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Computer runs extremely slow intermittently (Windows Vista Home Premium)


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#1 SoCal2017

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 01:42 PM

First off, I'm not a computer person so some threads are over my head. But I thought I would try getting help here because I have no idea what else to do. I'm in the process of sending resumes, so the timing for my computer to break couldn't be worse. I hope I explain this correctly. This has been an ongoing problem for about 2 weeks. I've tried a lot of different things that I've read online. Nothing seems to fix the issue.

 

 

Sony Vaio laptop - Windows Vista Home Premium

 

Problem: It randomly started having major problems even loading one page. I didn't make any changes previously. I was getting a "host" error message saying something about not being able to connect a program to the host. (Sorry I don't have the exact wording. I'm using a library computer to post this.)

 

Checking for problems: I did a system restore but the only date option I had was a couple days previous. Under updates, it showed the last Windows Update failed. That "seemed" to perhaps start the problem. I'm not 100% sure about that though. I wanted to "set" a new restore date to maybe two weeks previous, but it wouldn't let me set my own date.

 

I had expired trials of both Avaste and Malwarebytes. So downloaded new trials and ran both. No viruses were found. Malwarebytes found a bunch of junk but nothing critical.

 

I shut off the router and let it sit for 30 minutes.

 

I defragmented.

 

I installed CCleaner and ran that.

 

I also moved some of my own files to an external hard drive to clear space and also just in case this laptop dies. My hard drive was in the red zone before so I cleared up a lot of space. This "seemed" to have helped in that the files were being moved faster as time went on. I spent a few hours doing this.

 

Memory: My CPU and physical memory in the task manager were always high even without anything running. I ran the msinfo32 and it said installed RAM was 2GB and physical memory available was 700 MBs.

 

After I cleaned up and started "ending processes" in the task window, the computer would work for a couple days here and there. The host error messaged stopped coming up. I was able to open pages and things went back to normal. But then it stops working again. Seems to be on a 2 days on/1 day off cycle.

 

After speaking with a Geek squad guy, he told me it probably had a faulty RAM disk. Since Best Buy can't work on Vista anymore, he told me to order it from Crucial. I decided to try that since it was only $30. I installed new RAM yesterday and that seemed to work. I was able to open multiple windows and load all pages. Msinfo32 said there was 1GB physical memory. But today I'm back to square one. Msinfo32 says there's 400MB physical memory. The computer won't load anymore.

 

Troubleshooting: I can't get into Windows Defender to disable any programs from start-up. I tried getting in as Admin but couldn't get that to work either. Problem is when my computer is in "dead" mode, I can't really do anything. What worked a couple times was opening task manager right away and ending processes. Then I can "sometimes" load one web page if I decrease the size to 50%. Sometimes, when I load one page, after a while, it will start to be able to load others. It's all very inconsistent. It seems like there's something running that's sucking up all the memory. But no apps are shown running.

 

In the task manager, when I click on processes by "all" users, there is one that takes up a lot of CPU. It's called something like "amount of idle time used in processes" or something like that. (Again, sorry I don't have exact wording.) 

 

Most recent actions: Last night, I ran the check disk tool. It only found one "bad cluster" and fixed it. Still no changes to computer.

 

As of right now, it's in dead mode. I will start it up later and open the task manager to end all the processes that I can. Then hopefully I will be able to load one page again and start the whole cycle again.

 

 

Random Notes:

 

1) On the bottom right screen where the icons are shown, I've noticed that when the computer is working well, there is a red x on the network icon. When it's blue, like it should be, that's usually when I have the problems. I disabled that icons from showing up thinking maybe it's something related to that, but it didn't work.

 

2) I can't download any programs at this point. I had a Skype interview, so tried to download that but it didn't work. I was surprised CCleaner was able to be downloaded. At this point, the "download manager" doesn't seem to work.

 

3) Only error message now is "Windows can't check for updates" and under Start "too many programs to display on start menu" or something.

 

 

Thanks in advance for any advice you could offer me. I will try to respond as soon as possible but I'm having to use the library computers, so I'm limited in how much time I'm allowed per day.

 



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#2 mikey11

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 02:51 PM

click start button

 

type CMD in search bar

 

right click on CMD that appears above and select run as administartor

 

a black box will appear

 

type MSCONFIG enter

 

a grey box will appear

 

click the startup tab

 

click disable all

 

click apply

 

click the services tab

 

click hide all microsoft services

 

click disable all

 

click apply

 

click ok

 

click on restart

 

 

when the computer restarts come back to this site

 

go to download section

 

download ADWCleaner and run it

 

 

after that completes, download, update and run malwarebytes anti malware

 

.


Edited by mikey11, 19 July 2017 - 02:54 PM.


#3 SoCal2017

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 04:35 PM

Okay, thank you. I'm home now and was able to load this page. So I will try all that now. 



#4 SoCal2017

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 04:57 PM

Another update: I re-did the CMD instructions but instead if disabling all, I let a few stay on as start-ups, such as Malwarebytes and anything from Windows. I was hoping that would enable me to use Malwarebytes again. Also, once I rebooting, I tried downloading AdCleaner and was able to download it. However, it won't open. So not sure what to do. It's in my "downloads" folder but it never indicated it was completed. When I clock on the app, the curser just keeps spinning. 





Old post:

I'm having a problem downloading ADW. It starts but then stops and never resumes. Is there some other way I can download this?

 

 

(update: I've been just letting it go for the last 10 minutes and it's still stuck at 2.2 out of 7.8 MBs. I tried downloading directly from their site too but that didn't work either.)

 

(update #2: Still can't download it. I've tried rebooting and installing again.)

 

 

I thought I would update and run Malwarebytes again but when I open it up, I get an error message: "Unable to connect to Service"


Edited by SoCal2017, 19 July 2017 - 06:05 PM.


#5 SoCal2017

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 05:06 PM

I have a separate question about memory. Which aspect is the best gauge to tell whether you need more RAM or not? I was looking at Available Physical Memory. But right now, I'm able to open multiple windows, yet that section lists only 240 MB available. 

 

I'm wondering if my RAM was fine and I actually didn't need to install new RAM. I can still return it so I'm wondering if I should reinstall my old disks.



#6 SoCal2017

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 08:24 PM

UPDATE: Good news. I was able to download and open ADW. I kept doing the CMD instructions and noticed that Avaste always showed up even after disabling. So I decided to uninstall it to see what would happen. That seemed to work. My download manager seems to work okay now.

 

The ADW scan showed only PUPs. Most were pretty old. Should I also click on the "Log Files" section?

 

So as of right now I'm able to open multiple windows and it moves fast. I think disabling all the start-up stuff did the trick as far as speed and opening windows. (I wish I would have asked this forum first! It was so easy to do.)

 

I'm still confused about the RAM situation. I have been looking at Available Physical Memory and it goes up and down. I don't know whether or not that is important to monitor. 

 

Also, is Malwarebytes and ADW enough protection to have on my computer now that I don't have Avaste installed?

 

Thank you in advance.


Edited by SoCal2017, 19 July 2017 - 08:25 PM.


#7 mikey11

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 07:56 AM

 

 

The ADW scan showed only PUPs. Most were pretty old. Should I also click on the "Log Files" section?

 

 

 

after the scan was complete did you click to clean/delete the items found?



#8 SoCal2017

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 11:19 AM

Yes, I clicked to remove. So as of right now, everything is still working great. 


Edited by SoCal2017, 20 July 2017 - 11:22 AM.


#9 lmacri

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 11:19 AM

Checking for problems: I did a system restore but the only date option I had was a couple days previous. Under updates, it showed the last Windows Update failed. That "seemed" to perhaps start the problem. I'm not 100% sure about that though. I wanted to "set" a new restore date to maybe two weeks previous, but it wouldn't let me set my own date...

 

Memory: My CPU and physical memory in the task manager were always high even without anything running. I ran the msinfo32 and it said installed RAM was 2GB and physical memory available was 700 MBs...

 

Hi SoCal2017:

 

If you're having issue with Windows Update on a Vista SP2 computer you might want to try the instructions on page 1 of m#l's thread Updates not working, it has been searching for updates for hours in the MS Answers forum.  If you have this problem and your background automatic Windows Updates are getting stuck on the the initial "Checking for updates..." phase without throwing an error message the Windows Update Agent (running under the Windows host process svchost.exe) will saturate an entire core of your CPU and consume significant amounts of RAM for hours (or even days) and can severely impact your system performance.

These Windows Update hangs are a common problem with Vista SP2 computers and even if you manage to patch Vista SP2 as of 11-Apr-2017 (i.e., the end of extended support for this OS) the problem will return every Patch Tuesday on the second Tuesday of the month if you have MS Office products like MS Office 2007, MS Office 2010 or the MS Office Compatibility Pack SP3.  A workaround for that problem is also discussed in m#l's thread.

Affected Vista SP2 users are posting in this forum in KellyB56's (very long) thread Windows Vista Update Hangs at "Checking For Updates".

------------
32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.2.1 * NS Premium v22.10.0.85 * MBAM Premium v3.1.2

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


Edited by lmacri, 20 July 2017 - 11:25 AM.


#10 SoCal2017

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 11:28 AM

 

Hi SoCal2017:

 

If you're having issue with Windows Update on a Vista SP2 computer you might want to try the instructions on page 1 of m#l's thread Updates not working, it has been searching for updates for hours in the MS Answers forum.  If you have this problem and your background automatic Windows Updates are getting stuck on the the initial "Checking for updates..." phase without throwing an error message the Windows Update Agent (running under the Windows host process svchost.exe) will saturate an entire core of your CPU for hours (or even days) and can severely impact your system performance.

These Windows Update hangs are a common problem with Vista SP2 computers and even if you manage to patch Vista SP2 as of 11-Apr-2017 (i.e., the end of extended support for this OS) the problem will return every Patch Tuesday on the second Tuesday of the month if you have MS Office products like MS Office 2007, MS Office 2010 or the MS Office Compatibility Pack SP3.  A workaround for that problem is also discussed in m#l's thread.

Affected Vista SP2 users are posting in this forum in KellyB56's (very long) thread Windows Vista Update Hangs at "Checking For Updates".

------------
32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.2.1 * NS Premium v22.10.0.85 * MBAM Premium v3.1.2

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

 

 

 

Hi - Thank you for the suggestion. I'm on a SP2 computer. I will look into that thread. That issue would explain why my problem would come and go. 



#11 lmacri

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 05:50 PM

...If you're having issues with Windows Update on a Vista SP2 computer you might want to try the instructions on page 1 of m#l's thread Updates not working, it has been searching for updates for hours in the MS Answers forum.  If you have this problem and your background automatic Windows Updates are getting stuck on the the initial "Checking for updates..." phase without throwing an error message the Windows Update Agent (running under the Windows host process svchost.exe) will saturate an entire core of your CPU and consume significant amounts of RAM for hours (or even days) and can severely impact your system performance...

 

Hi SoCal2017:

 

One easy test you can try is to disable your automatic Windows Updates [Windows Update | Change settings | Important updates | Never check for updates (not recommended)] and then re-boot to prevent automatic Windows Updates from launching in the background.  If this decreases your CPU and RAM consumption and improves system performance throughout the day that's a good indicator that Windows Updates is involved.

 

EDIT:

I've also posted instructions in post # 6 of Kayla77's thread Processes in Task Manager During Updates on how to use Microsoft Sysinternal's free Process Explorer to determine if the Windows Update Agent (wuaueng.dll) is responsible for your high CPU consumption during one of these periods of poor system performance.

------------
32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.2.1 * NS Premium v22.10.0.85 * MBAM Premium v3.1.2

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


Edited by lmacri, 21 July 2017 - 12:32 PM.


#12 SoCal2017

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 12:54 AM

 

Hi SoCal2017:

 

One easy test you can try is to disable your automatic Windows Updates [Windows Update | Change settings | Important updates | Never check for updates (not recommended)] and then re-boot to prevent automatic Windows Updates from launching in the background.  If this decreases your CPU and RAM consumption and improves system performance throughout the day that's a good indicator that Windows Updates is involved.

------------
32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.2.1 * NS Premium v22.10.0.85 * MBAM Premium v3.1.2

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

 

 

Thank you! I will try that.






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