Author Topic: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition  (Read 13547 times)

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Offline rwaters

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Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
« 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

Offline igor

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Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2009, 12:48:41 AM »
The virus database grew significantly over time... I'm afraid 64MB RAM is not enough anymore.

Offline Mr.Agent

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Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
« Reply #2 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

Offline CharleyO

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Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2009, 01:51:15 AM »
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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.


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Offline dw2108

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Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
« Reply #4 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.

Offline rwaters

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Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
« Reply #5 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

Offline Go Pack Go

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Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2009, 05:08:22 AM »
You could try scanning your computer with the crucial memory scanner at 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.
Windows 7 Professional SP1 x86\avast! Antivirus\Windows Firewall\Spybot Search & Destroy\Windows Defender\SpywareBlaster\Secunia PSI

Windows 7 Professional SP1 x64\avast! Antivirus\Windows Firewall w/ Windows7FirewallControl\Spybot Search & Destroy\Windows Defender\SpywareBlaster\Secunia PSI

Offline Vladimyr

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Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
« Reply #7 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 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 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.






There is a way that seems right to a man,
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Offline Lisandro

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Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
« Reply #8 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.
The best things in life are free.

Offline Vladimyr

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Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
« Reply #9 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".
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.” - Proverbs 16:25

Offline DavidR

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Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
« Reply #10 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.
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Offline rwaters

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Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
« Reply #11 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.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2009, 05:23:14 AM by rwaters »

Offline DavidR

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Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
« Reply #12 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.
Windows 10 Home 2004 64bit/ Acer Aspire F15/ Intel Core i5 7200U 2.5GHz, 8GB DDR4 memory, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD/ avast! free 21.2.2455 (build 21.2.6096.648) UI 1.0.608/ Firefox, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro/ Avast! Mobile Security

Offline Mike Buxton

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Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
« Reply #13 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

Offline Vladimyr

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Re: Extremely Slow Performance On Windows 98 Second Edition
« Reply #14 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.
There is a way that seems right to a man,
       but in the end it leads to death
.” - Proverbs 16:25