Question My computer slows down when it's been on for a while until needing a restart

Oct 18, 2021
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Hi, hopefully this is the right area to post this question, I really hope someone can help me because this has been happening for about the last 2 weeks, I've tried everything I can possibly find and getting desperate at this point.

My problem is that when I first start my computer it runs fine, everything is smooth, I can even play most games on maximum settings and have a great time. But generally about 1.5 hours after starting my computer I notice it's starting to get a bit slow, my mouse pointer dragging a bit, game needs to be run on lower settings, even just pressing start button and hovering on an icon like shutdown is delayed. If I keep going it keeps getting slower and incredibly frustrating to use. I also notice that I start to get some audio crackles when listening to music/video.
I hadn't downloaded any new programs and not aware of any updates happening in the days before this problem starting. I'd been working on my computer that day, closed programs to go off for dinner. Came back about 2 hours later and my computer fans were blasting full speed, i couldn't manually slow them down, restarted computer didn't help, shut down and left for 15 minutes didn't help either. The moment I turned my computer back on fans full speed. After a while I gave up and went to play a game to test if performance was affected but the moment I started the game fans slowed down back to normal. Suddenly in GPU Tweak I was able to adjust them manually again. Did a restart and still quiet. Played the game and everything seemed to be fine.
the next day I opened up my computer and cleaned the external fans of dust since they did need it done. Put the sides back on and kept using it like normal. Then I don't remember but within the next 3 days I started noticing this problem where it slowed down after a few hours. Starting off what feels like forever of me trying to find and fix what's wrong and just failing every day.

My computer was built about 5 years ago for playing games and doing a lot of 3D work and rendering, generally never had any problems like this until recently.
  • Intel i7-6700K CPU @ 4.00GHz
  • 32GB RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti
  • ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming Motherboard
Now I'll list out some information I've gathered and things I've done to try and fix it/check what's wrong that NOTHING seems to have helped.
  • Firstly upon fresh startup after a restart and waiting about 10 minutes for startup things to settle in task manager I get stats of CPU 3% and Memory 13% (moving around slightly) after about 1.5 hours of use I close down everything, in task manager even make sure it's completely gone. But my CPU is now consistently up around 15% and memory 15%-20%. I have also noticed while using my computer that System Interrupts gradually makes it's way up to around 8%. I'm not sure if that information really helps but hopefully
  • Following from this I did a test where I disconnected my computer from the internet, restarted and opened task manager. Same resting stats for cpu 3%, memory 13%. I left it for about 2 hours and came back. Without fail my computer was slow again, CPU up to 16%, memory about 16%. From this I assume it's not just from me running programs, and not internet related.
  • I have both Norton and Malwarebytes on my computer and have done full scans with both, finding nothing
  • Have checked all drivers and updated any where necessary, also done a reinstall of my NVIDIA driver but none of that seems to have changed anything. Windows is also on the latest version and I have updated any programs I have to the latest version as well.
  • Tried checking for low harddisk space to see if that could cause it, main programs and windows run from a Samsung SSD 250GB, that has currently about 45GB free, with 13GB allocated for over provisioning. My second disk is a regular speed 2TB drive where I store most programs and all files and things, which has 271GB free. I don't think storage space is the problem since it's been lower than this before and still run fine.
  • I've checked if it's an over heating issue and generally don't think so. I use ICUE to monitor most of my computer with GPU Tweak for my Graphics. Temperatures at startup aren't drastically different to those after a few hours (some maybe as high as 10C higher). I also tested just turning all the fans up to full and that didn't really change anything. I have noticed while gaming sometimes that my GeForce sits around 30%-60% fan speed, sometimes boosting it to 100% helps just a little but not much really. I also just don't think restarting my computer would immediately fix heat problems and take 2 hours to come back.
  • I've run Perfmon and only thing that shows an error is System Service Checks > Abnormally Terminated Services Check > Tests 1 Failed 1
Also got a warning for 33% of events were lost during data collection.
- Think there's a few more things I've done but cant' remember it all at this point.

Unless I've just missed something obvious I don't know what else to try, at this point I'm just starting to accept this is my life now. Using my computer for about 2 hours then having to close everything and restart. Which is just frustrating because for about the first 1.5 it works fine, wouldn't think anything was wrong!
This is also particularly worrying because I'm working from home at the moment and need my computer to work, so if something suddenly dies I have a big problem. Could all of this just be that something is failing and I should start planning for a replacement? Should I get a full computer backup because with every restart it might not turn on again?

If anyone can help me that would be amazing! I can provide any extra information needed, I'm just desperate and hours of reading others people questions on forums isn't helping.

Thanks :)
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
PSU: make, model, wattage, age (5 years?), condition?

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You mentioned Task Manager.

Another tool is Resource Monitor. Just use separately - not both at the same time.

Plus Process Explorer may help identify what is occurring.

Free from Microsoft:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/process-explorer

As for the computer suddenly dying: be prepared.

Absolutely get a backup(s)!

Be sure to back up all important data at least 2 x and have copies available off of your current system.

Ensure that the backup copies are both recoverable and readable.
 
Oct 18, 2021
3
0
10
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PSU: make, model, wattage, age (5 years?), condition?

= = = =

You mentioned Task Manager.

Another tool is Resource Monitor. Just use separately - not both at the same time.

Plus Process Explorer may help identify what is occurring.

Free from Microsoft:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/process-explorer

As for the computer suddenly dying: be prepared.

Absolutely get a backup(s)!

Be sure to back up all important data at least 2 x and have copies available off of your current system.

Ensure that the backup copies are both recoverable and readable.
Thanks for your reply

I tried having a look at both of those today, not completely sure but from researching and using them I can't really see anything obvious causing the problem. My computer should generally be working fine, isn't really over heated and while things like CPU or Memory use a little up generally I don't think it should be slowing my computer this much.

Best I could think of from them is that there could be a program or process running in the background that gradually uses more and more until things start to slow.

Today I also tried using MSConfig to use Selective Startup, followed like what I saw online, hide all microsoft services then disabled everything else before restarting.
I'll add though that today I actually left my networking on because I wanted to test with as little as possible while still being usable. So did all of that and started playing a game. I did notice that it was almost 2 hours before it was starting to slow down as much, so a little better than usual, but still happened.
Tomorrow I will try that again when I have the time to just leave my computer alone for 2-3 hours with absolutely nothing going apart from the microsoft services.

Something else I've noticed only about the last 4 days is that whenever my computer starts up I hear a connection noise, like I've just plugged in a usb or something. This happens either on the logon screen, or just as it's logging on. Not sure if that means something might be connected badly or how to check really though?

Something else I thought about checking is getting my pc back up on the desk, opening it and checking that everything is properly connected just to be safe.


For backups I generally try to keep my data done which is good, shouldn't really lose anything there, though a system backup/restore (whatever it's called) I haven't done in years so definitely should get done!
Before just accepting my fate of an incredibly frustrating computer might do that and just complete reset everything, manually reinstall it all, though I fear that might not even help.

If something is about to die just wish I knew what so I could get ready to replace it :(
 
Oct 18, 2021
3
0
10
0
PSU: make, model, wattage, age (5 years?), condition?

= = = =

You mentioned Task Manager.

Another tool is Resource Monitor. Just use separately - not both at the same time.

Plus Process Explorer may help identify what is occurring.

Free from Microsoft:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/process-explorer

As for the computer suddenly dying: be prepared.

Absolutely get a backup(s)!

Be sure to back up all important data at least 2 x and have copies available off of your current system.

Ensure that the backup copies are both recoverable and readable.

Also for PSU stats:
It's a Corsair RM750i, 750 watt, about 5 years old. Condition should be good, can check in more detail tomorrow when I get my computer opened up again.
It's fan does not come on much at all. Temperature is usually around 35>40C.

I also have a Corsair H115I PRO liquid cooling system for the CPU
 
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