My boss came to me yesterday with her notebook and said “My notebook has been really slow for the last week or so. Can you please fix it?”
Of course I can! I started by turning on her notebook and noticed that it started up very slowly. Then, after logging in, I noticed that there was constant hard drive activity, even when the notebook was left idle for 30 minutes.
I ran msconfig and noticed that there were several stupid and unnecessary “services” configured to startup automatically at boot time. For example:
- iPodService and iTunesHelper – Apparently, these just make iTunes easier to launch and/or make iTunes launch faster. Whoop-de-doo…
- vzfw – A Sony Vaio program which takes up about 35-40 MB of memory and which apparently searches your hard drive for multimedia files to serve up to other users on the LAN — as useless a “service” as I have ever seen.
- the winzip “quick launch” thingy
- the quicktime “quick launch” thingy
- ati2evxx – The ATI External Event Utility, which apparently just provides hot keys for changing video setting. Who needs that shit? Is it really that hard to right-click on the desktop, click properties and then click settings?
I set all of the above “services” (and a few other stupid ones) to start up manually, or not at all. As a result, the computer booted much faster and used much less memory. However, I still noticed constant HD drive activity. That’s when I noticed that Norton GoBack 4.0 was recently installed on the computer.
Here is what GoBack is supposed to do:
- Reverses system crashes, failed software installations, user errors, and more
- Rolls PCs back minutes, hours, or even days before onset of a problem
- Lets you try software safely, with a fast uninstall if you don’t like it
- Recovers accidentally deleted or modified files
- Prevents unauthorized users from rolling back a hard drive
- Automatically schedules hard drive restorations to a set configuration
In other words, GoBack is for idiots who are too lazy to perform regular backups. It’s not that hard to do, People, really.
When I googled “norton GoBack” “constant hard drive”, I found someone with a similar story. After he removed GoBack, the constant hard drive activity went away.
So, I removed GoBack too. And guess what? That fixed the problem.