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Extremely Sluggish Computer - did Oblivion mods kill my CPU?


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#1 FerretLaw

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 09:29 PM

Quad Core i7-2620M CPU

2.70ghz

8gb RAM

64-bit OS

Nvidia GEForce GT 550

Dell XPS L702X

500gb hard drive

Windows 7

 

Purchased the laptop in June 2011 and, oddly enough, it's still under warranty because I extended it last month. Who would have thought. Murphy's Law almost always prevails when it comes to warranties...and computers.

 

 

Laptop was starting to get slow for some time now but is now extremely sluggish.

 

I originally bought it as a "graphics platform" for CS5 and WoW. Didn't get around to playing WoW and the few games I did play weren't graphics intensive and didn't overtax the system often. Got bored in June and started playing Oblivion. Of course that led to the discovery of modded Oblivion. Extensive mods on a 3 year old laptop wouldn't be the best idea so I did limited retexturing but a gameplay overhaul that did put stress on the system. When I finally got the first round of mods up and running, I tested gameplay around 18 - 34 fps. The laptop got hot though. Really hot. I let it cool down after about 45 mins of testing gameplay because the left hand side of the keyboard got uncomfortable to lay my hand on. I ran it like that while testing various mod installs for about a week. This may have been coincidental, but two nights ago, the laptop hibernated automatically when I fell asleep and I woke up to a dead battery -. 3% not charging. I have no idea whether that has anything to do with this. I had installed a pretty big graphic mod the night before. When I started Oblivion it was running at an unplayable 7-12 fps. I uninstalled everything, reverted to vanilla and am still extremely slow both in fps (still low fps) and in normal, non-gaming use.

 

Other programs: Scrolling through pages on Kindle (installed on the laptop) is slow - and stuttered? There's a hesitation between moving. IPhotoshop lags, especially noticeable when dragging an image. It sort of tiles with part lagging behind the spot I grab before it catches up and is square again. Sort of Salvadore Dali feeling. Word opens and operates normally. Emails are taking a bit too long to open.

 

Boot: I've had problems with bloating and got used to slow startup time. I usually hibernate (I know, that's bad) so can't say whether it's booting slower.

 

Internet: tabs opening normally. Scrolling through the page is lagged, screen hesitates then moves down while scrolling instead of being seamless. Other laptop in the house is not experiencing the same problem. Typing this is slow. I type at least a word ahead of when the letters appear. Same kind of stall with backspace.

 

Virus / malware: I have AVG with daily system scan. I run the AVG performance cleanup utility a couple times a week. Assumed this was first a virus problem and ran mbam, mbar, rkill, adwarecleaner and... a friend recommended Advanced Care System. Found 76,000 errors / files and cleaned them. Not thrilled as something happened after running it that deleted one of my email accounts in Windows Live and wiped my Firefox passwords. May not have been the fault of ACS but I'll blame the messenger.

 

Defrag: I run system checks several times a week and have never needed to defragment the harddrive but, for the sake of being thorough, I ran it anyway. No change.

 

Drivers: Nvidia keeps adding to the "GeForce Experience" that I could probably do without. I've manually checked most of the other drivers and they're up to date.

 

Testing: I ran the windows memory diagnostic and no errors were reported. I did one online CPU test and scored low - I don't know what the numbers meant but I assumed that 1 out of 10 was very bad when the rest of the computers were around 7. That's what led me to post to the hardware side of the forums instead of software / virus issues.

 

Laptop has always run hot but I understand that's par for the course with the i7 in a laptop. I always keep it on a computer lap desk although the desk isn't independently cooled. One of the USB ports on the back went out a year or so ago. I can't think of anything else that may be relevant.

 

Oh, and to be clear, this has nothing to do with the wonderful people making the beautiful and helpful mods for an amazing game. The person who INSTALLED those mods into her older laptop would be the culprit here.

 

Thank you for your help.


Edited by FerretLaw, 24 August 2014 - 10:22 PM.


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#2 jonuk76

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 05:34 AM

It sounds like it may be overheating to me, which causes the CPU to slow down (thermal throttling).  So we can have a better look, can you download and run Speccy and publish a snapshot to the web using these instructions, and include the link to the snapshot when you reply.


7sbvuf-6.png


#3 FerretLaw

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 06:25 AM

http://speccy.piriform.com/results/EymB20o3hdf1mJO4VPgu6pm

 

Thank you. I'm hoping this is solvable. At least without buying a new computer, :/



#4 jonuk76

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 07:03 AM

The temperatures don't look bad actually, at least at the point in time the snapshot was taken.  I can see that it was in a low power state (idling) at 800mhz though.  It can increase a lot when put under stress.

 

As an experiment, can you try running something that you know causes the laptop to slow down/heat up and keep Speccy open in the background.  Let it run for a bit and then have a look at the CPU temperature and see what it gets to.  No need to post another snapshot, just report what it shows.  The max temperature for that processor is 100 degrees c by the way.

 

It could be that it's something else.


7sbvuf-6.png


#5 JohnC_21

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 08:21 AM

This probably does not relate to your problem but I would remove IOBit Advanced System Care and Smart Defrag. Windows 7 automatically defrags the computer and using programs like Advanced System Care leads to more problems than they are worth.



#6 FerretLaw

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 10:24 PM

Life butted into my laptop issues. My apology for delayed response. I'm wiping the drive back to factory settings and installing just the necessary things. I was up to 435gb on a 500gb drive so I'd like to: 1) clean house; 2) see if user error / disorganization / hoarding has something to do with the lag; 3) give a clean platform to then test the hardware without risking my data as I now have that backed up.

 

I'll be back in a day or two with the results. Thanks very much.



#7 FerretLaw

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 08:13 AM

"The AC power adapter type cannot be determined. Your system will operate slower and battery will not charge."

 

This message greeted me when I first booted the computer after restored to factory settings. I checked adapter, light blue, connections appear to be tight. Battery is at 2% not charging, this is the new replacement battery. From device manager, I uninstalled Microsoft AC Adapter and Microsoft ACPI Compliant Battery then put battery back in, plugged it in and same message. Same result when I waited to plug AC in until after boot. Several other permutations of this didn't work. I gather from other posts that while the adapter can fail, it is a known problem for Dell laptops to break the adapter connection when overheated or otherwise damaged.

 

I've posted another speccy report taken just now. Only windows updates (110 of them) and three other programs are installed.

 

Edited by FerretLaw, 29 August 2014 - 09:27 AM.


#8 jonuk76

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Posted 30 August 2014 - 07:25 PM

Right, I don't think that is temperature related and they look OK still anyway.  The message you quoted appears to be related to a faulty power adapter but can also be a problem with the laptops power jack or it's connection to the motherboard.

 

I found this link which might help.

 

http://www.dell.com/support/troubleshooting/us/en/04/KCS/KcsArticles/ArticleView?docid=266440

http://www.dell.com/support/troubleshooting/us/en/04/KCS/KcsArticles/ArticleView?docid=51941 (this one is more relevant if you have a solid light on on the power adapter but still getting this message)

 

If it's a problem other than the adapter, it will probably need to be repaired professionally.  Other posters here experienced with repairing Dell laptops might have other input.


7sbvuf-6.png





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