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Vista PC is very slow and fan is loud


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#1 SKOR1

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 04:59 PM

Hi, I have Windows Vista Home Premium. My processor is a Pentium Dual-Core 2.6 GHz with 3.00 GB of RAM.

 

Lately my PC fan is very loud and often, the response when I type is slow. I have no games installed on my system (other than the default ones that come with MS Vista). I have Avast Free Antivirus, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, Super AntiSpyware Free as well as Spybot S&D and have run scans and they turned up nothing. I know the Avast is running continuously whereas the others I need to open and run. I use Firefox 50.0 as my browser.

 

Fan: I removed the fan, cleaned it, cleaned the rest of the tower, put it back. That helped for about a week before the noise started again.It isn't continuous, but it does happen often. The tower isn't near a heat source.

 

Slow: My C: drive has a total 291 GB with 191 GB available. D(DATA) says Free Space 290 GB of 291 GB total size.

 

I did a Task Manager and it says CPU usage between 58% but often 100% and will often crash for a few seconds at 100%. I have 59 processes running and Physical Memory at 57%.

 

Any suggestions or help appreciated, many thanks.

 



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#2 Abzyx

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 06:05 PM

Hello SKOR1. Are you aware of the widespread issue affecting Windows updates for Vista? Checking for updates nowadays consumes tremendous time and system resources, and might nevertheless fail to accomplish anything. If that is your problem, processes from all users will show one particular instance of svchost.exe using about 50% of CPU. Take a look at this thread: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/611898/windows-vista-update-hangs-at-checking-for-updates/.

 

Probably not related to your issue, but Spybot no longer supports Vista: https://www.safer-networking.org/2015/spybot-2-5-compatibility/.



#3 SKOR1

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 07:17 PM

Thanks for the suggestion, Abzyx. I'm going to try the Vista updated patch and report back.



#4 lmacri

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 09:06 AM

Hello SKOR1. Are you aware of the widespread issue affecting Windows updates for Vista? Checking for updates nowadays consumes tremendous time and system resources, and might nevertheless fail to accomplish anything. If that is your problem, processes from all users will show one particular instance of svchost.exe using about 50% of CPU. Take a look at this thread: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/611898/windows-vista-update-hangs-at-checking-for-updates/.

 

Hi SKOR1:

 

To save yourself some time, skip straight to post # 210 on page 14 of KellyB56's thread Windows Vista Update Hangs at "Checking For Updates".

 

As noted in that post, the step-by-step instructions on page 1 of m#l's thread Updates not working, it has been searching for updates for hours have now been revised for the November 2016 Patch Tuesday updates.

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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox v50.0 * NIS v22.8.1.14 * MBAM Premium v2.2.1

HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS


Edited by lmacri, 22 November 2016 - 05:58 PM.


#5 SKOR1

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 04:22 PM

Thanks for the suggestions, Abzyx and Imacri. I did download all the updates - several were "does not apply to your system" - but am still having trouble with keystrokes, the fan and overall speed.

Task Manager still shows Physical Memory at 54%, with the biggest hogs as firefox.exe, svchost.exe, dwm.exe and explorer.exe.

 

Any other suggestions?



#6 lmacri

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 05:53 PM

I did download all the updates - several were "does not apply to your system" - but am still having trouble with keystrokes, the fan and overall speed.

 

Hi SKOR1:

 

Are you certain you followed all six steps in the step-by-step instructions on page 1 of m#l's thread Updates not working, it has been searching for updates for hours?  If your issue is related to the "Checking for updates..." hangs and slow Windows Updates currently experienced by many Vista SP2 users, STEP # 1 (setting Windows Update to Never Check for Updates and re-booting - the re-boot is critical) should have stopped the high CPU consumption by svchost.exe.

 

From Note 4 of the instructions:

 

"If you try to install a Win32K.sys update that is already installed on your computer or use an installer with the wrong bitness (e.g., you try to run a 64-bit .msu installer on a 32-bit Vista machine) you will see a "not applicable" error - see the MS support article "The update is not applicable to your computer" error when you install Windows updates."

 

Task Manager still shows Physical Memory at 54%, with the biggest hogs as firefox.exe, svchost.exe, dwm.exe and explorer.exe.

 

If your problem is related to slow Windows Updates, CPU consumption is a better indicator than RAM (memory) consumption.

 

Vista SP2 users with this Windows Update problem usually report complete saturation of one core of their CPU (e.g., 50% CPU consumption on a computer with a dual core CPU) by the Windows Update service (wuauserv) running under the svchost.exe process during the initial "Checking for updates.." phase while the Windows Update Agent searches for available updates, and this high CPU consumption can continue for several hours.  Most older Vista SP2 computer have limited amounts of RAM installed and a significant portion of that RAM can be consumed by essential Windows services and third-party software (including your antivirus program) that load at boot-up, so the best thing you can do is to close down all unnecessary programs like your Firefox browser to free up available RAM when you're running Windows Update.

 

Please see post # 6 of Kayla77's thread Processes in Task Manager during updates in the VIstaForums.  That post has instructions on how to use Sysinternal's Process Explorer utility to determine if the Windows Update service wuauserv is running under the svchost.exe process and consuming high amounts of CPU when you hear your cooling fan running constantly.

 

Attached File  WU PE svchost wuauserv 14 Apr 2016.png   60KB   0 downloads

--------------
32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox v50.0 * NIS v22.8.1.14 * MBAM Premium v2.2.1

HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS


Edited by lmacri, 22 November 2016 - 05:59 PM.


#7 SKOR1

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 07:47 PM

Thanks Imacri. I did follow the instructions and disabled the automatic updates in the Control Panel first, and rebooted before installing the recommended updates/patches. The slow system and keystrokes still exist. I double-checked - Automatic Updates are turned off ("Not Recommended").

 

I ran Process Explorer, sorted by "CPU" and the main hogs are TrustedInstaller.exe and System Idle Process.

 

I looked up the svchost.exe (as per the thread you linked) and went to Properties, Threads and wuauserv was there - twice - but the CPU content went back and forth from blank to <0.01 for the first process and stayed blank for the second process. My Firefox CPU hovered between <0.01 and as high as 3.88 - but it is the highest in Private Bytes (followed by svchost.exe) at 694,580 K.



#8 lmacri

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 08:49 PM

I ran Process Explorer, sorted by "CPU" and the main hogs are TrustedInstaller.exe and System Idle Process.

 

I looked up the svchost.exe (as per the thread you linked) and went to Properties, Threads and wuauserv was there - twice - but the CPU content went back and forth from blank to <0.01 for the first process and stayed blank for the second process. My Firefox CPU hovered between <0.01 and as high as 3.88 - but it is the highest in Private Bytes (followed by svchost.exe) at 694,580 K.

 

Hi SKOR1:

 

If the Windows Modules Installer (TrustedInstaller.exe) is now consuming CPU you could be in the final installation phase of your manual Windows Update (STEP # 6 of the instructions) - please see the image in post # 4 of Kayla77'a thread Processes in Task Manager during updates.

 

Which of the six Windows kernel-mode driver (Win32K.sys) speed up patches currently listed in STEP # 2 of the instructions (KB3078601 (rel. 18-Aug-2015); KB3109094 (rel. 07-Dec-2015); KB3185911 (rel. 13-Sep-2016); KB3191203 (rel. 11-Oct-2016); KB3198234 (rel. 08-Nov-2016); KB3203859 (rel. 08-Nov-2016) were missing from your system? Depending on the number of Win32K.sys updates that had to be manually installed, it could take your manual Windows Update (STEP # 6) anywhere from 1 to 9 hours to run to completion.

 

See the Ask Leo article What is the System Idle Process and why is it using most of the CPU?  It's normal for this idle process to account for most of the CPU activity on your computer.  The CPU "consumed" by the System Idle Process is basically 100% minus the total CPU consumed by all other active processes running on your computer (e.g., 100% - 36% CPU consumption = 64% allocated to the System Idle Process).

--------------
32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox v50.0 * NIS v22.8.1.14 * MBAM Premium v2.2.1

HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS



#9 lmacri

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 09:16 PM

My Firefox CPU hovered between <0.01 and as high as 3.88 - but it is the highest in Private Bytes (followed by svchost.exe) at 694,580 K.

 

Hi SKOR1:

 

Just an aside, but the Private Bytes counter indicates the total amount of RAM (memory) allocated to a process and has nothing to do with CPU consumption.  Here's an image from Process Explorer with my Firefox v50.0 running with 7 open tabs.  My Private Bytes are a bit lower than yours but still over 500,000 KB, and I believe the Private Bytes allocated to firefox.exe will increase as add-ons like Java and Adobe Flash Player (which I don't have installed) are added to the browser.

 

Attached File  PE Firefox v50 Private Working Set 22 Nov 2016.png   69.34KB   0 downloads

 

If your system performance and keystroke speed doesn't improve when Firefox is closed then it's unlikely your browser is the root cause of your problem.

--------------
32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox v50.0 * NIS v22.8.1.14 * MBAM Premium v2.2.1

HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS


Edited by lmacri, 22 November 2016 - 09:21 PM.


#10 lmacri

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 07:40 AM

Hi SKOR1:

 

Am I correct that you posted about a similar problem in the bleepingcomputer forum last month under a different username?  If so, could you please provide links to those threads.

--------------
32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox v50.0 * NIS v22.8.1.14 * MBAM Premium v2.2.1



#11 SKOR1

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 08:48 AM

Hi SKOR1:

 

Am I correct that you posted about a similar problem in the bleepingcomputer forum last month under a different username?  If so, could you please provide links to those threads.

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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox v50.0 * NIS v22.8.1.14 * MBAM Premium v2.2.1

Hi Imacri,

I did not - this is my first posting here.

 

I did check Task Manager with my browser - my Physical Memory goes from 38% before I open Firefox to 55%.



#12 lmacri

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 01:19 PM

Probably not related to your issue, but Spybot no longer supports Vista: https://www.safer-networking.org/2015/spybot-2-5-compatibility/.

 

Hi SKOR1:

 

Further to Abzyx's comment about lack of compatibility between the latest version of SpyBot S&D and Vista SP2 (see the system requirements at https://www.safer-networking.org/about/compatibility/), have you ever used the Immunization feature of SpyBot?  This browser protection feature can seriously degrade system performance, and the Safer-Networking support article Why does Spybot – Search & Destroy slow down my System? has instructions on how to Undo the changes made to Windows Hosts files by this "immunization".

 

If your system hasn't been "immunized" by Spybot S&D, please follow the instructions in the support article Publishing a Speccy Profile to the Web (File | Publish Snapshot) and copy and paste the URL of your published Speccy profile in your next reply.  Piriform's free Speccy diagnostic software can be downloaded at http://www.piriform.com/speccy.  If you prefer, there is also a portable version of Speccy available <here> that you can unzip and copy to a USB thumb drive that doesn't require installation.

Here's the URL for a recent Speccy profile for my own 32-bit Vista machine if you'd like to see a sample profile:  http://speccy.piriform.com/results/hwi2K5stjfxhQeaJ5mU3NtK.

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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox v50.0 * NIS v22.8.1.14 * MBAM Premium v2.2.1 * Speccy Portable v1.30.728



#13 SKOR1

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 04:35 PM

Thanks Imacri - I did uninstall Spybot, but am sure I did use the Immunize feature in the past.

 

Here is my Speecy profile: http://speccy.piriform.com/results/4LeHEIYHS05tRhPyZV6rpye



#14 lmacri

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 07:49 PM

 

Hi SKOR1:

I have good news and bads news (but mostly good news);

The bad new is it looks like you're one of the Vista SP2 users affected by the "Checking for updates..." hangs and slow Windows Updates.  According to the Hotfixes section of your Speccy profile, your automatic Windows Updates have been trying to install security updates since 17-Jul-2016, and the only updates you've received since then have been virus definition updates for Windows Defender.  As I mentioned before, the svchost.exe process will saturate an entire core of your CPU (50% CPU consumption of your dual core CPU) while the Windows Update Agent searches endlessly for updates (and this can go on for days), which probably explains why your system has been so sluggish and why your cooling fan is always running.

The good news is that manually installing the speed up patches KB3185911, KB3191203, KB3198234, and KB3203859 seems to have gotten Windows Update working again because you had about a dozen missing security updates installed on 21-Nov-2016, including KB3188744 (October 2016 Security and Quality Rollup for .NET Framework 3.0, 4.5.2, 4.6 on Windows Vista SP2 and Windows Server 2008 SP2) and KB890830 (November 2016 Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool).

I think your Windows Update might have been interrupted before it finished installing all your available updates, because it looks like you're still missing a few updates like KB3197655 (November 2016 Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer 9).  If your automatic Windows Updates are still set to Never check for updates, re-boot and try another manual Windows Update (Windows Update | Check for updates) and let it run overnight to see if it can find any more updates.  I'm hoping your CPU consumption will settle down once your system is fully patched again.

Unfortunately, the workaround posted in m#ls' thread Updates not working, it has been searching for updates for hours is only a temporary solution and the "Checking for updates..." hang will likely return every Patch Tuesday (the second Tuesday of the month) when Microsoft releases another batch of security updates.  To avoid this problem, I suggest you leave your automatic Windows Updates disabled [Windows Update | Change settings | Important updates | Never check for updates (not recommended)].  Then wait a day or two after each Patch Tuesday and check m#l's thread again - I revise those instructions after each Patch Tuesday and add a new download link for the latest Win32K.sys update that must be installed to speed up Windows Update.

 

If you don't feel comfortable going any entire month without checking for updates, you can run a manual Windows Update any time you wish before your next batch of Patch Tuesday updates is released.  The first Tuesday of the month would be a good choice for you, since Microsoft tends to release non-security updates for MS Office on the first Tuesday of the month.  Security updates for MS Office are still released on the second Tuesday of the month along with other Patch Tuesday updates.

 

I did uninstall Spybot, but am sure I did use the Immunize feature in the past.

 

If you failed to Undo your Immunization before uninstalling Spybot, that might be a minor problem.  The Immunize feature of Spybot S & D adds the IP addresses of malicious websites in the Hosts file.  This is an outdated method of browser protection and if your browser has to search through thousands of these IP addresses every time you browse to a different web page it can seriously degrade system performance. Modern browsers that are fully supported on Vista SP2 like your Firefox browser have built-in malicious website and antiphishing protection (see the Mozilla support article at https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-does-phishing-and-malware-protection-work), and most reputable antivirus programs that load at boot-up and run in real-time protection mode will provide an extra layer of protection.

Go to the C:\Windows\system32\Drivers\etc folder, right click the Hosts file (it has no file extension like .txt or .log), and open the file with the Notepad text editor that comes with your Vista OS.  If your Hosts file contains a large number of IP addresses post back and I can provide a few suggestions.

--------------
32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox v50.0 * NIS v22.8.1.14 * MBAM Premium v2.2.1 * Speccy Portable v1.30.728


Edited by lmacri, 23 November 2016 - 08:13 PM.


#15 SKOR1

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Posted 24 November 2016 - 07:52 AM

Thank you so much for that info, Imacri. I did check Windows Update after reading your post, and there were indeed updates I missed.

I am also glad to say that the Hosts file is clean (below), so perhaps I undid the Immunization before I completed the uninstall. Though there were a lot of backups in the folder - I left them alone.

 

127.0.0.1       localhost
# Start of entries inserted by Spybot - Search & Destroy
# End of entries inserted by Spybot - Search & Destroy

I'm going to follow your advice and leave Updates off, and instead check the linked thread you created for Updates periodically instead.

 

Currently my Physical Memory goes from about 38% before I open Firefox to 52% with Firefox open. My system does seem a bit faster and the keystroke issue seems to be less frequent.






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