Author Topic: (Solved) Desktop pc suddenly slow  (Read 53120 times)

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Offline Lady

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(Solved) Desktop pc suddenly slow
« on: February 19, 2016, 02:38:17 PM »
Hi guys,

Everything was going well for a while (SO wonderful  :cheesy:) but since a few days my desktop pc (HP, W7) has become superslow. The weird thing is that it's not all the time, sometimes I have no problems, sometimes after a while, sometimes the whole time. Sometimes a reboot helps but now it seems to be getting worse. It doesn't matter what I click on, it takes like half a minute to a full minute for the pc to get the job done. I cannot play any videos anymore, they're full of hiccups. So it seems a buffering problem?? I regularly clean the pc with WiseDiskCleaner (= similar to CCleaner) and with BullGuard's optimalisation feature. I did several scans (MBAM, Eset, BullGuard) but nothing there.

Anybody any ideas?

Lady
« Last Edit: May 15, 2016, 06:15:11 AM by Lady »
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Offline Boggin

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Re: Desktop pc suddenly slow
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2016, 03:01:46 PM »
Have you checked the BIOS when it occurs to check the temperatures ?

Alternatively, you can leave the free version of HWMonitor running to keep an eye on the temps as the case may need a clean out.

http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html

The freebie download link is lower don on the left.

Offline Lady

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Re: Desktop pc suddenly slow
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2016, 04:38:26 AM »
Hi Boggin,

I downloaded the program (don't like entering the BIOS on reboot) and temperatures of motherboard, processors and SSD drive are perfect. Am experiencing no problems with slowness at all today. So I should check the temperatures when it does get slow? And by cleaning out the case you mean literally dusting off the inside of the desktop thing (cannot find a word, haha)? I heard about that. Would be a first for me to open the thing up....
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Offline Boggin

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Re: Desktop pc suddenly slow
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2016, 08:30:11 AM »
Is ESET your AV program and what is Bullguard ?

If it was overheating then it wouldn't be as intermittent as that, but checking the temps when it does slow down is something to check.

It sounds as if something is running in the background at times and using up memory and maxing out the CPU.

When it's running okay, open Task Manager and under Performance see what the Memory and CPU usage is and under Processes see which is using the most - double click on Memory in that column and they will sort themselves to the highest first.

You can then open Task Manager and compare the results when it starts to or gets slow.

Offline Lady

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Re: Desktop pc suddenly slow
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2016, 10:28:59 AM »
ESET is a free online scanner and is supposed to be one of the best. http://www.eset.com/int/home/products/online-scanner/

BullGuard is my (paid) antivirus & firewall program. Am very satisfied with it.

That was rather cool to see the memory usage of my programs, Boggin!  :smiley:  I made a screenshot so I can compare things. Yes, I agree, it feels like something is taking up too much space sometimes. I thought about that yesterday when I looked at 40 pages on an online webshop site, but I also had the issue in a major way right at startup last week.

Because my problem happens so randomly I don't think this is a cause but I wondered about this. Would you mind explaining this to me? When I load a lot of pages or windows it takes up a lot of cache, right? And that could also slow things down, couldn't it? So if I want to delete the cache, how do I go about that? I assumed WiseDiskCleaner does that as it mentions Mozilla Firefox Cache (see attachment). So I did that when I had major problems yesterday, but it didn't help. I ran the optimalisation feature in BullGuard and it gave a lot of Mbs in the Firefox cache to be removed which I did but that didn't help either. So what's with the cache? Is it a good idea to empty it after several hours at the pc? The Task Manager says the cache now takes up half of the memory (about 4 out of 8 RAM). I hope I'm not saying really wrong things now. I'm out of my league here. :)

Oh, light bulb moment! Yesterday before closing down I closed quite a few windows in Firefox. I now have about 70 open and I closed about 20. Could that just have been it because today everything is peachy!

Another thing: it struck me that EMET (not to be confused with ESET) takes up ranking No. 7 in memory usage. Sometimes I get this message from EMET (see attachment) when I'm working in Word and it closes Word down. Today I had it again when I wanted to open a file which I use daily. On other days I have no problems opening it. After opening Word anew I got the same shutdown on opening that file two times and the third time I opened it via the regular opening button (not via 'recently opened documents') and everything was fine again. This seems to me to be odd too. Do I really need EMET? (I have version 5.2.) I thought it was needed for the Internet Explorer browser but I don't use IE. I was told to install EMET anyway but maybe it is outdated and only interferes? Cannot find any answers online about that.

Hope you're still with me. :)

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Offline Boggin

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Re: Desktop pc suddenly slow
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2016, 03:18:32 PM »
It has been found that an AV program updating in the background can slow a machine down, but I think the only way to determine if EMET is conflicting with other software on your system would be to uninstall it.

Which browser are you using if not IE ?

Flash Player has recently been found to cause slow in Firefox and changing it to ask to activate has resolved.

Other than using CCleaner to clean the temp file cache which I use, there can sometimes be a lot in the Temp folder which it hasn't cleaned and you can check that by going Start - type %temp% and press enter.

For the most part, the size of the files are listed, but if you want to remove them - click on Organize - Select all - Organize - Delete - confirm - check the box then click on Skip.

There should only be two or three small ones at most remaining.

Unnecessary start up programs in msconfig can unnecessarily take up memory and if you are used to having a lot of tabs open, then there will be competition so to speak.

You don't really need anything in the Startup menu except your AV program if it is listed in there - sometimes it's listed under the the Services tab.

Anyway, go Start - type msconfig and press enter then under the Startup tab click on Disable all, but don't do that until you have uninstalled EMET because if it is listed in the Startup menu and it is disabled when you uninstall it - it will leave orphaned files and that entry will remain after the program has been uninstalled - and this applies to any program that is in the Startup menu.

Offline Lady

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Re: Desktop pc suddenly slow
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2016, 06:04:10 AM »
It has been found that an AV program updating in the background can slow a machine down, but I think the only way to determine if EMET is conflicting with other software on your system would be to uninstall it.

I think you are confusing EMET and ESET. ESET is an online scanner which can be used whenever necessary and updates at that moment. It is not an installed program and doesn't run in the background.
EMET is a Microsoft tool to help against vulnerabilities in the Windows software.  https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2458544

I'm still unsure whether EMET is really necessary. An IT person told me to use it. It only conflicts with Word sometimes. I think I'll make a new post just to ask about EMET.

Flash Player has recently been found to cause slow in Firefox and changing it to ask to activate has resolved.

Do I understand correctly that I have to change the Shockwave plugin into "ask to be activated"? I have it on "always activated". Do you recommend Flashplayer over Shockwave Player?

I ran through the Startup Menu a while ago with someone and I only have a few, like AV and Intel.

Today I have no problems with slowness again. Maybe it was just another temporary Windows Little Devil. We KNOW they exist.   :cheesy:

Thank you, Boggin! Much appreciated once again.



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Offline Boggin

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Re: Desktop pc suddenly slow
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2016, 06:47:56 AM »
No, I wasn't confusing anything.

The AV program that I was referring to that could have been updating in the background was for your Bullguard and then went onto mention EMET and I'm well aware of ESET, having used it a number of times myself.

Shockwave Flash is what Flash Player is called in Firefox, although there is also a Shockwave for Director which I've never understood the role of - while I have both Flash Player and Shockwave in IE.

You could change it to Ask to activate to see if you still get the intermittent slow as it could be one or more of the many windows you have open that is making the demands.

Offline Lady

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Re: Desktop pc suddenly slow
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2016, 07:21:21 AM »
You could change it to Ask to activate to see if you still get the intermittent slow as it could be one or more of the many windows you have open that is making the demands.

Oh, now I understand! That's a good one anyway, I changed it. Didn't know that open tabs which haven't been opened to use on a new day, if you understand what I mean, are making any demands on the system.

The AV updating seems to me an unlikely cause as the slowness lasted so long while I was trying out things to solve it.

The number of open tabs I can understand. Still, it doesn't explain why on one particular day there was a huge slowness on every mouse click in every program and after a reboot everything was fine..... Really odd.
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Offline Lady

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Re: Desktop pc suddenly slow
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2016, 11:53:52 AM »
The pc is slow again, in an increasingly worse way.

How much should the percentage of processor use in Task Manager be, ideally spoken?

I have open: Outlook e-mail program, Explorer, Firefox, Word, Energy Management, Task Manager, HW Monitor.

This is what I noticed: yesterday when everything was fine the processor use varied between 0 and 5 percent. When the pc now gets non-responsive, the processor use drops to 0% (see attachment). That may be obvious to you, but I don't know, maybe that helps. Is 0 to 5 percent not very little when it functions normally?
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Re: Desktop pc suddenly slow
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2016, 02:21:03 PM »
If the machine is frozen then there won't be any CPU usage, but something is using up to 3.02GB of memory.

Out of the 8GB I have installed, with my gmail, the forum and Task Manager open - while the CPU fluctuates, mine is only using 1.72GB of memory.

In Task Manager (if you can open it), check under Processes tab to see what is using so much memory - in that section double click on Memory and it will list the processes from the highest users.

If you have Windows Repair installed, you can use the system tray icon to Clean Memory which may knock the overall usage down a bit.

Offline Lady

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Re: Desktop pc suddenly slow
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2016, 03:14:01 PM »
I'll let you see the Task Manager of yesterday when everything was superfine and the one of right now. See attachments.

The striking thing is that yesterday the pc was asking much more of CPU memory. This was before I closed the 20 tabs in Firefox, I think.
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Re: Desktop pc suddenly slow
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2016, 03:43:34 PM »
I've noticed that you have the GWX.exe running - don't know if that is significant, although it isn't hogging any memory but go into Task Scheduler by typing that at Start then press enter.

Click on Task Schedule Library - Microsoft - Windows - Setup - GWX and then look at the Triggers etc. to see how often it's set to go looking.

I'm not sure how EMET works but an AV program can slow things when it starts checking files or the tabs.

Have you ever had the slow with say just one or two tabs open ?

I would think your Paging File is set to default but when was the last time you defragged the HDD if you are using one and not a SSD ?

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Re: Desktop pc suddenly slow
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2016, 04:54:44 AM »
Dear Boggin, I'm late in responding, sorry, I have a lot on my plate at the moment.

The GWX I don't really understand but I can give you two screenshots of (I believe to be) significant pages. It seems to me that it doesn't do a whole lot. I have no idea. Or should I open GWXTriggers?

I'm not sure how EMET works but an AV program can slow things when it starts checking files or the tabs.

Yes, but it doesn't explain why the slowness is so random. I had it again yesterday in a major way, tried to find a possible cause, but had to reboot and everything was fine again.

Have you ever had the slow with say just one or two tabs open ?
It has been a looooooooong time since I had just one or two tabs open. :cheesy: They're my modern form of yellow post-its, you know.  :smiley:

I would think your Paging File is set to default but when was the last time you defragged the HDD if you are using one and not a SSD ?

I cannot find out what a paging file is. My C: drive where the Windows files are on is an SSD.

Tell me if you want some more info on one of these things.

Another problem: to fill in a form for a certain website I have to use Internet Explorer, but I cannot get it to open. It opens but the waiting symbol (the little blue circle spinning) is there and then it shuts down. In the attachment the files that are involved from the error popup.

Maybe it's time for a Windows Repair All In One. Or would that be a problem with my Dynamic Discs?  :omg:

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Re: Desktop pc suddenly slow
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2016, 06:11:09 AM »
GWX is Get Windows 10 and I was wondering if it was triggered to go looking for the update at certain times.

You can also check to see if Bullguard is also tasked to perform certain actions at given intervals or any of MBAM.

An intermittent fault is the worst type to try to nail down.

The Paging File is your Virtual Memory and you can check to see that it is set for Windows to auto manage it but with 8GB RAM installed you probably wouldn't need it.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/change-virtual-memory-size#1TC=windows-7

However, I noticed from your Task Manager/Performance that you have very little free memory left.

While I may only have up to 10 tabs open but generally a lot less, below is my Task Manager/Performance and I also have 8GB RAM installed.

I also have IObit Uninstaller and the free version of MBAM - but not Exploit, but don't have them running in the background and have disabled MBAM in services.msc

When you are talking about "slow" is this primarily browsing ?

This can occur when the SNRM drops which affects your bandwidth and could be an explanation for it being intermittent if your computer still performs normally with multiple tabs open at other times.

Would you say that the slow occurs at peak times or isn't there any pattern to it ?

At these times you could run a speed test from www.speedtest.net to see if you are getting what you normally or should be getting when all is well.

You would need to log into your router to check the SNR Margin at these times and if the Downstream is well under 1 then first have a look around your home to see if anything is coming on that could interfere with your broadband signal and checking to see if you still get the slow or not when Ethernet wired could point to fluctuating broadband.

Depending upon your answer, I'll go into more detail on improving your wireless signal.



« Last Edit: February 26, 2016, 06:15:30 AM by Boggin »

Offline Lady

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Re: Desktop pc suddenly slow
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2016, 07:36:54 AM »
BullGuard and MBAM both perform real-time protection, on browsing and e-mail. MBAM daily performs a threat scan. BG has a few daily backup tasks to the external HDs. And I have MBAM Anti-Exploit. With a new slow-attack I can check if they're active. But if these real-time actions are interfering I would have had these slow-attacks all along (some days I spend a LOT of hours on the pc continuously) and I haven't had these serious problems with slowness before. I know the pc to be slow sometimes with opening new programs e.g. and then I often hear the pc case give starting-up sounds as if it were asleep (sleep options are off).

The paging file is set to auto-manage.
I saw DEP being set for all programmes and services (as somebody told me to). Is that correct? I have so much protection already. And the EMET error message on Word said something about DEP mitigation. Is that connected?

I decided to bring the number of tabs down. But for that I need more time which I have not at the moment. :S

Slowness in its worst form is waiting up to a minute with every mouse click. Even in Explorer or MusicBee or Word or wherever. Whatever its degree of slowness, it's with every program or function. I think I also tried shutting Firefox down to "make space", but to no avail. Up till now I have not detected any pattern. But then I have to check it in a more structured way, noting down time and checking all possible causes.

The bandwith is another very good idea of yours! I use a LAN cable (ADSL). Right now without any slowness problems my download speed is 12.99  (I pay for 20 Mb but I understand from my provider that I'm further away from the transmitting station). Upload is 0.83. I can check the speed when under attack.  :smiley:  Years ago I checked the download speed and it was about 13 at the time too. I have had no problems with such a seemingly low download speed. Especially since I blocked the trackers, downloading sites is very fast. At least fast enough for me. With uploading also no problems. I can wait, am a patient person.  :smiley:

Could you comment on my last two paragraphs of my last post about IE and Windows Repair?

Thank you for putting in some much of your time and your brain energy! Thumbs up again!











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Offline Boggin

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Re: Desktop pc suddenly slow
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2016, 08:16:51 AM »
Didn't you have this discussion with Shane before about you having Dynamic disks and wasn't a fix suggested to convert them ?

Can't remember now if they were a problem with WR.

I'm not sure about IE shutting down with just one particular site - have you tried running IE in Compatibility Mode ?

It could be a fault with the site itself and contacting whoever to report that problem may cough up something.

Usually resetting IE to defaults can resolve some problems, but when it is site specific, then it could be the site itself.

Changing your DNS servers to something like Google's 8.8.8.8 / 8.8.4.4 may help if your current DNS servers have problems resolving its address and resetting the winsock may also help, but if it was the winsock, then I would expect you to have other browsing problems.

To reset the winsock, run a cmd prompt as an admin and enter netsh winsock reset catalog and then shutdown /r /t 00 to effect an immediate reboot.

I don't think it will be a TLS problem, but SSL should no longer be used although depending upon the website, you may need to check the box for Use SSL 3.0 as well as all of the TLS boxes.

They are in IE - Tools - Internet options under the Advanced tab then scroll down to the Security section.

I can't think of anything else for that at the moment other than also in IE - Tools etc. under the Content tab click on Clear SSL state.


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Re: Desktop pc suddenly slow
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2016, 08:35:40 AM »
We talked about changing the dynamic discs to standard using Minitool Partition Wizard or some other program but I was advised not to mess with them if the pc was doing okay.

I wouldn't think a WR would act differently if the discs were dynamic. What are the possible risks of doing a WR? And does a system restore point work if anything after a WR is totally off?

I cannot open IE at all. That's what got me thinking about a WR again. Maybe some files have become corrupted again and maybe hence the slowness??

I don't want to put a lot more energy into this. Let's drop the slowness issue for now. A re-installation is the No. 1 solution, also regarding the discs, but I really can't have that now.
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Re: Desktop pc suddenly slow
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2016, 09:01:17 AM »
Not being able to open IE at all could be a winsock problem but go Start - All Programs - Accessories - System Tools - Internet Explorer (No Add-ons)

Or you could go Start - type iexplore -extoff and press enter.

When it opens, click on the home page icon and then see if you can browse - btw which browser are you using now ?

If you can then browse, you may have picked up adware.

Resetting IE to defaults can get rid of most add-ons but download and run AdwCleaner followed by Junkware Removal Tool -

https://toolslib.net/downloads/viewdownload/1-adwcleaner/

https://www.malwarebytes.org/junkwareremovaltool/

Don't know if you've used AdwCleaner before but click on Scan and when it has completed, click on Report - during the scan it may pick up other programs it considers as adware and will list those in the lower pane - which you can uncheck before clicking on Report.

The report will list whatever it will delete when you close the report and click on Cleaning, then after the reboot will open another report to show what it has deleted.

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Re: Desktop pc suddenly slow
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2016, 10:36:46 AM »
Not being able to open IE at all could be a winsock problem but go Start - All Programs - Accessories - System Tools - Internet Explorer (No Add-ons)

Or you could go Start - type iexplore -extoff and press enter.
Both times, as with my own efforts, IE opens but it says "not responding" and the waiting symbol is there for about 20 seconds and then it all disappears.

The slow attack is back since I returned to my pc an hour ago. Today in the afternoon all was fine. I kept the pc running with the monitor off after a minute. I just now checked the bandwith speed: 13.02, so no problem there. My AV/Malware family is doing nothing as far as I can see.

See attachments for the Task Manager at this moment. In 2a it is interesting to see that I have a lot more free memory now. I guess that's because I closed Firefox just now so that BullGuard could delete the Firefox cache for its Optimalisation feature and after that I didn't open a lot of tabs. In 2b you can see a lot lower figure for Firefox right now (before it was 400.000). I haven't closed any more tabs. And still the pc is slow. Not on every mouse click or keyboard touch, but still, very annoying.

If you're online now on Saturday evening  :smiley: and while I'm under attack, could you suggest anything else I can check? I'll be online for another hour or so.
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Re: Desktop pc suddenly slow
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2016, 12:21:13 PM »
Something is still using a hell of a lot of memory, but it isn't apparent from the Processes.

What does the Applications list ?

Can you download the free version of Speccy and when it has analysed, can you click on RAM and list what it says under Physical Memory - your Virtual Memory doesn't look as much as it should in Task Manager.

https://www.piriform.com/speccy

This is what mine looks like - disregard the lower attachment, it didn't come out as I wanted.

« Last Edit: February 27, 2016, 12:55:23 PM by Boggin »

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Re: Desktop pc suddenly slow
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2016, 03:20:24 PM »
If by applications you mean plug-ins, see attachment for my plug-ins.

The pc has become SUPERSLOW now. I have Speccy 1.28, couldn't get it to update to 1.29. After right-clicking on the exe file there was a very short pop-up, something like "please wait while Speccy....loading...." and then it's gone. Tried it several times. So I used 1.28.
The outcome is in the attachment.

I purposely didn't reboot today and it seems that, when it's under a slow attack, the slowness gets worse with time.

Could it be malware? If the scans by BullGuard, MBAM and Eset don't give anything, is there another program that would find something they might overlook?

« Last Edit: February 27, 2016, 03:22:05 PM by Lady »
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Re: Desktop pc suddenly slow
« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2016, 03:26:19 PM »
Well, your Virtual Memory looks okay.

Not Firefox plug-ins but the Applications tab in Task Manager - something's aggregating 43% of your memory.

Offline Lady

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Re: Desktop pc suddenly slow
« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2016, 03:47:49 PM »
Well well well, look at this.

I closed all programs and opened Task Manager. It was still on 36% physical memory. Or is it just me?

BTW, your Dutch is coming along nicely now, isn't it, Boggin?   :cheesy:

I'm off to bed. Tomorrow I'll run all my AV/Malware scans again and some other ones from a Dutch IT helpers' site specialized in malware.

Good night, y'all, sweet dreams. <3
« Last Edit: February 27, 2016, 03:49:20 PM by Lady »
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Re: Desktop pc suddenly slow
« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2016, 03:59:14 PM »
My Dutch is fine as long as it's in English :D

Tomorrow, download Process Explorer https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/processexplorer.aspx

Click on Options and ensure Verify Signature is checked then hover over VirusTotal.com and check its box.

Look for any VirusTotal entries in red with a highish value /50ish.