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Computer excruciatingly slow, fine in safe mode. Help needed.


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#1 soulweeper

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 12:45 PM

My computer that has been working just fine since I built a year ago, just slowed to a crawl yesterday. NOD32 doesn't find anything, Malwarebytes doesn't find anything. Just opening my email program, or a browser, takes a minute or more, or opening any program at all. It's like something is using all my resources, but I don't think anything is. A friend thinks it's a missing or corrupt Windows system file, but I ran the System File Checker, and it didn't find anything wrong.I also did a couple passes with memtest86.

It works fine in safe mode, which I'm assuming rules out hardware. So....no glaring indication of malware, runs fine in safe mode.

I tried system restore also, and it did no good. What was weird about that is, when I selected a restore point, and it restarted, it went to a blue screen, and just hung there. I finally just did a hard shut down, and when it restarted, it had restored to the point I selected. No change though.

A couple times now, when I've restarted it, my desktop will come back up, and I'm still seeing the little spinning blue wheel, a rectangular section in the top left corner of my desktop goes black....and then that goes away after a minute. Pretty strange.

I'm at a loss, and really don't want to reinstall Windows, but that seems to be my only option that I know of.

If anyone can help, or has any suggestions, I'd sure appreciate it.

Thanks in advance!

 



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#2 Allan

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 05:40 PM

 
 

1) First please run checkdisk as follows to address any potential issues caused by your hard shutdown:  right-click on a command prompt icon and open as administrator. In the command prompt window type: chkdsk /r  (then press ENTER). You'll be told the disk is in use and asked if you want to run checkdisk on the next boot. Say yes, exit the command prompt window, and reboot.

 

2) Next, let's try a selective startup since the computer runs normally in safe mode:

Open msconfig and on the General tab choose "selective startup" (uncheck all three items) and reboot. Does the problem still occur? If not, start adding items back to msconfig one or two at a time, rebooting after each change, until the problem reappears and you'll have identified the offending process. This is clearly a time consuming procedure, but it is the best way to determine if some process loading with the system is the cause of your problem.

 

After you've isolated the cause, do not use msconfig to permanently disable the process. Instead, if it is a service go to START - RUN and type: services.msc (then press enter) and disable the service OR, if it a program, you can download & run a simple app such as Mike Lin's Startup Control Panel (http://www.mlin.net/StartupCPL.shtml) to enable, disable, or otherwise manage startup programs.

 



#3 soulweeper

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 05:48 PM

Thank you for the reply! The weird part is....it started working just fine today in regular mode, as if nothing had happened.

The weird thing is, and it could be just coincidental....is that I had opened the case to get the serial # off the GPU.....to call EVGA to get their opinion. That one section of my desktop going black made me think GPU, but that's my limited knowledge. Anyway......right after putting the cover on the case, it started working completely normal again. Good news for sure, but there is a reason it did what it did. In talking to Tanya, we thought it may have been a loose or improperly seated hard drive cable, and simply opening the case moved it a bit, to where it works. That would be cool, but hard to say for sure. Then realized that a loose hard drive cable wouldn't allow the symptoms to go away in safe mode, but a loose GPU cable could. The GPU could be on the way out, and is just having erratic behavior. It's not used in safe mode, that's why I focus on the GPU. This could all be just speculation and coincidence, but right now it's working.



#4 soulweeper

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 07:09 PM

I did run chkdsk anyway, and it did it's thing, but at the end, it went away so fast I couldn't read it. I was hoping to read whether or not it found any errors or whatnot. I guess the fact that it disappeared so quick means there was nothing wrong??



#5 Allan

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 07:23 AM

Glad to hear it's running properly now. Thanks for posting back.



#6 soulweeper

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 10:43 AM

Glad to hear it's running properly now. Thanks for posting back.Thanks. Was I right about chkdsk, in that if it disappears that quickly, then no errors were found?



#7 Allan

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 11:39 AM

No, that does not mean there were no errors found. It simply means checkdisk has ended and the system rebooted. You can find the checkdisk logs here: Event Viewer - Windows Logs - Application - Wininit



#8 soulweeper

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 12:04 PM

If I did this right, here is what I found:

 

 

Log Name:      Application
Source:        Microsoft-Windows-Wininit
Date:          5/28/2013 5:02:27 PM
Event ID:      1001
Task Category: None
Level:         Information
Keywords:      Classic
User:          N/A
Computer:      jim51
Description:

Checking file system on C:
The type of the file system is NTFS.

A disk check has been scheduled.
Windows will now check the disk.                        

CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 5)...
  199168 file records processed.                                        

File verification completed.
  684 large file records processed.                                  

  0 bad file records processed.                                    

  2 EA records processed.                                          

  60 reparse records processed.                                     

CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 5)...
  249482 index entries processed.                                       

Index verification completed.
  0 unindexed files scanned.                                       

  0 unindexed files recovered.                                     

CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 5)...
  199168 file SDs/SIDs processed.                                       

Cleaning up 5 unused index entries from index $SII of file 0x9.
Cleaning up 5 unused index entries from index $SDH of file 0x9.
Cleaning up 5 unused security descriptors.
Security descriptor verification completed.
  25158 data files processed.                                          

CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
  33641968 USN bytes processed.                                           

Usn Journal verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying file data (stage 4 of 5)...
  199152 files processed.                                               

File data verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying free space (stage 5 of 5)...
  10284304 free clusters processed.                                       

Free space verification is complete.
Windows has checked the file system and found no problems.

117115903 KB total disk space.
  75587612 KB in 157112 files.
     88456 KB in 25159 indexes.
         0 KB in bad sectors.
    302619 KB in use by the system.
     65536 KB occupied by the log file.
  41137216 KB available on disk.

      4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
  29278975 total allocation units on disk.
  10284304 allocation units available on disk.

Internal Info:
00 0a 03 00 0a c8 02 00 6b 00 05 00 00 00 00 00  ........k.......
a2 0c 00 00 3c 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  ....<...........
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  ................

Windows has finished checking your disk.
Please wait while your computer restarts.

Event Xml:
<Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">
  <System>
    <Provider Name="Microsoft-Windows-Wininit" Guid="{206f6dea-d3c5-4d10-bc72-989f03c8b84b}" EventSourceName="Wininit" />
    <EventID Qualifiers="16384">1001</EventID>
    <Version>0</Version>
    <Level>4</Level>
    <Task>0</Task>
    <Opcode>0</Opcode>
    <Keywords>0x80000000000000</Keywords>
    <TimeCreated SystemTime="2013-05-29T00:02:27.000000000Z" />
    <EventRecordID>24715</EventRecordID>
    <Correlation />
    <Execution ProcessID="0" ThreadID="0" />
    <Channel>Application</Channel>
    <Computer>jim51</Computer>
    <Security />
  </System>
  <EventData>
    <Data>

Checking file system on C:
The type of the file system is NTFS.

A disk check has been scheduled.
Windows will now check the disk.                        

CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 5)...
  199168 file records processed.                                        

File verification completed.
  684 large file records processed.                                  

  0 bad file records processed.                                    

  2 EA records processed.                                          

  60 reparse records processed.                                     

CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 5)...
  249482 index entries processed.                                       

Index verification completed.
  0 unindexed files scanned.                                       

  0 unindexed files recovered.                                     

CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 5)...
  199168 file SDs/SIDs processed.                                       

Cleaning up 5 unused index entries from index $SII of file 0x9.
Cleaning up 5 unused index entries from index $SDH of file 0x9.
Cleaning up 5 unused security descriptors.
Security descriptor verification completed.
  25158 data files processed.                                          

CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
  33641968 USN bytes processed.                                           

Usn Journal verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying file data (stage 4 of 5)...
  199152 files processed.                                               

File data verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying free space (stage 5 of 5)...
  10284304 free clusters processed.                                       

Free space verification is complete.
Windows has checked the file system and found no problems.

117115903 KB total disk space.
  75587612 KB in 157112 files.
     88456 KB in 25159 indexes.
         0 KB in bad sectors.
    302619 KB in use by the system.
     65536 KB occupied by the log file.
  41137216 KB available on disk.

      4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
  29278975 total allocation units on disk.
  10284304 allocation units available on disk.

Internal Info:
00 0a 03 00 0a c8 02 00 6b 00 05 00 00 00 00 00  ........k.......
a2 0c 00 00 3c 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  ....&lt;...........
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  ................

Windows has finished checking your disk.
Please wait while your computer restarts.
</Data>
  </EventData>
</Event>

 

 

Is that the right info?

Not sure it copied it exactly correct, I chose copy details as text.



#9 Allan

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 12:59 PM

yes



#10 soulweeper

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 01:00 PM

yes

Looks like it didn't find anything, correct?



#11 Allan

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 01:17 PM

It did some minor cleanup. It's fine.



#12 soulweeper

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 01:30 PM

Thanks!

 

Yeah, this was really weird. All day monday everything was just really slow, except in safe mode. I wondered if it was the graphics card, as it isn't used in safe mode, and when I opened the case to get the serial #, to call EVGA, just to get their opinion, it started working properly in regular mode. That made me wonder if a cable was loose or something, or it was just extremely coincidental. A friend of mine that builds computers said that it's possible, but if it was a hard drive cable, it would still exhibit the behavior in safe mode, but now if it was the cable to the GPU. But who knows if it was even a cable. With it working properly now, it's a mystery. My friend also said it could have just been a Windows thing that fixed itself. She's not a huge Windows fan, but whatever. I guess it's just a wait and see thing now.

 

Can you tell me....what is the best way to back up everything? I never have, and it's going to bite me, and just about did the other day, had I had to do a reinstall. Is simply saving an image of everything the easiest/best way, or???



#13 Allan

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 02:03 PM

 
 

There are any number of methods. I'm a huge fan of disc imaging - I think EVERYONE should use disc imaging software. Here's something I put together a while ago for another site:

 

Disk Imaging software takes a "snapshot" of your drive as it exists at the time you create the image. You can then restore the entire image or any file(s) or folder(s) you choose. It is a virtually foolproof way of backing up your system and providing a safe haven in the event of a catastrophe that requires you to blow away your system partition and restore it to a previous state. It also allows you to "test" various software and be confident that you have a the ability to return to the prior state any time you choose.

 

I use Acronis True Image. It is the best of breed, but it isn't free. The best free alternative is Macrium Reflect. 

 

1) I create an image of my system partition once a week to a second hard drive and keep the 2 or 3 most recent images. I also image my other partitions about once a month. I always enable "verify image" in the options. It takes a little longer, but insures a valid image.

 

2) I also create an image before performing any drive level function (ie, changing the size of a partition) or making any significant change to the OS (installing a service pack, upgrading IE, etc). Also sometimes before installing new software.

 

3) Images may be created on any medium (cd, dvd, external drive, etc). For obvious reasons they should not be stored on the same drive you are imaging. The best option is a second internal hd if you have one.

 

4) Images may be created "in the background" within the OS. If you need to restore the system partition, that will need to be done before the OS loads. You can start the process within the application in the OS and it will then tell you it needs to reboot to finish the process. Alternatively, you can boot to a "recovery disk" which you can create when you first install the software (or to the application disk itself if you have one). Other partitions can be restored without a reboot.

 



#14 soulweeper

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 02:21 PM

Thank you for that information!

 

Yeah, even though I haven't done it yet, the disc imaging makes the most sense, and seems so straightforward.

 

Like the other day, I was ready to reinstall Windows, which as you know, is no big deal. And saving pictures, passwords, etc. etc. isn't a big deal either. It's the programs, that are already configured the way I want, and whatnot. It's just a pain.

 

Not only that, if this issue was cable/hardware related, it could resurface right after the reinstall. That would have been a treat!

 

Anyway, I do have a second internal HD, the SSD has basically everything on it, so in a nutshell, I could make an image of my entire C Drive, and simply save it to my second HD, yes?

 

I've heard the Acronis software is very user friendly, is that true?

 

 

On that note, I have a laptop that I use for my Exede satellite internet installs, and it has a HDD in it, and it's in a padded case in my truck every day, but it's a matter of time before the HDD most likely will die from vibration, so I plan to get an SSD for it, and simply create an image and transfer it to the SSD.

 

Someone told me I could simply do that, and using something like this

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HJ99DI/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_3?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A29Y8OP2GPR7PE

transfer that image to the new SSD, open up the laptop, remove the HDD, install the SSD, turn it back on, and it will boot up just like nothing ever happened, only faster, of course. Does that sound fairly accurate, and I'm assuming that could easily be done with Acronis, yes?


Edited by soulweeper, 29 May 2013 - 02:30 PM.


#15 Allan

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 02:29 PM

In theory, yes.






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