• Welcome to iHelpForum - the place to get help from knowledgeable techs in all areas of Tech, Home and Auto help. Consider checking out our Guides or Registering an account to post on our forums today.

Win 7 Laptop Runs Very Slow and Valid Programs won't Update

Edd

New Member
iHF Regular
Hi and thanks in advance for your help, Compaq CQ61-410US laptop running Win 7 Home. Machine runs so slowwwwwwwwwwww that it is essentially useless. Often programs won't start (e.g. Chrome). I ran Malwarebytes and there was no improvement; it did find one PUP called something like showpass. Hard drive has 100 GB free.
Attached are the 2 files from your prework instructions (FRST.txt and Addition.txt).
Thanks again.
 

Attachments

Crush

I am admin, ruler of my domain
Administrator
iHF Master Craftsman
Hi Edd,

Welcome to the site. Based on a cursory reading of your logfiles I would say the main issue starts here:

Percentage of memory in use: 83%
Total physical RAM: 1788.2 MB
Available physical RAM: 303.58 MB

There simply isnt enough RAM to run most things. It doesn't seem to me like there is any malware on the machine but I'll take a closer look at the logs and report back with instructions
 
Last edited:

Edd

New Member
iHF Regular
Thanks for the quick reply, Crush. Not sure what is using all the RAM, only had Chrome open when I ran FRST. I guess something that shouldn't be there is running in the background.
 

DCiAdmin

Always room to learn a bit more
Administrator
iHF Legend
WCG Team Member
Chrome is a RAM hog, Edd. Sorry to tell you that and by the way, Welcome to iHF! :)

I would suggest that you use Chrome's Task Manager (not the Windows Task Manager). Shift + Esc will open the Chrome Task Manager. You can opt to stop higher utilization Chrome processes.

This link provides a very detailed explanation of how Chrome consumes RAM.

Please keep the above in mind if Crush declares your system malware free.
 
Last edited:

Edd

New Member
iHF Regular
Hmmmmmmm..The laptop is a few years old and my son has had it since new. It doesn't see heavy use (mostly email and web browsing along with occasional streaming music and video with a few games). He has always used Chrome and performance was fine until the last few months (he has been using another computer during that period). Right now it can't stream anything so something is definitely wrong. I have no doubt about Chrome being a hog but performance wasn't a problem until recently. As I write this on a different computer. it has been running for over an hour and has only installed 8 of 19 Windows Updates during the shutdown process.
 

DCiAdmin

Always room to learn a bit more
Administrator
iHF Legend
WCG Team Member
Edd,

If you are still experiencing slowness after Crush provides an "all clear", I would appreciate it if you could follow the below instruction.

Are you familiar with SysInternals' Process Explorer? Process Explorer will provide a more detailed view of running processes and their consumption. You can use it independently or replace the Windows Task Manager with it.

Process Explorer, by default, opens as a 2 pane window - processes in upper pane, and the highlighted process' associated dll's or the OS resource handles in the lower pane. Selecting File -> Save As will produce a tab delimited txt file of both the upper and lower (if you opt to keep it open) panes. If you wouldn't mind, would you be able to provide the file produced by Process Explorer? I'm good with the lower pane either providing dlls from the process that is most consuming or the OS resource handles.

Having that information will provide further insight into the troubles your system is having right now.

@Crush - if this information is already gathered by one of your tools, please let me know. I don't want to ask Edd to duplicate efforts.
 

Edd

New Member
iHF Regular
Attached is the Sysinternals file you requested. This time I used Firefox instead of Chrome and Firefox turned out to be the highest memory usage. Overall performance seemed no different than with Chrome. It took about 15 minutes for the machine to boot and complete the Windows Update. Booting Firefox took about 3 minutes. Its really slow. Thanks again for your help.
 

Attachments

Edd

New Member
iHF Regular
I was looking at the Process Explorer output and noticed that the first svchost.exe process is using 87+% of the CPU and the CPU is maxed at 100 %. I tried killing that process but got "access denied". Watching it in real time, it hit 96%. That process doesn't show up in Task Manager.
 

DCiAdmin

Always room to learn a bit more
Administrator
iHF Legend
WCG Team Member
I was looking at the Process Explorer output and noticed that the first svchost.exe process is using 87+% of the CPU and the CPU is maxed at 100 %. I tried killing that process but got "access denied". Watching it in real time, it hit 96%. That process doesn't show up in Task Manager.
svchost.exe is a "catch-all" name used by Microsoft for a process that handles several other processes. You could highlight that svchost to find out what processes or dll's are contained, and from there, which process or dll is consuming so much of your resources.

I'm off to work, but will take a look at this when I return home.
 

Antman

Because, you know, Obama.
Advisor
Based on the age of the device, I suggest a read of the SMART data. 2GB RAM is sufficient to avoid the reported "slowwwwwwwwwwww that it is essentially useless" The reported problem is consistent with a failing hard drive. A correlation can be made with the CPU peg.

Many SMART readers are available, but I have been using Crystal Disk Info (freeware) because I remember the name. I recommend Standard Edition.

Also possible - start in Safe Mode. Turn off Automatic Updates. There is an unresolved issue with Win7 AU pegging the CPU.

Crush/DCi - I have been offline too long to identify what the 'tells' are if this is related to the WindX upgrade roll-out.

http://crystalmark.info/download/index-e.html
 
Last edited:

Edd

New Member
iHF Regular
@DCi The bottom pane of Process Explorer shows nothing (no dll's) when I choose the svchost.exe process with the high CPU load. I chose a couple of tabs (Services and Threads) from "Properties" to show what was running in that process and attached the screen captures. Last night the CPU was pegged at 100% for several hours and that is when the screen captures were taken. Now, after a reboot and running for about 8 hours, the CPU load is running between 10-30%. I also noticed the following entries in the FRST.txt file at the bottom of the Registry(Whitelist) section:
GroupPolicy: Restriction - Chrome <======= ATTENTION
CHR HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google: Restriction <======= ATTENTION
I'm not sure if the "Attention" tag means anything but I thought I should point it out.
@Antman I downloaded and ran the Crystal Disk Info and attached a copy of the result. The computer does run "hot" but has always done so.

Thanks for your help.
 

Attachments

Crush

I am admin, ruler of my domain
Administrator
iHF Master Craftsman
Hey Edd,

i would suggest throwing StartupLite on the machine and seeing what is running in the background

More info here - https://www.malwarebytes.com/startuplite/

It doesn't install, just runs. You will be presented with a list of everything that starts up with the computer. Probably most of the things you don't really need to boot with the PC and will speed things up a bit
 

Antman

Because, you know, Obama.
Advisor
...@Antman I downloaded and ran the Crystal Disk Info and attached a copy of the result. The computer does run "hot" but has always done so...
A screenshot would have been better, or just a note about which fields are marked yellow. I am not SMART enough to read the raw data.

(virtually) All of the background process can be addressed in one shot by performing a clean start (or safe mode). If the clean start allows the PC to perform to expectation, further digging is justified. If a clean start does not run in accordance with spec, I would bet a fair amount of my brother's money that the hard drive is at fault.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/929135
 

Antman

Because, you know, Obama.
Advisor
And just for fun, look at My Computer / Properties.

The CPU will show a speed rating (it's normal operating speed) and a second speed rating (it's current operating speed). A difference in values here could indicate a heat related throttling issue worthy of further analysis - but your reported issues are not consistent with throttling.

I address this only due to the age of the device. ALL PCs need new thermal grease after a few years of usage. Not all PC owners should pursue this task - and it is not always cost effective.
 

Antman

Because, you know, Obama.
Advisor
The last base I will cover. The OP reports, in the title, that updates won't run. WU on Win7 has been causing CPU spikes for at least a year. The MS provided fixes for this have not been universally successful. One MS suggested option is to let it run. I have personally 'let it run' for two days - and the updates finished and the spike went away. I have also 'let it run' for about 12 hours with positive results.

I have used a MS hotfix on three occasions. It worked once. The two unsuccessful attempts are where I first employed the 'disable Automatic Updates' trick. When I did that, I selected a few updates at a time and massaged out the entire process. I suspect a .NET issue (and the OP has two .NET scans running in the Process Explore report).
 

Edd

New Member
iHF Regular
@Antman.. It does sound like this is the Windows Update problem you mentioned in your last post. Because this laptop hadn't been used in about 6 months, it ended up having about 90 Windows Updates installed when I first shutdown and rebooted a couple of days ago. Even in safe mode the CPU usage was 100 % initially but after about 2 hours of running it dropped to 10-20%. Same characteristics in normal mode except the CPU usage after running for a couple hours the CPU usage is between 15-30%. Machine runs fine in either mode, as long as I let it run for a couple hours before using it. However, this happens on every reboot (so far), so the machine is unusable for at least a couple of hours after it is rebooted. Following up on your earlier posts, I did a screenshot that captured the only yellow dotted item in Crystal Disk Info and attached it. I also attached a detailed performance scan from My Computer, which is the same as one I ran in 2014. I also ran StartupLite from Malwarebytes but it gave errors each time it tried to disable. I attached a screen shot of one of the errors.
If there is a way to eliminate the wait time after booting, I think the problem will be solved.
Thanks again for your help.
 

Attachments

DCiAdmin

Always room to learn a bit more
Administrator
iHF Legend
WCG Team Member
Edd,

Ant & Crush have both provided solid advice. I have nothing to add right now. I echo Ant's suggestion of the "clean boot" and am very interested in the outcome.
 
Top