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Very slow computer startup

  1. May 14, 2015 #1
    I know this sounds a bit dumb, but I'm not that good with computers. I've got a laptop with a 4 GB DDR3 RAM (I've got 2 RAM slots, one is empty), a dual core i5 Processor with a clock rate of 2.5 GHz, a 500GB hard disk with an RPM of 5400 and an NVIDIA graphics card with 2GB of video RAM (I'm not sure if the graphics part is relevant here). My OS is Windows 8.1.

    My laptop takes forever to start up and hangs up very often during regular operation, even while performing simple task like opening a web browser. Sometimes it functions smoothly, but after some sessions returns to its stubborn nature. I often program using IDEs such as Visual Express and play some video games which require medium specs, but the computer hangs up much more while performing these tasks.
    .
    I've already disabled as many start-up apps as I can through the task manager and enabled multi-threading in my NVIDIA control panel to allow both processor cores to share the workload, but it's not helping. I've closely monitored my CPU utilization and memory usage percentages from the performance section in the Task Manager during startup and while launching IDEs/games. The CPU % peaks to a 100 one or two times in the first 2 minutes of startup before settling down at around 45, while three-fourths of my memory stays used almost all the time (even when only 1 user is active on the laptop) . I initially suspected that the startup lag was due to my HDD not being able to load the OS onto the RAM fast enough, but this issue persisted even after waking the laptop from "sleep" mode, so I guess there is something more to it. I don't want to tamper with the BIOS because I might accidentally edit some important configuration settings. I also reduced the level of graphics and details in-game and it made almost no difference. The most peculiar thing is that sometimes the laptop works without any of these issues, and it's this irregularity that bothers me.

    So what's wrong with my laptop?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 14, 2015 #2

    phinds

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    Sounds like you have a virus. What anti-virus software are you using?
     
  4. May 14, 2015 #3
    Actually, I don't have one - I just rely on the firewall.
     
  5. May 14, 2015 #4

    phinds

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    Yeah, well there's your problem. GET ONE !
     
  6. May 14, 2015 #5
    Download and run these tools

    ccleaner
    Auslogics Disk Defrag Free
    malwarebytes free
    windows defender
     
  7. May 14, 2015 #6

    phion

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    Do a search for "Hiren's Boot CD".

    All else fails, re-install the OS.
     
  8. May 14, 2015 #7
    IIRC Windows 8 comes with free own-brand antivirus/antimalware called Windows "Defender" ...
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/using-defender#1TC=windows-8
    You could try a full scan of your hard-drive using defender to see if it finds any malware*, that could take a couple of hours, but worth trying before you do anything heroic like reinstalling the operating System.

    Re: slow boot. Try booting into "Safe Mode" which only loads essential drivers, and see if that improves boot time ...
    http://www.howtogeek.com/107511/how-to-boot-into-safe-mode-on-windows-8-the-easy-way/
    If "Safe Mode" makes a big improvement then it's probably a driver issue which is slowing boot time.

    [ *Having said that, in my experience, computer delays/hangs are usually due to unintentional-conflicts rather than malicious software ].
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
  9. May 14, 2015 #8

    RaulTheUCSCSlug

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    Windows defender is awesome and I'm pretty sure it is free! You do not have to pay for a good anti-virus software. Also, I would recommend if you wanted to keep your laptop at peak speed, to perform routine backups and factor resets. (Like buy an external hard drive, trust me on this one! and they are dirt cheap now compared to how much they cost a couple of years ago.
     
  10. May 15, 2015 #9

    meBigGuy

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    Greg gave good practical advice which should be followed (although I'm not a believer in ccleaner's claims of performance increases)

    At the minimum
    a. Get malwarebytes and run it. I bet it gets a bunch of stuff. (It always does the first time its run on a machine)
    b. Defrag
    c. Install Anti Virus. Windows defender is better than nothing (but not by much - My unattended computer was rooted by an adserver with it installed, and it gets low ratings at av-comparitives). I choose to use Avira Free, but there are many choices.

    4GB ram is marginal, so windows will swap a lot (especially if there is malware running). With the EXTREMELY SLOW laptop drives, this will cause the system to essentially freeze for long periods.
    Add more RAM and you will be glad you did. Add a SSD (solid state drive) and you will be glad you did. (Note: adding an SSD can be a complex process unless you reinstall from scratch).

    You can look at running processes and see if there are memory hogs. (CTRL-ALT-DEL Process Manager) but this requires some knowledge and patience.
     
  11. May 15, 2015 #10

    OCR

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    It should be included with 8.1... look in the Control Panel.

    Control Panel.JPG
     
  12. May 15, 2015 #11

    OCR

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    Are you installing "important and recommended" updates ?

    Update History.JPG

     
    Last edited: May 15, 2015
  13. May 15, 2015 #12

    OCR

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  14. May 15, 2015 #13
    I believe a factory reset is the same as reinstalling the operating system. Doing that will then require downloading & reinstalling years of updates [Gigabytes of data] , which will take many hours.
     
  15. May 15, 2015 #14

    OCR

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    Lol... don't fool with that.

    I did a simple "refresh", and ended up with:

    Refresh.JPG


    A bunch of programs I had to reinstall... on a slow satellite internet connection. T'was a bummer... lol
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2015
  16. May 15, 2015 #15

    meBigGuy

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    Addressing maintenance rather than your slow machine:
    I install WinPatrol on all my machines. I paid for the PLUS version because it gives me access to a database where I can find out what services and processes are for and whether they are suspicious. It warns me when programs install new services, take over defaults, add to the run on startup, change certain registry keys, etc

    My security consists of Avira Free, WinPatrol and occasionally running Malwarebytes. and HiJackThis
     
  17. May 15, 2015 #16
    Plus one for HijackThis.
     
  18. May 16, 2015 #17

    RaulTheUCSCSlug

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    Then creating a backup and starting it with the back up would be better? I hate how the windows 8 platform does mandatory updates. Also, I don't think it would take as much time as you think. Updates scrap stuff from previous updates as well as add stuff, or else windows 8.1 would be a large number of gigs, way larger then when it was released. Which seems unlikely.

    But then again I have a chromebook that I use regularly now and haven't had to touch my laptop in a couple months!
     
  19. May 23, 2015 #18
    I forgot to mention that I have Windows Defender as well as McAfee security "plus," although I'm not sure the latter does anything other than waste some of my disk space.

    Windows defender regularly quick scans my computer and I didn't receive any detection messages from it from the past few months. I did a full scan two days ago and found a trojan and an adware, both of which were subsequently removed from my PC. The scan took 4 hours and did not detect any other malware. I also installed CCleaner which fixed some directory issues in my PC (some files were left after a few software uninstallations), and Malwarebytes, which detected a another adware for me and removed it (I ran a rootkit scan as well).

    My PC performance has improved a little, but still not as much as I expected. I plan on getting a 4GB RAM for the second empty RAM slot in my laptop to improve things. I must also mention that my HDD has 3 partitions, and the parent partition (the "C" drive) which contains the Windows system files is almost full, although the other partitions still have a lot of space. Could this be a cause? Additionally, I had downloaded a software from the net which I really needed a long time ago, and Windows Defender had warned me that one of its .dll files could be malicious. Many people downloaded the software from the same location, so I decided to take a risk and add that dll file to the exceptions list in Defender and its still there. Should I remove this file? I might not be able to use that software anymore.

    Thanks.
     
  20. May 23, 2015 #19
    Windows-Defender and McAfee antivirus will both do real-time scanning, they could compete/conflict with each other and slow your computer, ( you should disable real-time scanning in one of them), see ....

    [/PLAIN] [Broken] http://www.howtogeek.com/133704/how-to-scan-your-computer-with-multiple-antivirus-programs/
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  21. May 23, 2015 #20
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
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