Slow EVERYTHING (boot, program loading etc.)

EzRiIgK

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Hoping someone can lead me in the right direction.

A friend callled and asked if I would 'clean up' her computer as it is acting slow. This is the second time in less than a week that I have been asked to do this on a laptop with Windows 7. For some reason (hopefully someone can give me the reason) EVERYTHING is slow, even in safe mode. I have spent an entire day running scans and cleanup programs. Unfortunatley, this has not helped.
According to task manager, running in safe mode, the system is 99% idle with 21-30% memory usasge. However, running a simple program like Notepad takes 2min. 37sec (i timed it) just to load. Once it loads it will 'process' inbetween typing letters (the cursor will disappear for like 10+ seconds)
The first laptop was an older one, I ended up doing a factory reset which fixed the problem. The current one is a little less than a year old. Since it has a lot (but still only using 20% of the HD) school related programs, I am loath to do a factory reset. Can anyone give me an idea for what could be causing the slow down?

Any help would be appreciated!!
 

shinerthetech

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Jan 16, 2012
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It could be a bad HDD, bad RAM, or a corrupted Windows install. I would start by testing the HDD and RAM. Depending what brand your Hard drive is, each company provides its own software that can test a drive.

Memtest is what i use to test memory.

You should also run a chkdsk on the drive and see if windows can find any corrupted sectors. If you need any help performing these tests let me know and I'll give detailed instructions (google will help you out too ;) )
 
You can check to see if the disk is in PIO mode, but even at that it should not take 2.5 minutes to open notepad of all things.
For Win 7: http://www.thewindowsplanet.com/695/how-to-enabledisable-direct-memory-access-dma-in-windows-7.htm

As suggested earlier, run a smart test on the hard drives and memtest86 on the ram, that is beyond ridiculously slow. If it came with windows 8 and was downgraded to 7 (you geussed the lapop was only a year old), I would make sure it has all the correct drivers on it. Might also try reseting cmos, not as many things to screw up in a laptop BIOS but worth a shot.
 

EzRiIgK

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Hey thanks for replying so quick.

Not sure of the hd brand. will open her up and find out (its quicker than running device manager, took 10 min to get a cmd window to load. when it did I ran chkdsk and nothing came up. I haven't done it with this laptop, but on the one i (and ended up factory reseting) did earlier in the week I pulled the drive and put it into my laptop, the slowdown was still present. after the factory reset everything was ok. so Im assuming its a bad windows install. I tried to run a system repair, but got frustrated after 2 hrs of waitng for the program to run. I think i will try swaping the HD to my laptop and see if I get the slowdown, this will at least eliminate the RAM if it persistes.
I will check out the memtest prog. althougth swaping the drives will be quicker. Anything else you can suggest would be of help.
 

shinerthetech

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That narrows it down quite a bit. It would be worth your time to try running just 1 stick of ram (assuming you have more than 1) at a time. I've seen RAM pass a memtest before, but still cause system havoc.

If you are STILL having problems after you try everything else, it could be a bad CPU/Motherboard
 

EzRiIgK

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I swaped the HD's. My drive has booted fine in the 'problem machine'. Unfortunately, the 'bad' HD is running a startup repair on my laptop. I believe this would lead us to conclude the problem is HD based. I do not want to exit out of the startup repair (plus, it won't allow it). I have to make a run to Home Depot, will prob. be gone an hour or so. I will let the startup repair run while i am gone. Will send you message when i return. of course any suggestion will be appreciated.

Erik

p.s. ran a virus scan, using malwarebyes on my HD in the 'bad machine'. it ran in a normal amount of time!

 

EzRiIgK

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Hi,

Sor retruned from my Home Depot trip to find the repair still trying to start. I decided to stop it and run the start up test included with my HP laptop. On the "Primary Hard Disk Self Test" the Quick Test quits at 5% with "Hard Drive Quick.. (303)error. The Full Test also quits at 5% with a (305) error. From what is see with a quick Google search, is the drive need replacing. Do you concure?
 

EzRiIgK

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Hey,

Thougth I would send you a quick note to give you an update into what happened after my last message to you:

Call my friend to tell her the bad news, that she would have to replace the drive, and she said it was not a big deal because the laptop was still under warranty. Once she told me that, I was less afraid to mess the drive up and lose any of her files, knowing they would send her a new drive anyway. So, I cloned the drive, thereby assuring myself I would not lose any of her files. I then did a factory reset. And low-and-behold the thing seems to work fine. I ran all of the test that I did earlier and they all came back clean, no errors!!! I'm at a loss to expain it, other than to think that it was a corrupt windows install?? Anyway, just thought I would get your thoughs on it. As I said in past messages, this is the SECOND laptop in a week that has worked out for me in the exact same way. Again, anyway, thank again for your help.

Regards, Erik

 

shinerthetech

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I would keep an eye on that drive... the fact that it wouldn't complete a test is a very bad sign. Hard drives can be very intermittent when they're going out. I've seen them show trouble for a few days, work for a week, then suddenly crash making the user lose everything.

All the best!