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  1. #1
    New Lounger clippy's Avatar
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    How to troubleshoot slow PC performance?

    G'day folks.

    How can I troubleshoot slow PC performance? The interface feels laggy, the time between login and being in a ready-to-use state is too long, sometimes the interface freezes too.

    Facts:
    * 38 % disk space is free -- 172 GB
    * 20GB allocated to swap
    * 8GB physical RAM
    * windows 7 pro
    * intel i7 3.4GHz cpu
    * security essentials anti virus

    Tried:

    * verify system files not corrupted

    Code:
    C:\Users\developer>sfc /scannow
    
    Beginning system scan.  This process will take some time.
    
    Beginning verification phase of system scan.
    Verification 100% complete.
    
    Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.
    * disk defragmenter does not show the C-drive (run under admin privileges)

    This is on the work pc. Thanks!

  2. #2
    WS Lounge VIP Browni's Avatar
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    What programs run automatically when the PC is powered up?

    Autoruns is a useful starting point.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clippy View Post
    * disk defragmenter does not show the C-drive (run under admin privileges)
    Welcome to the Lounge!

    Is C by chance an SSD?


    This is on the work pc.
    Are you authorized to make changes to this work PC?
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  4. #4
    New Lounger clippy's Avatar
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    Thanks good to be here!

    @bbearren: no it is not an SSD, and I suspect disk IO is a bottleneck. I have admin privileges, can change the OS settings within reason.

    @Browni: thanks. here are the logon entries (the entire list is a whopping 1000+ items so I focus on logon startup items first)
    Code:
    RtHDVCpl	Logon	HD Audio Control Panel	Realtek Semiconductor Corp.	c:\program files\realtek\audio\hda\rtdcpl64.exe
    IgfxTray	Logon	igfxTray Module	Intel Corporation	c:\windows\system32\igfxtray.exe
    HotKeysCmds	Logon	hkcmd Module	Intel Corporation	c:\windows\system32\hkcmd.exe
    Persistence	Logon	persistence Module	Intel Corporation	c:\windows\system32\igfxpers.exe
    IAStorIcon	Logon	IAStorIcon	Intel Corporation	c:\program files (x86)\intel\intel(r) rapid storage technology\iastoricon.exe
    Google Chrome	Logon	Google Chrome Installer	Google Inc.	c:\program files (x86)\google\chrome\application\42.0.2311.135\installer\chrmstp.exe
    Skype	Logon	Skype 	Skype Technologies S.A.	c:\program files (x86)\skype\phone\skype.exe
    HP Officejet 6700 (NET)	Logon	ScanToPCActivationApp	Hewlett-Packard Co.	c:\program files\hp\hp officejet 6700\bin\scantopcactivationapp.exe
    ConEmu (x64).lnk	Logon	Console Emulator (x64)	ConEmu-Maximus5	c:\program files\conemu\conemu64.exe
    Mozilla Firefox.lnk	Logon	Firefox	Mozilla Corporation	c:\program files (x86)\mozilla firefox\firefox.exe
    Mozilla Thunderbird.lnk	Logon	Thunderbird	Mozilla Corporation	c:\program files (x86)\mozilla thunderbird\thunderbird.exe
    Notepad++.lnk	Logon	Notepad++ : a free (GNU) source code editor	Don HO don.h@free.fr	c:\program files (x86)\notepad++\notepad++.exe
    VLC media player.lnk	Logon	VLC media player	VideoLAN	c:\program files (x86)\videolan\vlc\vlc.exe

  5. #5
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Clippy, if you set Autoruns Options to only check Hide Empty Locations and Hide Microsoft Entries, refresh it then save it as Autoruns.arn and zip it, you can attach the zip file here so that we can check it.

    You can also run MSInfo32, wait a few minutes and then check that the Software Environment > Windows Error Reporting section has populated and then Save as MSInfo32.NFO and zip/attach that as well.

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to satrow For This Useful Post:

    Fascist Nation (2015-05-04)

  7. #6
    WS Lounge VIP Browni's Avatar
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    Hey clippy, apologies for not noticing you were a new poster Welcome!

    The PC is running a lot of programs when it starts. Is that intentional?

  8. #7
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    I'm guessing each is needed for a 8hr day at work right from the get go. And yes, I suspect this is a issue that will need be lived with. Don't know whether notepad++ needs to load right at first or VLC player but otherwise I am guessing everything there is for getting started in the morning and network connection.

    20GB allocated to swap is kind of weird. If that is on automatic that is an enormous amount of virtual memory that has been allocated in the past for open files on top of the 2GB used in RAM before virtual kicks in assuming mainly 32-bit apps.

    You should also run the HDD maker's diagnostic app to make sure the slowdown is not a failing drive (SMART results).

    If this is part of an intranet the login slowdown could be the network.
    Last edited by Fascist Nation; 2015-05-04 at 16:09.

  9. #8
    jwoods
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    I would suggest running a System Health Report.

    Control Panel > Performance Information and Tools > Advanced Tools > Generate a system health report.

  10. #9
    5 Star Lounger
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    I am embarrassed to admit it, but in all these years I never noticed the Windows Error Reporting section of msinfo or never gave it enough time to populate itself to realize how useful it is. Thank you satrow! Now I am embarrassed by the number of error displayed.

  11. #10
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    Your system hardware and software all looks good to excellent. No signs there of any problems (this is a cursory overview you understand). If you want to get a good feel for the performance capability of what you've got, get your Windows Experience Index. This is found in:

    Start | Control Panel | Performance Information and Tools | Base Score

    Certain kinds of hardware failures can cause slow performance without cratering the whole PC. However that is, in my experience, one of the lesser causes of this situation. Much more common are well-meaning but sloppily designed software products that ask too much, too quickly of a computer.

    There are procedures for tracking down the source of this; the above posts are taking you through some of those. I've gotta say though. In many cases you will find that obtaining a Solid State Disk (SSD) does as much or more, as tracking down and squashing those software problems.

  12. #11
    jwoods
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fascist Nation View Post
    I am embarrassed to admit it, but in all these years I never noticed the Windows Error Reporting section of msinfo or never gave it enough time to populate itself to realize how useful it is. Thank you satrow! Now I am embarrassed by the number of error displayed.
    Another good troubleshooting tool is Reliability and Problem History...

    Control Panel > Action Center > Maintenance > View Reliability History

  13. #12
    New Lounger clippy's Avatar
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    Thanks all for the excellent suggestions! All very helpful.

    The primary conclusion is that the HDD is the bottleneck. Thus, apart from replacing it with an SSD (until I can get work to justify that expense), I am looking for other means to increase performance.

    Here are individual replies:

    Quote Originally Posted by satrow View Post
    Clippy, if you set Autoruns Options to only check Hide Empty Locations and Hide Microsoft Entries, refresh it then save it as Autoruns.arn and zip it, you can attach the zip file here so that we can check it.

    You can also run MSInfo32, wait a few minutes and then check that the Software Environment > Windows Error Reporting section has populated and then Save as MSInfo32.NFO and zip/attach that as well.
    cheers for the steps, here they are:

    Autoruns.zip
    MSInfo32.zip

    Quote Originally Posted by Browni View Post
    Hey clippy, apologies for not noticing you were a new poster Welcome!

    The PC is running a lot of programs when it starts. Is that intentional?
    thanks! yes those startup shortcuts are intentional. I have those pinned to the taskbar and I used to manually start each every morning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fascist Nation View Post
    I'm guessing each is needed for a 8hr day at work right from the get go. And yes, I suspect this is a issue that will need be lived with. Don't know whether notepad++ needs to load right at first or VLC player but otherwise I am guessing everything there is for getting started in the morning and network connection.

    20GB allocated to swap is kind of weird. If that is on automatic that is an enormous amount of virtual memory that has been allocated in the past for open files on top of the 2GB used in RAM before virtual kicks in assuming mainly 32-bit apps.

    You should also run the HDD maker's diagnostic app to make sure the slowdown is not a failing drive (SMART results).

    If this is part of an intranet the login slowdown could be the network.
    you are correct about the 8hr day I use notepad most of all, and I love listening to classical music while working (a given in a noisy office with 6 people in a room).

    I set the swap to 20GB last week. I work with large databases (20GB+) and have found excessive paging while doing large updates and restores. This increase has alleviated some of that paging blockage. Can such a large pagefile have a negative performance impact?

    Quote Originally Posted by BHarder View Post
    Your system hardware and software all looks good to excellent. No signs there of any problems (this is a cursory overview you understand). If you want to get a good feel for the performance capability of what you've got, get your Windows Experience Index. This is found in:

    Start | Control Panel | Performance Information and Tools | Base Score

    Certain kinds of hardware failures can cause slow performance without cratering the whole PC. However that is, in my experience, one of the lesser causes of this situation. Much more common are well-meaning but sloppily designed software products that ask too much, too quickly of a computer.

    There are procedures for tracking down the source of this; the above posts are taking you through some of those. I've gotta say though. In many cases you will find that obtaining a Solid State Disk (SSD) does as much or more, as tracking down and squashing those software problems.
    The experience index is:
    expidx.png

    good call on the SSD, the index points out the disk as the bottleneck.

    Quote Originally Posted by jwoods View Post
    I would suggest running a System Health Report.

    Control Panel > Performance Information and Tools > Advanced Tools > Generate a system health report.
    health-report.zip

    Note: Not sure why the health report indicates that no antivirus is installed, as I do have Microsoft Security Essentials, up to date and enabled.

    Quote Originally Posted by jwoods View Post
    Another good troubleshooting tool is Reliability and Problem History...

    Control Panel > Action Center > Maintenance > View Reliability History
    I don't see "reliability history" under maintenance - is this not in Windows 7 perhaps?
    Attached Files Attached Files

  14. #13
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    You can view the Reliability history by going Start or press the Windows key and start to type reliability and you'll see the option highlighted where you can press enter or click on it.

    Windows has its own tools for checking performance and can be found via Control Panel - System and Security/Find and fix problems and under the same heading, click on Run maintenance tasks - Advanced - Run as administrator and then do the same for Check for performance issues.

    StartUpLite is a handy program for vetting your Startup programs which you can review and the free version of CCleaner for clearing the cache after each session.

    The more programs you have auto starting on boot, the more memory will be used.

    https://www.malwarebytes.org/startuplite/

    https://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/download

    http://www.howtogeek.com/113382/how-...9-tips-tricks/
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2015-05-05 at 12:56.

  15. #14
    jwoods
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    Quote Originally Posted by clippy View Post
    I don't see "reliability history" under maintenance - is this not in Windows 7 perhaps?
    Is is...

    View reliability history.jpg

  16. #15
    WS Lounge VIP Browni's Avatar
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    Looks like the processor is being underrated and a more powerful one such as a Xeon will be required, and an SSD drive!

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