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Slow PC


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#1 breadcrumb

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 01:18 AM

First of all, I know next to nothing about the technical aspects of a computer. I might have posted this question in the wrong category so if I did, I apologize.

My computer has been running slow ( next to nearly frozen it gets so slow!) and when it does, I usually have to turn the pc off manually, then restart it and then most of the time it starts to run normally, at least for awhile. I/m not just talking about the internet. It is the whole pc running slow as molasses!

I have a Dell Optiplex 780 with windows 7 professional on it. All I use my pc for is a little bit of web surfing  and hardly anything is stored on the pc, so it's not like I should be running out of storage or anything. Does anyone have any ideas here? Thanks so much!



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#2 bwv848

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 11:33 AM

We need more information about your system than what you've provided. Hence, please follow these BSOD posting instructions and attach the requested files by replying to this topic. You may skip the part of step three where it instructs you to create a new topic, since you already have a topic here. There's no need to create another topic. :wink:

Thank you.

Regards,
bwv848

P.S. Even if your computer isn't blue screening, please still do the above.

 

P.P.S. Please run the memory and hard drive diagnostics documented near the top of this webpage: http://www.carrona.org/initdiag.html


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#3 breadcrumb

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 07:39 PM

Oh my! Don't see how to run the  memory and hard drive diagnostics. I am TOTALLY stupid I know. :(

all I managed to do was to attach the other info. Don't know if it helps at all though.

bc

 

Attached Files



#4 bwv848

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 11:08 PM

Hi,

I noticed this suspicious entry in your startup folder:

7f9756    7f9756.lnk    DellOptiplex780\Dell Optiplex 780    Startup

Do you know anything about it? If you don't, click Start, All Programs, scroll to the bottom, and click Startup. Right-click on the file select Properties and copy/paste/note the target location of the shortcut.

You have had a lot of BSODs over the past few days (months!), and I suspect they are tied to the sluggishness of the system. All of them flag scmndisp.sys, your wireless USB dongle driver. Please update that driver for your NETGEAR device. If BSODs continue, physically remove the device from the system and uninstall its drivers. FYI, USB networking dongles are often known to cause BSODs/general networking issues.

Regards,
bwv848


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#5 jcgriff2

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 11:28 PM

Hi. . .

You have suffered over 50 BSOD (Blue Screens of Death - Serious system crashes)- likely since Windows was reinstalled in February 2017.

You need to update your NETGEAR WNDA3100v2 N600 wifi driver.

Go to this site; click on "Downloads"; Download the first item - (Software version 2.2.0.5 - supports Windows 10). It will work with Windows 7 - https://www.netgear.com/support/product/WNDA3100v2.aspx

You are missing over 200 Windows Updates.

Bring up a CMD screen and run SFC.
Click on START | type cmd.exe | RIGHT-click on cmd.exe | select "Run as Administrator"

Then type/paste - sfc /scannow (there is a space after "sfc"

Let it run. It may take an hour or more.

Then... Download and run - System Update Readiness Tool for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB947821) - https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=20858

Go to Control Panel and check for Windows Updates.

You must run the Carrona diagnostics suggested by bwv848 - RAM and HDD diagnostic tests -

You'll need 2 CD-R CDs. You can buy them at CVS.

https://www.sysnative.com/forums/hardware-tutorials/24300-test-ram-passmark-memtest86.html

https://www.sysnative.com/forums/hardware-tutorials/4072-hard-drive-diagnostics-ssd-test.html

There's more, but that is enough for now to get you started.

One question - why was Windows reinstalled in February of this year?

Regards. . .

jcgriff2

Edited by jcgriff2, 19 December 2017 - 11:45 PM.

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#6 breadcrumb

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Posted 20 December 2017 - 11:35 PM

Hi,

Thanks for all the info. I have done everything except the last part b/c I haven't got the cd-r yet.I hope I did the other stuff right. I've never done anything in the category where you work as an administrator before. It took hours and hours to finally complete.

The reason the windows 7 was "reinstalled" in February is likely b/c I bought this pc as being a refurbished one off of ebay. apparently the seller installed windows onto this pc back then.

I am so ignorant of doing ANYTHING on a pc except web surfing, so this has been quite a challenge for me. Still wary of my efforts! We shall see. No matter what happens, I want to thank you for trying to help me here. It means a lot as I can't really afford a tech to come fix the pc. If I had to, I would just have afford it somehow though.

Anyway, many many thanks and all for your help and patience!

bc



#7 jcgriff2

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 12:51 AM

Hi. . .

You seem to have done an excellent job so far.

I am so very glad to hear that Windows was reinstalled in February after you purchased the system. You should ALWAYS reinstall Windows when buying a pre-owned computer.

The most important item was getting the Netgear driver update as it was the sole cause of your BSODs (Blue Screen of Death - system crashes). You suffered from dozens, if not hundreds of BSODs caused by your old Netgear driver. A driver is a piece of software that tells your computer how to communicate with your networking device.

I say "dozens" or "hundreds" because Windows 7 only keeps track of the last 50 BSODs. The Sysnative zip file that you provided contained exactly 50 BSOD memory dumps; hence the reason I suspect there were many, many more than 50.

What is the status of Windows Updates? Did you successfully run the SURT tool from Microsoft?

System Update Readiness Tool - https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=20858

How about SFC? Did you run "sfc /scannow" in a CMD prompt? (Command screen)

Were there any error messages from the SFC run? You can re-run it if need be.

Do you know how to check for Windows Updates via the Control Panel?

You are missing over 200 Windows Updates and they must be installed.

If you do know or can figure out how to check for Windows Updates, please do.

Try this link. I think it works in Windows 7 - and should take you to the Windows Update screen - www.update.microsoft.com

Is the computer any faster? It is very possible that the old Netgear networking driver was slowing things down.

I need to obtain a file from you that will tell me your start-up items.

Please download this file; save it to your Desktop - https://live.sysinternals.com/autoruns.exe

RIGHT-click on it; select "Run as Administrator". Give it a few minutes while it scans the Registry. The status is located bottom-left of the AutoRuns screen. Initially, it will say "Scanning..."; then when complete, it will say "Ready.".

Now, we need to save the file with the default "ARN" file extension. The file name should be filled in already - "autoruns"

Click on "File" (top-left of screen); click on "Save"; select Desktop (you'll also see that the "ARN" file extension is present). Save the ARN file to your Desktop.

Go to Desktop and locate the Autoruns.arn file. RIGHT-click on it; select "Send To"; select "compressed (zipped) folder".

You should now have a file on your desktop named "autoruns.zip"

Please upload this zip file to your next post.

I would also like to check on your Windows Update status.

Click on START | type cmd.exe | RIGHT-click on cmd.exe above under "programs" | select "Run as Administrator" | a black screen should appear - this is the CMD screen | type/paste the following into the screen:

systeminfo >0 & start notepad 0

It will take 30-60 seconds to process. A Notepad will open. Save it to your Desktop using the filename 0.txt. RIGHT-click on the 0.txt file; select "Send To"; select "compressed (zipped) folder".

You should now have a file named 0.zip on your Desktop.

Upload this file as well to your next post.

That is all for now. If you have any questions about anything, please do not hesitate to ask. Some of these tasks may seem daunting, but I assure you that they get easier as we proceed.

So, my questions right now are:
1. Did the SURT tool from Microsoft run successfully?
2. Do you know how to check for Windows Updates via the Control Panel?
3. Were you able to run SFC (sfc /scannow)?
4. Were there any error messages from the SFC run?
5. Is the computer any faster?

Please be sure to upload the 2 zipped files.

Have a good night. . .

jcgriff2


Microsoft MVP 2009-2015

#8 breadcrumb

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 03:36 PM

Hi,
I'm afraid that my head is spinning right now!
The SURT ran successfully.
I checked for windows updates and only 3 were there, all optional.
I ran the SFC and it said something along the lines that there were no integrity issues.
I saw no error messages.

My pc is doing okay right now. Last night, not so much.

Attached File  autoruns - Shortcut (2).zip   1.06KB   2 downloads

Attached File  0.zip   1.72KB   2 downloads

 

I don't know if I've done this right...I really am extra-ignorant. Sorry if I did wrong.

Thank you!

bc



#9 jcgriff2

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 05:17 PM

Hi. . .

 

The 0.txt file came out fine, although it shows you have just 94 Windows Updates installed. You are still missing over 200 Windows Updates. Please go back to the Windows Update screen and click on "check for updates" - see if there are others to install.

 

The Autoruns file - you sent me a shortcut! :)  Please look on the Desktop for a file named autoruns.arn, zip it up and attach the zip file to your next post.

 

The AutoRuns file is very important here as it will tell me your start-up items that hopefully we can weed through and get rid of a lot of them.

 

Any progress with the CD-Rs yet?

 

Regards. . .

 

jcgriff2


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#10 breadcrumb

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 07:27 PM

I've tried to do the other autoruns zip file again. It is attached as Dell optiplex. I hope it works!

I checked the windows update again and still no more to install. I have not been able to get to CVS

to get some CDs yet.

All this new stuff you're trying to teach me is making me go a bit bonkers! :bananas: Mercy!

But I'm trying hard!

bc

Attached File  DELLOPTIPLEX780.zip   218.71KB   5 downloads



#11 jcgriff2

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 12:06 AM

Hi. . .

Excellent job on getting me the AutoRuns ARN file -- perfect!

However, I was hoping to find a ton of start-up entries that would be responsible for the slowness of your computer, but no such luck. You hardly have any start-up entries.

Two items to change in AutoRuns. Bring up AutoRuns again --- RIGHT-click on autoruns.exe, select "Run as Administrator". Give it a minute to scan the Registry.

Click on the logon tab at the top. Un-check the last two entries - "Windows Mail". After-unchecking the entries, close autoruns.

What you just did was to prevent Windows Mail from starting up automatically. It's still there if you need it.

The next step is to get to CVS and get those CD-R CDs. After seeing AutoRuns, it is now more important than ever to run the hard drive and RAM diagnostics so that we can [hopefully] rule them out as possible contributors to your slow system.

Is the system still slow?

If so, exactly what are you comparing it to - to deem it as being "slow"?

I am trying to learn more about your CPU -
System Model:              OptiPlex 780                 
System Type:               x64-based PC
Processor(s):              1 Processor(s) Installed.
                           [01]: Intel64 Family 6 Model 23 Stepping 10 GenuineIntel ~1583 Mhz
BIOS Version:              Dell Inc. A15, 8/6/2013
You have 4 GB RAM and probably need more. We can tell this by the amount of virtual memory you are/have used:
AllocatedBaseSize=3931
Caption=C:\pagefile.sys
CurrentUsage=498
Description=C:\pagefile.sys
InstallDate=20170214010327.984434-360
Name=C:\pagefile.sys
PeakUsage=917
Status=
TempPageFile=FALSE
The above tells me that you have 4 GB RAM
- Windows was installed (or the page file was reallocated) on February 14, 2017
- Current virtual memory usage = 498 MB (measured at the time the Sysnative/jcgriff2 app was running)
- Peak virtual memory usage = 917 MB (measured since last system re-boot)

Virtual memory is invoked when you run out of RAM. So, you exceeded the amount of installed physical RAM (4196 MB or 4 GB) at some point since your last reboot and Windows found it necessary to utilize 917 MB of virtual memory to make up for the lack of RAM. Currently, Windows requires 498 of virtual memory. This would definitely slow your system way down.

Virtual memory utilizes the page file on the hard drive and acts like RAM. However, the difference in speed between RAM and virtual memory is like comparing the speed of light (RAM) with the speed of sound (virtual memory). RAM is like lightening; virtual memory, using the hard drive with moving parts, runs very slowly. Like day and night.

The option open to you here is to purchase new RAM - maybe increase your current 4 GB to 6GB or even 8 GB. You would definitely notice a considerable improvement in speed by increasing RAM.

To get an idea of cost, run the Crucial RAM scanner - http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/systemscanner?gclid=Cj0KCQiA9_LRBRDZARIsAAcLXjfjRRIpQBtbHXAykL0NJrRGENsNBTT41Wi7K1Mm6EG2EX7b7Wfw01UaAj73EALw_wcB&ef_id=WaDl2QAAALuRQzCs:20171223045337:s

Click on link; check the box in #2; click on "download the scanner". It will take a few minutes to run.

What is the max RAM that your system can handle? How many RAM slots?

Your CPU:
Processor	Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU     E7500  @ 2.93GHz, 2933 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 2 Logical Processor(s)
You have an Intel Core2Duo CPU, which is a decent CPU.

Please get the CD-Rs!

Regards. . .

jcgriff2
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#12 breadcrumb

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 12:53 AM

Hi again!

My pc is running at normal speed again and I thank you very much for ALL your help! :thumbsup2:

I will get the CDs as soon as I can make it to the store!

I checked out the RAM scanner and it says that for me to buy 4GB more of RAM would cost $37.99.

I don't have it right now unfortunately. As to knowing how much RAM my system can take, I'm assuming it can take 8 more GB as I could buy that much for $74.99 if I remember right. I have no idea how many slots I have or even where they are! LOL! I wasn't kidding when I said I am totally ignorant about computers! I'm amazed at myself that you've gotten me this far! :exclame:

I do not understand how my pc is using so much RAM. All I do is a little surfing and have a printer/scanner and a Bible library on it. Of course, I have no idea what all sort of RAM my regular pc system takes.

I just want to thank you again for all your help and the time you've spent and the patience you've shown! It means so much! :thumbsup:

bc



#13 jcgriff2

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 11:09 PM

Hi. . .

It is my pleasure to try and help you and since we're doing so via written communication, patience on both sides is greatly needed. You have been very patient with me too. After all, following a stranger's advice getting into areas that you don't know very well must be daunting. But I assure you that there have been plenty sets of eyes on this thread, including the higher-ups in Bleeping Computer's staff that if I had come up with something either completely wrong or simply off the wall, someone would have stepped in by now. So, you are and have been in good hands.

I thank you for following every instruction that I gave you without questioning every little detail. I know in my head the exact path that I wanted to take you down and you trusted me with those items as well as your system. For that, I profoundly thank you! It is very rare to encounter an OP like you that does in fact follow all instructions. Quite often, the OP "knows best" and that's where trouble begins.

As far as the RAM goes, it is recommended to replace all of the RAM so that the RAM sticks match perfectly rather than trying to upgrade/add RAM to your system by buying 1 new larger stick and adding it to an existing stick.

Please go back and re-run the Crucial Memory Tool as it will tell you the max number of RAM slots; the max amount of RAM that your system can handle and also recommend Crucial products. I myself prefer Crucial RAM, but price-wise, I think you can do better on Amazon or other competitor.

Crucial RAM Scanner - http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/systemscanner?gclid=Cj0KCQiA9_LRBRDZARIsAAcLXjfjRRIpQBtbHXAykL0NJrRGENsNBTT41Wi7K1Mm6EG2EX7b7Wfw01UaAj73EALw_wcB&ef_id=WaDl2QAAALuRQzCs:20171223045337:s

According to your system files from the Sysnative/jcgriff2 BSOD app that you ran, you currently have 2 (two) 2GB RAM sticks [2x2GB] (4GB RAM total).

If you can afford it and the system allows it, I would go for 8 GB total minimum. If so, you'll likely end up with 2 (two) 4 GB RAM sticks. You could try to purchase a 4GB, 6GB or 8GB single stick (assuming your system allows it) and try to add it to one of the existing 2 GB sticks by replacing one of the 2 GB sticks. If something goes wrong, you can always return it back to 2x2GB - as it is now. But again, experts say to replace all RAM.

I found a Youtube video for your system that shows you how to replace the RAM.

Dell Optiplex 780 Desktop RAM upgrade -

RAM is not hard to replace at all. I am not a hardware expert; have never built a system, but have replaced RAM and a hard drive in a laptop. If you do get new RAM, there is no need to run the RAM diagnostic test. I would however, still run the HDD test - SEATOOLS for DOS, LONG test when you get a CD-R and have some time.

Be sure when handling RAM that you first touch something metal to drain yourself of static electricity. Also, only touch the RAM by the edges. Do not touch the center of the RAM sticks.

But overall, are you now happy with the speed and performance of your system?

My other big concern is the missing 200+ Windows Updates. I don't understand why your system won't go out and get them from Microsoft. We'll have to work on that next.

Please see the PM that I sent to you.

Merry Christmas!

John

Edited by jcgriff2, 23 December 2017 - 11:29 PM.

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#14 breadcrumb

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Posted 24 December 2017 - 07:32 PM

I got the CD-Rs but am totally and hopelessly lost on carrying out the instructions given. :scratchhead:



#15 jcgriff2

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Posted 24 December 2017 - 10:34 PM

Hi. . .
 
Try and follow these instructions for SeaTools for DOS -- to put the software for the test on a CD-R -

https://www.sysnative.com/forums/hardware-tutorials/4072-hard-drive-diagnostics-ssd-test.html

Do you have several of them in case a CD-R or two is ruined?

John
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