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Thread: SysTray & Icons speed killers?

  1. #1
    Tree Killer Senior Member Beirut's Avatar
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    Default SysTray & Icons speed killers?

    Howdy,

    My woman is using my old AMD64-3000/2GBRAM/ATI9800 and its become a bog monster. My question is whether the 60+ icons she has on screen (many are document shortcuts) or the roughly 30 items in the Systems Tray are killing it.

    I heard once that on screen icons eat performance but I never knew if it was true or not. As for the SysTray, I know too much stuff is defintely not good.

    Thanks.
    Unto each good man a good dog

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    Honorary Argentinian Senior Member Gyroball Champion, Karts Champion Caius's Avatar
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    Default Re: SysTray & Icons speed killers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beirut
    Howdy,

    My woman is using my old AMD64-3000/2GBRAM/ATI9800 and its become a bog monster. My question is whether the 60+ icons she has on screen (many are document shortcuts) or the roughly 30 items in the Systems Tray are killing it.

    I heard once that on screen icons eat performance but I never knew if it was true or not. As for the SysTray, I know too much stuff is defintely not good.

    Thanks.
    Indeed Beirut, those icons are programs that are running in the System Tray are eating RAM. Those programs in Start Up are consuming resources. You should see this page. Pacman, or this Sir Collins, have an useful guide about it here.

    You should delete some files in desktop as well. But System Tray icons are your problem.

    Cheers!

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    Tree Killer Senior Member Beirut's Avatar
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    Default Re: SysTray & Icons speed killers?

    Who'da man?

    You'da man!

    Thanks.
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    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
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    Default Re: SysTray & Icons speed killers?

    30 items in the sys tray definitely sounds like a bunch. But it also wouldn't hurt to scan for spyware, ect- especially if Internet Exploiter is her browser of choice. either. Really, when does it ever hurt to do that?

    Edit: Also, you can try doing a ctrl+alt+del and opening your task manager. The performance tab will show how much of your resources are being used up and the processes tab will show what's hogging up memory/CPU time.
    Last edited by Xiahou; 02-01-2008 at 03:02.
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    Amphibious Trebuchet Salesman Member Whacker's Avatar
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    Default Re: SysTray & Icons speed killers?

    Start>
    Run>
    "msconfig"

    Click on the Startup tab, very last on right. Disable stupid crap like the Quicktime system tray, Adobe "speed launcher", etc. Enjoy.

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    Honorary Argentinian Senior Member Gyroball Champion, Karts Champion Caius's Avatar
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    Default Re: SysTray & Icons speed killers?

    A HiJackThis! log wouldn't hurt, as that program tell us which programs do you have at startup.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beirut
    Who'da man?

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    Thanks.
    My pleasure is to serve.
    Last edited by Caius; 02-01-2008 at 03:33.




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  7. #7
    Prince Louis of France (KotF) Member Ramses II CP's Avatar
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    Default Re: SysTray & Icons speed killers?

    Whacker hit it on the head. You should be doing spyware checks regularly anyway, but it seems like everything you install these days comes with an 'auto updater' widget that'll sit in your tray and eat resources. Dump them all.


  8. #8

    Default Re: SysTray & Icons speed killers?

    Microshaft introduced the little double chevron arrow to the system tray to hide the inactive icons to avoid the user being troubled by them. This has actively contributed to software companies abusing the system tray with pre loaders, updaters and other useless tools. Every user always needs to know exactly what is running on their machine and should take responsibility for it.

    The trick is adopt intelligent software installation. Instead of trusting the software company, take back control of your OS and take responsibility for it. Avoid clicking on "next" or "recommended" always select a custom installation instead and take the time to actually check what is being installed. Uncheck the boxes for additional toolbars and extra useless commercial programs that are sometimes bundled on a trial basis.

    My system tray at home has the speaker icon, the LAN connection icon (actually not required but I have grown used to it) and the AVG control center icon. That's it. As Cauis said, unlike the icons on your desktop, every one of these tray icons is actually a running process eating CPU cycles and taking up memory.

    There are a lot of services in XP that can also be disabled. This is a decent enough guide: http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/servicecfg.htm

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    Honorary Argentinian Senior Member Gyroball Champion, Karts Champion Caius's Avatar
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    Default Re: SysTray & Icons speed killers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramses II CP
    Whacker hit it on the head. You should be doing spyware checks regularly anyway, but it seems like everything you install these days comes with an 'auto updater' widget that'll sit in your tray and eat resources. Dump them all.

    That's right. Those Auto-Updaters will try to run every time you connect to internet, if you configurated your pc to do so. Then, EVERY time you connect to Internet, you will have a decreased speed problem cause of every one of this programs updating themselves.

    I agree with everyone here. Except with W.Hacker, who needs to know which programs are running.

    I suggest to the Tree Killer to use the program StartUp Cop. This program is easy to understand. There you will be able to see which programs you have. (Click in the link will download the program)




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    Tree Killer Senior Member Beirut's Avatar
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    Default Re: SysTray & Icons speed killers?

    Another question if I may. When I do the alt-crtl-del thingamaboober and check the performance, it shows the CPU running at 100%. I`m assuming it doesn't mean 100% free, since I' using it at the time and that should take some power, but why on earth would the machine be running at full tilt like that?

    I killed most of the systray icons and a third of the desktop icons, but the thing still acts like a pig. Oh, and I did update and run AVG spyware, anti-virus, as well as Ad-Aware and Spybot. I haven`t run the cache clear yet.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks.

    (When I had this machine it was always rock stable, now that she has it... )
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  11. #11
    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: SysTray & Icons speed killers?

    Beirut, have you spent some quality time in msconfig? That usually helps me when I'm getting weird slowdowns ...

    Also, when you give the three-fingered salute, the CPU usage should start in the low single digits and quickly drop to zero. (It starts showing usage because you're summoning the Windows Task Manager; once that's fully loaded your CPU monitor should drop to nothing.)

    Another possibility: check your disk usage. If you've got, say, a 60-gig drive and it's got 59 gigs of stuff on it, performance is gonna suuuuuuuuck. You should always have a few gigs free on the HD for the pagefile and other such necessities.
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    Clan Takiyama Senior Member R'as al Ghul's Avatar
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    Default Re: SysTray & Icons speed killers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beirut
    Another question if I may. When I do the alt-crtl-del thingamaboober and check the performance, it shows the CPU running at 100%. I`m assuming it doesn't mean 100% free, since I' using it at the time and that should take some power, but why on earth would the machine be running at full tilt like that?
    Hello Beirut,

    when you summon the task-manager, could you please look at the tabs "Processes" and "Network"?
    In processes sort the table by Cpu usage (3rd column I guess) and check which process takes most %.
    In network you just check how much of the networks bandwitdth in percent is used at the moment. (Stop all downloading etc. before)

    The processes tab will tell which process may cause your problem. The glance at the network tab is only to make sure that your pc hasn't been hijacked and is transmitting data like crazy.

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    Prince Louis of France (KotF) Member Ramses II CP's Avatar
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    Default Re: SysTray & Icons speed killers?

    Very unusual for your CPU to be constantly maxxed out like that. After you follow R'as' advice if there's any unexpected network activity I'd immediately pull the plug (Or disconnect from your wireless) on that box and not hook it back up until you sort out the problem. Better safe than sorry.


  14. #14
    Tree Killer Senior Member Beirut's Avatar
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    Default Re: SysTray & Icons speed killers?

    Task Manager stuff

    There's no network activity at all.
    There are about 50 processes running (Is that bad?)They all show 00 under the CPU columnThe biggest reads as ENCWCSVR 0% CPU 40500 Mem usage
    CPU is fixed at 100%
    PF usuge is 418MB
    Physical Memory is 2GBAvailable 1500000System cache 1617000
    The HD is 2/3 free. 25GB out of 75GB.

    The MSCONFIG still shows about 35 things in the Startup but only 6 icons are showing at the bottom right.

    I was hesitant to do anything in there because the three files "they" say never to click off don't even seem to be there at all. (Unless I'm as blind as I am stupid, but let's hope not.)
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  15. #15
    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
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    Default Re: SysTray & Icons speed killers?

    What do you make of this:
    ENCWCSVR.EXE is a primary piece of Encarta Web Companion. You should verify this and see it is installed under Program Files/Common/Microsoft Shared/Encarta Web Companion.
    The EXE does not always run in memory and definitely does not kick off based on you performing alot of web searches.

    It appears to start up when you are not using your machine for a long time, 30 minutes or more and then seems to be indexing your hard drive. The EXE is pretty agile and when you CTRL-ALT-DEL it stops before you can catch on to what it was doing. The thread can be killed and you'll notice your system runs alot better.

    After reviewing Microsoft's vague documentation, some kind of reference is made to web companion searching your hard drive. Well the only way for that to work effectively is if it indexes your hard drive. System performance drops about the same as if the indexer service is running so this is believable. However I do not see much in the way of Web Companion offering a real search across your HD to the end-user. So I suspect they didn't finish the functionality, it was full of bugs or they plan on claiming it is a new feature next year.

    My recommendation is, if you aren't actually using web companion then get it off your PC. With the latest push by Microsoft to micromanage your PC you have no idea if they'll pulling a Sony on you.
    I just got that off of Google, so I can't swear by it's accuracy. However, it would probably be worthwhile to kill that process and see how the PC performs then. If it actually does index your drive like the poster claims, that would definitely kill performance.
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    Tree Killer Senior Member Beirut's Avatar
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    Default Re: SysTray & Icons speed killers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xiahou
    What do you make of this:I just got that off of Google, so I can't swear by it's accuracy. However, it would probably be worthwhile to kill that process and see how the PC performs then. If it actually does index your drive like the poster claims, that would definitely kill performance.
    Sweet. Thank you.
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  17. #17
    Prince Louis of France (KotF) Member Ramses II CP's Avatar
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    Default Re: SysTray & Icons speed killers?

    Just so you can compare, on my non-gaming box I have 30 processes running, and that includes 6 that I'd kill if I wanted to do anything intensive (3 from Apple alone). My sys tray has 3 icons, anti-virus, volume, and network.


  18. #18
    Honorary Argentinian Senior Member Gyroball Champion, Karts Champion Caius's Avatar
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    Default Re: SysTray & Icons speed killers?

    I have 34. Pretty the same as Ramses, but I'd bet he have a better pc than mine. Anyways, this old pc still works when I wanna to.




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  19. #19
    Cynic Senior Member sapi's Avatar
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    Default Re: SysTray & Icons speed killers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramses II CP
    Just so you can compare, on my non-gaming box I have 30 processes running, and that includes 6 that I'd kill if I wanted to do anything intensive (3 from Apple alone). My sys tray has 3 icons, anti-virus, volume, and network.

    50's not too bad, though - I'm running 86 at the moment, and the system is still perfectly smooth (admittedly that's on a vista system, which has more OS processes as far as I can tell, but most are still from apps and haven't slowed me too badly)
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  20. #20
    Prince Louis of France (KotF) Member Ramses II CP's Avatar
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    Default Re: SysTray & Icons speed killers?

    It all really depends on what they are and what kind of machine you're running. I personally find auto-updaters to be pigs, especially the ones that work totally in the background, but my non-gaming machine is just a 512 RAM 1.8ghz box. When I dump those six processes it's not really their idle load I'm worried about, it's preventing them from deciding to do something while I'm working. If you're running a higher end box you might not notice when some service decides to do that vital bit of maintainence.


  21. #21
    Finder of Little Oddities Senior Member Makanyane's Avatar
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    Default Re: SysTray & Icons speed killers?

    this database thingy looks like it might be useful
    - it did at least tell me what a couple of things with complete gobbledygook names where in my start up menu (sound card related bits it turns out that I don't think I need on there)

    I'm trying to sort out how to stop some auto update bits too, for a supposedly good machine mine's running like a pig at times, and especially at start up.
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