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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador bettylou's Avatar
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    Slow Laptop -- Always Running
    I realize this is kind of a hard question since you can't actually see it.

    Do any of you are a bit more tech savvy than me have an idea why my laptop is so slow these last couple of weeks? It almost always sounds like it is doing something, you know what I mean, like when it's updating.

    I have it set to install Windows updates and after it did that about two weeks, I noticed this. Was there an update that could have done something? It's Windows Vista.

    And when I am away for a while and it hibernates, it take about 10 minutes to start up again, and I usually end up having to restart some of the programs because they are always, "Not Responding". Mostly, this happens with Firefox. I generally have that and a text editor running.

    I have tried removing programs, defragmenting, and so on. No Luck.

    Any suggestions on where to start looking for the cause would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Bettylou

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Have you tried defragging your hard drive? Or whatever the equivalent of that is under Vista?

    That's only a very lame first-guess, but you've probably already thought of that and tried it. Flushed your browser cache, too?

    NOTE: My son showed me a link to a site where you can get a killer Dell laptop on sale right now for around $500. Want me to ask him for the link?? Not trying to jinx you or anything, DON'T PANIC FOR GOODNESS SAKES DON'T PANIC!!!! uh, but, I've never had a good experience with a computer that started with anything like, "I realize this is kind of a hard question ..." LOL!
    Generate more fake news.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Try uninstalling the latest updates one at a time to see which one is the culprit. I don't let Windows update to automatically download and install updates. Some of them are totally useless. When you do update, do one at a time so it's easier to see if any of them are causing issues.
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  4. #4
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    If your PC was running fine with XP and u r upgrading to Vista, there might be ur prob.

    What is the min req for vista & do you meet it?

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador bettylou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by writerguy
    Have you tried defragging your hard drive? Or whatever the equivalent of that is under Vista?

    That's only a very lame first-guess, but you've probably already thought of that and tried it. Flushed your browser cache, too?
    Yeah, I tried both of those things. Thanks though.

    Quote Originally Posted by writerguy
    NOTE: My son showed me a link to a site where you can get a killer Dell laptop on sale right now for around $500. Want me to ask him for the link?? Not trying to jinx you or anything, DON'T PANIC FOR GOODNESS SAKES DON'T PANIC!!!! uh, but, I've never had a good experience with a computer that started with anything like, "I realize this is kind of a hard question ..." LOL!
    Sadly, this is a new Dell. Well, it's about 4 months old. It did work great up until 2 weeks ago.

  6. #6
    Member suniliu's Avatar
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    I had the same problem last month, I did the entire service mantenance ( this forum post has a complete rundown on what to do http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/compu...p-t146685.html ), reloaded windows o/s, and then the S.M.A.R.T. funtion stated my hard drive had gone and to back up and replace

    So I would suggest to check your hard drive first before going thru the whole process

    Till I got a new hard drive, before logging off I deleted the prefetch files, so that my comp would start up faster the next time
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  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador bettylou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Ewe
    If your PC was running fine with XP and u r upgrading to Vista, there might be ur prob.

    What is the min req for vista & do you meet it?
    Thanks Eric,

    Actually it came with Vista. It worked great, too. Then it began restarting a lot. It wouldn't even ask me, it just did it.

    Nothing shows up as far as a virus or something like that.

    Man, I don't want to have to do the recovery disk.

  8. #8
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    Maybe try a System Restore, pick a date where it was working fine before the last 2 weeks.

    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windo...ystem-restore/

    One of the things it says is: System Restore can help fix problems that might be making your computer run slowly or stop responding.

  9. #9
    Antisocial Media Expert ProWebAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by writerguy

    NOTE: My son showed me a link to a site where you can get a killer Dell laptop on sale right now for around $500. Want me to ask him for the link??
    Sorry to butt in but I'd like that link...

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador bettylou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    Maybe try a System Restore, pick a date where it was working fine before the last 2 weeks.

    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windo...ystem-restore/

    One of the things it says is: System Restore can help fix problems that might be making your computer run slowly or stop responding.

    Thanks Trust, how did I forget about System Restore?

    I just did it but it would only let me go back to 4-8. Not sure why. I will see if it helps. Right now, the anti-virus is running an update which always seems to bring things to a virtual standstill. Thanks again.

    Bettylou

  11. #11
    Affiliate Manager buyjewelry's Avatar
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    How much memory did your computer come with? Have you tried to use a memory stick to augment your RAM? It probably won't 'fix' what's causing the problem, but will speed up the system in general. ReadyBoost - Works best with faster usb sticks.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador bettylou's Avatar
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    Ok, it's is still doing that annoying "running" thing, even though the anti-virus update is through.

    In the Reliability and Performance Monitor, I ran a system diagnostic. It shows a warning for excessive "paging". I looked up the definition of paging and found -- A hidden file or files on the hard disk that Windows uses to hold parts of programs and data files that do not fit in memory.

    So, is this a memory thing?

    I have far fewer programs on this laptop than my old one that had 1/4 the memory. Although that one ran XP.

  13. #13
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    I don't mean to be mean but DELL's laptops/PC are notorious for coming with 1001 installs that you will not use.

    I would suggest doing a low level format, reinstalling Vista, Put up a virus scanner immediately, then get zone alarm (free), then get the Windows updates.

    Then install the programs that you need.

    Honestly, why do you need 998 programs that you will never use?

  14. #14
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    I was going to suggest you disable hibernation, that was a big culprit for me (using up valuable space & in a constant state of change)...

    In searching for a how-to, I can across this nicely written article:
    http://www.petri.co.il/tweaking_wind...erformance.htm

    I suspect one of the latest Windows updates is causing your problem, but this is a good starting point! Especially indexing, I turned if off completely..

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    When Windows is allowed to download and install updates on its own it will install useless and heavy things. Windows does a dirty install too, they don't clean up your registry when they are done. I suggest you visit PCTools at http://pctools.com and download a free copy of their registry mechanic, it will tell you how bad your registry is; although the free version will clean up only a limited amount of trash, it will help. Then I would go to Symantech and download their removal tool and get rid of NAV. Go to eset.com at http://eset.com and download a truly efficient 30 day free trial of EsetNOD32 AV. If you don't like it you can always put the slow giant back on your system. If you do like it they have an aff program on CJ. (the only reason I didn't sign up). Paging problems are due to insufficient RAM.

  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager buyjewelry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teezone
    I was going to suggest you disable hibernation, that was a big culprit for me (using up valuable space & in a constant state of change)...
    So what happens if your computer runs out of batteries? all current information must get lost without hibernation, no?

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProWebAddict
    Sorry to butt in but I'd like that link...
    Yikes! I just checked the link he had, and it appears to be to an affiliate marketing site -- and the link generates an error when I try to get to Dell.

    The site, if you want to check it out, was slickdeals.net. It has links organized by dates, and the one he (my son) was looking at was on Monday, April 14, 2008, for the Dell SB Vostro 1500.

    But I can't find a clickable link that gets anything at the Dell site except an error messager?? I could swear when my showed it to me on Tuesday that it had an expiration date sometime in June?
    Last edited by writerguy; April 18th, 2008 at 01:14 PM. Reason: To fix typo
    Generate more fake news.

  18. #18
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    Check your power settings, since its a laptop is it set to high performance?

    If so edit the settings to turn off the hard drive etc at a certain time.

    ALso download Vista SP1 improves batt life.

    Also if enabled disable search indexing.

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buyjewelry
    So what happens if your computer runs out of batteries? all current information must get lost without hibernation, no?
    If by "current information" you're referring to open documents, yes, any open unsaved documents or other unsaved items will be lost.
    To me the hibernation feature is a kludge and there's not really any good reason to use it. Seems like on my equipment they always had trouble recovering from hibernation, so as a rule I disable it. If you're running a laptop on battery power you should be in the habit of saving any open work prior to walking away, even for a minute. Also use the power saving features to shut down devices (HD and display especially) that suck a lot of juice. I usually disable most power saving features when the computer is plugged into an outlet. Of course these settings are all up to personal preference.

    I haven't taken the plunge to the Vista OS yet, but if a client told me their Win 2000/XP computer was running slow, the first thing I would do is update the antispyware software and run some scans. Spyware is the number one cause of sluggish performance. I'd also check for malicious files in particular directories as antispyware/antivirus software doesn't always catch the garbage.



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  20. #20
    Senior Affiliate Manager AMWSO James - AMWSO's Avatar
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    I'd use a few of the online virus/spyware checkers. Your computer restarting without reason is not a good sign and could indicate malware of some kind...Either that or you have a software/OS conflict with a piece of hardware.
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  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador bettylou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardwareGeek
    Check your power settings, since its a laptop is it set to high performance?

    If so edit the settings to turn off the hard drive etc at a certain time.

    ALso download Vista SP1 improves batt life.

    Also if enabled disable search indexing.

    Thanks! This really seems to have done the trick. But where do I find the search indexing?

  22. #22
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Could you post what anti virus program you are using? If you did I missed it. A couple we tried here weren't really Vista ready and we had to dump them. The one from ZoneLab was giving symptoms as you describe but they should have it corrected by now.


  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador bettylou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bumpaw
    Could you post what anti virus program you are using? If you did I missed it. A couple we tried here weren't really Vista ready and we had to dump them. The one from ZoneLab was giving symptoms as you describe but they should have it corrected by now.

    I have McAfee. I thought the same thing but nothing is showing as far as viruses go. I set the performance level higher and now it is much faster.

    The restarting thing is what concerns me. It hasn't done that for a few days.

  24. #24
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    I doubt it's a virus or anything.

    To disable indexing (which you no longer need to do since you fixed the power settings) you go to your control panel double click System, on the bottom right click performance, the windows menu on the upper right hand corner will change, click adjust indexing options.

    Then click a folder and modify it and remove it etc.

  25. #25
    Affiliate Manager buyjewelry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boomers
    ... If you're running a laptop on battery power you should be in the habit of saving any open work prior to walking away, even for a minute. ...
    I wish I could do that - too many times I get a phone call and for 30 min, only to come back to a laptop that has hibernated.

    But, I have set the power settings to use minimum power when running on batteries.

    Plus, when travelling, i love just opening my laptop screen and have my computer wake from sleep (fast) and start working on the plane. Then close it before landing (goes back to sleep) and not have to worry about the battery dying - if it runs low while in sleep mode, it will hibernate automatically.

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