Why is my computer acting so strange?

Hi. Please help me. This probably isn’t a serious problem but it’s rather irritating and disturbing. OK, ever since I got this computer (Win98, Celeron 1.7 GHz, 256MB RAM), I have experienced problems with IE (6.0). It had this peculiar habit of making the rest of the computer sluggish whenever it was loading a page. Now if I use IE and surf the Internet for more than a few hours at a time, the computer will get slower and slower. Said periods of sluggishness get longer and longer. And, for some reason, my computer’s clock appears to slow down. During these slow periods it can get ten or more minutes behind. I do run other applications at the same time, like McAfee VirusScan and often the IM/IRC program Trilian (0.74), although IE was being sluggish even before I began using Trillian. So, does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!

I’ve noticed this with IE before.

I never figured out a way around it short of switching to another browser -which I did.

I think it’s just because of the bloatware that is IE. Try Netscape or Opera and all should be well…

get XP…

is this a dell or a prefabbed computer… or did you make it yourself?

Get Mozzilla Firebird. Much better than IE, built in pop-up blocking, and tabbed browsing, in additon to not messing up other stuff on your computer.

Also, going to XP is also a good idea. Another thing, try running Ad-Aware or Spybot Search&Destroy, and clear your system of spyware.

There was a known issue at one point with McCaffee (esp. version 4, right after they acquired Dr. Solomon) where it would cause the system clock to slow down. Wouldn’t surprise me if that was a contributing factor to your issue.


I don’t know if this is an IE problem, as I’ve never seen any form of IE “slow down the clock” on someone’s computer. I would definitely ditch 9x for at least Windows 2000, if not XP. It’s a shame to waste such good hardware on such an old OS.

Nothin wrong with 98 **Rex**. Ive got the same system as the OP except my processor is WAY slower - 400 MHZ. I can run multiple programs and surf etc. with no problems.
I think her issue is something else.

Civil - check your startup programs menu and see what programs start automatically when you turn the computer on.
Check to see what percentage of system resources are being used right after boot up - and compare that to when you are running IE 6.
Run Adaware and clean up your files.
Do a purge of your temp folders frequently.
Defrag the HD.

Get back here and tell us what you find - or if you need help finding them.
Poor file management can really effect performance. I spent a half hour on my Aunts machine a while back and got the thing running like a top. She had it really bogged down with a bunch of background crap that she didn`t know where to find or how to get rid of it.

I concur with whuckfistle. I have an ancient 600mz system running Win98, and I have no problems with IE6. I’ll bet its your startup folder that is bloated (use msconfig to turn off uneeded background programs). Next culprit is spyware (run Adaware, and third on the list is virus infection (make sure your Mcafee is up to date). Then go to http://www.pcpitstop.com and run their tests; they will ferrret lots of performance-robbing problems. Do all this, then defrag, and I guarantee you will see a 50%-100% increase in performance.

Civil Twilight, did you run any maintence on your computer? How often do you run scandisk & defrag & clean out old files?

While one can argue that XP is a better operating system, suggesting it as a replacement for 98 can be a very bad thing. You may find that quite a bit of your software will no longer run, and some of your hardware may no longer be supported as well.

In this particular case though, it might actually be worth considering. One of my computers dual boots 98 and XP (necessary due to the software incompatibilities with XP) and I’ve noticed that for internet type things, especially IE and chat related things, XP definately works better and is much less likely to die a horrible death from misbehaving chat software or goofy web pages.

I would take a look at what other software is run on this computer. If it’s mostly internet apps and office type stuff then maybe XP is the way to go.

I use 98 for my internet/photo edit/music program computer. It works just fine for internet related things. I’ve never had a problem locking things down with software firewalls, managing IP addresses, ethernet or modem hardware, etc, etc.

The thing is, I don’t use IE. I’m an Opera/Mozilla user. The ONLY time I ever use IE is when I hit a website I really need to use and they require IE. In this case, I just use the one that came with 98. Of course, I only allow the firewall to allow IE access during this time. After I’m done I block IE access.

Civil Twilight is using both IE and McAfee VirusScan; two programs that have far too much bloat. It’s no wonder there is some sort of issue.

Twilight… your system is fast enough that this shouldn’t be an issue, but try clearing your cache… depending on where you’re going, you may be picking up a lot of cookies. Also, run ad-aware ( www.lavasoft.com ) …its free, and spyware can slow down IE hugely.

Also, are you running Yahoo! toolbar, or similar add-ons?

Look for unauthorized plug-ins too… comet cursor, etc.

For the record, I’ve never had that problem with IE, and I’ve run it under 4 separate operating systems (win95, win98/se, win2k, winxp). I’d blame MacAfee, personally. That program was written by Satan.

I personally wouldn’t use IE, because it’s bloatware and because it’s so full of security holes waiting to be found and exploited.

I run WIN98SE / IE6 on a AMD XP1800 and never had such a problem. I believe antivirus software, which I do not run, are the cause of a lot of similar problems.

I am happy with 98SE and have no intention of switching to XP after the several horror stories I have heard plus the fact that it may not support all my hardware. WIN98Se works fine for me.