatible partiton, bootable floppy or CD, is one of the most brilliant little programs ever made. It's 99% error-free and so FAST.
Ghost was primarily a cloning tool (disk to disk, partition to partition & sector to sector) which also does compressed images. Later versions were marketed as backup tools.

Having said all that.. it's probably not much use for a laptop with only one hard disk.

Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: Lisandro on June 12, 2009, 01:22:54 PM
it's probably not much use for a laptop with only one hard disk.
It could be useful if you have more partitions (even space for a full partition copy, like I'm luckily have ;))
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: Vladimyr on June 12, 2009, 04:47:35 PM
It could be useful if you have more partitions (even space for a full partition copy, like I'm luckily have ;))

Yes. First thing I did when I "inherited" my old Compaq 1220 (with "huge" 1.7GB hard disk) was to create a 2nd partition at the end of the disk, large enough for a compressed Ghost image of its Win98SE installation, which I could then copy to another networked PC for safe keeping.
Title: Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
Post by: Mike Buxton on June 12, 2009, 05:30:50 PM
Hi All Famous,

I still use Ghost 2003 occasionally to clone to a Hard Drive or DVD. When I bought it all those years ago I didn't know Ghost 2001 was better.

My first proper experience was with the Sinclair Spectrum ZX80 (48 KB memory) and when I wrote a complex program with huge logic and some 250 data elements I had to delete the used program lines to make more space for the program to continue. Even so, it was impressive.

Then I bought an Amstrad Luggable with 20 MB of drive apace and 640 KB of RAM and a 6 inch screen.
With PCTools  from Central Point Software and SuperCalc the old DOS based spreadsheet, which I still use, it ran superbly.

I still think GoBack (second hand) might be a good solution though it might be cheaper to buy a second hand machine for a few "dollars" rather than spending a similar amount on extra RAM.

My regards