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New Gateway Notebook Is Too Slow


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#1 Gary's Girl

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 11:27 PM

Gateway Notebook Model: ML6732
Windows Vista Home Premium 32-Bit
Intel Pentium Dual CPU 1.73 GHz
3.00 GB RAM
300 GB HDD

Bought notebook almost a month ago and it was slow out of the box, even before adding any software. I've now deleted some of the preinstalled stuff I didn't need and added software, and needless to say, it hasn't speeded up any. I also turned off the UAC (now there's a Windows Security Alert on the taskbar constantly reminding me I did that) and tried setting the visual display to "Best Performance" - neither of which helped.

Immediately after unpacking and setting it up and before adding my software, I tried out the preinstalled stuff and thought it was running slow. Ran the Norton's Internet Security trial that was installed and it found a trojan - which I had it delete. I thought that was strange. Thought maybe the Norton's was slowing the system down, so I took it off and put my Zone Alarm on. That didn't speed it up, either.

Installed Ad-aware Pro, Spybot, and Spywareblaster as well and they're not finding anything much - Ad-aware finds a few tracking cookies. Cleaned the Internet cache, deleted temp files, and defragged - all to no avail.

I ran PC Pitstop's Overdrive test and it said there were several things wrong, including some outdated drivers; however, when attempting to update them, the system says it has the proper drivers. Pitstop also showed the CPU usage at 97 percent. Checked the startup list and there doesn't seem to be anything suspicious that I can tell. There's something on the computer called "Bigfix" that Gateway installed which I haven't unistalled at this point - not familar with it and don't know if it's worth keeping yet.

Should have returned it to the store within the two weeks I had to do so, but I was so busy with a granddaughter's surgery that I didn't have time to check it out thoroughly before the time had expired. Really thought that I could speed it up, but alas, I have failed.

Can you help?

Thanks,
Sharon

Edited by HomesickInTexas, 23 August 2008 - 11:40 PM.


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#2 iDukeHelp

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 12:47 AM

Double click the red shield

On the side it should say "Change the way...." click.

I put the last one, so there isnt a shield or popup bubble.


Delete Norton/all your protections and get :

AVG Anti-Virus: Download
Comodo Firewall Pro: 32-Bit Download
Hitman Pro: Download Full
Malwarebyte's Anti-Malware

Run Malware bytes and full scan. Check all, remove selected. Restart


http://majorgeeks.com/ATF_Cleaner_d4949.html

Download. Check all, remove.

Check Add/remove and anything you dont know, google it and check what it is.

Viewpoint thing isnt good.

#3 usasma

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 06:42 AM

To figure out what's causing the slowdown - right click on the Task Bar and select Task Manager
Click on the Processes tab
Click on the View menu item, then on Select columns.
Scroll down until you locate IO Reads (disregard all the other I/O stuff) and place a checkmark in the box next to it.
Click OK to exit the dialog
Then, drag the side of the Task Manager window so you can see all the columns.

Double click on the CPU, Memory, and I/O Reads columns (in turn) so you can sort it by that column. Let us know the Image Name for the following conditions:
CPU: anything with numbers consistently higher than 0 (System Idle Process is the only one that's OK with high numbers)
Memory: anything that's significantly higher than the other numbers (on my system it's the difference betwen xx,xxx K and xxx,xxx K)
I/O Reads: anything that's significantly higher than the other numbers (on my system it's the difference betwen xx,xxx and x,xxx,xxx)

Let us know the Image Name of those things and we'll take a stab at figuring out what's slowing you down.
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#4 iDukeHelp

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 01:10 PM

By the way.

I find that processor to be slow. Well, most laptops have the range of speed, but I feel that if you always used a desktop, then bought a laptop... The laptop would feel very slow.

#5 Gary's Girl

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 11:18 PM

Greetings to you both. My husband and I pastor a church in Texas, so Sundays church stuff is about all we do around here. Its almost 11:00 p.m. and I just got to my computer and read your posts. It's really too late to start anything much - - will follow all your directions tomorrow.

iDukeHelp: I'm willing to try anything to get my computer running smoothly. Did I understand correctly that you want me to uninstall Zone Alarm Security Suite (which I paid money for)? I've used it for a year and really like it. Norton's is already gone - - hate it! I use CCleaner by Piriform, so probably won't need ATF, too, is that right, or do you what me to use ATF instead? What's Viewpoint? You said it isn't good, but what is it? Whatever, I won't use it. Will do the downloads and scans you suggested tomorrow. Also, I've used laptops for well over ten years, and this one is SLOW. The Toshiba I just retired was lightning compared to this one.

Usasma: In the CPU column - - Desktop Windows Manager is running 3 and 4; I'm running the defragger so it's running high right now (40); the taskmanager is running 2; and BigFix is running 1.

In the Memory column, the defragger is running 94,000, but everything else is 30,000 and below.

In the I/O Reads column, Client Server Runtime Process is 25,400; BigFix is 13,200 and everything else is 3500 or lower.

Also, the computer for some reason, is very fragmented - - although I ran the defragger just a few days ago. I mean VERY fragmented, about 40%. So, I'm running the defrag (I use Defraggler by Piriform).

Hey, thanks to both of you for your help! I wll get back to you on everything else tomorrow afternoon sometime.

Blessings!
Sharon

#6 Gary's Girl

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 12:22 PM

Good afternoon, Folks. Just to let you know where the Gateway is now:

Still haven't installed Malware Bytes BECAUSE the defrag started last night right before I posted is STILL running. It's at 52% done. I set the computer to stay on through the night so it could finiish and was perplexed that it was still going this morning and only at 48%. I let it continue to run; however, at this rate it could still be running at midnight.

Is that normal? Granted, this is the largest hard drive I've ever worked with, but that still sounds too long for the defragger to run, doesn't it? Should I let it continue or stop it and use the Windows defragger instead? I've used Defraggler since it came out and have not had this problem with it before.

Downloaded and ran ATF and am downloading the other requested programs; however, I need to know if you still think Zone Alarm should be uninstalled and I should use the free firewall and anti-virus you sent the link to instead? If you think they're better, I will use them, of course, knowing that two firewalls or anti-virus programs shouldn't be running at the same time. Also, what about Ad-Aware? Last year when I was having trouble on the other computer, the advice was to use Ad-aware. Bought the Pro version so it would do automatic updates and have recently renewed my subscription. Wasn't clear if you wanted me to unistall that, too.

I've been through the startup list and didn't see anything suspicious - - however, I wonder about that BigFix thing. It doesn't seem to be doing anything except using a little resource, but it's always on the taskbar. Thought seriously about uninstalling it - - do you know if it's necessary to keep it?

Wondering how much difference just having Vista makes as opposed to XP. This is my first experience with Vista and though it's quite beautiful, could it be what makes everything so much slower? Sometimes it takes up to 30-40 seconds for programs to open????

When I hear back about what to do about the defragger, I will install the other programs and let you know what they find. Really appreciate your help! I love bleepingcomputer.com and have recommended it to several people since I found you last year. Have also read many of the forums through the year and found much useful advice.

Have a SPECTACULAR day!
Sharon

Edited by HomesickInTexas, 25 August 2008 - 12:26 PM.


#7 stupidhomer

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 03:14 PM

I have a gateway laptop too, but mine only has 512 mb of memory and a 60gb hard drive and vista home basic, it came with bigfix too, it hasn't done much but i think you may need to keep it.
My gateway laptop uses avast anti-virus and sometimes my laptop will go as slow as your laptop goes, vista also has secret junk inside itself to make your laptop go slow for no reason.
Also, I do not recommend to use any defragger other than the windows one for vista, a defragger(JKDefrag) was the problem that was causing my vista to delete its own system restore points(i think).
Check windows update and make sure you install all the extra optional updates, some are driver updates which help a lot.

#8 Gary's Girl

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 01:54 AM

OK - - I will keep BigFix.

I finally stopped Defraggler after almost 24 hours - - it was still moving through files but still at 52%. Defragged with the Windows defragger - - I think - - there's no progress indicator or animation to show you it's running or done - - however, it said "Defragmenting" for an hour or so and then went back to "Defragment Now" - - so I guess it defragged.

Running Malwarebytes now. It looks like it's going to take several hours.

All Windows updates are current - - can't find the drivers PCPitstop recommended, but Windows says all its drivers are current.

Tonight, BigFix is running 500,000 and Client Server Runtime Process is running 700,000 in the I/O Reads. Everything else is below 83.000. In CPU, explorer.exe is running 15 or better while all others are below 5. Memory: all below 5,000.

A warning popped up on the Desktop a while ago saying CPU usage was 100%. Also, for some reason, the computer tried to delete the Desktop - - I told it to cancel that action and the Recycler has been stuck ever since - - about half an hour. AND, the icons on the desktop won't stay where I put them - - about once a day, they are all suddenly in different places.

Also ran Panda's online scanner and TrendMicro's online scanner today. TrendMicro found 1 low priority infection and deleted it.

Gateway's recommends running CheckDisc. Will try that after the Malwarebytes finishes sometime tomorrow. They say if running cleanup and CheckDisc doesn't fix it I'll have to send it to the Repair Center. Aargh! I'm really hoping you guys can help so it doesn't have to be sent away.

Anyway, thanks to anyone who has any more suggestions.

Blessings,
Sharon

Edited by HomesickInTexas, 26 August 2008 - 02:00 AM.


#9 usasma

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 06:32 AM

Although the BigFix entries are of some concern, I don't think that they account for the majority of the slowdown you've been experiencing.
Also, I don't expect that it's malware from the scans that you've run.

chkdsk /r is probably the next best thing to run - the experience with the defragger suggests that there's some issue with the disk. chkdsk /r will repair any errors that it finds.

Another thing to try would be a diagnostic utility from the manufacturer of your hard drive. To find this information out, go to Start and type in "devmgmt.msc" (without the quotes) and press Enter. When the Device Management window opens, click on the + sign next to Disk Drives and let us know what it says there (we'll use Google to associate that with the manufacturer's name). Then, here's a link to some of the more common one's: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/28744/hard-drive-installation-and-diagnostic-tools/
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#10 Gary's Girl

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 06:12 PM

Usasma: thanks, for your help. I am going to run checkdisc now - - however, early this morning I booted into safe mode and ran Defraggler - - it took about 2:30 hours to run and when I rebooted the computer afterward in normal Windows - - shocker! - - everything seems to be working. Programs are opening in 2 - 5 seconds and everything seems to be operating normally. I'm gonna run Checkdisc anyway, just because it's been so sluggish until today.

The disk drive in Device Manager is: WDC WD3200BEVT-22ZCT0.

Will let you know what happens next. I REALLY appreciate your help!

S.

#11 Gary's Girl

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 10:42 PM

HERE'S what happened - - ran chkdsk and it completed in about 2 hours. I was away from the computer, so I didn't see what it found, if anything. Couldn't get into the chkdsk log - - a black window opened and closed. Perhaps I just don't know how to get to the log - - typed in chkdsk log and then clicked it when it appeared in the start menu.

Rebooted and tried to run Defraggler in normal mode - - only to find that the defragmentation rate was, once again, very high. It would only defrag partially and left 49 GB - - that's GIGABYTES - - still unfragmented. Booted into safe mode and tried again - - same result. Checked to see which files were so fragged and refused to DEfrag - - and found three System Volume Information files - - the alphanumeric sequence enclosed by {} - - with 10 million KB; 14 million KB; and 26 million KB. All other fragged files were under 30 thousand.

Whatever would have made a system that was just successfully defragged in safe mode suddenly frag up again and refuse to defrag any further? And why would 1/6 of the drive be unable to defrag? Weird.

Anyway, when I installed my software on this machine, there was some that Vista didn't take to - - some it wouldn't install at all. When Print Shop was installed, the CD/DVD player would no longer work unless the computer boots up with a CD in the drive. Just uninstalled Print Shop in case that might be a problem. I searched for the CD problem and found many folks online who'd had the same trouble with Print Shop - - it's evidently not compatible with Vista.

What's a system volume information file anyway?

Blessings,
Sharon

#12 Gary's Girl

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 11:14 AM

OK, thanks, stupidhomer. How do I get that repaired so it can defrag? Obviously chkdsk didn't fix it when it was run yesterday because the drive is still 27% fragmented and Defraggler won't do it.

Also, how do you find new drivers (PitStop says I need 5 of them but the system says it has the 'recommended' drivers installed already)?
DRIVER NAME SigmaTel HD Audio Codec DRIVER INSTALLED 6.10.5365.0 DRIVER RECOMMENDED 6.10.5713.1
DRIVER NAME RealTech RTL810IE Fast Ethernet DRIVER INSTALLED 6.207.0606.2008 DRIVER RECOMMENDED 6.208.0729.2008
DRIVER NAME Mobile Intel Express Chipset 965 DRIVER INSTALLED 7.14.10.1437 DRIVER RECOMMENDED 7.15.10.1472
DRIVER NAME Mobile Intel Express Chipset 965 DRIVER INSTALLED 7.14.10.1437 DRIVER RECOMMENDED 7.15.10.1472

And, what are 'craplets' - - PitStop says there are 5 of them; however, PitStop doesn't do anything about what it found unless you pay for: driver update software; cleanup software; defrag software. Actually bought it all for the old computer and everytime I ran it - - it crashed the system - - so I returned it. Really not secure about paying for all that for this computer, especially since it's unstable already (as I recall that's about $90 worth of software).

Been having to shut down by turning off the power button when it hangs up.

Thanks again,
S.

#13 stupidhomer

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 11:27 AM

Look through the optional software in your windows update in the control panel, that's where i got my driver updates.
Also it could be surface damage on the disk meaning no software can repair it, meaning you need to buy a new hard drive.

#14 Jacee

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 02:01 PM

Unless you custom build your own computer, you will notice quite a few programs to try and buy from different vendors. A lot of oem computers, such as Toshiba, Gateway, HP and others add these unnecessary "craplets" and "bloatware". They all want a piece of the pie and are considered resource hogs ---->slowing down your system's resources.

http://techtalk.pcpitstop.com/2008/05/03/c...survey-results/

Don't worry about updating drivers if your system hasn't crashed due to one or more of them causing a BSOD or failure.

See what Services you can run manually or disable altogether:
http://www.blackviper.com/WinVista/servicecfg.htm
Type services.msc in the start search box, then click on the little icon to open the window. You will need to right click on the service, then choose 'properties' to look at the service. In the little dropdown box, you can set it to manual or disabled.

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#15 Jacee

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Posted 27 August 2008 - 02:14 PM

This is a great Vista help, resource page:
http://www.howtogeek.com/tag/windows-vista/

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