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    Computer Question

    Since I know there are a lot of computer savvy folks on this forum I have a quick question. For the last few days my laptop has been slower then hell. It is like wading through quicksand suddenly. I went on YouTube and tried all of the fixes suggested in videos, but to be honest I think I made it worse. Anyone out there have any idea what might be going on with my computer? As mentioned this just stared a few days ago. Thanks in advance.

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    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    I hired a remote computer company for under $100 and they logged onto my computer and deleted unused software.
    What can this strange device be? When I touch it, it brings forth a sound.

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    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    Hi Steve,
    More details are needed to get a better handle on things. Brand/model would get some of that.

    Right off the bat a couple of things to check:
    Windows 10 I assume.
    Right click on the task bar at the bottom of the desktop and choose Task Manager. The opening screen may be devoid of info, if so in the lower left corner of the task manager click 'More Details'
    Then click the Details tab
    There are a number of columns the 5th one labeled CPU. Click CPU to sort the processes. You may need to click twice to get the high number sorted to the top.
    The top number should be System Idle Process. With few programs running that number should be close to 99.
    If it isn't, What process is the highest, especially if it stays the largest number.

    If you then click the Performance tab you will see a number of small graphs running down the left side. Any one of those with a very active graph, or a line that is at or near the top may indicate where resources are being used in excess. Clicking the individual graph will give more detail about that component ( memory, disk, etc )

    With a little info I can suggest more things to look at next.
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwoll View Post
    Hi Steve,
    More details are needed to get a better handle on things. Brand/model would get some of that.

    Right off the bat a couple of things to check:
    Windows 10 I assume.
    Right click on the task bar at the bottom of the desktop and choose Task Manager. The opening screen may be devoid of info, if so in the lower left corner of the task manager click 'More Details'
    Then click the Details tab
    There are a number of columns the 5th one labeled CPU. Click CPU to sort the processes. You may need to click twice to get the high number sorted to the top.
    The top number should be System Idle Process. With few programs running that number should be close to 99.
    If it isn't, What process is the highest, especially if it stays the largest number.

    If you then click the Performance tab you will see a number of small graphs running down the left side. Any one of those with a very active graph, or a line that is at or near the top may indicate where resources are being used in excess. Clicking the individual graph will give more detail about that component ( memory, disk, etc )

    With a little info I can suggest more things to look at next.
    Checked that and nothing seems to be high. Nothing really sticking out on any of the graphs. The idle process was at 99%. My laptop is a Dell Vastro 15 3000.

    One thing kind of odd that I have noticed is that it seems to be slower when I first turn it on. If I leave it on and don't use it for a while, then wake it up, it seems to working much faster. Strange.......
    Last edited by SteveSly; 01-31-2022 at 10:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mozo-pg View Post
    I hired a remote computer company for under $100 and they logged onto my computer and deleted unused software.
    I may eventually try that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSly View Post
    Checked that and nothing seems to be high. Nothing really sticking out on any of the graphs. The idle process was at 99%. My laptop is a Dell Vastro 15 3000.

    One thing kind of odd that I have noticed is that it seems to be slower when I first turn it on. If I leave it on and don't use it for a while, then wake it up, it seems to working much faster. Strange.......
    Sounds more like you have quite a few processes that run at boot up - perhaps even the automatic check for updates on all your software - those maybe needed / maybe not queries are hogging initial resources.

    When you log in later (e.g. wake it up) those background items are likely done.

    I'll let MW continue....but something to bear in mind....

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    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    I agree with MudShark22. Slow startup and lagging for the first couple of minutes could be a bunch of startup processes contending for resources.
    Looking at the model info there are a couple of potential 'bottlenecks' ram could be 4 or 8gb. 8 would be better.
    Also if it has an SSD boot drive rather than a spinning hard drive it would be faster.

    Dell is famous/notorious for having 'helper' applications to check for updates, do backups, anti-virus packages, etc. Any or all of these could slow startup.
    They are not alone in this, but they love their Assistants.

    If you go to the task manager again and choose Startup , you will see a list of the applications queued to start with the login.
    Most items in the Startup don't load until you log in, some load when the computer starts but most wait for you.
    If you go to settings ( right click on the Windows icon in the lower left 0 and choose Apps, there is a Startup option on the left side. They give each startup app an impact score and there are little sliders that can let you disable startup apps.
    I don't recommend just playing, but there may be some wiggle room available with some apps performance wise.
    Windows 10 has a 'feature' that is supposed to help with the user experience.
    When you shutdown, what really happens is the system saves some of it's state and goes to sleep so that it starts faster when you press the power button.
    Just rebooting can clear up system state and sort of reset things.

    There are other things which may or may not be causing the slow start.
    Windows 10-11 are data collecting programs. They have a bunch of stuff turned on by default that each by itself do not slow things but collectively can put a load on.
    In settings under privacy I would turn off the 4 settings and personally I turn of Speech (cortana), Inking and typing, limit diagnostics to required, and turn off activity history.

    Lot of stuff, I know. Don't mean to put too much stuff out there, but it's what I do.
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwoll View Post
    I agree with MudShark22. Slow startup and lagging for the first couple of minutes could be a bunch of startup processes contending for resources.
    Looking at the model info there are a couple of potential 'bottlenecks' ram could be 4 or 8gb. 8 would be better.
    Also if it has an SSD boot drive rather than a spinning hard drive it would be faster.

    Dell is famous/notorious for having 'helper' applications to check for updates, do backups, anti-virus packages, etc. Any or all of these could slow startup.
    They are not alone in this, but they love their Assistants.

    If you go to the task manager again and choose Startup , you will see a list of the applications queued to start with the login.
    Most items in the Startup don't load until you log in, some load when the computer starts but most wait for you.
    If you go to settings ( right click on the Windows icon in the lower left 0 and choose Apps, there is a Startup option on the left side. They give each startup app an impact score and there are little sliders that can let you disable startup apps.
    I don't recommend just playing, but there may be some wiggle room available with some apps performance wise.
    Windows 10 has a 'feature' that is supposed to help with the user experience.
    When you shutdown, what really happens is the system saves some of it's state and goes to sleep so that it starts faster when you press the power button.
    Just rebooting can clear up system state and sort of reset things.

    There are other things which may or may not be causing the slow start.
    Windows 10-11 are data collecting programs. They have a bunch of stuff turned on by default that each by itself do not slow things but collectively can put a load on.
    In settings under privacy I would turn off the 4 settings and personally I turn of Speech (cortana), Inking and typing, limit diagnostics to required, and turn off activity history.

    Lot of stuff, I know. Don't mean to put too much stuff out there, but it's what I do.
    When I look at the start up aps the ones that say "high impact" are:

    Microsoft Edge
    Microsoft One Drive
    Waaves Max Audio Service Application

    Medium is:

    Realtek HD Audio Universal Service

    Everything else is low impact or turned off, so not sure if I should turn any of the above off?

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    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    ^ Great post, Mark. I'm not having PC problems, but I have a Dell, and using your instructions was able to turn off some Startup "clutter." Many thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSly View Post
    When I look at the start up aps the ones that say "high impact" are:

    Microsoft Edge
    Microsoft One Drive
    Waaves Max Audio Service Application

    Medium is:

    Realtek HD Audio Universal Service

    Everything else is low impact or turned off, so not sure if I should turn any of the above off?
    So.......another weird thing. This morning everything seems to be working normally. Not sure if it is something I did or what, but speed seems to be what it typically is.

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    Member hippypants's Avatar
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    When was the last time you turned it off completely and let it reboot? I usually just put mine in sleep mode.

    Also when was the last time you cleared your History?

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    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    I would not turn off the Waaves or Realtek those are fussy audio things.
    If you use One Drive leave it on, otherwise no harm in turning it off. Even if it's off it will just take a bit longer to start up if you want to use it.
    Edge just wants to be your best buddy and be there for you faster.
    I don't use it much and don't have it in startup. If you turn it off there it will just take a little while longer to load.
    Some people have a bunch of tabs loaded all the time and want everything to start where they left off, that can be done by having Edge in startup.
    Depending on the number of tabs, it could take a long time to load and add significant lag at startup.
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
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    Nostalgia, you know, ain't what it used to be. Furthermore, they tells me, it never was.
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    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Part of the problem is Win10 is becoming increasingly large and bloated. I have a cheap Dell laptop, which I bought because it wouldn't hurt too much if it got stolen on the train. It has a non-upgradeable 16GB EMMC hard drive. This worked fine with its original Win10 installation. Now Win10 fills most of the drive, leaving very little room for actual programs. But then when Win10 tries updating itself, the update cache completely fills the drive rendering the entire machine completely inoperable. And Microsoft neglected to provide a way of deleting the update cache to free drive space. I had to wipe it an install Linux.

    Another side effect of the Win10 bloat is when the machine first boots, it decides to do many background maintenance tasks, bogging down the entire system.
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    When my laptop slows down....I check for a Windows update....once I do the update and remove the previous update, the computer speeds up considerably.....I'm also reaching the upper limit of my hard drive capacity.
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    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    You can search for Disk Cleanup and run the app.
    There are a bunch of check boxes and at the bottom Clean Up System Files
    Click on that and after a bit the same looking box pops up with a couple of additional options.
    Windows Update cleanup will probably free up the most space, and a couple of the others Upgrade Log Files and temp files, recycle bin.
    If the computer is more than a couple of years old, there may be a substantial chunk of space.
    After cleanup, a reboot will look like it is installing patches, but it's doing housekeeping.

    One thing about SSD's is that they don't perform as well when they are over around 60% full and get slower as they fill up.
    Spinning drives don't have the same issue, but they are just slower.
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
    -- Aristotle
    Nostalgia, you know, ain't what it used to be. Furthermore, they tells me, it never was.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippypants View Post
    When was the last time you turned it off completely and let it reboot? I usually just put mine in sleep mode.

    Also when was the last time you cleared your History?
    I turn it off completely at least once per day. I tried deleting the history earlier this week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garyhead View Post
    When my laptop slows down....I check for a Windows update....once I do the update and remove the previous update, the computer speeds up considerably.....I'm also reaching the upper limit of my hard drive capacity.
    How do you remove previous updates? Windows did do an update about a week ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    Part of the problem is Win10 is becoming increasingly large and bloated. I have a cheap Dell laptop, which I bought because it wouldn't hurt too much if it got stolen on the train. It has a non-upgradeable 16GB EMMC hard drive. This worked fine with its original Win10 installation. Now Win10 fills most of the drive, leaving very little room for actual programs. But then when Win10 tries updating itself, the update cache completely fills the drive rendering the entire machine completely inoperable. And Microsoft neglected to provide a way of deleting the update cache to free drive space. I had to wipe it an install Linux.

    Another side effect of the Win10 bloat is when the machine first boots, it decides to do many background maintenance tasks, bogging down the entire system.
    What is Linux?

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    Quote Originally Posted by markwoll View Post
    You can search for Disk Cleanup and run the app.
    There are a bunch of check boxes and at the bottom Clean Up System Files
    Click on that and after a bit the same looking box pops up with a couple of additional options.
    Windows Update cleanup will probably free up the most space, and a couple of the others Upgrade Log Files and temp files, recycle bin.
    If the computer is more than a couple of years old, there may be a substantial chunk of space.
    After cleanup, a reboot will look like it is installing patches, but it's doing housekeeping.

    One thing about SSD's is that they don't perform as well when they are over around 60% full and get slower as they fill up.
    Spinning drives don't have the same issue, but they are just slower.
    Thanks, I will give that a try, although it is actually working much better all of a sudden. Not sure if it was something I did though.

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    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveSly View Post
    What is Linux?
    Linux is a fairly deep rabbit hole.
    An alternative operating system that has been around with that name for 30 years.
    A free -ish variation on Unix ( actually minix ) with a fairly robust nature.
    Most of the internet runs on Linux.
    As a desktop replacement for Windows is comes up short in any ways, but if you don't mind trying new things it can be a fun adventure.
    One very attractive feature ( other than not being windows ) is that the hardware requirements are not as steep as windows.
    An older laptop or desktop that was slow with windows can be pretty snappy with Linux.
    Most hardware is compatible, there are the occasional network or video devices that don't work well.
    Another kind of nice thing is that you can put a Linux Distro on a thumb drive or cd and boot from that device and run it without making changes to the hard drive of the laptop or desktop.
    So you can test drive.
    A downside is that there are Lots of Distros. Linux by itself does not do much for you, it is the base operating system. The Distro ( or distribution ) is a set of packages and customization that provide the GUI windowing system( look and feel ) and add 'wizards' to guide through setup. Much like windows does.
    Some popular, easy to use, Distros are Mint, Manjaro , Pop!OS, Ubuntu.
    Easy to use IS relative, it can be frustrating to learn new stuff that does not work just the same as windows.
    Support is more or less community based, although some Distros have service plans for support.
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
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    Nostalgia, you know, ain't what it used to be. Furthermore, they tells me, it never was.
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwoll View Post
    Linux is a fairly deep rabbit hole.
    An alternative operating system that has been around with that name for 30 years.
    A free -ish variation on Unix ( actually minix ) with a fairly robust nature.
    Most of the internet runs on Linux.
    As a desktop replacement for Windows is comes up short in any ways, but if you don't mind trying new things it can be a fun adventure.
    One very attractive feature ( other than not being windows ) is that the hardware requirements are not as steep as windows.
    An older laptop or desktop that was slow with windows can be pretty snappy with Linux.
    Most hardware is compatible, there are the occasional network or video devices that don't work well.
    Another kind of nice thing is that you can put a Linux Distro on a thumb drive or cd and boot from that device and run it without making changes to the hard drive of the laptop or desktop.
    So you can test drive.
    A downside is that there are Lots of Distros. Linux by itself does not do much for you, it is the base operating system. The Distro ( or distribution ) is a set of packages and customization that provide the GUI windowing system( look and feel ) and add 'wizards' to guide through setup. Much like windows does.
    Some popular, easy to use, Distros are Mint, Manjaro , Pop!OS, Ubuntu.
    Easy to use IS relative, it can be frustrating to learn new stuff that does not work just the same as windows.
    Support is more or less community based, although some Distros have service plans for support.
    That sounds way too complicated for me. I think I will stick to what I have.

  22. #22
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Linux is great.
    I used Ubuntu some years ago - Free, faster than Windows, doesn't take as much space up on the HD, doesn't get virus - and a whole lot of programs are free too.
    If you are used to Windows programs, you have to re-learn a bit.

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    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    I just noticed that Windows 11 is ready to be downloaded and installed for free. They also say that some programs that ran on Windows 10 won't on Windows 11. Has anybody made the move yet, and if so, what do you think? Any problems?

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    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    There was an article today that said Microsoft was releasing an optional update that fixes some slowness issues that cropped up after the January patch tuesday.
    This can be a sort of common thing, sadly.
    You would need to go to Settings and Updates and Security and check for updates to see if it is available. It's not there now but will show up along with other updates, not in the 'view optional updates' area.
    The same optional patch is supposed to be available for windows 11
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    Nostalgia, you know, ain't what it used to be. Furthermore, they tells me, it never was.
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    Thanks all of you for your help!

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