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The Great Windows 8 Upgrade Double-Cross

When I first upgraded my HP Compaq Office XP machine to Windows 8, I was elated. The new OS from Microsoft got every drop it could out of my struggling 3.0GHz Pentium 4 Processor with 3GB or RAM. And all for a mere $39.99. With XP, if I opened more than 4 applications, which might include 2 or 3 of my custom built Access applications, I would get a memory error and things could get messy. Now I can have 10 or more apps open at the same time, without much more than a whimper.

Back in 2012, there would be occasional slowdowns when Win 8 was running some maintenance or trying to download updates. But it was all tolerable and expected for an old PC that barely accepted the upgrade (no audio drivers and video is typically choppy). Actually, I changed Windows Update to manual so that I could control when they were downloaded and installed, allowing me to do something else for an hour. But over time, and especially in the past 4-5 months the background processes running on this old dog have become nearly unbearable. I smashed the legs off my Microsoft 2000 keyboard about a month ago as I pounded it when my machine became nearly unresponsive, running background tasks again. That was a $29.99+ tax, mistake.

Now I have resorted to restarting my machine a couple times a day. Or leaving it on overnight when I sense it’s trying to run stuff when I am not around. But even that is no longer enough for this “somehow changed” processor hungry OS called Windows 8. I don’t know what has changed. Pretty much nothing from my end. Same programs. Same mundane daily process. But performance, considering an approximately 8 year old machine, has gone from an 8.5 to around a 5, on a good day. Yeah, I guess I could format the drive and start over with a clean install. But this machine has an 8 year old hard drive. With my luck, the drive would crash the day after I rebuilt everything. I don’t even want to think about that.


I try to close apps I am not using, and close them in Task Manager as well. But memory is almost always in the 45-65% range. And I haven’t seen a memory error since upgrading to Win 8.x. No, the problem is CPU. When these Indexers and Search Hosts start running, there is almost nothing I can do to escape the pain to follow. And if IE11 is open at the time, which I believe is using a lot more resources than IE10, I might as well take a walk for a half hour. I have tried closing some of these processes, but they usually pop back up a few minutes later. Persistent bastards they are.

My CPU stands on the top of my desk, so that whirring CPU fan is only two feet from my ear. When it ramps up, I know I am going to have a problem. A year ago, I almost never heard it. Now it starts screaming  5 to 6, sometimes 10 times a day. And not after I have opened some intense program. It will persist for 10-30 minutes at a time, like racers revving their engines at Indy. It’s driving me nuts. damn you Microsoft. Why do you always have to mess around with a good thing.

I work for a very low budget company. And despite knowing the owner personally, replacing my machine is not in the cards right now. There are other higher priority expenditures, so I have to grit my teeth. I may shortly be expanding BYOD to a new desktop. Maybe a 4th Gen i5 or i7. Cheaper than Obamacare for me. Call it stress reliever. Until then, I just need to practice deep breathing. Maybe chanting would help.  And keep my hands away from the keyboard. and monitor. Don’t want any more of those expensive mistakes.