[SOLVED] PC Shutdown but CPU uptime still ticking, Desktop Evironment becomes Laggy


Feb 15, 2016
A bit of backstory: For the past 5 years across multiple rebuilds, I've been struggling with an issue where my entire computer lags during certain scenarios. One of which being downloading games from Steam. It's as if the entire desktop environment is running at 5fps when the problem occurs. Did some research, turns out this is just something that happens with Steam, especially if you are an HDD user. However the problem also happened(s) when opening new tabs in a web browser, especially load-heavy pages like Twitch. When I was using Win7 on an HDD, I noticed that the problem seemed to be worse the longer the PC was on. I began restarting twice a day to remedy the issue. It made it a bit better, but I never found a complete fix, apart from reinstalling win7 and keeping the install as bare-bones as I possibly could, in addition to rebooting frequently.

Fast forward to now, running win10 on an SSD, with the old win7 drive still in the machine, used exclusively for data and games. The same exact problem is happening, but I'm on an SSD now, so I can rule drive type out. I remembered my discovery about the problem worsening in relation to uptime. I open Task Manager, check the performance tab, and I've got 3 days uptime. This is simply not true, as I shut down my pc every night. It should never exceed ~16hrs uptime.

As it turns out, apparently shutting down your pc does not actually turn it off, but rather puts it into sleep, or hibernate more likely. This most recent night before going to sleep, I shut down, switched off the PSU, took out the power cable, then pressed and held the power button 4 times, as one would to drain the CMOS. When I woke up, I pressed and held the power button another 4 times, plugged the power cable back in, and switched the PSU back on. Boot up, 21 hours uptime. This should not be possible; the computer cannot possibly be in sleep when there is absolutely no power running to it, and I've drained all existing power from it. Shutdown MUST be putting it into hibernate, writing the session to the SSD, then loading that session again on boot, and adding the amount of time that's passed to the uptime. Doing that maybe 10 times in a row, loading a copy of a copy of a copy...I could see how that would begin to degenerate my session.

For the record, the ONLY thing that resets my uptime counter is doing an actual restart from the start menu. Anything else will continue counting. I've been booting up from shutdown, then restarting immediately once I'm in windows, in order to reset my uptime. This in addition to running ccleaner / registry cleanup, has made the issue of desktop environment lag on heavy network load almost completely fixed. It still occurs mildly here and there, but it's much more workable overall.

My question is, why in the hell does this happen? Why doesn't my computer actually turn off? Am I correct in my conclusion that shutdown just means hibernate in win10? And also, if anyone else has some insight as to why everything becomes laggier with more uptime, I'd love to hear it. I've noticed a slight correlation that more activity over the ethernet tends to cause it, but it's not limited to that as the only cause. Thanks in advance.

Ryzen 2700x @ 4.1ghz all-core
RTX 2060 XC Ultra Gaming
Corsair Vengeance 2x8gb @ 3400mhz
Rog Strix x470-F Gaming
Crucial MX500 1TB 3D NAND 2.5" SSD
WD Blue 7200rpm HDD
Windows 10, 1803
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Win 10 Master
windows 10 uses a power mode called Fast startup. INstead of Turning PC off at shutdown, it saves Drivers + a copy of windows kernel into ram, and other things into hibernate file, and puts PC into a hybrid hibernate state, so when PC is restarted, its half loaded already and speeds up boot on hdd.

So yes, your PC is never off with Fast startup on. Only time PC is off with Fast Startup on, is if you restart it using the command in power options. And that is briefly during the restart window.

  • It doesn't help on systems with ssd. It is useful if you only have a hdd though as it helps a little.
  • It doesn't help if you have drivers that don't recognise the mode, can cause weird errors.
  • It doesn't help if you get lots of power outages and need to unplug PC as that is seen as an unexpected restart since pc isn't actually off.
To turn it off,
right click start
choose power options
under Related Settings, click Additional power settings
in far left column, click Choose what the power button does
next to blue/yellow shield, click Change settings that are currently unavailable
untick Turn on fast startup
save changes and exit

Once Fast startup is off, the PC returns to how you expect it. Its off when you turn it off. Its uptime will restart every day.

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