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Windows 7: Win7 installed over XP; problems with Defender & ultra-slow CPU speeds

10 Oct 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
Win7 installed over XP; problems with Defender & ultra-slow CPU speeds

Hello good people,

I recently installed Win7 for a friend of mine, over an existing XP Home Edition. I thought I had done a clean install but, after upgrading her RAM from 256MB to 1.2GB:

As you can see the PC is an old AMD Athlon so I'm guessing that could be the sticking point, because even with this much RAM the CPU is maxing out at 100% just using iexplorer.

But, I am actually hoping that there is just a conflict, perhaps an unclean install because having downloaded, and attempted to install Windows Defender I get the following message:

Hopefully, I've not wasted all these hours (about 8 mins to boot up!) just to tell her she needs a newer PC because even though she is quite happy with the speed, as it is a marked improvement from before, I would like to leave it with her, at least in the best possible shape.

Thanks for reading and your advice greatly appreciated...

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2012   #2

Win-7 H-Prem-x64 Linux-M-Mate-x64

when you say "over an existing XP Home Edition" did you just upgrade to windows 7 leaving xp files intact? or did you format the hard drive and do a fresh install? you can not upgrade from XP - 7 has to be clean install. also windows 32bit needs at least 1gig of ram. you have 1.2gigs sounds like not enough. also did you run the windows 7 adviser to make sure windows 7 can be installed on the computer?? also what is the specs of the computer?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit and on my other computer Windows XP Pro 32bit

I agree with everything Monster212 said. And if the computer is so old that it's still running Windows XP, and if it only had 256 MB of memory, then it's most likely too old to be running Windows 7.

In addition, just as he said, 1.2 GB is way too small a number for memory. The system requirements are a MINIMUM of 1 GB for 32-bit, or 2 GB for 64-bit (Windows 7 system requirements - Microsoft Windows) but that would leave the computer barely functional.

If you're installing Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, you need at least 1 more GB of memory, just to meet the MINIMUM requirements, so that's why it's maxing out on the memory and maybe why it's running so slow, but I wouldn't run it on less than 4 GB of memory. With only the minimum amount of memory it WILL run slow.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

10 Oct 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit

Thanks guys, for shedding some light on this for me. I did do a fresh install, I am pretty sure I removed some partitions formatted the drive (as a whole) correctly. I checked in Computer Management [Disk Management] to confirm no partitions.

Incidentally, as an aside, my Acer Aspire has a 12GB partition for a 'Healthy Recovery Partition'; is this necessary, normal and should I be backing my files up on this partition?

Back to the posts you made; I think I will roll this back to XP Home Edition, do you guys have the knowledge in regards to RAM minimum requirements?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2012   #5


Try it over and this time follow the Best Practices in Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7
to get a perfect booted 7 reinstall to C. The steps are the same for retail.

I would use 32 bit with that amount of RAM. If the install sorts out then you can add another gig or more or leave it the same if it is adequate. Win7 should never hang or bog on adequate hardware. To determine the max RAM google your PC or mobo make/model + RAM upgrade to read about it and sort options.

If this fails you can try running Acer Recovery media and Restoring a system to factory load
to restore the PC to it's original XP. If you failed to make your recovery disks before then make them as soon as it's restored so you have a backup method.

If Recovery will not run or you prefer a Clean XP Reisntall you'll need an OEM XP installer for your licensed version, using the Product Key on COA sticker.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit and on my other computer Windows XP Pro 32bit

Don't delete ANY of the hidden partitions that Acer has put on your hard drive! They were placed there for a reason and they ARE needed. The Recovery Partition is just that: It's the partition that holds the computer's factory default settings recovery information for if and when you need to run the Acer eRecovery program.

If you've lost or deleted your link to the eRecovery program, you can make one by typing this:
and name it Acer eRecovery Management.
With that program, you can make your eRecovery DVDs, and you can use it to start the eRecovery program from within Windows.

You can also access it by pressing <Alt + F10> at startup.

After asking you a few quesions, the Acer eRecovery program will then restore your computer to be exactly as it was when you bought it--fresh out of the box. This, unfortunately, even includes all the annoying games and extras that came with the laptop.

Never ever format the hard drive to start over, and especially never delete partitions to do so. The Acer eRecovery program does that for you and leaves all the partitions intact, as they should be.

In the old days, they used to give you disks, so you could use them to manually re-install everything. However, so many people had called because they had lost their disks, that they are now creating the hidden recovery partition to store all that information directly on your hard drive. This is better, because the work's already done for you, and you won't have to go through the tedious process of installing drivers and all the programs that came with it. Now all you need to do is run the Acer eRecovery program and it's all done for you in about an hour or two.

I would recommend that you make a DVD eRecovery set, though and keep it in a safe place. One time when I tried to repair someone's Acer laptop, her eRecovery program didn't work, because somehow, the partition was corrupted. Luckily, the first time I helped her, I had made a set of DVD recovery disks, so I had them to use, and in the process of recovering her laptop, it recovered the partition as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit and on my other computer Windows XP Pro 32bit

The minimum memory requirements for Windows XP is
At least 64 megabytes (MB) of RAM (128 MB is recommended)
(System requirements for Windows XP operating systems).

That will sustain the computer, and it should work fine--as long as she doesn't open any of the newer programs, like Microsoft Office that was made after XP, or for as long as she doesn't try to use the Internet. The programs and websites are now made for the faster, newer computers with more memory.

I have 3 computers, an Acer laptop that is running Windows 7, a new computer I just built that is running Windows 7, and an old computer that I built a few years ago, that is running Windows XP. On my Windows XP computer, I was originally running it on 1.5 GB of DDR2 memory, but it began to creep at a snail's pace whenever I used the Internet. Then I upgraded it to 3 GB and it worked faster, but even then, after awhile, it began to get slower as the websites began to get more and more fancy with all the pictures and stuff to open. Now I'm running 8 GB and so far, I have no problem, and my computer is running faster than ever.

The funny thing is that my friends are quick to point out that Windows XP only recognizes 3 GB of memory--and that is true if you open System Properties from the Control Panel, and look at the General tab. However, if I open "System Information" from the Accessories|System Start Menu folder, it shows all 8 GB.

Now after all I've written, I've got to point out that there may be a fly in the ointment: The motherboard may not support all that memory. I was helping my dad one day and I bought the kind of memory that I like PC3200 of DDR1 memory instead of PC2100 DDR1 which came with the computer, and found that it didn't work. That was for two reasons. That HP computer only supported PC2100 DDR1 memory, and (2) it only supported up to 3 GB of memory, and I was trying to install 4. If it is a homemade computer, you'll have to check the motherboard's manufacturer's website to see what kind and how much memory it'll support, or if it is a readymade computer, check with the computer's manufacturer's website. In either case, there should be a manual that you can download and it should be somewhere in that manual.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit

Thank you for your in depth reply, very helpful.

The motherboard is an old AMD Athlon, Fujitsu Siemens and the memory I bought for it was; 1gb kit Hynix SDRAM, PC133 133MHz, Desktop Memory, PC Ram DIMM. 168 Pin CL3 So this might give you a clue as the age of the SDRAM slots, of which there are 3.

Ideally, it would be great if I could put 3GB of RAM in the motherboard but I am not sure if the power supplied to the RAM would be sufficient.

From all the information I've received it seems as though rolling the PC back to XP would be better, because although 'gregrocker' suggests using the 32bit version of Win7 with that amount of RAM, I have already installed that version and it is creeping along painfully, painfully slowly.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2012   #9


If you have questions about the RAM specs, then google the PC or mobo model + Memory Upgrade to study the specs and max RAM allowed. Then compare by running Crucial System Scanner software to find out what type of memory is in your computer.

If it meets specs then install the RAM to check performance.

I would also test your RAM - Test with Memtest86+ for 5-6 passes to see that it's functioning correctly under stress. In addition test your HD using maker's HD Diagnostic extended CD scan.

Did you look over the Best Practices for installing Win7 to see if you followed them closely enough? The way drivers are handled in Win7 is different than XP. If there's any doubt you did less than a perfect install then I would reinstall following the steps I gave you closely which are based on helping with countless thousands of installs here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2012   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit and on my other computer Windows XP Pro 32bit

Wow! My second computer, that I bought in 1990, had 133 MHz, which was super fast at the time. Now a "slow computer" is one that is running only 1.33 GHz. That computer must be an early 1990s model!

With a computer that old, I'm surprised that she was able to get Windows XP working, but no, I'm quite sure now that even if the extra memory were to work, you would still never get Windows 7 working right. It was made for the newer, faster processors, and lots of memory -- at least DDR2 memory at that.

I think you're right about rolling it back to Windows XP. It's too bad that you didn't make a backup with a good backup program, like Acronis True Image, before you messed with it, because then you could restore it in a snap. So I'm afraid, that as you mentioned in your first post, you have wasted all those hours trying to upgrade Windows for her. I hope you haven't activated that copy of Windows 7.

Actually, I would tell her that it is best for her to buy a new computer, and explain to her that the newer programs are made for newer, quicker computers that can handle more memory. Then leave it to her and tell her that Windows XP SP3 product support is going to end on April 8, 2014 ( and that they're already shutting down webpages that give support.

If she still wants to keep it with Windows XP, just to give it back to her in the best possible condition, I would recommend that you ask her if she wants you to try another .5 Gb of memory. That's the least amount that I would use with XP, but even then, it may crawl a bit when she opens websites with lots of pictures to open. It's too slow for me, 3 Gb would be better, but that opens the question of whether a computer that old would support all that extra memory.

I would look it up for you, but I can't without knowing the model number, but you can go to the Fujitsu-Siemens website at Technical Support pages from Fujitsu and start your search there. You'll have to tell it what the model number is. That's the downloading webpage for drivers, but I'm assuming you could download a manual there too. The manual should tell you how much memory it would support.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Win7 installed over XP; problems with Defender & ultra-slow CPU speeds

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