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  1. #1
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    Temporary unresponsiveness of programs

    I am new to the lounge and I think my post belongs here. I also have not done an extensive review of previous posts, but that would appear to be a Herculean task. I have a Dell Optiplex 980 that runs Windows 7 pro 64 bit. It has been a cranky machine for some time, but recently I have run into an intolerable problem. While working with virtually every program and/or browser the program becomes periodically unresponsive. This can last for up to say 10 seconds and then the program begins to function again. I have looked at Windows resource monitor and don' t (at least to my novice eyes) see anything unusual except that the program in not responding. I have defraged, used cCleaner both for files and registry cleaning, but nothing seems to help. I have also run anti-malware scans, but nothing shows up. Can anyone help? Thanks, Jim

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  3. #2
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    How much RAM is on the system?
    Is the system up-to-date with patches?
    Are you trying to access network resources when this happens?
    Is this after a period of inactivity?

    Joe

  4. #3
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    Just a couple of suggestions for now and they are to see if there is any improvement when running a clean boot and the other is to see if a sfc /scannow reports anything amiss.
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2014-05-05 at 16:52.

  5. #4
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    There could be many potential reasons for the type of behavior you are describing. Low or overtaxed memory/system resources might be just one example.

    It has been a cranky machine for some time
    How long and what exactly is "cranky"?


    Have you looked through the event viewer for any indications?
    It might be a good idea to clear the event viewer if it has not been done so in a long time. This will make it easier to wade through all the entries.
    (clear the event viewer, then run the system through it's usual paces)
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  6. #5
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    Run some different antimalware scanners. One that is good and free is Trend Micro Housecall. You can download it here:
    http://housecall.trendmicro.com/us/

    Also, run a pre-Windows scanner. Windows Defender Offline is not the very best, but it is free and easy to use:
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/w...fender-offline.
    Select the 64-bit verson.

  7. #6
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    Hi, I have 4MB RAM with ca. 50 percent in use. The system is up to date with patches. The problem occurs whether or not I am trying to access network resources. No, it is not especially after a period of inactivity.

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    Have you tried the clean boot as it could be due to unnecessary items in your Startup menu taking up unnecessary memory.

    As a quick test, boot up into Safe Mode or Safe Mode with Networking to see if you get the same hesitance.

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    I had a similar problem recently and after some time trying to track down the problem I disabled all the add-ons with IE which solved the problem. I have enabled add-ons as I have needed them (and haven't disabled them again) and everything seems OK. If this doesn't work, you could try removing and re-installing IE - instructions on Microsoft help pages. NB. I still get occasional delays of maybe a few seconds, but then I usually find something has updated itself! I have 9Gb RAM, 256Gb SSD as my main drive, an i7 processor and run Windows 7 64 bit.

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    I have a similar problem. In my case, it's due to one of my hard drives, spinning up from a low-power state. I know this because I can hear a whine that rises in pitch as the drive comes up to usable speed. When the whine stops, the system once again begins responding.

    The drive is a Western Digital "Green" (environmentally thrifty). It goes to sleep after not being accessed for a while. I don't know if it can be told to stay permanently awake.

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    The next time you experience the unresponsiveness, take a look at the hard drive activity light. If it is flashing away like crazy with or without strange or unusual noises from the drive, you might have a failing hard drive. I have seen this happen with two different Dell boxes and I went through all the usual defragging and searching for background programs or addons taking over the resources. Both times, it turned out to be bad hard drives.

    If nothing else, make sure you have backups of any and all data on that drive (you should have those anyway). A full drive image would be very helpful as well if you wind up putting in a new drive. I used Spinrite from (Gibson Research) to do a thorough scan of my drives and in both cases it found problems. Once I replaced the drives, that unresponsiveness went away.

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    Disk Space and Aero

    I have found (Win 7 Home Premium 64bit 4G Ram 2.1GHz Dual Core Pentium) that running with less than about 100GB of spare disk space starts to give me problems - a lot of disk thrashing and Not Responding. Typically I have NIS, Thunderbird, Firefox and one other application (such as Open Office Writer, or Amazon Cloud Player) running.

    Right now I am running on about 90GB spare and to avoid problems have switched off Aero (Left click on desktop, select personalise and then select a non-Aero Theme - I use Windows Classic). With Aero off, I am having NO response problems.

    Switching off Aero has also - on my machine - made it run a lot cooler: 47C rather than 80C+

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    FWIW, similar symptoms appeared on my Compaq laptop running Win 7 Home Premium 64bit after I cloned the HD to SSD and then replaced the HD with the SSD. However, it's not just a program that becomes unresponsive, it's the entire computer. It usually locks up within a few minutes after booting, and then after 10 seconds or so, everything is fine until it randomly happens again.

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by lipscomb View Post
    The drive is a Western Digital "Green" (environmentally thrifty). It goes to sleep after not being accessed for a while. I don't know if it can be told to stay permanently awake.
    You can stop your computer from going to sleep, you can set the time that you want it to remain alive.
    Go to control panel - Power Options - Change the settings to The Balanced option. Then pick your choices and save then!

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    I have just fix such a problem you describe.

    Laptop WIN-7 32bit, i7, 4GB mem 500gb HDD Toshiba.

    Symtoms:HDD light stayes on a lot..
    1-Youtube videos erratic difficult to watch, looks like router/internet/DSL problem.
    2-Internet browsing slow, looks like router/internet/DSL problem.
    3-Typing in browser problematic, irritating.
    4-Some tasks do happen fast.
    5-.AVI files very irratic to watch, highly irritating, loosing sound sync to video.

    My 1st diagnosis:HDD versus USB
    .....Scanned with various Antivirus no problems except a few Java stuff(Avast + Malwarebytes) which was deleted, made no diff.
    1-I found that I could watch .AVI files perfectly if saved on a USB stick.
    Everything from USB works fast, no doubt, even if disk is suppose to be much faster.
    2-From this I suspect the disk, but neither anything founds a fault with it, defragging no difference.Pass Seatools Test

    My 2nd level of diagnosis:Make use of resource Monitor in Win-7, using the Disk section.
    1-Checking for Response times...I found response times of over 8000ms=8 seconds.
    2-The graph for the disk stayes up on the top most of the time.
    3-I see these long response times mostly from "System".
    4-I could copy say 4 files to one USB stick, while simultaneously watch an .AVI file on other stick without a problem whatsoever.
    This makes me believe the resty of the Laptop hardware/SW is OK.
    5-The disk Drive never got worse, but nothing I try made it better also.
    6-I did have noticed once when I removed the disk from Laptop and replaced it back again, the laptop was even noticeably slower than before, but that corrected itself after a few reboots to observed faulty state.

    Selution:
    1-I bought a new disk, and while at it install 8GB memory as well as new 7200rpm disk drive, Western Digital.
    2-Installed Win-7 64bit.

    Conclusion:HDD light off most of the time compared to previously.
    1-Youtube works perfectly, no stuttering at all.
    2-Internet fluently.
    3-No typing problems.
    4-The graph in Resource monitor totally different, it stayes down with spikes.
    5-Attaching the old disk to USB:
    a)-When plugged in, you see long response times reappearing with reference to drive E/F for old disk.
    The old disk is now dormant, no operating system working from it.
    b)Interesting, if I now run a checkdisk on it, the response times are very low and normal, but if you look you see there is no writing to the disk.
    This made me think the disk had a writing problem.
    After copying a large file backwards and forward, I could not confirm this theory.

    Note:
    When I bought this laptop in 2010 I complained to supplier it was slow, my XP older PC's was flying compared to this.
    1-Within 3 month blue screens and freezed up no boot even if battery/power removed. The disk failed completely after I tried to do a Checkdisk/repair.
    2-They replaced the disk under guarantee.
    3-The Laptop was ok, but over the years I felt it was still slow to what I was used to.
    4-The recent old disk got worse say about 6 months ago, but only one or Two freezes, which was ok after removing battery, and Checkdisk/repair. I had to uninstall/re-install graphics driver twice.
    5-Now 3 years later I finally fixed it properly myself. The previous disk must also been of a bad batch floated around the world.

    From this:
    I was just wondering how many bad, but not failing disk drives are in operation-?


    Note:
    Just formatted the disk 3x times as one partion.
    Problem still excist just when plugging it in to USB.
    Last edited by Chris Mate; 2014-05-14 at 09:59.

  16. #15
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    Failing Hard Disk Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by neurovir View Post
    Hi, I have 4MB RAM with ca. 50 percent in use. The system is up to date with patches. The problem occurs whether or not I am trying to access network resources. No, it is not especially after a period of inactivity.
    I am a full-time Computer Consultant and Tcehnician since 2006 (part-time before that since 1998).

    If your computer's Hard Disk Drive (HDD) activitity light is lit continuously during periods of unresponsiveness, then it is most likely your HDD is failing.

    Look through your Windows Event Logs (Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Event Viewer), under the "System" log for repeating critical errors relating to your computer's HDD (can't quite remember off top-of-head, but something like "...detected controller error on Hard Disk...") which are something close time-wise to when your computer became unresponsive.

    If you have many such errors in your "System" log, then you need to replace your HDD.

    A competent technician should be able to copy the contents of your faulty HDD to a new HDD and make any necessary adjustments (provided you can still boot to Windows, an even if not it might still work).

    I have done this many times using my favourite boot manager/disk imaging program "BootIT Bare Metal" from http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/

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