View Full Version : Irresponsive Computer - What to Do Now?

Saturday, May 9th, 2009, 04:20 PM
Yesterday the laptop was working fine. Speed was as normal as it gets, no issues whatsoever. Today it as fast and responsive as a snail that's been prodded. Even typing creates a delay, even opening Notepad does!

There's not even any programs, or files which I could have downloaded. Nothing, nada, zilch. I tried freeing some space, ran Scandisk, ran Defragmentation, deleted all my cache and temp folder, closed a few useless processes, ran an up-to-date virus check - all to absolutely no effect.

It can't even have been the need to reboot the whole thing - last night, for the first time in what must be months, I actually turned it off before going to bed. Now, the only hint seems to be that it is on the verge of over-heating ... but with it having been switched off, it just reacts slowly.

Yesterday, switching it off the "orthodox and safe" way, it was absolutely fine --- today it's like watching a tortoise move. Anyone have any other clues as to what I could try, as I'm out of obvious options? :shrug

Saturday, May 9th, 2009, 04:24 PM
Maybe the over-heating affected the processor or internal board? That could count for the slow speed. I'd take it to a company that specializes in these things to have a look at the hardware. If you say the software part shows no errors or signs of trouble. :scratch

Saturday, May 9th, 2009, 04:39 PM
From your description of what you've already tried, it's obvious you're using some version of Windows, so the only other thing I can suggest is for you to boot with your Windows disc, run the recovery console when you get that option, and type "chkdsk -R", which might take an hour or two. It's generally a good sign if it looks like the progress has stalled, as it can indicate something being fixed.

Other than that, short of taking your laptop into a computer shop or something of the like, you could boot from a "live" version of some Linux distro and running some programs to see if it's slow as well. If so, then you have a hardware problem. If not, the fault is with your current setup, and you either need to reformat en reinstall or take it into a computer shop or wherever there's someone with a better knowledge of rescuing Windows.

Saturday, May 9th, 2009, 04:59 PM
Check your RAM, maybe it is damaged. You should see the RAM count in the startup process, when it is still in bios mode, before the first windows screen.

What virus scanner do you use? Had that problem a few years ago, program update brought a new method to check its installation that used all my RAM.
Download Filemon and check the activity of all running processes.

The evil possibility would be a virus that sends/receives files and uses the most of your bandwidth and the RAM.

Saturday, May 9th, 2009, 06:07 PM
Thanks, velvet, that Filemon thing seems quite useful! :thumbup ...

It looks like for some reason there was some unexplained and still unexplained issue with the keyboard drivers (explaining why typing slowed the damn thing like ten times), which saw to the keyboard working but anything therefrom being difficult. Unexplained because the hardware manager had not displayed any error there either: Obviously it was installed, and working, but unable to find the error, which could perhaps be a driver-attacking virus yet-unbeknown to AntiVir, which could have infested itself at any time, but only to strike now, I do now vaguely seem to remember once accidentally clicking an unknown RAR file, and panicking until AntiVir told me naught was wrong...

FileMon, on the other hand, spotted the error, which neither AntiVir nor Hardware Manager, nor ScanDisk (which should check system files including faulty drivers, I thought...) were able to determine for some reason. It took a bit of looking over it, but it was the main process where the results looked rather "offish". It also spotted an error with my Opera (explaining why it's been closing itself for days like every few hours), but that could not have been the problem, as Firefox was equally irresponsive, and Notepad didn't need either anyhow.

This in turn led to the computer trying to rectify this problem itself, for some reason duplicating a RAM-consuming system process, of which I had deemed both instances as absolutely necessary as I was unable to close either ("This process cannot be terminated" or sth along the lines). So, too much RAM already being consumed led to most of the thing near-overheating, its attempted self-remedy slowing it further. With only WinME at my disposal, it didn't exactly tell me how many resources it ate. :P

I should have thought of the possibility, as from there it was an "easy issue". Drivers off, drivers back on, system process that tried to remedy the old issue no longer duplicates, and the whole thing --- at least for the time being --. works at the speed of a falcon. :)

A bit ashamed now, really, but thinking of something as trivial as the keyboard drivers wasn't exactly the first thing that came into my mind... :D

Sunday, May 10th, 2009, 01:43 PM
Hehe, no, driver issues one rarely thinks of, also because one expects Windoof to tell about issues with them...

Anyway, another tip from my side would be, kick off AntiVir, specially when you use the free version. I used that bs for years and always thought I was save with it, then I had the feeling to have a virus and made a deep scan with it, but nothing, then someone told me to make an online deep scan with f-secure and it removed lots of subspicious and infected files, that AntiVir never gave a warning about. Then I had to look out for another Virus program and found Avast. It's free, and is MUCH better than AntiVir. It scans incoming mails also in Thunderbird, updates it virus db every few hours in a way that does not interrupt other processes, checks every traffic with the internet and blocks the line if it detects infected or suspicious files (like images in advertisings and so on) and scans the harddisks in background, not with that terrorthing luke :D

(check the uninstall information for AV carefully, it is important to remove any remains of other virusscanners before installing another one!)

Other useful tools to check more than windows allows you to see:
TCP View (checks all connections, also the ones via udp, which you'd never see in any windows tool, root kits load their missing data often via such connections)
ProcessExplorer (shows also system processes that are hidden in windows processmanager)

ScanDisk only scans the disks and the file integrity, usually it is not designed to detect errors in files. Many people also believe that AdAware would replace a virus scanner, it does not, it only detects adware and system cookies and other hidden 'extras' (that virus scanner do not care about unless they become active and act like a virus)

Sunday, May 10th, 2009, 02:22 PM
This is a good place to get freeware under the security section.

This site has computer experts.